Penny is lying beside me on the couch. Her tongue is hanging out the left side of her mouth. Her eyes are partially open and moving wildly. She is making this little sound like “hup, hup, hup.” It is SO sweet. She is dreaming of course.

I wonder what she’s dreaming about? Is she remembering her former life? The life with a family who took her to the animal shelter and left her there? Is she dreaming about the shelter? She was only there for a half an hour, but she must have been so scared. I mean, one minute she is with a family (and they obviously took good care of her), then alluvasudden BAM! Left in a cage.

I was looking for a sister for my pup Squirt. I had no idea that so many dogs (at least 400,000) are in shelters, humane societies, and rescue organizations. I just couldn’t believe that people get rid of their dogs. There were so many Yorkies in rescue that it blew my mind. I was looking for a female Yorkie. Not a puppy. I applied to adopt several…but they were all so far away.

I put out the word here in town that I was looking for a pup.

Lo and behold: Tiny, wearing a pink color, her nails trimmed (doesn’t she look so concerned?)

A local rescue woman, the lovely Bonnie, happened to be at the shelter (which, by the way, is a high-kill shelter) when Penny was dropped off. She managed to chase down the owners in the parking lot and ask them some questions. She had to be very nice and say she just wanted some information about the pup (she wanted to call the woman all manner of mean names, but we can’t do that).

The woman said that she had recently walked down the aisle and her husband breeds big dogs and she was afraid “Tiny” would get hurt. [OKAY. WTF? CHOOSE A MAN OVER YOUR DOG YOU HAVE HAD FOR EIGHT YEARS? and You don’t want her to get hurt so you take her to a kill shelter?]

So a couple of days later I hear from Bonnie and I get that sweet picture of a tiny chihuahua. So scared. Needs a new mom and brother. I didn’t know anything about chihuahuas. Never really thought much about them. I really was looking for another Yorkie. But, it seemed that I wasn’t able to adopt the ones I had applied for because I was meant to have this pup.

I wanted to go meet her right that minute, but I had to wait until the next morning.

Bright and early on Saturday morning I headed out to meet “Tiny” at an adoption event. Bonnie told me to get there a little early, and that nobody would get to meet Tiny before me. When I arrived, there she was in a little kennel. I bent down and looked at her – I couldn’t believe that someone threw her away. We took a quick walk around the shopping center. She was so scared. As we walked backed, Bonnie said, “What do you think of my little girl?” And I said, “Don’t you mean MY little girl?”

As I was taking care of paperwork and making a donation to the rescue, I was thinking “uh-oh, what if Squirt doesn’t like his new sister?” I was a bit nervous about it all, I had only had one dog, and I got him as a puppy. Here was this 8 year old with all her quirks and habits. As nervous as I was, something told me I was doing the right thing.
We made a quick stop for a new collar and nametag, plus, as she was shivering, I thought she might need a little t-shirt. She certainly did not like being in the sherpa bag, and as we got close to home she finally worked her way out of it. She was so scared and just stared at me. Then, about a block from home, she climbed up and gave me a little lick on neck. As I parked the car, she climbed on top of me and pressed her whole body into my neck. She hugged me because she knew she was safe. I took her to meet her new brother, and told her that she had hit the jackpot. I named her Penny Lane (or, if you ask my sister, “Penny Lover”), so she could have a new name for her new life.

She was so happy and playful. She would not stop loving us. From the back of the couch, she would kiss my ears. She would put her head on my shoulder and woller all over me. After about a one-week refresher, she was house trained. We visited the vet, who pronounced her totally healthy and already spayed.
It’s been three and a half years since I brought Penny home. She is still a happy, playful pup. She really likes chicken and naps. Under a blanket on the couch is her favorite hidey hole. Sometimes, she gets inside the pillow case:


Yeah, Penny has it good, but you wanna know who really hit the jackpot? Me!

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