I shall never forget that day in early December of the year 2000. I took my twelve year old son to a house on the other side of this sleepy, laid-back English town named, Leek. The reasons we were going to that house were wrapped in a mystery of intrigue, of curiosity.
The front door opened and we were greeted by a friendly but rather eccentric older lady. "Please make yourselves comfortable in the living room", explained the smiling lady. Tristan sat across from me and gave me a quizzical look. The wonder in the eyes of my twelve year old son was magical to note.
The lady came into her living room and asked us both to please come upstairs. Step after step and the sounds emanating from one of the bedrooms became more pronounced, more wondrous, more alluring. A choir of cute little growling sounds could be plainly heard.
The lady opened the door to the bedroom. There they were. A litter of playful two month old Jack Russell puppies. "Tristan, I know how much you love dogs. Would you like to choose?", I asked him.
"Buzzin'!" That was the first word that Tristan spoke, with a thrilled delight at the prospect of having a puppy that he could love. "Penny" and Tristan made immediate eye contact. I knew, I just knew that Penny and Tristan would have a special bond. Penny chose Tristan and Tristan chose Penny. This would be the start of a very special, very loving relationship.....
On behalf of Penny, Tristan and myself, we wish you a peaceful, compassionate New Year as we embrace the ideals of the lessons that our animal friends do truly teach us. The ideals of unconditional, non-judgemental love.
Oh my gosh, Gary. You got me all teary-eyed reading that. Well-written and from the heart. Wishing you a most excellent 2016.ReplyDelete
Hugs & Bugs,
Thank you for such nice, thoughtful words, my lovely friend. Here's to you and all your boogie boogie loved ones having an awesome 2016.
I'm all choked up Gary. *sniffle* What an awesome and beautiful post. A very happy new year to you as well. And of course to Penny & Tristan!ReplyDelete
Thank you. I was rather choked up when I wrote this posting. I take on the emotions and sense the memories as I type. And to you and your loved ones, a wonderful, hopeful New Year.
That is very true, they teach many lessons to us indeed. A bond such as that is never broken.ReplyDelete
Hi Pat Hatt,Delete
I knew you would know this is true. Your talented cat can vouch for that. Thank you and you are a good dude.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
Fabulous photos, Gary - and such a heartwarming message. Happy New Year to you, Tristan, and Penny!ReplyDelete
Kim and CindyLu
Hi Kim and CindyLu,Delete
I'm delighted you like the photos. And doubly delighted you liked the message :) Happy New Year to you, CindyLu and all your loved ones.
Penny, Tristan and Gary :)
Fifteen years of love!ReplyDelete
Summed up pawfectly, um, perfectly. Thank you and here's to a healthy, happy 2016 to you and your loved ones.
Lovely pictures Gary. I do so wish we still had a dog but not possible these days. Lots of good wishes for the New Year to all three of you.ReplyDelete
Thank you for that, dear Jo. I'm sorry that logistics make it impossible to have a dog with you these days. Good wishes for the New Year to you and your loved ones.
That was so sweet and touched my heart so. May the coming year bring joy to your family.ReplyDelete
I'm so pleased this touched your heart, dear Arleen. Thank you and here's to you and your family have a most wondrous 2016.
Happy New Year! In dog years Penny is 105!ReplyDelete
And a Happy New Year to you, good sir! I'm just over 440 in dog years! Arf and yikes!
440 years ... Crikey! Hahahahaha!Delete
How are things down under? That probably didn't sound right! :) Yep, crikey and where the fuck did I put my bus pass! Aha!!!
My eyes are leaking. Not Leeking, but leaking.ReplyDelete
A very, very Happy, Compassionate and Healthy New Year to you, to Tristan and to Penny.
Oh no, not Leek, but leek.
Thank you for your thoughtful New Year's wishes to us. A most peaceful, magical New Year to you and yours, dear Sue.
That is such a beautiful post. Happy New Year to you and Tristan and Penny.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad I found your blog this year.
I'm most flattered. Thank you. A Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, my kind friend. Time for a Coffee To Go, methinks :)
What a lovely post, and great photos too :)ReplyDelete
Wishing you, Tristan and Penny a very happy, healthy and loving New Year - and pawsitive thoughts and woofs from Sophie and Poppie :)
I appreciate that. Thank you.
