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Penny A Dog Tale

Penny A Dog TalePenny: A Dog Tale

Betsy Salunek rev.betsy.sal@gmail.com

Penny A Dog Tale. My husband and I had been dancing around the decision to move to Panama for a few years now. We’d come to visit, to explore and try to see ourselves living here, curious if this place would be a “fit” for us. The kids are all grown, the grands are grand but also busy teens who fly through the room with a “Hi Gram!” and a kiss on their way out the door to their very busy teen age life. Now we’d be living on a fixed income forcing us to  buckle down and re-assess what we thought were going to be our “Golden Years.” Somehow the “Gold” in Golden Years had turned to stainless steel but at least it’s not lead!

We came to see one more time and found ourselves agreeing that Panama is where we wanted to live. The household goods had not yet arrived when I kept getting the strong urge to get a dog. I’d wonder to myself if I was getting dilapidated in my senior years. Again and again the urge (I called it, “God speaking”) kept whispering increasingly stronger that it was time to get a dog. My husband said NO but I persevered. I was on a mission! What I had in mind was a cute, fluffy little white designer dog. I set to work.

Around Christmas time in December, I consulted everybody “in the know” here about where to get cute and fluffy. I emailed all agencies, people, etc. but not one responded. One night cruising The Playa Community newsletter I saw an ad for “Spay Panama.” If anybody was going to know where cute and fluffy was, it would be these folks! I sent them an email immediately.  The Vet who answered my email began it this way, “The Lord works in mysterious ways. Perhaps you are the answer to our prayers.”

How could I refuse??!! Immediately our granddaughter said her name had to be changed to PENNY because my father whom she adored always said, “It’s always good luck to find a Penny.” Well, Penny melted our hearts. She learned to be totally housebroken in two days. I commented to others about how smart and sweet she is and they all (separately) commented that Panamanian dogs are so grateful to have a home that they will do whatever it takes to belong.

I believe the Veterinarian started a Facebook page for Peggy hoping someone would adopt her. I sent updates and pictures periodically and was told “Peggy” (as she is known by the Vet’s staff) has 4,000 followers on Facebook!!! Several times strangers have walked up to us to ask, in awe, “Is this THE Peggy I saw on Facebook!?) People around our building all know her, she’s just walking love. People can’t help but pet her and comment on what a sweet little thing she is. I’m not at all sure they know my name however. My husband says, “People know Penny and we are just Penny’s owners.”

My husband today has completely changed from the days when he was absolutely against the idea of getting a dog. He loves her and she adores him. He calls her his, “Pure Bred Panamanian Street Dog.” They are melding, I can see it. I’m convinced the urge was a Christmas Miracle. The Veterinarian always called her “The Miracle Dog” as she fought to live as abused and battered by humans as she’d been her whole puppy life. She sure is our Christmas Miracle and when people thank us for taking her, our response is that WE are the ones who are blessed.

We volunteer now with another group of wonderful unsung heroes, Spay the Strays. It’s an honor. Both SPAY THE STRAYS  and SPAY PANAMA are volunteer Veterinarians and staff. They work tirelessly to help dogs like Penny have a better quality of life. They are always open to volunteers and donations for supplies.

When you get to your new home in this beautiful country, think about opening your heart to a stray. You will experience love and loyalty like you never imagined.

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