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Updated: Jan 8, 2021

When Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and Louisiana in 2017, ALIVE stepped up to help local shelters make room for displaced animals by bringing a group of adoptable cats and dogs from Texas to Chicago. Penny (formally known as Tracy) and her two puppies were a few of the dogs brought to ALIVE from Texas.

Learn more about Penny’s story from her adopter, below ...

“We adopted our first dog, Ernie, in early 2015, and by 2017 we felt it was time to get him a sibling. In August of that year, I started obsessively following multiple Chicago rescue groups in hopes of finding the perfect dog to complete our family. When ALIVE went down to Houston after Hurricane Harvey and brought back a crew of Texas pups, we felt that we were meant to rescue one.

Originally, we were interested in another dog, but someone beat us to the punch. After a few weeks, our adoption coordinator reached back out and mentioned that Penny (who was Tracy at the time), sounded like a good fit for our family. We agreed to have her over for a home visit, and pretty quickly knew it was a good fit. We brought her home the day after Christmas. She was shy at first, but we knew she was comfortable when, a few days after adopting her, she hopped up on the sofa with us, heaved a huge sigh, flipped upside down and passed out between us with her legs in the air. She also LOVES Ernie. They snuggle every night and it is the cutest thing.

Given that she's part Malamute and lived in Texas until she came to us, the first time Penny saw snow was a riot. The pure joy on her face as she tore through the drifts like a maniac was the greatest thing, and she still reacts the same way every time it snows. We've also been fortunate that we've been able to keep in touch with the two women who adopted her two puppies through ALIVE. We've gotten Penny and her babies back together a few times, and while the dogs aren't nearly as excited as the humans, it's still so nice to see that the whole family is safe, loved and happy. There are tons of puppy-and-momma families just like theirs and I live for the reunion photos on the ALIVE Facebook page.

Penny is truly one of the weirdest dogs we've ever met. She has an internal food clock that runs like a Rolex and will start talking to you as soon as she knows it's food time. Her one blue and one half-blue, half-brown eye cause her to look either gorgeous or goofy depending on the angle. She's bowlegged (Penny is technically derived from Penguin) and runs like Phoebe from “Friends.” She loves new dogs but is also afraid of them, so she will fire on all cylinders when meeting any new friends and wag her tail, bark, show her teeth, run and play all at the same time because she can't quite figure out her feelings. She doesn't like being pet, even though she's as soft as a rabbit which makes it hard to resist. She doesn't want people to be too inside her space bubble, yet she's fine if her brother Ernie literally sits on her. She uses her front paws like a cat and drinks water like a buffalo. She is completely ridiculous in every way and we love her.

Every night when we go to sleep with Ernie and Penny snuggled up together, it makes us so happy to know that they're ours, that they're loved and that they're forever safe. Knowing that they both were homeless and faced uncertain futures at some point breaks our hearts and adopting dogs like Penny ensures that these loving, incredible dogs get the homes they need.”


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