We wish you, Sophie and Poppie, a most peaceful, adventurous New Year. I shall be over to your blog soon. So sorry to read about the loss of your beloved dog, Sam.
Oh my, you've made me cry, but in a nice way. What a lovely post. I wish you and your beloved family a very happy and peaceful new year xxReplyDelete
Nice, warm tears as I know you can relate, my kind friend. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Teresa. And to you and your beloved family, a peaceful, hopeful 2016.
Gary :) x
So beautiful, a happy and peaceful new year to you all.ReplyDelete
Thank you for that, Suzanne :) A happy, peaceful 2016 to you and your loved ones.
Lovely post! Happy New Year to you, Tristan and Penny!ReplyDelete
Thanks, I appreciate that. And a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
I can't say it any better than the others -- what a lovely post! Thank you. For such things was the Internet invented. You brought joy to a lot of people today, Gary. May 2016 be our best year yet.ReplyDelete
How very kind of you, my friend. Thank you. May we share the joy and all the positive aspects that the internet can bring. Here's to you and your loved ones having a most wonderful 2016.
Hi Gary - wonderful to see you both and to see you holding Penny ... and to read the love you both have for each other, and for your beloved four-legged Penny - she is very special to you both. May you all have a happy, healthier and enjoyable year ahead ... with lots of thoughts from down south - cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Thank you, Hilary. It was a wonderful Christmas Day when we took those photos with the beloved Penny. Yes, she's most special and has been an important part of our lives for the past fifteen years.
And a most peaceful, hopeful 2016 to you, my kind friend, Hilary.
How sweet! Penny has brought you many years of joy.ReplyDelete
How sweet it is, to quote Jackie Gleason. Penny is the bundle of joy that has brought so many years of joy, for sure.
Happy 2016 to you and your loved ones, Diane.
This is such a lovely post especially during this time of year. I think a bond was definitely formed that day when Penny entered your lives and you hers. I wish you all a very Happy New Year and may that love continue to be strong.
Reflective post and I think your light did shine...
I thank you for your very nice words, my lovely friend. A powerful, loving bond was indeed formed the day Penny came into our lives. She has taught many a lesson.
Reflections reflecting reflections and the light glows brightly.
A most peaceful, poetic 2016 to you.
Penny chose her new family very well indeed. Happy New Year, to all three of you :-)ReplyDelete
Awe, thank you. Penny is a very wise dog and besides, she gets loads of doggy treats :)
A Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, Annalisa.
Gary, may the new year bring you peace and quiet happiness mate, and may Penny see many more new years. A poignant post indeed. Happy New Year Gary (from soggy wet Scotland) RoseReplyDelete
Thank you, Rose. Peace and quiet happiness, yes please! :) Here's to Penny being here and shining brightly for many more new years, indeed.
Oh my, isn't our weather rubbish! And a wonderful 2016 to you and your nearest and dearest.
Well now my eyes are swimming and I can't see to type so you'll have to forgive any 'typos'. What a beautiful post and lovely pictures. Happy New Year to you Gary and To Tristan and Penny as well. May all things bright and beautiful come to all of you in 2016.ReplyDelete
Bless you and well done for I see no typos :) Thanks for your very kind words about the post and pictures.
A Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, Delores.
Can't help it, I'm teary thinking of all the love the three of you share. Very moving. Very magical. And the fact you continually share it with the world is wonderful. Happy New Year.ReplyDelete
Awe, lovely lady, thank you. I know such stories need to be shared and such sharing makes me understand how blessed I truly am.
Here's to you and all your loved ones having the most awesome of New Year's.
I hope you enjoyed a peaceful and loving Christmas, and I wish you all the best for the New Year.ReplyDelete
It was the best Christmas in many a year. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas on Vancouver Island.
A Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, good sir.
Well, there you go, tugging at my heartstrings with this beautiful post. I wish you all a beautiful 2016. And I thank you for being a part of my blogging circle. Happy New Year!ReplyDelete
How very nice of you to say. Thank you, Martha. It's my honour to be part of such a blogging circle that you are in, my friend.
May you and your family have an awesome 2016.
Thank you for this shared joy. There is nothing like a dog to open one's heart to how simple and profound that love is. I've been blessed by many in my life.ReplyDelete
Continued love to you all, Happy 2016!
