Monday, July 18, 2011

Introducing Penny Lane!

Meet the newest addition to the Gorecki family, Penny Lane! Penny is a 5 1/2 month old basenji mix. We're not quite sure what she's mixed with since she highly resembles a full breed basenji. Her paperwork says beagle, but we see no beagle in her whatsoever. Someone else guessed bull terrier, though I think it may be daschund or Jack Russell terrier. Whatever she is, she is too cute!! For those of you who are not familiar with basenjis, they are African barkless dogs. Since she's mixed, she doesn't bark but she whines and tries to cry...but only when we close her crate door. Other than that, the only sound we hear from her is her little paws running around on the hardwood floors. Basenjis also have something in their saliva and fur that makes them almost hypoallergenic, so they're great for people who are allergic to dogs.

What's ironic is that Pita, our old dog, was a basenji mix too! She was mixed with pitt bull but like Penny, never really made any noise. She did bark, but only when she felt threatened by another dog. Otherwise, not a peep.

So here is the story of how we acquired Miss Penny...Most of you know that last June, we had to put down our beloved Pita. Mike found her about 10 years ago and took her in and despite her fear of rainstorms, was a great dog. Unfortunately, she got sick with stomach cancer early last year and due to her age and loss of weight, we had to put her down. It was very hard for us to do, but was the right thing to do. Fortunately, we had just gotten engaged (literally - 3 days prior), so we kept plenty busy with the wedding plans to distract us over the last year. Of course, it took a little while to get over the loss of Pita and she will always hold a high spot in our hearts, but we are both very big animal lovers and knew that there would be another dog in our future. We discussed starting to look again after the wedding was over and definitely wanted a shelter dog. We started to actively look a few weeks ago and I'm pretty sure I contributed to the majority of hits the Humane Society of Tampa's website received. ABC Action News, our local station that I used to work for, always does the "Pet of the Week" on Friday's newscast. The rep from Humane Society comes and brings a dog or cat (usually dog) who is up for adoption and puts them on-air. Naturally, every Friday I would run down to the studio to see the dogs and text Mike with pictures and pleas to bring one home. That never worked...until now.

My normal routine every morning when I get in to work is to check my email and then look at the local news. I was on ABC's page when I saw the link to "Meet our pet of the week!" Of course, I clicked on it and there, staring back at me, was this cutest little pup. As I read about her, I saw the words "basenji mix" and my heart leaped. Basenjis are not very common dogs and the fact that our last dog was basenji, I could not pass up the opportunity to meet this little one! We had even seen one out being walked a few nights ago and commented how we never see them around. It's a sign! I sent the link over to Mike and he agreed she was cute, but wanted to see her personality, of course. He asked if I could talk to someone I still knew at ABC to go down there and check her out. In the meantime, he was going to check out her segment on the news to see the dog on-air. She was a little bit smaller than what we thought, but beyond cute! And with such a great laid-back personality too.

Mike and I ended up going to see the dog. She was sweet as can be! When we had begun our dog search, we weren't necessarily looking for a puppy, just leaving our options open. Mike said he wanted to go home and "discuss" the idea of having a young puppy before taking her, though we both really liked her. I was hesitant but the Humane Society closed at 5:00 and said they opened at noon on Saturday and would hold her for us until 1:00. Mike had to go in to work on Saturday morning and planned on picking me up at 11:50 so that we could be there at noon on the dot. He was running late and didn't make it home until around 12:15. I was anxious to go but he kept reassuring me that the dog would be there til 1:00. We got to Humane Society around 12:30 and I went up to talk to Ben, the shelter director, and told him we were there to get Zoey (the name Humane Society gave her). He said he believed that someone had already adopted her and she was gone, which made my heart stop. He said he was going to go check and would be right back. I looked at Mike and he assured me that she was supposed to be there for us until 1:00. All of a sudden, out walks April holding the puppy in her arms and said "Happy wedding present!" I almost died! When we got married, Geoff and April said our present was coming later, but that it would be a great one. They knew we wanted to eventually get another dog, so they had told Mike that when we found one, they wanted to adopt it for us. The tears just started flowing - she was ours! So that was why we couldn't take her on Friday. When I had emailed Mike that morning, he immediately had April and Ben in on the plan. I had shown April pictures of her on Friday and she did a great job playing it off like it was the first time she had seen pictures or heard about the dog! Sneaky :) What a sweet, wonderful gift. We are SO grateful to Geoff and April for giving us Penny! She's 10 pounds of pure awesomeness.

This is her favorite toy - a little squeaky giraffe. I think he's earned the right to have his own name. Any ideas?

Penny is adjusting very well. Since she's so young, we're able to crate train her and she seems to be doing well on that so far. We leave the door to it open and she'll go in there on her own to hang out and nap. There have been a few tiny little bathroom accidents, but for the most part, she knows to go outside. We're learning a lot about training a puppy vs. an older dog. She loves to be around people and is very friendly. Ryan and Vermille came over to meet her yesterday and she acted like they were best friends already! We can't wait to introduce her to their dog, Maggie. We're absolutely smitten with her and can't wait for everyone else to meet her!

Oh, and about the name...Mike thought it would be fun to stick with the "P" theme and wanted a 2 syllable name like Pita. So my love for the Beatles (thanks, dad!) and to pay homage to a movie we both love, "Almost Famous," we thought Penny Lane was perfectly appropriate! Anyone know where I can get a little vintage Beatles doggie t-shirt??

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