As a huge lover of animals, she had made it her mission to help any living creature in need. But this puppy was really pushing her buttons and she wasn’t sure what to do. She didn’t think she would be able to put up with it for much longer. Then, she did a bit of brainstorming to try and figure a way out of this situation. And that’s when a solution became very clear to her.
It all started at a park in Los Angeles, California. A group of employees from a PetCo store had been taking a stroll when they noticed a tiny pooch on the path by itself, and it had no leash or a collar. They looked to see if the owner was somewhere nearby, but there was no one else in sight, except for them of course. Seeing how defenseless the puppy was made their hearts melt, so they all got together and came up with a solution.
The puppy went home with one of the PetCo employees while they found a suitable shelter that could help find a more permanent home for her. The woman had taken the pup to the vet, and that’s when she learned that the dog was 10 weeks old. But the vet noticed that the pooch was very energetic. He warned the woman that this would make it difficult to find a home for her. But he wasn’t aware of the pup’s true nature.
Days later, the PetCo employee found a shelter, and the puppy was put up for adoption, which she assumed wouldn’t take long. After all, she was young and cute and people would likely be interested in adopting her for sure. In less than no time, the pup was on her way to a new family. But no one knew that there was a mischievous side to the puppy, and her new family was about to find out first hand.
The vet wasn’t kidding when he said that the puppy was energetic. Sadly, that energy led to a destructive behavior. The puppy scratched, chewed, and demolished everything in sight. Although most puppies that age tend to exhibit the same kind of destructive behavior, this puppy took the concept of misbehavior to a whole new level. The family couldn’t handle her anymore and they eventually decided to return her to the shelter.
Since the puppy was young and cute, she won over a second family in no time. But not long after that, the shelter and the puppy found themselves in the same situation again and again. At this point, the shelter feared that this puppy would never get adopted. The staff even nicknamed her the “unwanted puppy,” even though she was affectionate and friendly. But they hadn’t given up hope. Eventually, a potential owner walked through their door and everyone hoped that this would be the last time they’d see the adorable puppy.
Leonora Anzaldua had been warned that other families had returned the puppy, but she was willing to ignore the warnings and give the puppy a chance. She said to herself, “How bad can such a tiny dog be?” After all the paperwork was in order, Leonora took the puppy home and named her Penny. But it wouldn’t take long before Penny would really push Leonora’s patience beyond the limits she didn’t even know she had.
Leonora understood why no one had wanted to keep Penny. This cute little pup may have been playful and adorable, but she was also a force to be reckoned with. Leonora’s home was virtually in ruins, but since she knew a lot about animals. She figured that Penny’s destructive attitude was the result of a lack of mental stimulation. So, instead of returning the puppy, she decided to try something else, and it completely changed everything.
Leonora knew that Penny was one smart puppy, so she decided to teach her a few tricks. Shockingly enough, Penny was a quick learner. On her third try, Penny learned what to do when Leonora issued the “sit” command. Leonora continued to teach her other tricks that were more challenging and Penny learned them all. This also allowed Penny to focus her energies elsewhere. But Leonora hadn’t discovered all of Penny’s talents yet.
Penny had mastered all of the typical dog tricks by the time she was eight months old. But Leonora read that dogs had the mental capacity of a human toddler, which meant that Penny was capable of more. So, Leonora assumed that Penny could be taught to recognize different shapes. To that end, she started training the puppy by using a set of big block letters. What happened next was beyond mind-blowing.
Penny’s ability to recognize shapes was spot on, just like Leonora had predicted. The pup was even able to use block letters to spell the word “dog” when she was asked what she was. She could also spell her own name. That’s when Leonora knew she had to share what Penny could do with the whole world. She started by creating a YouTube and an Instagram account to show off Penny’s abilities. In the meantime, Penny continued learning many things.
Leonora took Penny’s shape recognition abilities to a whole new level. She did this by buying a set of toys that allowed toddlers to learn shapes, such as triangles. With some training, Penny placed every block shape into the correct slot. This pup had seemingly mastered the concept of shapes and was unstoppable. Then Leonora got more ambitious with her training.
Leonora figured that she could teach the pup how to count, and Penny was willing and able to accept the challenge. Penny would touch the number one when Leonora would put a piece of kibble on a mat. The pup would then touch the number 2 when she would see two pieces on the mat. Eventually, she’ll be able to count all the way to 10. But Penny’s life isn’t all about expanding her knowledge.
Leonora and Penny went to the east coast last fall to have some fun. The weather was windier and cooler than in the west coast, but Penny got a chance to play in a pile full of fallen leaves. She was so happy and adorable that Leonora decided to record her. Fortunately, as Penny got older, her energy started to dwindle a bit. But you probably wouldn’t believe what her favorite new pastime is these days.
Although Penny started off like a destructive tornado full of energy, she eventually became a bit more relaxed. As a matter of fact, Penny can now appreciate just how awesome napping can be, especially since she gets to cuddle with her hedgehog plush toy. Now that’s one major lifestyle change from the misunderstood dog that no one wanted a year ago.