And thank you :) You have stated so well the loving link that our beloved dogs share with us. Yes, they bless us.
Here's to a peaceful, loving 2016 to you and your family, Laura.
Our three pups are like our children. To me, they are little four legged people and they are our kids. Couldn't picture a world without them. I posted about them yesterday.ReplyDelete
You stated it so well, my kind friend. I read that post and I hope others will check it out. Thank you and a peaceful 2016 to you and your loved ones including the three puppy children.
THIS...my friend is what it is all about!!!! Unconditional love...so beautifully conveyed! What handsome men you both are...and Penny (as we already know), is one GORGEOUS lady!! HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR fromReplyDelete
and of course...catchatwithcarenandcody
Hi Caren and Cody and Dakota and various furry and human co-stars,Delete
I know, dear Caren, that you relate so very much to this. The ambience of your posts makes that so very clear to see :)
Thank you and my son is a fine looking dude. As for me, thank you, but I did put up a warning on Farcebook in regards to my photo! :) Penny is such a cutie.
Here's to you and your loved ones having a most perfect and pawfect New Year.
Gary :) x
Love, love, LOVE the pics! What a journey of love :)ReplyDelete
Wishing all 3 of you all the very best that 2016 has to offer - I hope you all find peace and joy and laughter!!
Thank you so much for such nice thoughts :) Glad you loved the pics and the journey of love conveyed.
Here's to you and your loved ones having a most wonderful 2016.
OOOOOOOOOO, those photos are beautiful ( as you are, Gary )ReplyDelete
You're heart is gigantic and I just love you.
PS. do you have a strong accent? x love from MN
How very loving of you, my lovely lady friend! :) We both have gigantic hearts and your gigantic heart is there for all to see in every passionate word you write on your blog.
I have a very charming, pleasant, soothing Canadian accent that makes the ladies swoon. Or something like that :)
Here's to you, Mr. Liverpool and all your loved ones, having a magical, loving Minnesota New Year!
Gary :) xx
Sweet, sweet Penny and sweet, sweet Gary. Now, I don't I have ever called a grown man sweet before but I mean it nevertheless. Well, you know who's talking to you, Gary... never scary, always flairy.ReplyDelete
Happy new year. Keep that chin up :))
How sweet of you! :) Penny is sweet and you are sweet and that's just neat. Because, you are never scary, somewhat flairy, but that's fine by Gary.
And a chin up type New Year to you, kind sir.
Bottoms up.... here we goDelete
May 2016 be a better show
Ah, Mr GrumpsterDelete
Quite the adjuster
You're in luck
Butt in the air
Without a care
Happy Blue Year
Have no fear...
Love those photos! Happy New Year to you all, eh?ReplyDelete
How's it goin', eh? Glad you love those photos! :) Have a Happy Hoser New Year, Debra!
Gary, eh :)
I loved hearing the story of how Penny and Tristan picked each other. So sweet! I am so happy for you and Tristan that you have Penny in your lives and she is equally lucky to have you two. :)ReplyDelete
Wishing you a 2016 filled with good health, lots of laughs, peace and happiness.
I'm delighted you loved the story, Jess. It was one of those truly magical moments when Penny and Tristan picked each other. We are all lucky, indeed.
Here's to you and your loved ones having a most peaceful and loving New Year.
Awwww what a sweet post. Isn't it amazing how we pick dogs and they pick us? I can't imagine life without a dog!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Becca :) Indeed, we have that connection with that one special dog right away. Like you, my kind friend, dogs mean the world to me and very much to my son.
Have a peaceful New Year.
I have a cat who thinks he's a dog. Does that count too, Gary, never scary, always flairy?Delete
Oh hi Becca :)
You cat is an honorary dogDelete
Who should do a blog
Sort of like Pat in the Hatt
How about that.
And may there be many more new-years to share with your loved-ones. Beautiful post.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year, Gary and Penny :) xo
Lovely to see you again, my friend. Thanks for such kind thoughts, Wendy.
Here's to you and your loved ones have a most wonderful Down Under, 2016 and beyond.
Gary :) xx
You've raised a tear here Gary, a wonderful display of love. A fine family indeed, and love sent from here to you three also *smiles* - Michelle XxReplyDelete
My lovely friend, thank you and I know that your heart so relates to such love. It is written in your soul with the treasured, loving memories you have of your beloved Lardy.
