PENELOPE GRACE (PENNY), MY GREAT NIECE
I've recently been allowed the pleasure of babysitting for my 3-month-old grand niece, Penelope Grace, and in fact, was at her house yesterday. Before I left my home, I stuck a few small dog treats in my coat pocket for Molly, the gentle black lab in residence. I'd barely gotten inside the door at Penny's house when Molly smelled the treats and began tugging on my coat. I thought that was cute and promptly gave her two treats then hung my coat on the rack in the hallway and didn't give it another thought.
Shortly after Penny's mom left for work, I took the baby upstairs to bathe her and change her clothes. As I was bathing Penny, I began to hear a loud piercing car alarm going off and the longer I heard it, the more annoying it became. I kept wishing the person who owned the car would check it and shut off the noise. Eventually, the sound stopped and I was relieved. Just as I started to put Penny in her crib for a nap, the car alarm sounded again and that time I was even more irritated and determined to find out whose car was making the racket and disturbing the baby (and me).
After placing Penny in her crib and turning on the baby monitor, I went downstairs and opened the front door. The loud sound seemed to be coming from directly in front of the house, but that couldn't be....MY car was parked in front of the house and I didn't have my key in hand. Penny and I were the only people in the house and I knew she hadn't touched my car key. I turned from the front door and there in the hallway lay Molly - on my coat with the corner of it in her mouth. She had smelled the dog treats that remained in my pocket and helped herself to them. I don't know how she was able to pull the coat down from the peg but she did so without tearing it. There were two problems with her helping herself to the treats. One was that she'd been unable to actually get the treats out of the coat pocket.....and the other was that my car key was IN the pocket along with the treats. Molly had been chomping down on the treats so all that was left of them was crumbs. As she chewed the treats through the pocket fabric, she had also been biting down on the key fob and setting off the car alarm. At least the mystery was solved. I'm still amazed that she didn't bite a hole through my pocket but the coat and pocket remain intact. She's a very sweet dog but next week I think I'll put the treats where she can't reach them until I decide when to offer them to her. She's nothing if not self-reliant.