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It was cool this morning.  I opened the windows to air the place out and give the air conditioner a well-deserved break.  The atmosphere in the house was cool and refreshing, and smelled like fall.

Before light, though, I had to put a sweater on Penny – she was a little chilly.  And for once, she didn’t balk at putting something on.  We went out for our first visit of the day to the great outdoors, and this time, she didn’t try to hurry back to the house.  I think she’s come to realize that those strange items I put on her once in a while really make chilly mornings a lot better.

When we got back to the house, Penny took off for my cave and dove into her bed.  A few weeks ago, I had pulled out an old t-shirt that I’ve been reluctant to get rid of – it was one of my favourite tees, and there’s no doubt I wore it long beyond it’s intended lifetime – it’s nearly transparent, the material is so thin.  But now, I have this puppy.  And she looked like she needed, not only something to add some extra comfy to her bed, but also something that had my scent on it (for when I have to leave her alone), and something to cover her up with when she looked a little chilly.  So I knew that was the time to give up that old tee.   It’s seen better days, and now, it has a new purpose.  When I got in the room.. Penny seemed to be tugging at that old t-shirt.  I wondered, was she really trying to pull it up over herself?  I got the t-shirt out from under her and covered her up.  Tucked the shirt down all around her, and pulled some of it up and over her head so that the only part of her showing was her nose.

I thought I had done good, but Penny stirred and repositioned herself.  Apparently, she was not happy with just part of her being covered.  She wanted to be completely buried under that old t-shirt, and this is how she was tellingme.  Yes, I am still learning.  And Penny seems to be a better teacher to me than I am to her!  So after she got settled again, I spread the t-shirt across her again, this time covering her completely.  There she stayed, snug as a flea on an old dog, until she started to get a little too warm.  I took her sweater off her, and she went back to bed.  The fresh air must be like a drug to her… LOL.

snugasabugWhile she slept, I listened to Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies on TV, and tried to do a little drawing, but the creative juices just didn’t seem to be flowing.   I put my pen down and leaned back in my chair to watch TV.   Then looked down to check on Penny.    There she lay in her bed, curled up in a little ball.   I’ve never had a dog so small.  I thought about how, in the little time we’ve been together, she has come to blindly trust me.  And while I am wellready-or-not accustomed to the happy dance and warm, fuzzy reception a dog will heap on you upon returning home from wherever, Penny takes welcoming me home after even the shortest of trips to a whole other level.  It’s like she will burst at the seams, she’s filled with so much excitement.

That tiny little body…filled with more love and excitement than you’d think could be possible.  And it’s all for me…all mine.  Is that being greedy?  Sorta sounds that way.  Oh well.  How can anyone not accept such a gift?  A hundred pounds of love all crammed into a tiny five pound furry package.   Ain’t a boxed gift of any kind can compare!

The toys I buy for Penny get little attention: one bone she is not overly fond of, and she only acts like she wants to play with the old toy I pulled out that belonged to my last furry child.  Problem is, she doesn’t care much for toys that squeak – and both of them do.  She has two Nyla-Bones she plays with – usually when she has tired of everything else. Go figure – a puppy that doesn’t like squeaky toys.  So I‘ve been trying to find her toys she will like, but don‘t squeak.

Meanwhile, she’s chewed the cord to my laptop chill pad, of course the zipper on her carrier, occasionally I catch her gnawing on the wooden step stool that’s under my desk, she pulls at the plush surface of her bed, sneaks around quiety to find any shoe that has laces so she can chew the aglets off, pulls the arm covers off the sofa, tries to excersize her jaw muscles on something on the underside of my deskchair (haven’t figure out what yet), nibbles on the CD cases on the bookshelf, pulls the spanish moss out of a potted artificial plant and flings it all about, she has chewed up one handle to the basket I toss her junk in at the end of the day, and she uses my fingers as teething rings.

While she doesn’t seem to like anything that squeaks, she does like things that jingle, rattle, crinkle or rustle.  Oh, and anything she can rip up, shred or tear apart.  Problem is, most of the toys that jingle, rattle, crinkle or rustle are for cats – like the ball I recently bought. It has something in it that makes a muffled jingley-rattling sound.  It had a big blue, down feather on it, but I cut that off before giving the ball to Penny – I knew a feather and a shark-toothed little maniac would not go well together.  I would have been cleaning up after the fallout for days!canvasball

Being a cat toy, it’s not quite as sturdy as a dog toy would be.  I figured it would be just a matter of time before that little blue-and-white canvas-covered sphere would look like someone tried to cram it through a paper shredder. Surprisingly, the ball has lasted, and it still rattles. The canvas….ehhhh, it didn’t fare so well.

tolettepaperollSo it seems that not only does she apparently dislike toys that squeak, but she prefers things she can literally destroy! Her favourite non-toy toy, is the empty cardboard toilet paper tube. Her second best non-toy toy – sticks, despite the fact that one tried to beat her up not long ago.

Check out the determined look in her eye… LOL.

Until today, I don’t believe Penny has experienced anything other than sunny, warm days, moonlit nights, and occasionally, dew-covered grass in the early mornings.  She’s been happily going out anytime I knew, figured or suspected she might need to go.  Some dogs, if taken outside enough, will get to the point that outside is the only place they will do their business.   I don’t know if Penny will turn out to be that way…but I’m trying to do what I can to make potty training a stress-free process.

Despite having never had any luck with piddle pads, I bought them anyway the day I adopted Penny.  She and the piddle pads came home together and I put one down in the bathroom right away.  I thought that if I took her to the pad whenever she even looked like she was trying to figure out where she could pee (between trips outside), I would take her straight to the piddle pad and ask her if she had to pee-pee.   I was trying to associate the “pee-pee” with visiting that little square of paper printed with green leaves and blades of grass.  Though I celebrated a little too soon on a couple of occasions when Penny somehow accidentally peed on the pad, I think those two accidents might have paid off.

One day, I saw her come darting out of the bathroom.  She ran straight to me, and seemed, well…   excited.  It was like she wanted to tell me pitstopsomething.  No, she wanted to show me something.  I thought to myself, is it possible?  Did she intentionally go in the bathroom for a pit stop?

I got up and went to the bathroom door.  Sure enough, there lay a deposit on the pad.  I praised her and petted her, told her she was a good little girl, and that she did good job.  She seemed to really want to make sure that I saw what she had done.  She ran in the bathroom, surveyed her deed with a quick sniff, and ran back to me, tail just-a-waggin’!  I continued to heap loving praise on her.  I went back to sit down, hoping that this wasn’t another accident, and wondering was she really trying to show me what she had done.

The next evening, I had turned to check on Penny – she wasn’t in the room.  Oh crap, I thought, where is she and what could she be into?  Maybe she’s eating.  I quietly turned to get up just in time to see see Penny dart out of the bathroom and run straight for me.  Hmmmmm, I’ve seen this look before.  She was looking excited, her tail wagging, and again I got the impression she wanted me to come look at something.   As I stood up, Penny ran for the bathroom – I followed.

When I got to the door, I saw she had made another deposit on the pad, but she peed on the floor.   No matter… she tried.   I heaped on the love and praise.  Maybe Penny was getting it after all, and I was pretty sure that these latest trips to the bathroom were not accidents.  I wiped up the floor, packaged up the doggie-diamonds, disposed of everything and put down two pads.  I figured if I made the “to go” area a little bigger, she’d hit the pad, and this would further reinforce what she should do whenever she can‘t get outside.   Later, I could get her down to one pad.

That brings us back ‘round to today.   About 7am, I heard Penny stir in her carrier.  Okay, time to get up, stumble to the bathroom, throw on my sweats, t-shirt and sneakers and take her out.   It had rained on and off during the night and morning, and I knew it would be pretty cool.  The wind was also up which would no doubt make it feel even cooler.   I put a t-shirt on Penny and I grabbed a jacket.   Penny was all ready to fly out the door, the first visit to the great outdoors since right before bedtime the night before.  I opened the door, we stepped out and immediately, Penny balked.   The cold air hit her first.  Then there was this wet stuff coming down and the walkway was wet.  But after some serious cajoling, Penny reluctantly stepped into the grass and quickly went about the business of emptying her little bladder.   After that, she made it clear she was done, and we needed to go in the house.

