Thursday, January 8, 2015


If any of you know me you know I get bored easily. Unfortunately, I am bored of this too. So I probably won't be posting many updates on here for a bit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Does Penny Bark?

The short of it, yes Penny can bark. Does she? No, not much really. We are working on our third week with Penny and I have only heard her bark twice. At first we thought that perhaps she had her voice box removed. She didn't whine, bark, or whimper.

Once while she was playing with Cody. It was loud, deep, and scared us both. I think it even scared Penny. Her bark is much bigger than she is.

The second time was when some guy had the nerve to deliver letters to our house. You know the type. They drive around in their little jeep looking cars, put letters and envelopes in mailboxes, and sometimes when they are feeling really obnoxious they even come to the door. Well, this fella had the absolute nerve to walk in the drive way toward the door. Penny did not like the looks of this fella at all. She let out one woof. It was deep and conveyed exactly what she wanted. That lowly trespasser stopped where he stood.

By that time I was already up and walking to the door, so he kept coming and delivered the packages. But, Penny was proud of herself and I kind of was too. At least we now know that she can bark and when she does it's scary as hell.

Now that she is comfortable she let's out grunts and sighs more than anything. When she's trying to get comfortable and coils up in a ball she will sigh very loud and long. Like she is annoyed at something or someone and wants us all to know.

This was a short one...

Next ~ The Opossum. Watching TV & Awkward Poses...

Penny's New Blanket

In my last update I mentioned the blanket that Jolena received for Christmas that Penny had some interest in as well. Jolena liked it so much she went back to PetSmart and bought two more for gifts. She got one exactly like the one she got and another one that is purple. It has a quote on it saying, “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet”. Granted some of those companions have fewer, but I get the gist. These are the Luv-A-Pet Holiday Blankets from PetSmart.
We set these two blankets in the bedroom while cleaning the house and doing whatever it is we do every day. Normally laundry, sweeping, vacuum, etc. A few hours go by and Cody comes down to ask us if we gave Penny “that blanket". Of course we had no idea what he was talking about so we all go up to investigate.
Blanket Still In Bag
We step into the bedroom and Penny is in the bed with HER new blanket. The bag is in the floor (Sorry, I didn't get pictures) is ripped open, the two straps and wrapping was removed and there Penny sat, on the bed with her blanket. 
Penny & HER New Blanket
She was so happy that she had her new blanket we didn’t have the heart to take it away. She didn’t bother the purple one at all. She hasn’t chewed on anything other than her toys, nor does she attempt to get into anything. That blanket on the other hand was hers. Penny doesn’t even chew on the blanket, but she does sleep on it.

I tried to move it a few days later. I was working in the office, so I put it in the chair that she sleeps in while I do my work. She didn’t like that placement either. 

This is her look of contempt. She was not happy with me for moving her blanket. Although, she did come over and play for a while anyhow.

So she took it back to the bed where it stays now.

I gave her a little help laying out
She love her blanket. She cuddles in it.

Next ~ Penny learning to sit, which she picked up very quickly.
To come:
Does she bark?
The opossum
Watching TV & Awkward Poses

Penny's Skills

Since Penny is around 5 years old (we can't be sure as she was a shelter dog, now she's a spoiled pup) we figured she had at least a little training. She is house broke (wonderful), but she has no idea what to do on a leash. We also tried to get her to sit, stay, and others, but it all seemed to fall on deaf ears. She had no idea what was going on, but okay let's play!

Since it's a pretty easy one, we decided to start with sit. She caught on very fast. She was sitting well in just a few minutes. The next day took some reminding, but later in that day when we tried again she had it down. From then on she sits on command. Well, she would for Jolena and I, but Cody still has some trouble getting her to listen to him. I think she feels she is higher on pecking order then he is.
Her First SIT!
Since she picked up quickly on sit, Jolena started working with stay and BAM she had that down in minutes. I started working with Down, as in lay down and she does well with that too. It's nice working with a dog that's not really a puppy. She pays attention and really wants to learn. You can see it in her eyes when you give a command.

Sitting for Cody

We recently started working with UP, to get her to stand up on her hind legs. Still learning that one as she wants to sit, but she's coming along.

Another issue we, or I, had with her at first was she would run past me while I was walking up or down the stairs. This worried me. I thought she could trip someone pretty easily. So for a full day every time I would walk up or down the stairs I would put my hand in front of her and say NO. It only took that one day, now she will not pass me on the stairs at all.

