Slow Adventures in Slothville

September 24, 2007


Filed under: Penny, Photography — shhville @ 7:08 pm

Well, it’s that time of year again! Usually I go away for two weeks to the Outer Banks around now, but the house that my family has been staying in out there for 35 years doesn’t take pets. So this year I’m only going for five days because the thought of leaving Penny at home is killing me inside.

My roommate kindly offered to take care of Penny while I’m gone, which, as you will see, is no small task. I’m extremely agitated about leaving her here and the top vacation project this year will be checking out pet-friendly houses for next year.

Here are the Penny-care instructions I have written for my roommate. They’re fairly neurotic. Enjoy!

How to Take Care of Penny-Pie Superdog

Penny eats 3 raw chicken medallions a day. 1½ in the morning and 1½ in the evening, 12 hours later. They live in the white bag in the freezer. Every evening I take out 3 to defrost in the fridge over night.

Morning: put one and a half medallions from the fridge in her bowl and defrost in the nuker for 10 seconds (no longer) to melt remaining ice crystals. Mash the food up and add the following:

  • 1/2 soloxine tablet (make sure you hide it in there so she doesn’t see it)
  • 1 fish oil caplet (snip the end, squeeze the oil onto the food)
  • 2 drops Ox-E drops (put drops into teaspoon of filtered water to dilute – do not use tap water – then pour over food)
  • 4 drops Blackleaf tincture

The food will disappear into Penny in approx. 1.7 seconds. Do not be alarmed. Top off breakfast with the following:

  • 1 dollop of plain yogurt in her bowl
  • 2 slices of cucumber cut in quarters (feed to her like treats or just put in bowl)
  • 1 Happy Hips glucosamine treat

Now it’s time for walking! I always feed her before her morning walk to get the peristalsis going. Penny poops three or four times every day, so never walk her without a plastic bag in hand or you will find yourself the object of much yuppie-parent-bystander derision. (If you’re only walking her twice a day, take two bags with you every time!)

*When Penny drops a little kumquat-sized poo next to a giant turd left behind by some loser who forgot to bring a plastic bag when walking his doberman, try to resist the natural tendency to despair that there is no point in picking up her tiny poo pellet when there is a much larger problem right next to it. I know, man. I know.*

When you get back from your morning walk, give her one antioxidant treat. She MUST have one of these every single day – it’s the central part of her treatment.

Afternoon: When you get home Penny will be bursting with pent-up energy. I walk her several times a day and she is still a little bottle rocket in the early evening, so be prepared. You can either walk it off with a long stroll (the neighborhood by the high school on the other side of Washington Street is perfect for this) or take her to Griggs Park and see if she’ll play with you. She likes to chase and be chased, especially if there’s a stick involved. There will be other small dog owners on the side of the park opposite the swingsets. Penny will be sort of interested in the other dogs, but she’d rather walk and play with you. Don’t let her over by the kids playground area, though, as she will be very hungry by then and liable to eat a baby.

If you want to take her on a long walk and decide to take any of the foot paths (Gardner Path, Winthrop Path, Rawson Path, etc.), which are really fun to explore, remember that she can climb those steps herself, but must not be allowed to descend them. If you are going down the steps, please carry her (see below in misc. section).

Evening: Penny must eat dinner twelve hours after breakfast in order to get her medication at the correct interval. No defrosting in the nuker required this time and no fish oil. Otherwise, follow the same procedure. Don’t forget to get 3 more medallions out of the freezer for defrosting!

After her evening walk she will not need to go out again until it’s time for bed. You don’t have to put her collar on, just take her outside in the courtyard and she will pee right away and be ready to come back in.

When you are ready to go to sleep, place her in my bed, give her a kiss (DO IT!) and tuck her in with covers. I think she’ll be ok.


Penny can get up the front steps (see next paragraph) and the five steps in the foyer. She cannot get up any of the subsequent flights and must be carried. She must be carried down the stairs as well – all of them – I do not allow Penny to descend steps. Going down stairs is very bad for her luxating patellas (what? Trust me.) and exacerbates her arthritis.

