Well, J's life got a little more complicated and he asked my son, C, to take Jenny. I met Jenny the night that J was helping C move into his first college apartment. As they excitedly told me Jenny's story, she looked at me the entire time. Smiling like she understood every word. She had my heart.
Jenny entered a new life that we like to call her Animal House stage. She was surrounded by no shortage of students who would walk her, feed her anything they were eating and throw sticks and balls without end. The only problem in this existence had to do with that pesky word "student". The humans in her life had to go to class. Often. And she found an untold number of creative things to do when left to herself in the apartment. One entertaining trick was to make large piles of objects she was not supposed to touch. Once when I was at C's apartment I saw Jenny hiding behind a couch. Experienced mother that I am, I observed, "I think she has done something she was not supposed to do." Nah, said C. Until he went into his bedroom and saw the piles of forbidden items deposited neatly on the middle of his bed. Hmmmmm. Maybe there is a reason she lurks behind the couch, C noted. Forgiven, she trotted out and presented her backside to be scratched. I'm a soft touch.
Another thing about students is they like to travel during their breaks. On forms of transportation that don't allow the Jennys of the world to participate. C left Jenny with his aunt, R, during his Kerouac-ian train trip to Chicago. Where Jenny spent most of the Christmas break pilling decorations in the path of the front door. Never messing anything up. Just showing who was boss. And presenting her backside to be scratched whenever anyone came to call.
Well, this spring, C relunctantly asked his sister K and her new husband to take Jenny. C was moving and looking into a semester abroad. The only problem: K's new home in Missouri is a ways up the road from Texas. Ever the laid back dog, Jenny fit right into the newlywed's home. She has a large yard, dogs in houses on two sides and has play dates with a puppy down the street.
I wondered when I visited last month if Jenny would remember me in a different state. She ran right to me and presented her backside to be scratched. Yep: recognized. I brought Jenny a long pink stuffed dog like the one on the PetSmart commercial. When K's husband tried to play catch with Jenny's new toy, Jenny politely went and hid it in one of her famous piles and brought him a ball that she deemed playworthy for him. Jenny clearly has her boundaries.
So, here's to Jenny. She is truly a family dog. And I'm waiting for my turn.