When I decided I was going to buy a house, I knew instantly that no home would be complete without a dog. The week I closed was the week I got Penny, a black-and-tan hound mix who was about 9 months old. Penny had been found in downtown Houston and had spent 3 long months at BARC before she was rescued.
Penny fit into the house perfectly. She was the perfect first dog – she still had puppy mischief in her, but she was crate trained and nearly house trained, thanks to Millicent and her team. Over the next few months Penny became an integral part of the family. My boyfriend, who had never had a pet growing up, quickly became Penny’s best friend and she was thrilled beyond belief every time he came over to visit – she instantly turned him into a dog lover for life. And Penny, in turn, became a 45 lb lapdog who loves to snuggle.
But we quickly realized that while Penny was our new best friend, what she really wanted was a canine friend to run and play with – after all, we didn’t run nearly fast enough for her taste! We contacted Millicent and she had the perfect dog in mind – Libby. Libby was a Catahoula mix who thrived having another dog around and Millicent wanted her in a house with at least another dog friend. Libby joined our family 4 months after Penny did. While some things get more difficult with two dogs – logistics, supplies, bills, etc – everything else got so much easier and more fun – double the fun, in fact! And Penny and Libby learned so much from each other. Penny learned how to be a good big sister – how to play nice, share toys, and taught Libby the rules of the house. And Libby, who was quite the scardy dog at first, become more brave every day and learned new tricks by watching Penny.
Now, almost 2 years after Libby joined the family, everyday is an adventure. Penny, who must have been a fish in another life, has convinced Libby that not only is the ocean not chasing her when the waves come in, it’s in fact the best place to be and swimming and fetching in the water just can’t be beat! They love playing tug of war and Penny has taught Libby the fine art of systematically demolishing every toy that’s not built up to snuff. At night they pile all of their blankets together to make themselves a doggy throne to sleep on together. While Penny’s more independent and enjoys both snuggling and her alone time, Libby is my “shadow” dog who is always nearby – truly (wo)man’s best friend. And while she was too timid to be at ease around people in the beginning, especially strangers, she now spends half of her time upside down getting her belly rubbed by anyone who comes to the house. And they both LOVE car rides and recognize the Dairy Queen drive-thru that gives them doggy cups on special occasions.
Penny and Libby are a blessing that make our lives funny and exciting. Coming home every day to unconditional love is a feeling that just can’t be beat. If you’re considering adding a four-legged-friend to your family, I couldn’t recommend a rescue more highly. They sometimes require some patience in the beginning (like helping Libby overcome her fears (though the motion sensor trash can still can’t be trusted)), but knowing that you’ve saved them from their past and that they’ll be forever happy and loved makes everything worth it. And somehow, I believe that the dogs know what we’ve done and love us even more than any other dog could – I certainly can’t imagine more love than Penny and Libby give us every day.
Penny and Libby’s owner