Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fitting a Long Time Wish into a Thrifty and Frugal Budget

Dear Reader,

 Once upon a time, long long ago, when I was little, we had a Dachshund named Greta. She was my constant companion from the age of four until I was thirteen. I just adored her. Ever since then, I wanted another Dachshund. A couple of years ago, I began looking. I was unable to find one locally, so I searched on-line. I hunted for months but didn't find any puppies within a couple hundred miles. The ones I found in distant places were upwards of $800!

 Yikes! That wouldn't fit into my thrifty and frugal way of thinking or into my budget—no matter how long I'd been wishing and waiting! So, I started looking at other puppies. I wanted my children to have the puppy experience. Believe it or not, there just weren't many puppies available during that time in our area. So, I decided to go to our local animal shelter. By local, I mean just across the highway. I cannot tell you how many times I visited looking for just the right baby. I even got to know the director by first name.

 After several times visiting, she started letting me go back into the small dog room by myself. Be still my heart—one day I found a mama Dachshund with milk! I rushed out of the room and said, "Where are the babies?" Sure enough, there were several babies. I begged, and they let me in to see them. They were adorable! They didn't know who papa was, but I decided that a pound puppy would be just fine for my mindset, my budget, and my family. I called back often during the next few weeks to check on them. I wanted a red girl puppy, and there were only two or three.

 Finally the day came, suddenly and without warning, just like having a baby! You know it's coming, but sometimes you're surprised when it happens. I dropped everything and made my husband take a couple of hours off work. You cannot adopt without your husband, can you? I spent over an hour praying and playing with the two copper red girls. Finally we chose Olive. She was smaller but really spunky.
Penny 8 weeks
 It was about five o'clock Wednesday evening. We had no food, no leash, no kennel, we just weren't ready at all. We had to drop our three children at church (12, 14, 16), and go to the pet store for supplies. I cuddled her in my arm as we shopped. She was just two pounds. That night, we put her in her kennel in our room. She didn't even whimper. She was home. We renamed her Penny.

 As she grew, I found that Penny wasn't like my Greta. She's not affectionate and can be quite strong-willed. In fact, from four to ten months, I wanted to give her away she was so frustrating! 

There were four reasons I kept her. 
  • When we get a new pet, it becomes part of our family,
  • Our youngest daughter begged in tears to keep her,
  • I had prayed for her,
  • and I was afraid someone would just tie her up outside and leave her. This Mama's heart just couldn't stand that!
Penny 1 year
 When she was about ten months old, she started to settle down a bit. Now that she's about fifteen months old, I am glad we kept her. Here are some of the things I've learned.

  • A friend told me that when her sister was frustrated with her new husband, she told her, "He's not the cake you wanted, but he's a good cake." It applied to Penny, too.
  • Puppies are individuals with their own personalities. 
  • I've had to learn her "language". She doesn't communicate the way our previous dogs did. She doesn't even like to be scratched and loved on the same way.
  • Sometimes, a growly voice gets her attention if she's disobeying. I learned that from my adult strong-willed son. He told me I had to show her I was the leader of the pack. ~grin~
  • Her way of showing affection to me is different than to anyone else. My husband and kids get licking and excitement when they return home. She's glad to see me, but I'm the mom. I'm expected, I guess.
  • She likes to lie beside me. That's her way of showing that she likes me. She also likes to play with me.
  • Different words work with her. She's finally come to obey some commands most of the time. If it looks like play, all the better. 
  • I don't plan to get another puppy. They're a lot of trouble for all their cuteness. They need the energy of children to wear them out!
  Penny and I have come to get along pretty well now. She's found her place in our family, and we love her. I think in a few years, when she's getting older and calmer, she'll make a good companion for me as our nest is emptying. She's not the cake I wanted, but she's a good cake. 

Have a wonderful day!


  1. I never had a dog growing up but I got my first puppy as a lonely newlywed 1,000 miles from 'home'. From then on we always had a dog.

    I was pretty attached to my 1st puppy but she only lived a year. After that the busyness of raising/homeschooling children, caring for parents, ect made having a dog a burden to me.

    Then I found myself in the empty nest & my husband gave me a little Morkie as a gift when our son got married. What a gift! She's the smallest, sweetest dog I've ever had & I don't know now if I ever want to be without a dog. I can't believe how quickly I've become attached to her. Even though I insist on being top dog - I cannot stand yippy little dogs - she still loves me unconditionally & wants me over everyone else.

    So, I tell my son we replaced him with a dog. ;)

  2. Awww... isn't Penny adorable! I am so glad she is doing better though I am sorry she is not very affectionate. I have a cat that is very and I mean VERY loving....almost too loving! :)

    Thanks for joining Roses of Inspiration, dear Laura. Hugs!

  3. Awww... isn't Penny adorable! I am so glad she is doing better though I am sorry she is not very affectionate. I have a cat that is very and I mean VERY loving....almost too loving! :)

    Thanks for joining Roses of Inspiration, dear Laura. Hugs!

  4. She is adorable. The first Boxer we had I couldn't stand for the first 3 years. He was my husband's dog through and through. When I would call him in, he would stand at the back door just out of reach and stare at me. He would absolutely refuse to come in. My husband would call him one time and in he'd run. I felt like beating him some days!! :). 5 years later, I lay on the floor with that dog,at the vets office, sobbing my heart out when we had to put him down. He turned out to be a wonderful pet and we miss him still 6 years later.

