Finding Liberty: The passionate pursuit of a patriotic pup

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Liberty Found (1)
Liberty gives WYDaily's politics reporter Steve Roberts, Jr., some kisses. (Steve Roberts, Jr/WYDaily)

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The Revolutionary City has been harboring Liberty for as long as one can remember. There were the famous speeches by red-blooded American patriots who once shouted “Give me Liberty, or give me death.” Little did Patrick Henry know that Liberty could be found just a short walk from DoG street at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

Screenshot from the updated Colonial Williamsburg app
Screenshot from the updated Colonial Williamsburg app

For me, the pursuit of Liberty started innocuously at the Stryker Center just off Scotland Street in Williamsburg after downloading the Colonial Williamsburg iPhone app. Colonial Williamsburg released an update to their popular app last week, which includes a function to meet famous and historical figures such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Lesser known figures, such as Colonial Williamsburg’s mascot Liberty the dog, are also easily accessible via the mobile app. I set Liberty as my destination and began my half-mile walk to find it. 

Colonial Williamsburg was teeming with lunchtime traffic jockeying for parking spots. The shops were filled with tourists, and I must have had resolution in my face as several of the tourists asked me for directions to various area attractions.

Screenshot from the updated Colonial Williamsburg app
Screenshot from the updated Colonial Williamsburg app

When the Capitol Clock Tower rang twelve, I was quite close to Liberty, within a tenth of a mile. I was haunting the grounds of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg before I figured out that the ever-elusive pup was hiding somewhere in the museum. I walked in the entrance and struck up a conversation with a Colonial Williamsburg employee, Chris Junke.

"I keep begging them to bring Liberty up here," said Junke, before calling security for their assistance in finding the dog. They searched on all of the security cameras for the dog and its trainer. "Liberty's down those stairs by the gift shop," Junke said. I hustled downstairs, where I came across the long sought after Briard named Liberty, who was being friendly to three sisters.

"I loved Liberty and her kisses. I might not wash my arm again," Cindy Bennett of Seattle joked. Bennett ran into the pup as she and her three sisters spent time in the area after not being together for five years.

Adam Claar, the dog's trainer, showed me to the education studio where the dog occasionally rests when it's too hot outside. Briards can be stubborn, he said before speaking highly of Liberty. He said that the Colonial Williamsburg mascot can be found twice a day, most days, in the morning and early afternoon strolling down DoG Street or working with a trainer.

"She does not mind an audience while she's doing this stuff," Claar said while playing fetch with Liberty. "One of the things I've been telling clients for years is if you're not embarrassing yourself, you're not doing right."