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I guess I should talk about my dog since the fam said last night’s subject was a little on the heavy side!
We got Penelope the pug “for the kids” about 10 years ago and she has loved me ever since. If I go up the stairs, she goes up the stairs. If I go to the bathroom, she sits outside the door. If I go outside, she sits at the door whining and crying until I return. This dog is obsessed with me and I don’t even know why.
When she was younger I went with it, but her obsession quickly became annoying. “Why me, Penelope? Why am I always the one?” I lamented. I’m just one of those people that don’t like to be stalked, I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I grew up and only child and then I had four kids and never got to be alone again.
We quickly learned that Penelope had separation anxiety disorder because the first night we had her she cried and whined until we (Jim and I) put her in bed with us. This was no ordinary dog whine, people. This is like the sound of a laser toy gone bad. Not a howl, but puncuated grunts that sound like someone is trying to fire a teeny tiny machine gun. Like one of the chipmunks trying to clear his throat. I’ve never heard this sound before, pretty sure most people haven’t – she may be the only dog in the world that can make it. Anyway, the kids got the joy of having her for a sleeping companion after that.
The next day we left the house for a while and I put her in a crate. While we were gone, she broke out of the cage and tore off a toe nail in the process, blood was everywhere. I knew then, that this dog had a problem and that possibly, this is why our “friends” gave her to us…??? We put the crate away and let her run loose after that. Which is why my love seat has a permanent dent in the middle of the cushion on the back – because she has to sit on the very highest point in the house while we’re gone. Don’t ask – I don’t know.
Penelope’s tongue always sticks out because it’s literally too long for her mouth. I’m told this is common in pugs, however, she is the only one I’ve ever seen with this unique talent. I’m talking her mouth is shut most of the time, but the tongue is out. People think it’s funny, and she does look pretty rediculous. The kids used to move it around and reposition it. It’s just there, there’s nothing you can do about it.
This dog snores and snorts because of the flattened nose. Whoever sleeps with her (NOT me), gets to enjoy that. We went on a trip once after we’d had her a couple of years and my parents dog sat for us (they live next door). When I was growing up, our family dog, Henry (a poodle) always slept with them on their bed so I figured Penelope could do the same. I called to see how she was faring and dad said, “She’s sleeping alone at your house tonight, because I can’t sleep with a chainsaw”. I’m guessing this is why I now have scratch marks and no paint on the lower part of my basement door – we have since left her for vacations and my dad still isn’t letting her sleep with him.
Last year she kept acting like something was wrong, all mopey and even seemed to have a fever. We took her to the vet where we got a truly absurd, Penelope-like diagnosis: she thought she was pregnant. In fact, she had thought she was pregnant several times and had developed milk sacs which were infected and making her sick. WHO KNEW?!?! She had a hysterectomy and some antibiotics and then she was good as new. “Why do we get the neurotic dog?” Jim said, “Why can’t we have a NORMAL dog like everybody else???”
Jim has a love/hate relationship with Penelope. He loves to complain about her because he hates her. Oh he doesn’t really hate her, he just loves to complain about her. When company visits, he tries to give her away – “Don’t you want a pug? She’s Chinese royalty! She’s a great pet, she’ll never run away, I promise!” People always giggle and exclaim over her tongue and how she’s the funniest dog they’ve ever seen, but no one ever seems to want to take her home. Oh well, the kids love her…
Penelope is getting old, she can’t jump up on the lumpy love seat anymore. She mostly just sleeps in her dog bed and gets up when she’s hungry (she always comes to thank me with a lick after the kids feed her, which they do not appreciate or understand), and gets up to bark at something that’s not there. Even though she loves me most, I’m glad we got her “for the kids” all those years ago, because she’s brought us a lot of laughs. Quite a bit of frustration too, matter of fact, but Miss Penelope is one more dimension that makes the Gray family unique. Parents of young children, do your kids a favor and get a pet. You will regret it, I promise you, but it teaches the kids responsibility and, after all, it adds personality (and memories) to your family!
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