10.03.2011

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Meet Penny. Penny was an Owner Surrender.

When she was just a tiny puppy, Penny lived in a happy home, as the treasured family pet. Back then, she was small and cute and cuddly. Back then, she was special

Back then, Penny was the children's best friend. She was their super-awesome secret keeper, super-fun playtime pal, and super-snuggly bedtime buddy. They loved her... and she loved them.

But the children grew up... and Penny did, too. And suddenly... she wasn't so special anymore. Her life of love inside the home... was replaced with a life alone outside the home.
Bedtime snuggling was replaced with a concrete porch.
"I love you" was replaced with "Ew, go away." 

Her best friends found other best friends... and then... they forgot about her altogether. The secret-telling stopped. Her cuddles quickly ended. Playtime was no more.

Through the window, Penny would watch the children... as they smiled and laughed and played... without her. With an innocent grin and a wagging tail, she'd wait for them to notice her. With desperate eyes and a hopeful heart, she begged to join the fun. But even when they glanced her way, it was only to ignore her. Or even worse than that... to wish her away.

Penny couldn't understand. What happened? What changed? Did I do something wrong? Most days, they forgot to feed her. Some days, she had no water. Every day, she barely existed... to the family she loved so much. 

But even still, Penny never blamed them. Because she couldn't have imagined... that they actually meant to forget her

So... being a very smart girl, who loves her family, Penny thought, "Hey! Maybe they don't even know that I'm back here!" And that's when she learned to get out of the fence, run around the house, and wait by the front door for her family. 

In her heart, she truly believed that this would please them. She assumed they'd be excited to see their special Penny again. So, she'd wait... by the door, for her family to get home... thinking they'd finally invite her back into their lives. 

But they didn't invite her inside. Instead, they yelled at her, beat her, and threw her back into the yard. Her heart was broken... she just couldn't understand: I thought they wanted me. I thought they needed me. I thought they loved me... like I love them.

I thought they'd be as excited to see me... as I was to see them...

Every day, Penny would repeat the same process... escaping, waiting, and being tossed back into the yard. But Penny never meant to misbehave, or run away, or upset them. She just wanted to see them... even if only for a second. Even if that second... would only result in yet another crack... in her already broken heart. 

For Penny, it was worth it, to wait by the door, all day long, for her family... to endure the abuse and rejection upon their arrival. For Penny, it was worth it... just to see her family today

But Penny's family didn't want to see her, and soon, her "behavior issues" caused them to hate her. So, they decided to dump her at the animal shelter, where Penny was to be killed immediately... because of her breed: Pit Bull.

On the day they planned to dump her--the day she would've been killed--the family mentioned their plan to a neighbor. Then, that neighbor called me.  

I quickly called the family and told them the deadly consequence for Penny if they dumped her at the pound. Sadly, they didn't care. I asked them to give me a little time to find a foster home. They said No. I said, "I'm telling you that your dog will be killed today, and I'm offering you an alternative! You don't think she deserves that much??"

The next words out of this woman's mouth... weren't new to me. I've heard this many times before, and I'm certain I'll hear it again. But the coldness behind those words... never shocks me any less. And every single time, my heart stops.

She said, "The shelter can kill her... or we will shoot her here. Either way, that dog's going today!"

I didn't have room to take another dog that day. I never planned to do so, either. But I wasn't going to run the risk of Penny being shot and killed by her family. My heart was so broken, at the thought of Penny seeing her family come outside... and excitedly running toward them... thinking they were finally coming to play with her... finally coming to invite her inside... finally coming to say "I love you" ... 

And then, I pictured the heartbreaking disbelief in Penny's eyes... as the family she loved so much... pulled the trigger to end her life.

It took me all of 2 seconds to say I'd take her. And just that quickly... on the day she was meant to die... Penny became a Lucky Dog, instead.

That day was months ago. Each day since, Penny has waited for her family. As she stares into the distance... I know she's watching out for them. In her heart, I know she truly believes that they'll come back for her one day soon. And in her eyes, I see the unimaginable love and devotion... for the family who wanted her dead.

Penny can never go back to that home (Thank God, right?). And even though she's so loved here with me... her heart won't fully heal, without a family to call her own. For now, "home" is only a distant memory for Penny. Please, help me change that for her. Share her story.

*Penny is a 2 year old, Pit Bull mix. She loves other dogs, children, and all people. She's such an adorable girl, with a super-fun personality to match. Penny is spayed, up-to-date on vaccinations, and heartworm negative. Transport can be arranged to approved adopter.
UPDATE: PENNY HAS BEEN ADOPTED!!!
 

31 comments:

  1. My heart Breaks as I read this. Thank you for saving this precious girl. I will share her story!

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  2. shared! thanks for all that you did & continue to do.

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  3. Oh Ashley, your stories always make me cry. I just could never, ever, EVER imagine giving up any of my 3 dogs. When I got laid off at my job, we just cut out other unimportant things (tv, going out to eat, etc.) so that we could still provide the absolute best for our dogs. I can never relate to people who can so easily give up a family member. They should never have been pet parents in the first place. It breaks my heart, but I want to tell you how grateful I am for you and all that you do. My husband and I plan to bring more dogs to live with us that need this kind of help and love as soon as we're back on our feet. Thank you so much for all you do!!!!!