    Our society gives up on things so quickly. It is sad. Glad you gave Penny a chance.

  5. I'm so glad you kept her!!! Yes, with puppies you never know what you'll get for sure. Like you, we keep our pets for life. With horses, a lot of people keep horses for a time then move on to another. I could never understand that either. The horses I have weren't the ones I'd get now but they are ours forever and I love them. The barn cats get the same care as an inside cat and oh my, my dogs are my loves for sure. All kids should experience the love and responsibility of a puppy at least once in their life! I now rescue adult dogs so the puppy experiences are different but sometimes just as difficult!!

  6. Hi Shirley,
    Even when our older chickens quit laying often, I wouldn't butcher them. I just told the family that they were enjoying their retirement years!

    I'm sorry for your loss Theresa. Such a young dog. I'm glad I kept Penny, too.

    I have a cat like that, too Stephanie. The problem is that he's 17 pounds and sheds!

    How funny Jenny! What is a Morkie? There are so many designer dogs now. We suspect that Penny may be a Chiweenie. Chihuahua Dachshund.

  7. Puppies are so adorable, but can be SO frustrating! I am glad you persevered and held on to little miss Penny! What a little cutie-pie!! :)

  8. "He's not the cake you wanted, but he's a good cake."
    I love this. I will try to remember that with my puppy. She worried me half to death the other night when we couldn't find her.

  9. My daughter has a little dog that is her best friend. We're not sure what breed she is because she was abandoned in our yard. I don't think we'll ever find another one quite like her and dread the day we no longer have her. My daughter will be devastated.

    I love the quote you used. So many tine s we don't get exactly what we wanted but it's still good.

  10. What a sweet story!I have a Dachshund too. My sister in law breeds them. She gave us this one 8 years ago. He is truely a part of our family. Such character! We love him and will be sad when the time comes that he has to "leave" us!

    Thank you for sharing!

  11. Weiner dogs are my favorite! We have two, my daughters each have one and my parents have one!

    They will entertain you, for sure!

    Best wishes to you and pretty Penny!


  12. You know Laura, this story of yours would make a wonderful children's book, you already have the title with the cake. Tweak it a little and use pretty illustrations of your Penny. You could easily adapt it from a child's point of view! :) Maybe just maybe, you could sell it and get a book deal. I have no clue how that might work, but it's a great idea.

  13. Aw, what a sweet story! She is so cute too.

  14. Enjoyed your post, it took some time for me to connect with our dog, my daughter and husband really wanted her but guess who had to do most of the work with her since I was a stay at home Mom at the time, now 15 years later she is my little girl, our daughter has moved out and I still have our little dachshund and am now the closest to her, quite the difference!

  15. Hi Connie,
    My last dog lived 15 years. I was worried that Penny would live that long, and we wouldn't be happy together.

    We get along much better now.

  16. Awww she is so cute! I have a long haired dachshund who is a cuddle bug we adopted her when she was about 3 and she is going on 5 now. Dogs has a special something about them that's for sure!

  17. Aww what a sweet post. Isn't it funny how pets and people all have different languages to show love?

  18. More so than I ever knew, Anny!

  19. Thank you, Annie. I'll give that some thought!

  20. Thanks to all the No Reply Bloggers.
    I wish I could write back to you.

  21. Laura, I love how you didn't give up on Penny! Also love the quote about the cake. Some things just take a little longer to get made right. Hopefully, Penny will keep improving! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  22. I loved this story Laura and Penny is very cute. We have 2 lots of puppies at the moment and they are at the annoying stage, chewing on everything, we have to remember to put up all our shoes. They are very cute though. Thank you for faithfully sharing at Good Morning Mondays, it is always a pleasure stopping by. Blessings

  23. She's cute :) I totally get it, though. We had a basset/Australian shepherd mix named Lucky. When we adopted him we were told he was 5, but right before he passed away we learned he was closer to 10 or 12. We lost him to renal failure in April. It was super depressing being in an empty home without our boy. After moving, we "happened" to be at the shelter looking at another dog, when my husband fell for an Aussie mix baby. I brought her home the next day but she was all about him - and obviously didn't care for me one bit. I was 6.5 months pregnant at the time & shed tons of tears wondering what I'd gotten into. But once you adopt, that life is a part of your family forever - no returns just because it's not what you expected. She's an 8 month old ball of energy, not a 12 yr old basset. As I write this, she's laying on my feet licking my leg ;) She's definitely her daddy's dog, but now loves me, too, and I love her :) It was a month & a half of some serious work, though! But as we get to know each other more & more, our relationship just grows stronger <3


Thank you for praying for me! Thank you for encouraging me so much through this cancer treatment. I have the best blog friends in the world! Yes! You!

I read all your comments and respond as I can right now.
Please make sure I have your email if you want me to respond or pray for you. For some reason Blogger isn't notifying me of comments right now, so I may be a bit slower.

God bless you all! This life only works with Jesus. The next life is a continuation of this one—make sure you spend it with Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God the Father!

Your blog friend,
Laura Lane
Cancer Survivor