Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Food From the Weekend: And Penny's Story

Right on cue, mother nature brought the warm weather (finally) for the first week of summer! Unfortunately I had to spend Saturday at work, but at least Adam bought me these delicious dark chocolate peanut better cups to make the day a little bit better. OMG. New obsession. In love with them.

Justin's Peanut Butter Cups
{Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups}

We took full advantage of Sunday, even waking up in the morning to take Adam to his first ever yoga class! His response: it was hot. (The class I do is in a 90 degree heated room.) I haven't been to yoga in well over 8 months or more and this class kicked my butt. After yoga we enjoyed a healthy Irish breakfast, which was quickly followed up with a  burger and a beer at another Irish pub a couple hours later. Yoga makes you hungry.

Irish breakfast
{Boxty at KC Branaghan's}

After stuffing ourselves we took Penny on a nice long walk and a little trip to the dog beach. We rarely go to the dog beach because of Penny's social awkwardness, but she's been doing a lot better lately so we decided to go for it. And.... she was a perfect angel! Which made me so happy because when we were thinking about getting a dog, one of the things I looked forward to doing with my dog was going to the dog beach. One year later, and we are finally able to do just that. 

dog beach
{Penny and Adam at the Dog Beach}

This little trip to the dog beach was sentimental for us, or at least me since Adam doesn't get sentimental, because, just one year ago we took Penny on this same walk. But back then she was our foster dog and we had only spent one week with her. I was hoping to get some more time to get to know her before we committed to adoption, but the rescue group was pushing us to make a decision about whether we were keeping her or putting her up for someone else to adopt at their next open adoption. We were completely smitten with our shy 2 year old fur ball - she was sweet, loving, cuddly, and potty trained(!!!), BUT she was exhibiting aggressive behavior towards other dogs. Sigh. That was my one stipulation when rescuing a dog - they had to be able to get along with other dogs. We live in a very dog friendly neighborhood and you can't go for a walk without seeing people with their dogs. Plus I wanted to do things like go to the dog beach, dine on a sidewalk cafe with my pup as other pooches walk by, and my mom has 2 dogs and we visit them often and our dog would need to come with us on these trips. Penny seemed like the perfect dog when we picked her up and she was chilling with 4 other dogs quite content, she was also drugged up from just getting spayed. SO, we quickly learned that interacting with other dogs was not her forte. And that's the nice way of putting it. We were baffled. How could something so pretty, lovable, and cute turn into such a B-I-T-C-H when it came to other dogs? So we decided to take her to the dog beach that first week and see if once she was off leash she would handle interacting with her species a little better. Well we never made it to the dog beach because we encountered so many dogs on the walk there and I lost it because I couldn't control her. Keep in mind she weighs 45 pounds and I swear it's all muscle under that big fluff of fur. The biggest dog I've ever had to control weighed 17 pounds. We abandoned our trip to the dog beach and walked home in despair as we came to the conclusion that we just couldn't handle this dog and maybe our home and neighborhood wasn't the best one for her. We even went as far as to email the rescue group to let them know we would be giving her up for adoption the following day. As a cried, drank wine, and cuddled with my baby for the last time, we got an email back from the rescue group urging us to reconsider and try helpful tools like the gentle leader. That was all I needed. I was back on board with keeping our bundle of fur and love. Turns out it was one of the best decisions we have ever made. But let me tell you it took a lot more than a gentle leader to break Penny of her habits. It took TIME, EFFORT, and lots of money spent on a good trainer. But most of all I think time, stability, and consistency with commands is what helped the most. 

When we first got Penny and I would run into other dog owners as I dragged my snarling sweetheart away from their dog, leaving a trail of "I'm sorry she's a rescue" in my wake, they would say to me (if they had a rescue too) "Give it a year, she'll be a different dog." I was skeptical. Could that actually be true? Turns out - IT IS. 

So, if you are ever thinking about rescuing, be prepared to put in the time, effort, and love. It's so worth it. And if you are having problems, just remember - in a year he / she will be a different dog. This is especially true if you adopt an adult dog since they are the ones that often will have socialization or behavioral issues that they will need your help to overcome. But remember they CAN overcome them! 

To celebrate a year with our fur baby we fed Penny dog food and treats and made ourselves a nice juicy steak. And yes, Adam may have slipped Penny some scraps.

{Steak with blue cheese and mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and veggies}

Peace, Love, Rescue Dogs, and Happiness!


  1. yummy!!!!

    Check out my new up and coming blog and let me know what you think ;)

    LA By Diana Live Magazine

  2. Penny is doing great and she is hanging out with Hemi and Indy at my house and enjoying it! When the weather is cooler, we will take them all to the doggy park out here and boating. You and Adam are wonderful parents to Penny and made a great decision with her care and training. Love Penny's Grandmother

  3. These chocolate cups look so delicious! Do you know if they are vegan?

    1. Their website says that they are indeed vegan.


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