Thursday, September 22, 2016


In a couple or three weeks, it will be Penelope's fourth adoptiversary. In some ways, Pen feels like she's been with me always, and yet the memories of our early days never quite fades, either. It was a hard time for both of us, but great ZOT you never saw an animal more eager to please or learn or just be utterly OSUM than my girl.

Goss is like any cat. He came fully assembled - no litter training, and cuddlesome and highly portable. He is gorgeous and hilarious and boyish and sleek (and you never saw nimbleness the like of his; I sure haven't, and I've had four cats now).

Ahh, but my Pen. The Yellow Poobah, the bestest girl-thing, the bestest dog, the bestest yellow thing in the history of ever.

I knew I was going to love this little maniac, but geez how MUCH I do.

Four and a half or a hair more by now, she has become a powerhouse of a magnificent canine. Just the most beautiful dog I've ever owned; even Sid, who was gorgeous, did not have quite the ineffable dingo-ness that is Penelope's magic. Sid was more wolf, more a dog I was familiar with from the word go. She was aristocratic and majestic. Calm.

But Penelope is the ur-puppy, that elemental dogness, a breed little mucked-around-with by mankind, my ghost from an Egyptian stela, my swamp thing, my Carolina dog, my Yaller Dawg, my Dixie Dingo, my unexpected living ancient. There is something both ineffably alien about her and everything else overwhelmingly PRESENT about her. She is the most *here* animal.

Her alacrity is of course legend among her friends. "Sit, you say? I can sit for you. Look, I've sat. Ooh, and I can also 'down' for you. I'm down. See? Down. Ooh, but wait. I can 'belly' too - see this? This is my belly!" It's unbearably endearing and extremely funny, and of course being a boring old PERSON, I try to train her out of this. "That's not sit! Gimme sit. Good girl."

Her alacrity in greeting is also pretty legendary - and, unfortunately, is the main reason others don't tend to love Penelope as I do. Doing the ignore-her-turn-around-till-she-calms-down thing is all very well and good, but the effusiveness of a happy pup is not so easily to be gainsaid every time. Bless her bones.

But age has been working upon her of late. At four, she's hardly old, but she's much more capable of checking her OWN energy now. When even her "grandma" comments, "Penny has been good" - you have to know, that dog has been dadgum near perfect.

Milestones of note: a week or so ago, I ordered pizza, and when I told her to sit and to stay, that dog sat AND she stayed. First time ever. No "A FRIEND HAS COME TO THE DOOR, BEARING FOOD NO LESS, I MUST THANK THIS FRIEND AND PERHAPS GO SOMEWHERE WITH THEM IN THEIR CAR" greetings.

Pen's effusiveness, and I know it, owes a lot to her doggy-mommy's own mental energies, and when someone is coming to the house there's some skein in my awareness that amps up, even if I'm not thinking directly "the dog's going to wig", and even if I behave calmly.

I worry less now. Pen wigs less.

It has not been my habit to compare Pen with Sweet Siddy La generally. (Yes, I've done it here and am now, but in daily life I don't go looking at Penelope and seeing my late dog.) But as she reaches the age Sid was when I adopted her, Penelope reminds me more of Sidney than she ever has before. And Sid was universally LOVED by my friends and family. A great sitting-at-your-feet-and-napping dog.

Which Pen has always been, but she punctuates greetings with *such* emphasis, few people know what she's really like.

If they are fortunate, they'll see.

My dear yellow soul. I'm lucky she said, "ADOPT ME" when I met her.

Awwwwwww. and when I went to find an image of an Adopt Me vest or a pup wearing one, I found this along the way. That very first pic could have been my Poobah on the first day we met. That pure, perfect coat, the white-white teeth, clear eyes, and black-black nose. Even better than a labeled-for-reuse graphic. Please click.


Donnaeve said...

I totally get that love you have for Penelope. And I also get the compariing/not really comparing thing. It's funny about Mister - he's truly got a mix of both of my previous Yorkies, Bella and Kiwi. Bella was a big play baby - meaning she was always grabbing a toy and wanting to do just that. Kiwi used to do this thing where she would roll on her back, and if you rubbed her belly, she'd raise a paw and rest it on your arm, as if encouraging you to keep on. Mister does that too. And there are other little quirks that draw my mind's eye towards memories of the girls and now him.

It's really more of an observation, an interest in seeing the similarities.

I'm thinking about adopting another dog, but I'm really on the fence about it. I don't know if it would help or hurt him emotionally. He was around three other dogs at the foster home, and I sometimes think he might miss that companionship.

DLM said...

You could always set aside some Saturday morning to take Mister with you to a couple of pet adoption events, every pet store I know lets animals visit and has those in autumn. This is a great time of year to meet a new companion. I can still remember the excitement and the wait for both Sidney and Penelope. (Heck, the wait for Pen was chronicled right here on the blog.)

When I met Pen, I already had Gossamer, so I took her to the cat section of the store. She might as well not even have seen they were there. No response of any kind. When she came in the door at home for the first time, she literally cowered in submission, unwilling to cross Goss's path. (Goss sat on the stove looking MIGHTILY judgmental!)

If you take him to meet some potential friends, Mister will tell you how he feels about it. Though of course the heightened social situation will have some effect!