Penny’s New Life – Part One
This is one of the most inspiring guest blogs I’ve had the pleasure of sharing. It’s the first of two which document the early days in the life of Penny, a recently adopted ex-breeding dog. What makes this story particularly inspiring is that Penny’s new life is being shared with 13 year old Aimee and her miniature schnauzer Frankie. The bonds that are forming are beautifully expressed and the optimism of youth refreshingly flows through her account. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. In part two we’ll hear from Aimee’s mum, but first, here’s Aimee…
I really wanted to adopt a puppy farm rescue dog because having learned so much about puppy farms in this last year or so I really wanted to do something major to help a puppy farm dog. We also knew that we had the space, time and resources for another dog along with having Frankie our resident Miniature Schnauzer.
I wanted to adopt a breeding dog because I wanted to pull a dog from a bad life and give it the good life she deserved. It would have been very easy just to buy a dog off the internet. I can’t imagine the horrible life that our Penny would have led unless she had been rescued.
Two weeks in and she has already flourished and is becoming a “normal” dog. Before she was just existing as a breeding machine. Her first walk was filled with terror and anxiety. She froze on the spot too scared to move a muscle. Slowly with the help of Frankie and lots of treats, she took a few steps, straight into a bush. She couldn’t navigate herself, she didn’t know what bushes and trees were. She also followed anyone who may have food.
After a few days she gained confidence, walked in streams, began to play with Frankie, and started accepting kindness. Then she found her voice at 1.45 am. We were so happy that we recorded it in case she lost it again.
She couldn’t walk up or down a step. So, on each step I placed some treats. Some time and a lot of treats later, she could walk slowly up and down them. The next day she could run up and down them with just a few stumbles. She doesn’t want cuddles at the moment, she doesn’t want strokes. She just wants to be noticed (and be fed!).
Our vet said her teeth, mainly her canines, were completely worn down and flat from chewing on bars. She has difficulty eating a bone and dried food because of this. That will probably never change.
She is afraid of sudden noise or movement and panics. We tell her it’s ok and we think she’s learnt what that phrase means. We hope so.
We wonder if she could speak what she would say. We wonder how it must feel for her to now have choice to go wherever she feels and do whatever she wants. Does she understand? We wonder where her puppies are and what we would say to those who bought them. We know what we would say to those who farmed her.
Penny approaches every single person we come across on our walks. We don’t want them to scare her so we tell them her story. We try to persuade others to adopt a rescue dog and we raise awareness to those considering buying a puppy. Some younger people seem to be aware of the farms yet they are the ones buying them – but older people don’t seem to have much understanding.
Every day we look at Penny and we see she has learned something new. Sometimes she doesn’t let on that she’s understood, she seems to go away and think about it and then all of a sudden she comes back and does it. Is she thinking what risks are involved if I do this? Was everything a risk to her before? Imagine living in a constant state of fear, scared you might do something wrong. Physical and mental abuse day after day. It’s a wonder any dogs recover from that.
She gobbles down her food, she walks back and forth to her water bowl for a drink just because she has the knowledge that it will always be full. Couldn’t they even give her enough water?
Puppy farmers say they love dogs. If that was the case, why are dogs in the state Penny is?
So far this experience has been very rewarding watching her overcome her obstacles and has been so lovely to watch Penny and Frankie’s relationship develop. When we first adopted Penny, Frankie seemed to think Penny was a ‘normal’ dog and was expecting her to wrestle and play tug-of-war with her but then when Penny didn’t do any of these things Frankie seemed to just sit back and observe her quirks and behaviour. Frankie then assumed the role of older sister and realised she had to try to help her become a normal dog and not be so afraid.
Frankie started showing Penny things, she taught her how to enjoy attention, navigate through the woods, pay attention to recall commands, play with other dogs and toys and greet us when we come home. Life is getting better each day for Penny, and it always will be from now on.
In Part Two, Aimee will discuss what she is doing to raise awareness and the advantages she has a young person in the campaign. We’ll also hear from her mum, Ruth.
You can read more about Aimee HERE