Goofy Look on her Face (Had to add this one)
I have pulled the leash out a couple of times over the past two weeks as well. Unfortunately, it has rained or has been really wet since she came to live with us. We haven't had much of a chance to get out and walk around much. She seemed better the last time, but it's hard to tell.

Penny still doesn't really like going for rides in the car. I think it may be because she was moved around so much, but who really knows. She still shivers in the car and doesn't really like getting in at all.

Next ~ Does She Bark? The Opossum. Watching TV & Awkward Poses.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Penny's New Toys

Penny arrived in our home the week of Christmas, so I had to make a quick shopping trip to get her and the cat's some gifts. The cat's are usually fine with the boxes and wrapping paper, so they are pretty easy. I went to several places and finally made my way to PetSmart. There I found a throw blanket that I thought Jolena would like, so I bought one for her and a few gifts for the dog.
Christmas morning we all opened our gifts and lounged around watching Christmas movies. The blanket I got for Jolena was very soft. On one side it has a little scene with a home, cat and a dog. Above that it has a little proverb, A house in not a home without a pet, written on it.
Jolena's Blanket from PetSmart
Jolena seemed to like it and placed it on the back of the couch. Penny also liked it as well. As we were playing she tried to pull the blanket off the back of the couch on several occasions. It was kind of cute. She would bite the blanket and pull it to the floor. She wouldn't chew on it, just pull it down and lay on it. It was kind of cute, but we corrected her behavior and went back to playing with her new toys.
Penny & Her Toys
We played a few hours and finally started chilling out in front of the TV. If there's something we do really well, it's sit in front of a television. We are experts that cannot be rivaled. Penny was enjoying her new toys killing those damn squeakers and shaking them to death.

Suddenly we realized it was pretty quiet and Penny was nowhere to be found. We called for her and she came running down the stairs to see what was up.
No biggie, I was just chilling upstairs. Nothing to see.
Well, with such a guilty look on her face and a floor that was now surprisingly void of dog toys we decided to see what she was up to. Of course she beat us up the stairs (now she knows to stay behind us) and we heard her jump into the bed.
I step into the bedroom, flip on the light switch, and found all of her missing toys. There she sat, like a person, in what she thought was her bed. She was as happy as can be. Now she has all her new toys right where she wants them. In HER bed.
Penny's Toys in Her Bed
(Don't judge, it was Christmas morning and we hadn't made the bed yet)
Uh-oh, I'm thinking this could turn into a problem. She seems to think that this is hers, which is very sweet, but also signs that she thinks she's the boss.

As a side note, as of my writing this it has been a week and she still sneaks toys in the bed. However, she does realize that she is not suppose to. She also will no longer get in the bed (at night) until she is invited. She's a very surprisingly smart dog.

Up Next ~ Follow Up on Blankets, then ~Sit & Stay~

Friday, January 2, 2015

What is she anyway?

Smooth Fox Terrier Picture of Frank's Wild Years, a Smooth Fox Terrier dog on Dogster
Smooth Fox Terrier
Officially, we still have no freakin’ clue what she is. When I found Penny on the website she was listed as a Fox Terrier Mix, whatever that may be. She does look a lot like a smooth fox terrier, except her ears stand straight up to a point. Fox Terriers ears are supposed to flop over slightly. They also are only supposed to get between 13 – 20 pounds. Penny is well over that at a fit 27 pounds. So, we know she’s not a fox terrier; or at least not a pure bred. Picture of Keelo Locs Geezy , a American Pit Bull Terrier dog on Dogster
Pit Bull
The paperwork we received from the shelter has her listed as Pit/Terrier mix. I don’t particularly see why she would be considered a Pit Bull mix as none of her physical characteristics appear that way to me. Perhaps whoever stated this felt it was due to her size. She is very muscular, but not stocky like a pit bull. Most Terriers are muscular so I’m can’t say if that was the reasoning. Pit Bull’s range from 15 – 20 inches tall and between 20 – 55 pounds. I hope she doesn’t get that big! Her head is not as big or “brick shaped” as a Pit Bull either. The main thing she is lacking that would make her a Pit Bull is a neck. This poor thing’s neck is very skinny, more like a Rat Terrier’s neck than a Pit Bull’s. Picture of Crystal Visions Enchanted Rhia, a Doberman Pinscher dog on Dogster
Doberman Pinscher
We mentioned at one time that she did have a slight Doberman look to her. Specifically her head and posture. I think one of the giveaway features that indicate she is not a Doberman is her ears point up. While most people think a Doberman’s ears are pointed, they are not naturally. Many people participate in the barbaric practice of trimming the ears. While she does have the face of a Doberman, her face also resembles that of a terrier. Picture of Lucky, a Rat Terrier dog on Dogster
Rat Terrier
When I first saw her online I thought she was a Rat Terrier. Rat Terrier’s ears are supposed to stand up to a point, which hers do. She even has all the right colors, stance, and looks of a Rat Terrier. This is why I initially thought she was one. That is until I saw how huge she is. Rat Terriers range from the smaller 6 – 8 pounders to the largest 14 – 23 pounders. Heights also vary between 8 inches to 23 inches. So, Penny could be a Rat Terrier that is exceptionally large, but this is doubtful. She weighs in at a fit 27 pounds and is approximately 22 inches at the shoulder and around 28 inches at the head. She’s in the range, but at the very top of it. I personally have never seen a Rat Terrier over a fit 15 pounds. I think she probably is at least part Rat, but don’t believe she’s full blooded.

