Penny is a border collie-boxer mix, and is very well-behaved. She charged into my apartment on Saturday evening, eager to be off her leash so she could explore my domicile at her leisure. Her owners, my brother David and his wife Patricia, treat her with great love and gentleness, in part because they have to: Penny's been cursed with a super-sensitive constitution. She can eat only very specific foods and very specific dog treats, otherwise she ends up with explosive diarrhea. Penny's inner workings were generally fine during her three-hour stay at my place, although she did pee on my carpet at one point. David and Patricia apologized profusely and cleaned the mess up immediately (David led Penny out for a much-needed poop); I smiled and took the whole thing in stride. Animals are animals, after all; they don't follow the human script when it comes to proper etiquette.
Penny struck me as a lovable little pooch. It took her a couple minutes to warm to me at first, but she eventually gave me a wished-for lick on the face when I leaned in close. And, as David and Patricia both humorously observed, she fell fast asleep in our company as our huge dinner wound to a close (more on that in another post). David tells me that Penny's not much of a fetcher, but she does love to chase people: she's a natural hunter. Patricia and Penny bounded back and forth through my apartment several times, Penny doing her best to tackle Patricia.
When it was time for the gang to leave, Penny gave me a final good-bye lick. That was sweet. I'm glad to have had the chance to meet Penny at least once before I head off to Korea. There's a chance I might see her again next week, though, since David, Patricia, and Dr. Steve will all be over for the Fourth of July.