Penny. Week 1

Okay, so I have sunk to writing about my dog again. I know it’s a cheap tactic. Sort of like your favorite network show doing a greatest hits montage during sweeps but friends, my life really is just not that interesting anymore. And besides, it worked for the guy who had Marley didn’t it? And how many Air Bud and Beethoven movies have we endured(by my conservative estimate it is somewhere north of 43)? The point I’m trying to make here is dog stories seem to work. Enjoy.

7 Days. 168 Hours. A lot can happen in that amount of time. I can’t tell you how many times in college I drank continuously for that amount time(I really can’t because I can’t remember much of it. Not any of my finer moments I know.). Biospheres are believed to have been created in that amount of time. While owning a dog may not, in your eyes, compare to a Wednesday when the Appalachians were formed(or you were drunk at 9 in the morning), owning a dog sure does take up your time.
While it took some coaxing for me to get her into the back seat of my car, I can tell you it was much less of a hassle than Madonna had trying to adopt a kid. I skidded her across the leatherette bench seat and shut the door just in time for her snout to push against the glass. I hopped in and off we went. Penny wasn’t too sure what to make of the whole car ride. I offered an opened window for her head and she refused(I thought an open window during a car ride was like crack to a dog?). She paced. She whimpered a bit. She swung her tail like a ninja swinging a nunchuk. But despite her unrest, we hit it off. I knew she liked me when Penny gave me the wettest Willy I have ever be the recipient for(I am still digging out slobber). By the time I pulled into my driveway, she was sitting shotgun with me.
Our new lives began the moment I opened my door and Penny hopped out. My kids were pressed against the front window like a squashed mosquito on your windshield waiting for the dog. My wife was pressed against the front door like the same mosquito. Kids, adults, and canine all went crazy the moment we stepped into the house. The kids wanted to play. The dog wanted to jump on someone, and my wife wanted to wrap her up in a blanket and carry her around like a baby.
We opened up our house unconditionally to the dog. She accepted too, but only once she had the chance to urinate on the carpet(I chalk this up to getting comfortable. Sort of like bouncing on the bed in a hotel to check out the springs). Then she urinated again(a simple paw shake would have sufficed). She sniffed all around trying to acclimate herself to her new home. Thankfully we have a fenced in backyard that holds our children(and now the dog) in so Penny went out. Penny ran around, sniffed every blade of grass, went to the bathroom again, and right before we were ready to go in, she brought me the carcass of a bird(which may go down as the most gruesome dowry ever given). I supposed she wanted to thank me? She slept in the her crate that night in our bedroom. Alley, our cat, had yet to show her whiskers.
I saw the sun rise as I waited for Penny to do her business. I then realized there is no ‘Snooze’ button on puppies. So up it was…until we both fell asleep on the sofa watching SportCenter(apparently snooze comes after breakfast). It is beginning to sink in like an anchor, picking up dog poop and early morning walks(and by early I mean early enough that it is cool to the point of wearing a light jacket in the middle of July early) were going to be as much as part of my routine as brushing my teeth. Penny and Alley finally meet. It was like a back alley meeting of the Jets and Sharks. Lots of dancing around but not a whole lot of action. Round 1 a draw.
I’m beginning to appreciate the sunrise. I have, in such a short amount of time, met most of the people in my neighborhood who own dogs. I can tell you I appreciate the sunrise much more than I appreciate them. Whatever happened to a simple smile and a ‘Good Morning’? Now I find myself engaged in conversation about proper puppy care while clad in my pajamas and my Nike’s with breath worse than my dog’s. Penny has displayed her enjoyment of our shoes, socks, and the kids stuffed animals. The cat has discovered her left hook(you might say she’s a South Paw). She lands 13 out of 16 to the dog’s snout. Round 2 to the cat.
I hate the sunrise. I hate it almost as much as dialogue with my neighbors(people, I get that she looks like Marley, let’s move on to other topics). The dog has taken to biting on everything short of the dishwasher and the stove(I give her till Friday to start that). The funny thing is I am finding her more lovable everyday. Even more lovable than Alicia(let’s keep a lid on that one). Penny chases Alley down a flight of steps and gets her paw on the back of the cat before Alley gets to the safety of the laundry room. Round 3 to the dog.
We decided the night before to let Penny’s crate open at night(she’s in our room). She licks my face to let me know it’s time to go out in the morning. I actually hear birds this morning(as early in the week when they were still asleep). So the open crate worked. Mental note on that. Penny has stopped trying to gnaw the coffee table. She is currently directing her attention to a squeaking hot dog. More of the same with SuperFight 2 between the dog and cat. Alley is really looking Apollo Creed like with her jabs. I think I may have even seen a combination. Round 4 to Alley.
The weekend.
My floors have never been so devoid of clutter and the kids have never picked up their toys so well since Penny moved in. I’m used to the mornings(or I have just begrudgingly accepted them) and my time with the dog before the house awakens. Otherwise it’s business as usual. Penny tries to eat Hannah’s ‘Hello Kitty’ and knocks Emma over playing with her.
During the first week with our dog, nothing beats walking in from work and getting knocked over because Penny is so excited to see us. My neighbors are annoying but I was sure I didn’t like them before, walking Penny merely cemented my suspicions(If I have to hear, from one more person, how Penny looks so much like Marley, that someone is getting dog poop on their front porch.).
In a week’s time we have seen more sunrises than we have in our lifetime. In a week’s time, my fingers have not been able to rid themselves of the smell of Pupperoni’s. In a week’s time we discovered our new best friend and family member. In a week’s time it has all been worth it. In a week’s time a lot happened.


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