We went back in the house, I wiped her feet off, took her leash and t-shirt off then set her down.   She took off for –  the bathroom.  Hmmmmm.  Could it be?   Is it so?  Did she say in so much doggie body language, “screw that, I’ll show you!”   I quietly started down the hall to my cave – that’s where the bathroom she goes in is located.   About the time I got in the room, Penny came running out of the bathroom with what was beginning to become that familiar, excited look, like, “come see what I did!“

Sure enough, I looked in, and Penny had made a deposit squarely in the middle of the piddle pad.  I swear, she could hardly contain herself.   I heaped on the love and praise, then she took off toward the bedroom and bounded up on the bed.   I came in and got out of my sweats and stuff, picked up the TV remote, laid down with her, and we watched TV for about an hour.  After that, I got up, got cleaned up, made some coffee and breakfast.

A few hours later, after Penny had eaten some, and had drank water, I figured I should not press my luck – after all, she is still just a puppy.  Problem is, it was raining again, had been for a while, and was doing more than just the sprinkle she encountered around 7 in the morning.  This was not gonna go well, but, I put her t-shirt on her, I grabbed my jacket and we went out.  This time however, there would be no amount of cajoling that would get her to even budge off the porch.   She turned around and stood up, her little paws pulling on my pants leg.  I told her she had to pee-pee.   She wasn’t having any of it.   She got down, turned around and shoved her nose into the corner created where the door meets the door frame.  It was like she was either going to push the door open under her own power, or she was going to go all cartoon on me and just squirt through.

“Come on, Penny, you have to make pee-pee, then we can go in.”  She sat on the doormat, shivering.  Then, she got up and turned toward the door again, and in case I didn’t understand her the first time, she stood up on her hind legs and planted her front paws on the door as if she was reaching for the door knob.  Whatta ya supposed to do?  I gave up and opened the door.  We came in, I took her t-shirt off, and she took off down the hall.  Penny had gone in my cave and flopped in her bed where she stayed for about half an hour (pouting?) before she got up and went into the bathroom.

I sat and waited for her – she seems to like a little privacy when she goes in the people bathroom.  After about a minute or so, Penny darted out of the bathroom and came running to me.  Yes, once again, she had “gone to the bathroom,” and once again, she wanted to make sure I knew it, and once again, I piled on the love and praise.

So what, if it’s raining.


How many times when you were little, were you told not to run in the house? How about, not to run with a pencil in your hand? How about, not to run with a stick in your hand? Or any long, slender object, whether sharp and pointy or not?

Every once in a while, Penny starts having so much fun, she gets so excited that she begins racing up and down the hall. I can’t help but chuckle when I hear those tiny feet trampling across the carpet sounding like a dog five times her size. Once in a while, though, she will lose her footing – no doubt because she was leaning further ahead than her little legs can go, and then she will go tumbling a few times before she recovers.

In the past week, she has found a few sticks that she didn’t want to leave outside when it came time to go back in the house. So, I let her bring them in. Besides, I figured while she’s teething (adult teeth trying to come in), it’s better for her to chew on twigs than everything else in the house. And she seems to like things like twigs and toilet paper rolls and old socks better than some of her real toys.

So. I let her play with her little collection of sticks, stripping them of their bark, and scattering the debris all about. Every morning, I lug out the vacuum and sweep up her mess. And then we start all over again.  All has been well.

But then, the other night I was sitting here at the desk, watching TV, playing games, reading, chatting (don‘t be amazed..I‘m not good at multi-tasking in any way, shape or form…but I try). Suddenly, a bloodcurdling screaming-yelping pierced the relative quiet, scaring the bejeezus outta me. I jumped up, not knowing exactly where Penny was, or what had happened. I went down the hall in the dark and turned on the first light I came to. There she was by the sofa, looking up as if she was waiting for me to come rescue her.

She jumped up on the sofa, then up on the back of the sofa and I picked her up. Poor little Penny was shaking and whimpering. I held her close trying to reassure and calm her. After she stopped shaking so much, I sat down with her and looked her over.   She appeared to be okay.