One of the front steps has a big chunk out of it. When walking up these steps with Penny, make sure you walk in the exact spot where the gap is or else Penny will try to go up the steps there and she will fall and hit her head. I know how retarded that sounds, but she does it every time I forget.

When walking, let her sniff around, but be on the lookout for bits of food because that’s exactly what she’s on the lookout for. She hoovers as she goes and will eat anything edible (or even questionable) in her way. Preemptive strikes are better because once she has something in her mouth she will FUCK. YOU. UP. if you try to get it away from her. Unless it’s a chicken bone (deadly) or a giant bagel or something (the other day I looked down to see her dragging an entire slice of pizza), just let her have the little tidbits she finds. But feel free to gently tug her away from something she’s aiming for. It’s important for her to have no carbs right now so bread crumbs and crusts are kind of a bane.

Penny loves:

  • Belly rubs
  • Kisses
  • Eye rubs
  • Vigorous scratching around neck and ears
  • To chill in the crook of your arm while you watch TV
  • Her plaid pillowcase blanket when it’s cold
  • Meeting other dogs on walks

Penny hates:

  • Paw-touching
  • To be left alone, ever (so do as little as poss)
  • To go out in the rain (if it’s raining you will have trouble walking her and that’s fine, she can stay in if she wants as long as she goes out to pee and poo)

Please give her as much love and affection and cuddling as you possibly can (now I’m crying typing this). It’s going to be a difficult few days for her and she will do infinitely better if she feels loved and cared about while I’m gone.


Ok, everyone, have a great week and I’ll be back to posting on Tuesday or thereabouts. Ciao!



  1. Have fun! (Don’t worry – Penny will have your roommate sorted out when you get home…)

    Comment by His sinfulness — September 25, 2007 @ 1:14 am

  2. Anyone who doesn’t ache a little at that little sleeping dog photo is missing some key lobe.

    I HAVE that lobe; it’s others I lack.

    Comment by wunelle — September 25, 2007 @ 3:23 am

  3. Wow, this is a lot like the directions I used to have to leave for the Piss Crusader. Or for Freddie when I first got him, before we weaned him off of the raw food diet. My sympathies. But it will all be okay – if no one killed my diabetic cat, no one will kill your yeasty little kneecap displaced dog. 🙂

    Comment by Julie — September 25, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

  4. Wow, those are detailed. Cucumbers? She might be the first dog I’ve ever heard of that eats those.

    Booooo to the “no pet” house! I’m sure you can find one for next year. Enjoy the nice weather the South has been having. It’s still hot down here!

    Comment by Seth — September 25, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

  5. Oh my god I luff you.

    Comment by Tot — September 25, 2007 @ 9:31 pm

  6. Best. Doggy. Mom.


    Comment by Leslie — September 26, 2007 @ 1:45 am

  7. The picture with the flower is absolutely beautiful!

    Comment by Molly — September 26, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

  8. Wow. You really, really love your dog. She is a kyootie!

    Comment by Cat — September 27, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  9. I finished her little tough-girl sweater. Gonna put it in the mail this week. 🙂 PLEASE post pictures for us!
    Miss you. **touch**

    Comment by Aimee — October 1, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  10. Great job with that dog of yours. You’ve really nursed her back to health. I’m sure she’s done wonders for you too. She looks like a different dog from when you got her.
    Don’t know what got you started with the dog on the boobs shots, but they are simply brilliant – the shots, and the boobs, yeah and the dog as well.

    Comment by Tsunami — October 3, 2007 @ 3:06 am

  11. She looks like Scruffy Doo in the first pic, which cracks me up. I’m sure she’s fine and will give you much puppy lovin’s when you get home.

    Comment by Inanna — October 8, 2007 @ 5:03 am

  12. *grin* Glad to see you’re enjoying being owned by Penny! We’ve just been for a short holiday and I couldn’t have even considered a place that didn’t allow Freya.

    Comment by Riz — October 28, 2007 @ 7:56 am

  13. oh – and pop over to Aimee’s, Slothy – her Dad is quite ill and she needs hugs xx

    Comment by Riz — October 28, 2007 @ 7:57 am

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