Jenny arrived at dog camp inside a soft crate along with her granola and thyroid pills. Her tag read “Our Jenny” and she is 17-1/2 years old. She could have been a doggie movie star dancing and twirling on her hind legs the way she used to do for treats. After all she comes from a family of musicians, singers, and dancers. But instead of the glitz and glamour of star life, Jenny chose to raise three boys who are now men, and in the process became an elder herself. She is originally from Manhattan, but her golden years are now spent in Homer where the grass is greener, the beach is friendlier and there are so many bushes to sniff, and get lost in if you weigh next to nothing. Jenny now prefers the slower, relaxed lifestyle.
Her hair is curly white but her ears stick straight up, and she weighs all of 5 lbs. soaking wet. She is a mixed breed, part Chihuahua and part Poodle. She is still spunky - if you try to clean the sleep from her eyes in the morning she fights it. She paces in circles and then sleeps in the C position until she feels the urgency to pee. Jenny then performs a little dance (on four legs these days) indicating to anyone listening that it is definitely time to go outside. Her appetite is great, especially when you offer her halibut and salmon for breakfast, lunch and dinner – topped with the granola for fiber.
Who wouldn’t love Jenny? My friends want to take her home because she is just so adorable. And the dogs in Camp, well that was interesting to watch. As she stood in the midst of the herd, they all made room for her to pass by. You could sense an all-knowing respect among them as she sauntered toward the water bowl and the path opened up for her. I was concerned to have her sleep on the bed for fear she might fall off. But all the resident dogs surrounded her, making a barricade so if she got up, they too would get up and in the process wake me. I wasn’t aware yet that once Jenny went to sleep she wouldn’t move until morning.
I fed her on the counter away from the crowd, and usually did the breakfast dishes while she ate her meal. On this particular morning I made her oatmeal mixed with granola, yogurt and doggie kibble and put her beside me on the counter. As I was doing the dishes I glanced back just in time to see her standing in the middle of the French lemon tart that was left over from last night’s dinner party. Both of her front paws were in the middle of the pie dish and her snout was buried deep in the lemon filling lapping it up as fast as she could. Oh, Jenny! At 17-1/2 years old you can eat as much lemon tart as you want. She was oblivious to me, totally enthralled in the joy of the moment. Next to her sat her untouched breakfast. I grabbed my camera and got the shot.