My Pal Penny
Most nights in my house, we’re all sitting within 10 square feet of each other. Me, Sugar, Ellie, and Penny. Never in my wildest dreams did I think adopting a dog would be such a blessing. Even though I did all the research about the right pet to add to the mix and even though we have a long history of Australian Shepherds in our family, there was no way to be sure if Penny would fit in. Admittedly, I was apprehensive.
People wondered if I’d have time to care for a dog and if I could alter my lifestyle to accommodate a canine that requires a lot of attention. It’s been an adjustment, for sure. But the only thing missing is sleep…not Penny’s, MINE. Ha! Our routine is atypical, but we’ve settled into it. Walks in the morning and evening and some major exercise in the afternoon keep me active, whether I feel like it or not. Penny loves to play fetch and visit new parks and take car rides and chase around in circles at breakneck speed. There isn’t a squirrel in town she hasn’t treed or a neighbor she hasn’t tried to befriend. Of course, there’s no one else outside when we take our 3am walks, and Penny’s not always sure what we’re doing out there. Last week, we literally traipsed up and down the street in the middle of the night for 25 minutes until she figured it out.
This dog gets around. In her short time in New England, she’s been to church; a kids’ birthday party; softball games; countless parks, fields and trails; and Ohio (our first road trip). She’s a great companion, and she makes me laugh constantly, even when I have to towel her off a fourth time on yet another rainy day. When we leave the house, my arms are full of her treats, water, leash, ball, and plastic bags. When we’re home, the interaction among the animals is priceless. One of these days, I’ll have my camera out to capture their nose touches or one of those times when a curious Sugar is creeping within inches of an oblivious Penny. Even when the dog realizes the cats are right next to her, she only wags her tail and tries to sniff them. Now and then, the felines will gang up on Pen, but she takes it all in stride and keeps wagging. This dog must burn half her daily calories by wagging her stump of a tail (Aussies don’t have them) and then her entire back end when she’s REALLY excited.
It’s only been 2 months, and my life now revolves around Penny’s schedule. Who knew I’d sacrifice so much sleep and who knew it would be so hard to leave her when I need to travel? I stress more about house-sitters and dog-walkers than anything I need to pack. I wouldn’t change a thing, though. Love this dog. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.