Penny Lane

Published: September 5, 2012

I adopted Penny Lane in January 2003, and lost her on September 1, 2012.

Penny’s BREW name was Sonny and she was fostered by Kent and Rita. Kent brought Penny along for my home inspection and she was very shy and wouldn’t look at me during the visit. Soon after, I went to Kent and Rita’s house to see her again. She was among many fosters who were running around their yard romping playfully, and I swear she was auditioning and showing off saying, “Look at me, look at me!” I finally made the decision to adopt her and named her Penny Lane.

Penny and I bonded quickly. She would cry when I’d leave the house but soon settled into a daily routine, which she was happy to maintain the rest of her life. She LOVED stuffed animals – her babies – so there have always been many that traveled about the house. For many years she would greet me at the front door with a baby in her mouth and bring it to the bedroom while I changed into dog-walking clothes. She was nothing if not predictable.

Penny knew the south Reston trails like the back of her paw. She could have guided any scouting troop around any number of loops all convening and ending at our front door. In fact, she was a wonderful guide for my parents who would come from WI to babysit her when I traveled as they were always getting turned around on the trails. Penny would simply lead them home.

She loved her mommy, she loved her sissy – Zoe, also a BREW rescue – she loved to eat, she loved her treats, and she especially LOVED the big bed where we all slept. Penny slept on the opposite side of the bed from me with her head on the pillow looking directly at me – every night. And if I spoke to her or got up in the night, her tail would pound against the bed in delight. When she got cold, she’d curl around into a ball with her head against my belly. She loved her sissy and would do her best to dry Zoe off when they came in from the rain.

I think the thing Penny loved the most, besides her mommy, were presents. She loved opening presents! And not just hers… she would open any presents she could get her paws on. I could never wrap Christmas gifts and leave them under the tree or I’d find them opened with shredded paper all over the place! The annual beagle gift opening was deeply cherished by Penny who would open her gifts and put them in a pile, AND she’d steal the other dogs’ gifts and add them to her pile.

Penny had a determined and loving personality and was as stubborn as any beagle could be. In the last few years her health issues had begun to stack up. She’d declined greatly during the last six months but was still hanging in there. Her little body, with all its ailments, finally just gave out and we couldn’t save her.

No matter how much time you have, it is never enough; you’re never ready when the end comes, and the grief seems almost unbearable. I miss you deeply my little Penny Lane… you saved my life by rescuing me 9 ½ years ago. I love you.


Mary Jo Ondrejka (aka mommy)

And her sissy Zoe


1 Response

  1. Debra Kupec

    Thank you for sharing your story, I enjoyed reading it. Our beagles are so special to us. My condolances for your loss, but my joy to you for those wonderful 9 1/2 years!

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