Love and smiles to you and your family for a wonderful 2016.
Gary XX :)
There they all are. Penny and the Wee Ones. What a family.ReplyDelete
I don't cry (much) over people anymore but over animals.....buckets.
Each human has choices and if it doesn't agree with them, "That's it, baby. You made
that choice." But dogs.... OMG dogs, they can show a small preference but the humans
are totally responsible for that pet's welfare. The way I see it, Penny is the luckiest
canine in the world. Such love between human and dog is rare. Gary, the whole world loves
your relationship with Penny. Happy, happy New Year.
Yes, a family affair of shared love. Dogs are a marvel, a wonder, so courageous and yet so vulnerable. Penny is a cherished family member and my son and I feel lucky, feel blessed she's a profound part of our lives.
Thank you for such a caring, thoughtful comment, my dear friend.
And a Happy, happy New Year to you, Manzanita.
Awww! So sweet! And it was so fun that you kept it a surprise; that made it so dramatic and special for Tristan. I'm sure Penny chose him too - she's one smart cookie! Wishing you, Tristan, and Penny a wonderful 2016!!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you. A surprise that made my son's face light up with a beaming joy. She was one smart cookie, indeed! :)
A peaceful, hopeful 2016 to you and your loved ones, Lexa.
Ah yes, where we would be if only we could harness the love of a dog and somehow infuse this special power into humans who perhaps need a booster shot of love.ReplyDelete
Brilliant pictures of Tristan and Penny (and you, too, lad :)
Wishing you all the very best of peace, love and happiness for 2016 and beyond.
The world is your oyster - just remember to wash it first :)
Indeed, good sir, indeed! I can think of a few folks who could do with a booster shot of love :)
Glad you liked the photos and even the one of Charles Bronson, as in the actor and not one of the UK's most notorious prisoners.
Thank you and here's to you and your loves ones having an awesome 2016.
I shall now wash my oysters before I clam up for the evening.
Oh, so sweet, those pictures. And my eyes are filling up. All the best to your and your son and Penny in 2016.ReplyDelete
Thank you for that, my kind friend. You sensed the powerful emotions. And all the best for 2016 for you and your loved ones.
If you read this comment, I cannot seem to find a blog by you. Thank you.
Hi Gary, I do not have a blog. I only seem to have enough words to leave comments. Maybe some day, when I find extra words hanging around, I will try :)Delete
Thank you for letting me know. I look for to the possibility that some day you will have the extra words to formulate a blog! :)
Take care and thanks again.
What a beautiful, beautiful story. As long as people like you exist, we're going to be fine.ReplyDelete
Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, good sir. Have an awesome New Year.
Awwwwww, Gary, this is such a sweet post. I love seeing Penny at 2 months old, sooooo cute. And I had no idea she has already spent 15 wonderful years with you and Tristan. She's a lucky girl and so are you two, I'm sure :)ReplyDelete
I hope 2016 will be an amazing, wonderful, happy and healthy year for all of you!
Best wishes from Germany,
How very nice to see you and I should of commented on your last post, of which I did read. An going story of love between Keith and your kind self.
Thanks for thinking this is a sweet post, Beate. Indeed, over the years, the love, the bond between Penny, Tristan and I, grows ever stronger. She is the loving inspiration.
Here's to you both and the rest of your loved ones have a peaceful, positive 2016.
Hugs from England,
Love this post! I think it's perfect that you have a picture of Penny and your son from 15 years ago, and one with them together now.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful New Year! I wish you all the best in 2016!
Thank you so much, Sherry! :) The changes and the love that continues to grow, captured 15 years on.
And an awesome 2016 to you and your loved ones, Sherry.
Hello again. I don't know whether you have noticed but we could be brothers. Check out my sidebar. The resemblance between you and my younger self is uncanny.ReplyDelete
Hello again, Mr. RWP. Maybe we are brothers. I did notice the resemblance as noted in my comment on your blog, good sir. The early photo of you looks quite a lot like me when I were but a little lad living in London.Delete
Gary, Penny and Tristan,ReplyDelete
Happy New Year!! This just made my heart smile and truly brought a tear to my eye. I believe that God put dogs on the earth to help heal us and bring us true, unconditional love. Thanks for sharing this with us.
