Penny has a brindled coat (some people tell us she looks “like a tiger”), red-brown eyes, a bent tail, a bristly back, a bald belly, a white blaze on her chest, little socks, and some half-moon shape on her forehead that I used to identify her as a puppy. She can outrun most of the dogs I’ve met, and likes to play more than anything else in the world, including feeding herself (with the occasional exception of carrots). She’s very vocal, and when I’m on the phone with friends they’ll often go quiet before asking “...was that Penny?” Yes, it was.
She’s also fearful of loud noises, cars, other dogs, weather, anything sudden, wires, and new people. She’s inconsolable in her anxiety–what she needs is time and a place where she feels safe to wait it out. In this way we’re more alike than different.
Penny also enjoys destroying foliage, watching horror movie gore and violence scenes, scaring birds, trying to eat dirt while I pot plants, playing in the snow, sitting in front of the space heater, taking up too much room on the couch, open windows, and going to bed.
The first time I met her, she fell asleep in my lap. When we got her as a floppy, wormy shelter puppy, my family would say she acts more like a cat than a dog–something she would prove wrong in time. She slept so soundly we sometimes stacked her toys on top of her without her waking up. During this time, when I was in high school dealing with my own mental illness and the dark winter mornings, she was a bright spark in my life that helped to keep me going. Over the years I think we’ve become each other’s emotional support animals.
What breed is she?
Just a little girl. (A mutt! Pitbull/Malinois-ish we think.)
Some nicknames for her include: