I am sitting here in the quiet, again starting the day with the peace of the early morning. I have never been one to sleep in, and the dogs now ensure that I get up and have the part of the day I need the most before the kids and responsibilities start lining up.
Penny, our female lab is with me. We have described her as a toddler with fur, or rather, since she has four legs, it would be more appropriate to describe her as two toddlers with fur. And hyperactivity. Because she is so large, she can cruise the counters without jumping up, she sticks her long nose in my purse or any bags in the room, and she can open cupboards and closets and refrigerators.
Penny, aka Penelope Pitstop, is a large, reddish dog with a tremendous amount of drive. She feels no pain that we've been able to discern, or perhaps she just bulldogs through it. When we got her, she had been surrendured to the dog pound--her owners said, "We didn't think she'd get this big, and boy, is she hyper."
Major understatement. We thought Marley and Me was rather dull compared to some of our adventures.
The sound most commonly associated with Penny, boo-WAH, is included in a narrative of her escapades and is always accompanied by a demonstration of how she jumped, front feet up in the air, like two high fives, before pummeling someone or something she is overjoyed to see. "How did this happen," I will ask, looking at a combination of cat food, oregano, Legos, pencil shavings, and shredded cabbage on the kitchen floor. "Well," one of the kids will tell me, "we were going outside to play with the Legos on the porch when Nita was feeding the cats, and Penny saw the kitty, and boo-WAH (hands up), she went after the kitty, who went on the counter and Penny knocked down the cole slaw and spices and the newspapers and the phone and answering machine and the kitty ran into the closet, climbing the coats and knocking the pencil sharpener off the wall. Penny grabbed the pencil sharpener and took it, and we chased her."
Why do I even ask.
Or, "Some guy came to read the meter, and Penny was outside and saw him, and boo-WAH, she went to say Hi and he said for you to fill in this card and mail it back."
Or my favorites was the lady who pulled in to pick up something I had for her. She said, "I forgot you said to park behind the basketball hoop, and boo-WAH, that dog was in my car."
So, in the quiet of the mornings, I put Penny on a leash and tie her to my chair while I read the paper and drink my coffee. Now that she is four or five, she has moments, albeit very brief, of stillness, and she will lie next to me while I rub her with one bare foot. She honestly does not have one mean bone in her body and loves all humans and cats (dogs are okay if they don't sniff her tail, and I see her point here). Like Will Rogers, she never met anyone she didn't like. Boo-WAH.