Sunday, June 08, 2008

Penny (Midnight Melody)

Penny was born on the 14th March 1989, the last of a litter of 5 pups.

A Manchester Terrier, her Pedigree included a number of breed champions.

She was some twelve weeks or so old when we acquired her. She was raised outside the Yorkshire seaside spa of Scarborough. As the journey to collect her took us across the Pennines, we decided to call her Penny. For her kennel name we chose Melody as that name linked her to her mother and Midnight on account of her dark coat.

She was a very nervous dog, prone to snapping at strangers and yapping at the slightest noise. At first she did not like car travel and was frequently sick. For Easter 1991, we went up to Stranraer for a holiday, staying at a farmhouse B&B. We took her with us. Penny had to live for the whole week in the back of our Ford Sierra Estate. It transformed her into a car-loving dog.

After that she began to accompany me most days on my rounds as an insurance agent in Oldham. She was given the nickname "my alternative car alarm"

We made three attempts to breed from Penny. The first was with a dog from Penistone, West Yorkshire, but she failed to take. We then tried her with a dog from Belper, Derbyshire. After the second mating with this dog she appeared to take. She made herself a little nest in one corner and on the night the pups were due I slept downstairs with her. It turned out, when we took her to the vets, that she'd had an ectopic pregnancy. After that we didn't try again.

She developed an abscess when she was about eight or nine years old and had to have fourteen teeth taken out. After that, a lot of her hair gradually began to go grey. Early in 2002 she developed a tumour on her belly. Although still quite active and alert, she began to sleep longer in her bed at night. When our son, Craig, came home from college for his Easter break, we explained things to him and he said goodbye to her for the last time. On 18th April 2002 the vet put her to sleep.

walking to the vets
she stops at every tree and bush
there is no walk home


Andrei Dorian Gheorghe wrote from Romania
Your photo-story about Penny impressed me very much.

(in memory of Penny)

poor terrier going
to create a new constellation:
The Middle Dog
This account of Penny is reproduced here today as a response to the pet theme at One Single Impression.

I may not be responding to comments over the next few days as tomorrow (Monday) I shall be attending my sister's funeral.


  1. ..since childhood i wonder how is the love of a dog different from loving a human..i still don't understand..thank u so much for ur lovely poem and the tender details..

  2. Such a lovely pup, obviously well loved and greatly missed. Thank you for sharing her with us. Please accept my sincere codolences on the passing of your sister.

  3. An exquisite haiku and a wonderful tribute to the magnificent Penny. I love the picture of her looking out the window. My mother didn't like animals (people either) and I came to the joy and wonder of animal companionship late in my life. Each of my four cats - Katrina died at 16 and Abigail at almost 22 - has made me a better person and taught me about life. They have comforted my grief, eased my solitude and given me joy.

    I'm so sorry that for you this post about Penny is combined with grief for the loss of your sister. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  4. Beautiful tribute. Thanks for this glimpse into your life..

  5. A lovely tribute to Penny and well deserved.

    You have my sympathy regarding your sister. I bet that Penny will meet with her now and all will be good for them.

  6. A very touching story about Penny! And I'm very sorry about your sister. I will think of her and you over the next few days.

  7. Thank you for this beautiful post, especially at this difficult time in your life. The ending haiku is, well, I can think of no other word but exquisite.

  8. What a wonderful tribute to your Penny. Losing a pet even when they are old is so difficult.

  9. Such a sad story with such wonderful memories. I have taken that walk also with my dog and it is such a great loss in our lives.

    Your photos are wonderful.

  10. My condolences concerning your sister. It must have been a heavy blow.

    PS I'll look forward to Wednesday - maybe two great minds share a single thought? ;-)

  11. Beautiful tribute for your Penny.
    She reminds me so much of my own.

    I am sorry for the loss of your sister. Blessings.

  12. Your story of Penny shows how devoted you were to here. It is a beautiful tale, culminating in the unbelievably fabulous poem.

    I left a note on your post about your dear sister. My sympathies.

  13. i love thsoe window pictures, like a longing creature waiting for a love one to be back

  14. oh man, thank you for sharing... i was amused when you mentioned penny getting sick in the car.. my dog, stella, still gets sick... thou she insists on traveling with us.. blessings for you and yr family on the passing of yr sister..