I rescued Penny nearly 2 years ago... on the day that her "family" threatened to shoot her if I refused to take her. Of course, I just couldn't bear to let that happen to Penny.
Initially, Penny lived in a temporary foster home, but soon thereafter, she came to live with me at Lucky Dog.
Immediately, I fell in love with Penny's freckled nose and fun personality. She's an outgoing girl, to say the least. But what struck me most about Penny was her unwavering loyalty to anyone who showed her love. She was so eager to please, and I could just tell by the way she looked at me... she would do anything for me. Instinctively, Penny knew that I'd saved her life, and she thanked me for it, every single day.
A few months later, a family offered to foster Penny over the holidays... and of course, they fell in love with her. But even though they adored her, the family already had 2 dogs of their own, and they didn't want to commit to adopting a 3rd... which I understood.
Even still, every couple of months or so, they'd take Penny for the weekend, just to give her some special time.
Penny loved her special weekend trips, and she loved the family even more. In my heart, I secretly hoped they'd decide to adopt her one day, even though I knew it wasn't likely. So... meanwhile, I was still searching for the perfect forever family for this special girl.
One day, I received an amazing adoption application for Penny, and I could barely contain my excitement! Without another thought, I called the family to talk further, and during that conversation, I just knew: this family is absolutely perfect for Penny!
But then, as we began to schedule the home visit, they mentioned the name of their town. Of course, I'd seen the town listed on their application, but in the midst of my excitement... I hadn't stopped to think about where this town was actually located. Suddenly, it hit me, as I was forced to choke out the words: "I'm so sorry, but your area has a breed ban on Pit Bulls (Breed Specific Legislation BSL)."
I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.
Penny wasn't going home.
A few months later, the same thing happened: an amazing application came in for Penny... they'd fallen in love with my sweet girl... but... the family lived in a county with a ban on Pit Bulls.
Once again, Penny wasn't going home.
This same scenario happens to me all the time. And I mean... ALL THE TIME. Many cities and counties in Mississippi (as well as many other states) have restrictions or bans on the Pit Bull breeds and mixes of those breeds. And while my county doesn't have a ban, most of the surrounding counties do have some form of BSL.
Therefore, the already-small adoption pool for my Pit Bulls is even-further reduced by BSL, which denies potential adopters in those areas the right to adopt a Pit Bull.
What's even crazier is... most people don't even realize that BSL exists in their area, which is understandable, because these ordinances are often passed so quickly and quietly, that few residents even know about them.
So, when one of those residents wishes to adopt one of my Pit Bulls, and I have to inform them of the breed ban in their city/county, they're honestly shocked... as they never knew a ban existed.
To say that BSL makes me angry ... well, that's a massive understatement. It infuriates me in a way that I can't quite describe. These laws are not only ridiculous, unnecessary, and unfounded, but they're DETRIMENTAL to the futures of my loving, deserving, insanely NON-vicious dogs.
Every single time BSL ruins the chance for one of my dogs to go home forever, I'm nothing short of devastated. I've cried more times over BSL than I can even tell you. I cry for my own rescue babies, and for every other amazing Pit Bull out there... dogs who want nothing more than to go home. They don't want to hurt anyone... they just want to be loved by someone. And BSL denies their only request.
More on that later... back to Penny for now...
So, long story short, Penny has been with me for a very long time. All the while, she's been one of the happiest girls you'd ever meet. But even still... I've been hoping, wishing, praying for that perfect family to come along and take my Penny home forever.
And yesterday, they did...
I was contacted by a woman here in Meridian who was very interested in adopting one of my dogs. As we talked, she mentioned the fact that she'd fallen in love with Penny's photos and story, but she'd heard that Penny had already been adopted.
When I said, "No ma'am... I actually still have Penny!" the woman became very excited. She said: "You're kidding?! Really?! Oh my goodness, I thought she'd been adopted! I'm so in love with her face! Could I meet her?!"
Yesterday afternoon, she came to Lucky Dog to meet Penny. As Penny ran to her and gave her a big, wet kiss, the woman looked over at me with tears in her eyes. She said, "Oh my gosh, I love her! I definitely want to adopt her!"
Suddenly, I was crying, too. I said: "Penny, did you hear that?! You're going home, sweet girl!" Penny was so excited... I swear she understood what I'd said. She was running back and forth between us: her new mom, Cindy... and her old mom, me.
I don't know how to describe that feeling... the bittersweet moment when your baby leaves for their future... without you. Penny has lived with me for nearly 2 years. Now... she'll have another place to call home, and another family to call her own. It's slightly heartbreaking, but beyond amazing. That moment meant ... everything... to me. But more importantly, to Penny. She's been waiting for that moment... for 2 years now.
I gave her one last hug, and said: "This is it, PP. This is everything you've ever wanted, and more." As Penny jumped into the car, I waved goodbye... and cried, realizing that the "Penny Chapter" of my life had finally ended... but Penny's future... had just begun.
Last night, Penny's new mom wrote this:
"I have found
my new best friend. She is one of a kind in our eyes... fantastic
dog... loving, gentle. As soon as we met, we had a connection. She's followed me around all afternoon... she's asleep on my bed right now.
Meet my wonderful new best friend: Penny."
Then, she shared a photo of Penny, lounging on her new bed. When I looked at the picture, tears filled my eyes, and this caption entered my head: "Finally... I know what it feels like... to be home..."
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Click HERE to read my original blog post about Penny