We adopted Pen from the RSPCA back in May 2003. She wasn’t the dog we were looking for at all; we were after a smaller, younger dog. However, this lovely brindle lurcher chose us and we have never regretted the decision to bring her home, where she settled into life with us and our old cat Robinson very quickly. Sadly her cat pal died a couple of years later but we soon rescued two more older cats, Edward and Dylan. Ed kept her firmly in her place until his demise recently but Dyl loves her and nuzzles up to her when he thinks we’re not looking. She’s fab with children, loyal, affectionate and funny, the perfect dog. She’s an old lady now but still tears round the park like a mad thing, and we’ve been asked countless times ‘is that a racing dog?’ Every day we are thankful for Penny; her sense of humour and intelligence are a remarkable combination and we try not to think too hard about her advancing years and the fact that she is definitely slowing down.
I notice her faithfulness the most when I’m on holiday from school. There is an invisible cord connecting her to me, I am sure; she would walk up and down stairs all day if that’s what I did – lucky for her I don’t, because her arthritic old joints wouldn’t cope. The Bloke remarked yesterday that sometimes, you look in her eyes and see the puppy there. The photo I got today was definitely a playful, puppy moment – she doesn’t particularly like the camera and tries not to make eye contact with it, but today she decided to play up to it.
Not long after we got Penny we were on holiday in a caravan in Somerset, and a young lad came over to chat to me and to pet Penny. He told me that his parents had bred greyhound/collie lurchers like Penny, because you get the speed of a greyhound with the intelligence of a collie. We sometimes say Penny is daft, but she isn’t at all – it’s a very good act and to be that good an actor, you’ve got to have a brain!
One day (and I hope it’s a long, long way off), we know we’ll be looking for another dog. When that time comes, if we see another Penny, we’ll definitely pick her up.