Penny's First Day Home
December 22, 2014
Whatever she is we love her. She has fit in wonderfully with our family and is a never ending fountain of entertainment. I am so glad that we decided to find a shelter dog. We really got a great one with Penny.

What's Next?
Next I will tell about Penny's new toys and where she puts them. 

Meeting Penny

It’s December 22, 2014. As soon as we got off work we started the two hour drive to Cullowhee, NC. I have never been in that area, but I must say it is absolutely beautiful. The drive there was uneventful, albeit hectic. If you have never drove on the interstate highway between Knoxville, TN and Cullowhee, NC I recommend doing it at least once. The mountains are beautiful in that area.

Somewhere Near Waynesville, NC
We finally arrive to meet with Jean and Penny around 6:00 PM. Jean is a foster for puppies normally, but she took Penny in as there was no room at the other foster homes. She explained that in her area the shelters are all kill shelters and only have to keep the dogs for three days and then can kill them. I use the word kill rather than euthanize or put down as it brings about more emotion; and it should! Without people like Jean these poor puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats would all just be killed. We as humans have a responsibility to protect those that cannot protect themselves.

Okay, rant over. Penny was in Jean’s garage inside a small makeshift pen. She was sitting there quietly ears down and wagging her little nub tail as fast as it would go; she didn’t make a sound. Jean opened the gate, but Penny didn’t really want to come out at first. She was coaxed out and we all went inside the house. As Jean told us about Penny, Penny walked all around sniffing, peaking, peering, and really just snooping around. Several times Jean would just say, “Penny” and Penny would stop what she was doing and run over to her. It took Penny a few moments but she would come over to Jolena and I. She finally came by for a sniff, let us pet her and off once again to explore. She had trouble sitting still and just wanted to investigate everything. 

Keep in mind that we recently lost our dog Molly. Molly was a prominent fixture in our family for well over a decade and her death tore a hole in me that will never fully heal. I sat down on Jean’s floor and played with Penny as much as she would allow me. I held her, rubbed her ears and head, massaged her, and rough housed just a bit. Then of course my eyes began to fill with tears as Molly kept coming back to the forefront of my mind.

I have never had a dog that I truly connected with before Molly. It had only been a month since her death and here I was playing with another dog, contemplating taking her to our home. Trying to decide if she was worthy to fill the open spot that was left. Who was I kidding, there is no person, animal or thing that could ever fill that spot. I wasn’t sure what I was thinking coming here.

Then Penny came back to me, licked my face, and put her paws on my shoulders. Jolena asked me what I thought. Of course my reply was, “You know what I think. I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t plan on leaving with her”. We started completing the final paperwork so Penny could come to our home and be a part of a family. Not just any family, but a family that puts more weight on happiness for the animals in their lives than themselves most times. But, the tradeoff is really one sided. We, the people in the dog’s lives, always come out on top. The love a dog provides to a human is never repayable. The comfort, love and joy we receive cannot be given any other way.

Penny, the 27 pound dog that looks like a giant rat terrier, will now be one of us. We will try to provide a home for her that repays, in the best way possible, the love and companionship she provides to us, her human family.  

We were told that Penny likes to ride in cars. That was not really true, perhaps whomever mentioned this in the notes thought she did because she sits in one spot and does not move. She would not get into the car on her own when we left. On the two plus hour drive home she did not once get comfortable and relax. She was shaking the entire time. I have taken her on several rides since and each time it's a struggle to get her into the car and she sits at attention and shivers, although she has improved. I think she is finally starting to realize that a ride is something to enjoy and not just another trip to a shelter or temporary home. 
Penny's Ride Home
December 22, 2014