Penny has been near and dear to my heart for quite awhile. We had been helping a woman with getting her pit bull spayed and helping her with food as well. One day she pointed out that there was a pit bull next door in a pen. It was very overgrown over there, it was a large yard and we hadn’t seen it. It had not barked. The woman told me that the people did not feed or water this dog very much. She told me that the dog would sit in it’s dog run and about 11:00 pm every night, it would cry for it’s food. She said eventually someone would come out late at night and put some food down. They did not interact with her very much, they just kept her in that pen.
We went over to this house to see what was going on. There stood Penny. She was an old pit bull with a gray muzzle and she was as sweet and as glad to see us as she could be. Her pen was full of feces-it was disgusting. Her water was dirty. She also had a growth on her back leg. We knocked, but no one was home. We went into the pen and cleaned everything out best we could and gave her fresh food and water. She had a good dog house and she was at pretty good body weight.
We put this dog on our monitoring list and would stop by trying to catch the owner. I think there was only one time in the 1 1/2 yrs. that we went over there that we actually met the owner. That is when we found out that this dog’s name was Precious. She had belonged to someone else in the extended family and somehow had ended up over there. Although we left our information several times, the owner did not call for help. We just continued to go over regularly and take care of her. As much as we tried to get over there and put ear gel on her to keep the flies off of her, she still got fly strike on her ears because the owner was not putting the gel that we left for them on her.
She loved our visits and we loved them, too! Then things got really bad that summer. There was a lot of feces in the pen and lots of flies around, of course. I took pictures of the pen and sent them to animal control. It was disgusting what this sweet old girl was expected to live in.
Animal control impounded Precious. Finally she was out of there! Then they gave her back a couple of days later. They told the people to clean out the pen and they did, so they gave Precious back to them. So very disappointing and but not at all surprising, unfortunately.
We continued to visit Precious and tried to take care of her. We went every week when the temperatures were bad. The pen stayed clean for a little while, but then it was right back filling up with feces.
All along, Precious had had that tumor on her leg. It hadn’t really changed in size or color or anything and we thought it was probably a fatty tumor. Then another had crept up, too-higher on her leg. One day the owners left a message (I guess they had kept our info) and said that Precious had a boil on her leg and asked if we could help them out. I called them back and told the owner I thought it was a tumor, not a boil and that Precious needed to come in and get checked by a vet. Erica went by on a Sunday and went ahead and brought Precious into the vet clinic so that she could be looked at Monday morning. Even though I had seen this dog about 2 weeks before, the tumor had grown! They aspirated both of the tumors. The tumor that was higher up was a fatty tumor, but the one lower on her leg was cancer. It was not a good prognosis.
I called the owners back and explained everything to them and offered to take Precious into our program. She would need a hospice situation because the cancerous tumor was growing. They agreed. Finally, they were signing her over and we were so ecstatic to get her! We would now be able to show her the best time of her life.
We changed her name to Penny and made her comfortable at Chain of Hope. She was a complete love! She loved everybody and all of the other dogs! She was having a blast and getting lots of attention-everyone loved Penny. What a resilient old girl. I couldn’t even believe I was looking at her at Chain of Hope sometimes-we had wanted to get her out of that pen for so long.
Her nails were so long and she was pretty dirty. We gave her a nail trimming and a good bath-which she loved!!!
Penny had some great days! She went to work with Patty one day. She went to McDonald’s and Burger King and on lots of walks. She absolutely LOVED to roll around in the grass. She would do that for a long time every time she went on a walk. She loved the feel of it. All she had had under her feet before was dirt, mud and feces. She totally luxuriated in the grass!
While Penny was having a great time and enjoying her life, her tumor was growing and getting very “angry” looking. We were getting more worried about her. I actually took her to 3 different doctors. All of the veterinarians said that they would not try and take this tumor off. It was cancer and would come back and she had already developed another small, black tumor on her hip. They also would not have anything to close up the hole with if they tried-it was attached deep into her leg and they would have to take a lot of skin and not be able to close it. Penny was heart worm positive and 11 yrs. old as well. We decided to just give her as many happy days as we could. We were scared to death the tumor was going to rupture and that was definitely a possibility. She was feeling so good and was so happy, though, we did not want to put her down-she didn’t appear to be suffering. One night I took her to the emergency clinic because the tumor was seeping pretty bad and they put her on a high dose of Prednisone, which would take some of the swelling down and slow down the seepage. This helped her for about the next week. We were on edge watching that thing. I know Leah and I held our breath every morning when we went in, but she was always fine. The tumor had started seeping blood. It still did not seem to bother her-she was so happy!
One morning, her tumor looked different. It had a small hole in it, about the size of a pea. Penny acted like her same happy self. She went for a walk, which means she rolled in the grass-her favorite thing!
We got the dogs taken care of and the vans loaded and went on outreach. When I got back in, Penny greeted me and we headed outside to potty. When we got outside, I looked at the tumor and the hole in it had gotten bigger. You could see the inside of the tumor. It was almost like it was deteriorating from the inside out. I took her over to Independence Animal Hospital, where I was with her as she left this difficult world. Thank We had had Penny out of her hell for only 5 weeks and there is no doubt in my mind that they were the best 5 weeks of her life ever!
We will never forget this old girl! Every one who met Penny fell instantly in love with her. We are grateful to have had the time with her that we did. She touched all of our hearts and we will always remember our Penny.