My little lucky Penny

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Since Ellie got a whole post dedicated to her, I thought it unfair if I did not show some love to Penny. This is the story of how Penny came into my life.

It was August 2004, a few weeks before I was leaving for my sophomore year of college. At the last minute, I ended up living by myself for the Fall semester in an off-campus townhouse. My mom was concerned about her 19-year-old daughter living by herself. My solution was to take Tucker, who was technically my dog, with me to Gainesville. Tucker was about 5 years old, a small mound of white fluff and sweetness. He had found my family when I was in 9th grade (he literally followed one of our dogs home and adopted us. It wasn't long before we adopted him, too) and became my dog - or so I thought. See, as much as Mom wanted me to have a dog in my townhouse for company and an "alarm system," she wanted to keep Tucker even more. Enter Penny.

Penny at 4 years old
We were at a local market in my hometown one Saturday with one of my Mom's friends. Her friend said, "You HAVE to see this puppy," and there she was. A little pouf of strawberry blond fur, she weighed merely a pound. Mom tried to persuade me, saying "Wouldn't you love to take this thing home with you?" but I knew what she was up to. I said, No thanks, I'd rather have my dog who is already housebroken. But the more I thought about her, the more I knew I wanted to take her to Gainesville with me. So about a week later, when she was 8 weeks old, Mom purchased her for me as an early 20th birthday gift. I named her Penny Anne: "Penny" because she was small and copper-colored, and "Anne" after the red-headed Little Orphan Annie.
My little angel

Penny has since been with me for 7.5 years. She finished undergrad with me; moved to Chicago and ventured to the top of the Sears Tower (where no dogs are allowed, but there she went!); she returned to Gainesville with me for Grad School and sat in my lap over many long days and nights while I wrote my thesis; she met Alex the same night I did and instantly approved; she comforted me through a long-distance relationship and a job search that seemed never-ending; she moved to South Carolina when both the long-distance and the job search finally ended; she relocated when our house was complete and was officially "adopted" by Alex when we got married; at the age of 7, she accepted Ellie as her sister, even though she would have been happy to be an only child forever. To say that we've been through some ups and downs together would be an understatement.
6 years old, loving life at the beach!

When Alex laughs at me for how obsessed I am with her (which is totally a valid point), I sometimes I like to remind him that she's been in my life longer than he has. I love that little dog so much. Though I've had many dogs in my life, she was the first that was truly mine and who loved me more than anyone else. I can't tell you how happy my heart is when I see her excited face when I get home from work each day. In over 7 years, I haven't lost my luster I guess. And she hasn't, either.

Penny joined in on some of our engagement pictures!

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