When I first got Suzie, a co-worker told me, “now you need to get another dog.” I thought he was nuts. Growing up, I only had one dog at a time. Suzie started to prove to be more and more work and I thought, why would I want to double this?
I soon realized, my co-worker was right. Suzie needed someone to play with and keep her company, especially in those long hours when we are at work and she was home alone. I started looking for another dog before Suzie was a year old.
I begin looking at shelters and in the newspaper, one thing or another would happen and something would fall through. The person I got Suzie from informed me that his dog was having another liter soon, and I asked for another bulldog. Suzie & Penny have the same parents, but were born about one year apart.
Penny’s birthday is August 12th and I brought her home on September 30th, 2011. She was timid and scared, just like Suzie and I was nervous that Suzie would overwhelm her.
She did at first. Suzie was so interested in this small creature. She kept sniffing, inspecting, licking and pawing at her. Poor Penny was shaking and hiding from her.
I knew they had to get used to each other, and they quickly did. Within a day, Penny grew extremely attached to Suzie. My heart melted when I say them cuddled up together their first night and they continue to sleep like that till this day.
Penny followed Suzie EVERYWHERE. As the oldest child with 3 younger siblings, I felt for Suzie. Penny wanted to be anywhere Suzie was, doing exactly what she was doing.
Suzie let her, even though she still did not quite know what to make of this small creature.
Penny would CONSTANTLY bother Suzie. Her main goal for most days was to get Suzie to play with her. She was not intimidated by their size difference. Penny would bite and paw at Suzie wherever she could to try to get her to react, this was quite the upset to Suzie’s previous life of laying in the sun all day.
I started noticing how unique their personalities were early on. It is one of my pet peeves when someone says “animals do not have feelings.” If you spend any amount of time with animals at all, you notice how unique and similar to human beings they really are.
Penny has her own unique, errr “attitude.” I wanted to teach her commands early on. I would tell her to “sit” or “stay” in a stern voice, and she would make it clear that she did not want to do this. She would bark back at me as if she were an adolescent talking back and run away. After some time (and many treats), she has finally learned to sit, stay and even shake (something Suzie never could get), but it took awhile to break her rebellious streak.
Another example of her rebelliousness, this is a picture of the first walk we ever took Penny on. She immediately begin biting the leash. She bit it throughout most of that first walk and constantly had to be redirected.
It took a great amount of time to break her of this and I am still struggling with it! As soon as I put her leash on, she thinks it is time to play tug of rope. She gets wild and bites the leash, if I pull it from her, she pulls harder and gets extremely hyper. I have tried a few different techniques, but have not found anything to eradicate it, seriously, ANY tips are appreciated.
However, once we get started walking, she does fine, she just has to get distracted and forget about the leash. I often take Penny for short runs with me. 3 miles is about her limit, I sometimes can get 4 out of her, but she starts dragging behind. It is pretty hard to run with Suzie, she takes off and makes feel like I am on a treadmill.
Penny has grown to be a happy and peaceful dog. Where Suzie has perfected the art of looking pathetic, Penny always looks dopey happy. She frequently has a smile on her face and always comes to the fence to happily greet us as we come and go (Suzie sometimes cannot be bothered to walk ALL the way to the fence). Classic Suzie & Penny faces:
Penny is the baby of our family, in every way. She gets scared pretty easy of everything. She hides in her house from loud noises, strangers, dogs walking by, etc. She takes it for granted that Suzie will be the protector (which she is) and she relies on her big sister to handle guarding her, the house and the family. She will still try to hide behind me, if we are walking and a big dog barks at her or if a big truck drives by.
I hope you have enjoyed reading all about Suzie & Penny. They are definitely part of our family and have brought much joy, laughter and love to our lives.
Fun fact: Penny’s middle name is Lane.