When I first turned the light on and saw her by the sofa, I wondered if she had fallen off the back of the sofa, or if she had mis-judged jumping off the back of the sofa. But on my way back to my desk with her, I saw two sticks in the doorway to my cave. Those two sticks used to be one – somehow, she had done something that caused the little twig to snap in two.

Because of where the two pieces were laying, I think she had picked up her stick and was taking off to go charging down the hall and into the the evil eyediningroom or livingroom… but she must have stumbled, the twig probably snagged the carpet. Her forward momentum caused the twig to snap. One piece or the other might have smacked her when it recoiled. scaring her and stinging her.

I don’t think Penny has done much running with her little sticks and twigs since the incident the other night. But I’ve noticed that she isn’t just stripping bark and gnawing on them – now, she’s chewing them up to bits and pieces. It’s almost as if she’s exacting some kind of….revenge… ?

On occasion, Penny Layne can be pretty darn lazy.
I was in the kitchen fixing a slice of toast.  For whatever reason, when I first brought Penny home, she would not eat unless I was in the kitchen too.  After a few days, she got brave enough to run in the kitchen and grab one or two little pieces of food, then run back into whatever room I happened to be in.  She still does most of her eating while I’m in there, but slowly, she is beginning to visit her dish more often, alone, and eating more while alone.

I’m not sure how she eats when I’m not in the kitchen with her – well, I guess on the run, but when I am in there, Penny will sit by her bowl,sitting down to dinner pick up 2 or 3 pieces of her food, drop them on her place mat, then eat one piece at a time.  Very rarely does she stand to eat, and she will usually only get up after she is finished for the time being, or to get a drink of water.
Now, Penny is not the first dog I’ve ever had that would sit to eat.  She is the only dog I’ve ever had that would sit at her dish to eat.   And she is the first dog I’ve ever had that lays down to eat.

Yes, while fixing my toast, I turned to check on her – I try to keep a close eye on her since she is not yet completely “potty trained,” and there she was, laying by her bowl, eating.  When I saw her, several things went through my mind all at once:  I never have a camera at hand when I need it – Is this dog lazy, or what? – Hmm, I guess being out this morning for over an hour really tired her out – If I go to get the camera, she’s going to jump up and follow me.

And follow me she did.   After getting the camera, I went into the diningroom so that I could try to slyly get a shot of her at her dish.   She did go back to eat a little more, but she didn’t lay down.  I did however, get a shot of her sitting at her dish and eating.

A couple days later, I turned around because I heard some rustling – Penny sometimes gets into stuff she’s not supposed to.   The noise?  Shelazy had half crawled out of her bed, which caused the far end to flip up in the air some – she was stretched out as much as a little puppy can stretch, half in her bed, half out.  And she was reaching for one of her toys that was about a foot and a half away.   Yes, dear readers, Penny was trying to retrieve the toy without having to actually get up!  She could juuuuust touch it, but she couldn’t reel it in.

Rather than get up, she gave up and went back to sleep where she lay – stretched out across the side of her bed.

You may recall that earlier, I light-heartedly wondered if my new little puppy was possessed when she lit into one of the toys I had bought her, and in very short order – shredded it.

Penny likes to climb – I’ve never had a dog that climbed things like she does.  She walks the back of the sofas.   She jumps from sofas to table tops.   She sits atop things she’s climbed, then looks around as if she’s taking in how high up she is, the surface below, and what kind of landing she’ll stick if she jumps down.

She quietly walks around, sneaking up on things she’s been warned to leave alone.  She creeps around, like she’s calculating each footfall, her eyes and ears taking in and processing any little move on my part that might mean she’ll get busted.

She found a peacock feather a few days ago – no doubt lost by someone moving or throwing stuff out.  I flick the feather to make it quiver and tease her with it, and bounce it up and down just out of her reach.  She pounces at it, swats at it, crouches down and watches the movement of the feather, and guages her next attempt at trying to grab it.

When Penny first came home, she hadn’t been in the house more than an hour when she jumped up on the sofa like she’d been doing it for yearsnot playing

And somehow, despite the fact that I have never given her any people food (other than putting a little peanutbutter on a pill to get her to take it), she seems to know exactly what it is, that it’s different than what’s in her bowl, it’s what she prefers, and she has no problem in letting me know that she wants what I’m eating.

