Last month, Sara and I flew out to Austin, TX to pick up our new puppy, Penny. Penny was living with a lovely family along with her litter mate and her puppy parents. Penny’s father is a handsome Boston Terrier/Pug mix and her mother is a feisty Chihuahua/Pug mix. The day we went to get her, she played with her sister and her parents, running around the house with chew sticks, while we chatted with the dog breeder. The breeder is a lovely mother, wife and dance teacher who has raised three litters with the pair and housed six dogs total. Before the left, they packed a bag with food, a blanket and some stuffies that smelled like her old crate, and they hugged Penny goodbye.
We promised we’d be back for a little doggie family reunion next year. Penny’s sister will stay with the breeder for a while until she finds another home (it was so, so, so hard not to take her home too!!) and Penny has another sibling living in CT who will be in town, so the whole family will have a chance to reunite.
I have to say, the moment I saw Penny I knew I was going to love her.
I loved her even more when she puked all over me in the rental car twice before we got back to the hotel.
Penny was great in the airport and on the plane all the way back to New York. She came home to a new crate, a playpen, a patch of grass for a pee spot, so many toys and curious cats wondering just how long the new dog was going to stay.
Honestly, I was really resistant to getting a puppy (ask Sara – I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it) but Penny has been a dream. She’s got Boston Terrier smarts and a great little bark, she passes out like a Pug with the cutest sleepy eyes I’ve ever seen, and her little Chihuahua leg “paw up” thing she does, lets me know when she’s interested and alert.
It’s mighty cold outside, but in her plaid jacket, Penny is getting used to walks. She’s great on the leash and still learning to walk at my side. I love our walks. They help her get out the puppy energy, interact with dogs and people and desensitizes her from the city sounds. The walks also tire her out until she is snoring on the couch opposite her sleeping buddy Sarge.
And the walks calm my own anxiety. Walking with Penny is so great because I have to remember if I’m nervous, she’ll be nervous too. So when she gives me those pug eyes to ask if it’s okay to say hi to another dog or another human, I tell her with confidence “it’s okay Penny, go say hi” and then give her a “good girl” when she does. The walks tire us both out, as you can see:
Penny’s starting puppy classes in the New Year. She already knows “sit, down, jump, (thanks to her recent playdate with a lovely Pit puppy from the Upper West Side), and roll over” with or without a reward treat. She knows how to keep herself busy in the house, playing with both her toys and the cats toys.
Speaking of the cats, of which we now have three, they are actually okay with the dog…right up until Penny starts joining in their chasing games. But Charlie, our playful Nebelung cat, has accepted the fact that if he runs throughout the house and no cats follow, Penny will be running close behind him. Penny and the cats have even eaten in the kitchen together and as long as I watch them, they don’t sample each other’s food.
Unfortunately, we’ve found Penny near the litter box chewing on the cat waste. :(
If any puppy lovers out there have advice on how to keep puppies from eating other animals poo, feel free to inbox me! (Penny’s amazing but puppies are honestly like the grossest little things in the world. Thank goodness, she’s so fucking cute)
Adding a puppy to our tribe of cats has made me think more about Sara and I’s non-traditional family and the “when are you two going to have a baby conversation?” that everyone tends to bring up whenever we are in the presence of children.
Sara had the perfect response to the baby conversation the other day: “Having three cats and a puppy is kind of like having a six-year-old. You know, they can kind of do their own thing but you still gotta pick up their poo, occasionally take something out of their mouth they shouldn’t be chewing on and remind them of their name when they don’t wanna listen. See. Family.”
My Lady is the smartest and Penny is such a great addition to our family.
Even though the last few years have turned me into a Girly Gringe on Christmas, I can’t help but smile when I think about the home we’re creating with love and animals.