We all thank you kindly :) I'm very pleased at the emotional reaction this post caused for you, my kind friend. I believe dogs and all our beloved animals, teach us lessons of true, unconditional love. If only more of us would listen to their lessons and you truly have.
Have an amazing, happy 2016, Elsie.
A blessed New Year for you and yours! :-)ReplyDelete
And to you and your loved ones, a most wonderful, peaceful 2016. Thank you, Misha.
Happy 2016 to you, Gary, Tristan and Penny. Blessings to some special blogging friends. :O)ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear lady. Of course, a happy, writer's block free New Year to you, dear Madeleine! :)
You can't beat that kind of love, and having it for such a long time is very special, indeed. Here's to more of the same in 2016.ReplyDelete
Indeed, such love, etched in the heart for all of eternity. More of the same in 2016 would be wonderful.
A peaceful, loving, special New Year to you and your loved ones, Lee.
Awww! LOVE the pics! Animals are so wonderful. So much better than people.ReplyDelete
Hi Riot Kitty,Delete
Thanks for that, my Kitty friend :) Agreed, animals are wonderful and so much better than people, even a Riot Kitty!
A pawesome 2016 to you.
I remember the day Mathew and I picked up Patches, a very similar experience, we were so in love with that tiny bundle of joy. Such beautiful memories still held close. Thank you for the reminder. If only that kind of love could fill the world and erase the evil that swirls with such horrific results. I'm with you in hoping for love to fill our New Year!ReplyDelete
Wishing peace, love, and health for you, Penny and Tristan in 2016!
That's a heart-warming recollection, Yolanda. Memories of love for Patches, forever held in your hearts. Here's to Patches. You realised the underlying message in the post. The evil in this world needs to stop and learn about love, regardless of ideologies, or lack of.
Thank you, Yolanda, a peaceful, loving 2016 to you and your nearest and dearest :)
It would be wonderful if every young boy and girl could grow up with a pet to love, and if every pet were as well-loved as your Penny. May all of you have a happy new year filled with peace and joy.ReplyDelete
It would be magical world if all children could have a beloved animal to be a very special part of their lives, indeed. Penny knows of our love as we most certainly know of hers. Thank you for your kind comment, Susan.
A peaceful, positive 2016 to you and your loved ones.
How sweet it is. You're a buzzin, lovin crew.ReplyDelete
Precious photos and words, Gary.
Love to you and yours.
Awe, thank you :) Yes indeed, we is da buzzin', lovin' crew n'stuff!
I appreciate your lovely comment, Robyn.
Hugs and loving hope, your way,
Gary :) x
So sweet. I have a spark with certain strays and animals in need of a home, and I know it's just meant to be. They become a part of the household and family.ReplyDelete
Thank you. Your love for certain strays and animals in need of a loving home is truly touching. Quite right, they are loving family members.
A wonderful 2016 to you, Medeia.
Aww, what a beautiful family and such sweet pictures. Made me choked up. Happy New Year to you and yours, Gary.ReplyDelete
What a nice way to put it. Yes, we are a family and the photos show the ongoing love through the passage of time.
And a peaceful, loving New Year to you and your loved ones, Julie.
I love these pictures, and hope you had a peaceful New Year's. Here's to a better year.ReplyDelete
Thank you and we appreciate that. So far, the new year has been peaceful and we continue on with realistic optimism.
A peaceful, better year to you and your loved ones, Shannon.
What a lovely post, Gary! I love how you remember the day Penny became part of your family so vividly. Pets truly do become part of our families.ReplyDelete
Have happy, healthy and blessed 2016.
That's very kind of you, Sharon. Thank you. The memories of that day Penny came into our lives is forever etched in my son's heart, my heart.
A happy, healthy and blessed 2016, back at you :)
What a lovely post. I feel all warm and fuzzy... and not just because I have a cat on my lap! Here's to a grand 2016 to all of you. :)ReplyDelete
How very kind of you to say that. Ah yes, a little extra warm and fuzzy to go along with the cat on your lap :)
And a lovely, hopeful 2016 to you and your loved ones, Christine.
What a lovely story, so much nostalgia.ReplyDelete
Thank you for saying that, my amazing friend. Nostalgia with a portion of the present. Take good care in Singapore.