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Penny’s Song

September 20, 2012

It was just Jaime and I providing hospice care for his mother that night. The house was quiet, and Lisa was sleeping.

We didn’t know each other very well; Lisa was our common bond. His mom, and my best friend. We both loved her so much. And now she lay dying.

Aside from her cancer, we were at a loss for conversation until we stumbled upon a common interest. Dogs. He had Mastiffs, and we had Pomeranians. Theirs were huge and ours were tiny. The Mastiffs had short-hair; the Pom’s was long. But they were all dogs.

Jaime’s Mastiffs, Lucy and Ouija had rawhide bones larger than our 7 lb. Penny.

And there was a photo on the fridge of his newborn daughter laying on Lucy’s back. Lisa loved that picture. Definitely not your average baby picture…the contrast in size was amazing. Our Penny was close to the baby’s birth weight.

We traded dog stories for a while. Then I told one that he flat out did not believe.

“Dogs don’t care about music…they don’t have favorite songs,’ he said.

‘Penny did. Ask your mom when she wakes up.’

‘I will.’

A few years earlier, before Lisa got sick, she and her husband spent an evening at our house. The guys watched the game in the living room while we played Scrabble in the kitchen. We had the radio on to mask the grunts and groans of football.

Penny, our fox-colored Pom, walked into the kitchen for water.

As she walked past the radio, ‘Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,’ by Otis Redding began to play.

And a funny thing happened…the little canine stopped dead in her tracks, and sat down facing the radio. She cocked her head to one side, and listened to the entire song, When it was over, she continued on, quenched her thirst and returned to the living room.

We watched in disbelief. And then interrupted the game to tell our story.

In hindsight, that may not have been the smartest thing to do…interrupt football to tell our men that the dog listened to a song on the radio. Big deal. So what.

And the guys were understandably doubtful. They didn’t believe us…they said we were imagining it.

But, as time went on, Penny proved us right. Whenever Otis Redding began crooning his tune, she stopped everything and listened. To the whole song.

Soon, Lisa’s eyes fluttered open. And after a gentle greeting, Jaime asked ‘Mom, did Penny have a favorite song?’

‘Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,’ she quickly replied.

His eyes shot to mine. ‘You’re right,’ he said, incredulously.


From → Dog Stories

  1. I never heard that story before. I miss our girl every day and this made me smile AND get teary-eyed. I am so looking forward to seeing her again in Heaven.

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