07/01/2012 - By Gayle Irwin
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Like many Casper families, Misty and Chris Dibble are busy people, working in and out of the home and raising their young children. Also, like most families, a dog resides with them. However, unlike most, their dog is a very large and rare breed.
Mongo is a five-month-old Boerboel, or South African Mastiff. Gangly-legged, the pony-sized pup could weigh 160 pounds when he's mature. Although some people may be wary of bringing such a massive dog into a home with small children, Mongo's temperament is docile, not aggressive.
"He is very good with the kids, very laid back," Misty said.
Chris and Misty met while attending Casper College, became friends, and went their separate ways after school. However, they corresponded.
"We maintained our friendship after college," Misty said.
Through that correspondence, deeper feelings developed, and a long-distance relationship began. She was living in Flagstaff, Arizona at the time, and Chris had returned to Casper to work for the fire department.
"There was no way he could have moved to Arizona, so I moved back here," Misty stated.
They have been married for eight years.
Chris recently received a promotion and now works as an engineer for the department. Misty is an MRI technician at Outpatient Radiology; she will begin teaching online courses at Casper College in a program designed for X-ray technicians that also includes one Saturday meeting a month.
"The program is designed to cross train them in a new modality," she said.
Their work is not the only thing that occupies their time. The Dibbles have two children, Haley, who is 6 years old, and Brady, who is 3. Haley will be in first grade, and she enjoys school and playtime.
"I like playing on the playground, and I like math," she said. "I like my teacher because she helps me with my problems."
Haley also enjoys drawing. She often uses chalk on the sidewalk in front of the family home. She draws stars and hearts, among other things.
"I like to draw my family and my dog," she said.
"I like to play outside with our dog and play in our swimming pool," Haley added.
She also enjoys playing with her younger brother, who likes playing with toy trucks and swimming.
"The kids are very close," Misty commented.
Bike riding is another pastime the children enjoy, and they often share those experiences with their dad.
The family takes many camping trips throughout the summer, often traveling to Muddy Mountain or sometimes to the Snowy Range or to South Dakota. Chris is from Edgemont, SD and many members of his family still live in the state. He has a sister and her family who live in Casper, so there are barbecues and parties with family and friends at the Dibble home as well.
One big camping trip is being planned for this summer, but "we don't know where yet," Misty said. A trip or two to Muddy Mountain is certain, with Mongo going along.
"We like being outside as a family," said Misty.
Both she and Chris came to Casper for the college's career programs, he for fire fighting and she for the X-ray technology program. Years later, they both enjoy their work, finding and combating fires for Chris and finding and combating disease for Misty. Their important work is not lost on their daughter.
"Mom helps people, she takes care of them," Haley stated.
"I can make a difference in a patient's life in 15 minutes instead of a week. You may think you know what's wrong, but until you see it (through an MRI), you don't really know," Misty said. "You get a whole picture of health instead of a small one."
In Chris' line of work, he too, is able to help people and be a strong part of the community. Being a fire fighter is in his blood, Misty said.
"Chris comes from a long line of firemen. He started at 16 as a volunteer fire fighter. This has been his lifetime dream," she said.
And when those Casper firefighters stand on street corners in August and September asking people to "fill the boot for Jerry's kids", helping to fight another fire, muscular dystrophy, Chris will be alongside them as he has in years past.
But, before thatů the mountains beckon as the Dibbles plan other important parts of their lives: camping trips and other get-togethers with family and friends!