My angel

Adopting Penelope probably wasn’t the most responsible decision Jem and I made, but it is by far one of the best decisions we’ve made together.

When puppy fever hits, it hits you hard. And stays! This wasn’t the first time we had run into this. Living in The Pearl, you see LOTS of dogs. At least two each block. Usually our response to talking about getting a dog was "after Jem graduates” or “after Katie goes full time in Photography” or “after we have a more permanent home”. Typically this puts the conversation to bed until the next time we pass by a shelter.

This time was different. The fever hit, and stayed. Longer than expected! Before we knew it, we found ourselves browsing the Humane Society page or Craigslist or a dog that needed a home. Adopting was important to us! We messaged a few owners who had older dogs because we figured it would be easier for us to handle, but didn’t hear back from any of them. We were discouraged and took it as a sign to just wait like we had planned.

Until we saw this sweet pup. The ad on her was brief and we were extremely hesitant because of how young she was (10 weeks at the time) and how little information the post said about her history. We didn’t want to pay a breeder and wanted to make sure that the dog we were adopting would be a good fit. So we arranged to meet her on a Sunday after Jem got off work.


I waited outside in the car thinking of all the names I could give her. Wynona and Penelope were the two I was bouncing between. I kept having to remind myself that this dog might not be the one, and that I couldn’t build up a personality for a dog I hadn’t met yet. But my imagination didn’t listen.

Jem got in the car and I told him that I loved the name Penelope (Penny for short) and I couldn’t let that go. “She’s sort of a bronze color like a penny! It will fit!”. Jem told me to calm down. We hadn’t even met her yet!


Her owner was a sweet older man who just wasn’t capable of taking care of the puppies his dog had surprised him with. We talked about the history of his dog and the father while he walked us over to meet them. He had named her Eleanor. Instantly we knew that was our dog. Jem and I thought about naming our dog Eleanor before considering Penelope, but we wanted to save that name for the future. It’s both of our favorite girl’s names.


She was spunky, excitable, curious, and fearless (we would find was temporary as she’s quite shy to strangers). She was sweet and gentle and so smart already. We laugh that we didn’t even have to discuss it. There was nothing to discuss. She was ours.


What kind of photographer would I be if I didn’t have a photoshoot with my dog? Okay, maybe this is a LITTLE ridiculous, but Penny is such a pretty pup I couldn’t resist!

I’m missing her a little more today as I look back at these photos. Jem has been so incredible taking care of her while I’m away. We FaceTime when we can, which confuses her since she can hear me but not see me, and I get frequent snapchats of her new tricks and silly behavior.

Maybe the decision to adopt her was spontaneous, but there’s no other dog that would be such a perfect fit for us.