Sunday, May 30, 2010

Penny to the Rescue

This last week with Penny has been a period of great adjustment, to put it lightly. At times I feel completely overwhelmed by this new responsibility, but strangely enough, I feel equally that she belongs with us. Sometimes I look at her and just feel that she is part of our family. Or she positions herself just so, sleeping next to us on the couch, and I am comforted by her warmth and softness. And then sometimes--just enough to convince me that this is the right direction--she will do something that makes me feel so undeniably attached to her.

I'm not a dog person.

But I am a Penny person.

A couple of days ago we went down to the river for a dip. The conditions were less than ideal, very windy and a bit cold, but we made use of the shallow pools that were near the bank. Penny stayed nearby, keeping silent watch over the kids and occasionally testing the cold water.

At some point, Phill wandered out to the middle of the river. Then he called to Penny in mock concern, "Penny! Save me! Penny, help!" Immediately, she began to hop and run along the edge, searching for an easy way to wade into the water, but clearly having to overcome some fear. Then she simply stood, watching Phill, trying to ascertain whether he was really in trouble. Her whole body was alert.

Then the boys walked out to Phill and stood nearby him, trying to remain standing in the fast-moving water. They were perfectly safe with Phill nearby, but Penny didn't seem to believe so. The second they were by Phill, she barked loudly, and jumped into the water, running out to where she couldn't even touch the river's floor. But she kept going, alive with some protective spirit, until she reached Phill and saw that the boys were laughing and praising her.

In her sweet canine mind, though, she saved them. I couldn't help but cry, realizing that she had overcome fear of the cold, rushing water to be near my boys out in the middle of the river. I couldn't help but feel bonded to her, grateful to her, and cried as I held her shivering body in a towel, shooting {admittedly less-than-sincere} dirty looks at Phill. (He was way too proud that Penny had passed his test with flying colors, and simply smiled at my glowering.)

So when she pees on the floor for the third time today, or chews on the twentieth stuffed animal, or gets too wound up when we play, I am remembering that beyond all her annoying puppy-ness is deep loyalty. I am soooo a Penny person.

11 comments:

Andrea said...

Very sweet post. I can't really imagine myself feeling that way, as I am definitely not a dog person, but who knows. :)

Kelly said...

Okay, that is so sweet! It is amazing that an instinct like that is natural. I am not a dog person either, but I am very impressed with the little pup!

Abby said...

Eric just said, "And THAT'S what you get from a dog."

Yep...that brand of loyalty is just a totally different ballgame from cat-love/loyalty. Totally different.

It's also what makes me think someday I might be a dog person. One certain dog. Because you know I'm not a dog person either...

But I could be a Penny person...

Christine said...

Oh that nearly made me cry. Such a sweet story.

Susan said...

So sweet! What a wonderful puppy!

Marie Photographie said...

I might have to stop reading your blog otherwise you're going to turn me into a dog person! haha, jk. Very sweet story!

Anna said...

I don't know if my dog would pass that test, she seems to be a big wimp. But now I want to test her and see. Not really an animal person myself, but for that one that fits in the family so well, there is a soft spot.

Shayanne Snodgress said...

Sweeet! I would be a penny person too if I were you. That's awesome. Sounds like she fits right in. :)

Michele said...

Oh my goodness. I want a puppy now. I don't think that would be smart of me right now, but I want one nonetheless. ;)

Qait said...

Ohhh... :) Sweet.
Yes, you are a Penny person. Even I could be.
Darling puppy.
I nearly cried just reading this. That story makes me smile. I've decided I like Penny.

The Leishman's said...

Seriously Rae, this is such a sweet post! i lov eyour writing.. It touches me everytime! Hey, how about a photo shoot?! I got some sewing to do!! Muah!