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  4. There is an elderly homeless woman I bring dog food to once a week that actually lives at the local dog park. She has three black lab/pitt mixes, which I have paid to have fixed. She lost her job, and lost her home, and her daughter offered her a place to stay if she would get rid of her dogs. Instead, the lady, Ursula, who moved here from Germany in the late 50's, lives at the dog park, in a tent, with her three babies.

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  5. Blessings upon you, Ashley. Because you are a blessing to all of us. Shared.

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  6. Well, when that woman is no longer useful to her children, or her husband (if she has one) , then that should also be the day someone needs to knock on her door and let her know that she needs to be put down because she is no longer needed! I wonder how she would respond to that!!

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  7. You guys do so much good and your heart is like mine. I am so glad you went straight over and got her..You are a great person Ashley. I did my own foster? rescue for six years and too had been in those shoes and heard a owner say the same about their "Pain in the butt mutt!' Ugh! Anyhow May you be blessed and big hug to you and Penny! I will share her story and picture with rescue groups I know. Thank heavens for Lucky Dog rescue! Good Job!

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  8. Do you do any type of fostering for dogs

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  9. ASHLEY I PROMISE YOU AS SOON AS I AM ABLE TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR RESCUES I WILL. I LOST MY JOB 3 YRS AGO AND NOW AM ON DISABILITY AND MY HUSBAND LOST HIS JOB 2 YRS AGO AND HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND WORK YET. WE HAVE 9 DOGS AND 2 CATS AND THE THOUGHT OF GIVING ANY OF THEM UP HAS NEVER ENTERED OUR MINDS. SOMEHOW WITH GOD'S HELP WE MANAGE TO KEEP THEM UP TO DATE ON THEIR SHOTS AND ALWAYS HAVE FOOD FOR THEM BUT MOST OF ALL THEY ALL HAVE ALL THE LOVE THEY NEED.I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOU FOR A WHILE NOW AND I REALLY DO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE A GOD'S SENT TO ANIMALS.I LOVE WHAT YOU DO FOR THEM AND ONE DAY I WILL BE THERE TO HELP YOU DO FOR THEM TOO.ASHLEY YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON. PLEASE KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK THAT YOU DO FOR ALL THE UNWANTED PETS.

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  10. Hoping and prayer for Penny to find her home soon.

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  11. What absolute scum. Penny, though she doesn't realize it, is better off without them. You and all the pups are in my thoughts! I'm dreaming of the day I can bring a dog home.

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  12. This story broke my heart and I admittedly cried. She is so beautiful and so lucky that you found her and took her. To think someone would shoot her just because they didn't want her anymore. I wish I could have her but Puerto Rico is one of those fabulous places with BSL for Pit Bulls. Please give her a hug for me and I pray that she finds a FOREVER family soon.

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  13. you need to write books! ( thats a compliment) wait, that could be a worthy solution....you write books and use the proceeds to save lives!

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  14. DEAREST ASHLEY,
    PENNY WAS SO LUCKY ON THAT DAY THAT THE OWNER'S NEIGHBOR HEARD THEIR SHELTER INTENTIONS--AND SHE WAS EVEN LUCKIER WHEN YOU DID NOT HESITATE AND RESCUED HER.

    SWEET PENNY--SHE IS A PRECIOUS BABY THAT DESERVES A HOME WITH A FAMILY WHO WILL ACCEPT PENNY FOR PENNY--WHAT A DELIGHT AND WOW--WHAT A BEAUTIFUL LOYAL FRIEND THAT MISS PENNY WILL BE TO SOMEONE.

    THANK YOU ASHLEY FOR BEING A BEAUTIFUL ANGEL--I WILL BE ABLE TO DONATE WITH LOVE AND HOPE DEAR ANGEL IN 1-2 WEEKS--IT'S BEEN VERY HARD SINCE MY HUSBAND PASSED AWAY IN JULY 2011.

    KEEP BEING THAT SWEET LOVABLE ANGEL DEAR ASHLEY--WE LOVE YOU.

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  15. I would love to help each and every abandoned pet but it's just not possible,I would love for a person to say they was going to kill an animal of any type because they where tired of them.they would be picking themselves up off the ground!!!!!!!!!!!how people can be so heartless and cruel.not the animals fault they are here to start with......thx 4 helping them God bless

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  16. OMG this brought tears to my eyes! It never ceases to amaze me how cold hearted people can be, but someday they will get what's coming to them. God bless you for saving Penny! I pray that one day she finds the loving forever home she deserves. Poor sweet baby!