She’s not possessed.  She’s lived before – AS A CAT.   And one that was probably over-weight from too much people food!

I’m trying to get Penny used to the fact that sometimes, she has to stay home alone.  She’s not buying it.  Least ways not yet – I am hopeful.  And I had a plan.

I got up early, threw on my sweats and a t-shirt.  Grabbed a “doggie poo clean-up bag” and put Penny’s leash on her.  We weren’t just going out for the first potty trip of the day.  No.  I was gonna…. Walk. Her.  Little.  Tail.  Off.  I was gonna wear her out.  The plan was, over-dose her on fresh morning air and a brisk walk.   Then she should sleep while I’m out.

As we walked around, Penny chased moths that were disturbed as we walked through the grass.  She pounced on leaves that fluttered slightly in the lazy morning breeze.  She picked up sticks and tossed them around.  She shoved her nose down in the thick, wet grass, no doubt detecting crickets or other critters hiding from birds and crazy little puppies.   We were out there for about an hour when I figured I’d head back for the house.

We came in and I took Penny’s leash off.  She took off across the livingroom and into the kitchen to hit her food an water dishes.  I was sweating and figured I would sit down a moment and cool off before I got a quick shower.  I went to my cave, sat down at my desk, grabbed the TV remote to rewind the VCR cassette that contained programs I had taped from the night before, and leaned back in my chair to catch the air from the ceiling fan.  Next thing I knew, Penny was roaring into the the stickroom with the twig she had found a few days before, and bounced up on the sofa.

After some haggling and stern demands to get down with the stick, she finally jumped off the sofa.  Then she looked at me with that little devilish gleam in her eye that she’s recently developed, and took off down the hall.  She was back within seconds, and I turned just in time to see her go zooming by, and then sail through the air to land right back up on the sofa.  We went ‘round again about being on the sofa with the stick.

I sat back down.  GEEZ!  Who wore who out?  I admit I’m a bit out of shape, but she’s just a little puppy – known for being rather lazy at times.   I was hot, sweaty, hungry and beat.  And I hadn’t had my coffee yet.  Penny was still going at 90 miles an hour with no sign yet of running out of steam.  I still had to go to the store.  But not today!

I was staying home…

Inamed him “Frenchie.”  Penny ignored him.   I was beginning to think this was more wasted money.   One toy she destroyed in less than 12 hours.  This one, it seemed, she wanted nothing to do with.

The toy has some type of cellophane inside that makes a crunching noise.  Until Penny discovered this noise, she really had no interest in this stuffed slice of french toast – she was too busy tearing up the cloth bone that is now just one among the many old, unwanted and broken toys in that big toy chest in the sky.

When the crunchy noise finally attracted her attention, she would pounce on Frenchie and grab him, give him a good shake, then take off running through the house with him.  Upon arriving in the room from which she took off, she would let Frenchie fly.  Then pounce on him again where ever he happened to land.  I was beginning to think I should start praying for Frenchie.

She had obviously exhausted herself running back and forth and throwing Frenchie all around, but like a child, she wasn’t ready to stop playing all together.  She flopped down, and in shoving her nose into the soft toy a few times, she realized that Frenchie was wearing a hat and a little red bow tie.

Within a couple hours, Penny had chewed the bow off the tie.  Next day, she had worked her way through the knot in the tie, and now the ends frenchie2flapped freely about.   Later in the day, I saw something black on the sofa – it was that little decorative tab on the top of the beret that Frenchie wears – does anyone know what that little thing is called??  And how did she haul Frenchie, who is nearly half her size, up on the sofa?!

I felt sorry for poor little Frenchie, and I tied the two ends of his tie together to simulate another bow.  Penny chewed through that knot too.  A few days later, I tied the tie again.  This time I had to pull the ends together tight, cinching Frenchie’s midsection (does a slice of toast have a “midsection?”), just to have enough of the tie to work with.

Frenchie has been through a lot in the past week.  But he’s tougher than he looks, though, and has lasted way longer than I ever imagined considering the swiftness with which Penny dispatched that little cloth bone…

October 2014
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Past Adventures

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