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  17. They should be taken out bck they deserve a place in hell penny is Gods creatures just like their children mkes me sick

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  18. what a heartbreaking story for such a beautiful and very sweet creature. i hope her new family, whoever they may be, realizes just how very lucky they are to have this little girl join their family. bless you, Ashley, and all your efforts for a better world

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  19. WoW, again Ashley,my eyes full of tears and my heart full of pain for these unwanted dogs. My doggies have NO idea how bad it is out there. I wish it wasn't. Thank you for your wonderful work. Your karma is good, you will be rewarded.
    Deb Tampa Fl

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  20. How do make me cry? Every time! You are so wonderful.

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  21. Oh my gosh? What a truly black hearted family! Were their hearts just thrown in a freezer and left there? If you're going to get rid of her she can go to a different home instead of kill her just because they hated her...UG! People like that make me sick...they really SHOULDN'T own ANY animals period...that's so heart breaking!

    Well I'm glad she found a safe place to go so she can have a chance.

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  22. I pray every day that horrible stories about wonderful dogs like Penny will stop...what in the world are people thinking about adopting a pet, and then deciding they don't want them any more? AND...worse yet, saying they are going to kill them...AND...what in the world are they teaching their children...are stories like this going to be repeated forever and never stop???? Nothing good can come of this for sure...and certainly nothing about being responsible pet owners is being taught to their children. I am sickened to death reading this story and others that are similar. Please help find Penny a wonderful and loving home. Thank you, Ashley, for being the wonderful, caring and loving person that you are. Thank goodness for you.

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  23. Thank God for someone like you Ashley. From Cheektowaga, NY

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  24. I take photos of the dogs that come in to our shelter here in Niagara County, upstate New York. I just don't know how some of these dogs wind up there, its unimaginable.

    Sadly, its the pit bulls that have the most trouble finding a home.

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  25. Would love to adopt if there is transport to PA!

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  26. I will help pay for transport fee to PA if you really want her and will not break her heart again. Thank you.
    Susie

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  27. I would love to adopt her, sadly my situation at home isn't perfect for taking a new dog. With a baby a week or two around the corner I could not give her the immediate attention she deserves. Maybe if she's still around in a few months I could see about adding her to our family. She just has the look of a dog that would get along perfectly with my two year old beagle/pit mix (abandoned in the backyard of a vacant house on my street a few houses down herself).

    I just don't understand people that have outside dogs... or just throw their dogs outside. What is the point of having a dog if you keep them completely separate from your life? People ask me how I can have two big dogs (though one barely meets the requirement for a large dog and one is 15lbs shy) living in my home, and I ask them how they can have their dogs living outside.

    The favorite times of day on my days off is having Rascal snuggled up to me on the couch. Just the idea of not having the time to spend on my dogs that I do now just makes me sad.

    I mean, my family owned a dog that ruled our life. We couldn't really go anywhere, company was a stressful affair, and he would kill anything that came in our backyard that didn't belong, but he lived in the house and we loved him until the day we had to put him down due to organ failure 15 years later. I would have fought for that dog had anyone tried to take him from our household and I was very upset when my parents put him down and wouldn't let me come because they didn't want to stress me out too much. People like that family should be banned from having pets if they're just going to get an animal and ditch it when it no longer looks cute enough for them. of course, my Stubby was one of the most beautiful dogs ever.

    And I do wonder... how do you know for sure that these people were ever good to her? Do you just assume she got 2 weeks of "OMG you're great?" before they decided she was old news? I'm not trying to be a butt, I'm just curious. As far as I'm concerned, she's still a super duper cute puppy. She's probably still destructive like a puppy.

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  28. I live in middle Georgia. I dropped off a friend of my daughter in law at a new place. Next door the man had pits. Three little puppies came running over to the house where I was. I sat down to play with them; their ribs were showing and their spines and one had a healing gash on top of its head. A man came out of the house and offered to sell me one. I have 5 dogs and hubby said no more. I sent emails to local rescue groups offering to buy these pups if somebody could take them in. I got no response. I know there are just too many dogs at kill shelters, but these pups were abused. I know how frustrating trying to find a good place for a dog can be.

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  29. Habe you ever thought of sending what you write to the old owners of these dogs that you rescue? i know you talk to them and they give you the cold sholder but maybe if they could readit, you tell the story so heartfelt, maybe that would make them realize what they do. if they even take the time to read it...ashley you are truely a beautiful person.

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  30. Habe you ever thought of sending what you write to the old owners of these dogs that you rescue? i know you talk to them and they give you the cold sholder but maybe if they could readit, you tell the story so heartfelt, maybe that would make them realize what they do. if they even take the time to read it...ashley you are truely a beautiful person.

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  31. I've just discovered your blog through "Causes" and Penny's story reminds me so much of my cat Jaffa - he lived in the garden of the family who rejected him for at least 8 years that I know of - it could well have been longer. I was worried about taking him on because I lived so close to his old house but even though he would occasionally sit on my bedroom window ledge and gaze back at his old home, he became my little furry shadow/soulmate. My only regret has been that it took so long to get Jaffa - I wish I could have had longer than the almost 5 wonderful years I had with my beautiful furry friend. I think the love you receive from a rescued pet far exceeds any relationship you could have with any other furry companion - Jaffa brought me so much joy!

    You're doing an amazing job! xxx

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