Puppy Love | RecordCourier.com

Puppy Love

by Amy Alonzo

Lyndsey Howard and her 5-year-old daughter were planning on getting a potbellied pig — instead they ended up with a Shih Tzu puppy.

A couple weeks ago Howard's bosses, Debbie and Don Griep, owners of Cowboys Café in Minden, sent her a text saying they needed to find a new home for their young Shih Tzu. Howard didn't think twice — she immediately volunteered to take the pup.

"It wasn't something we were planning on doing," Howard said. "It's literally like having a newborn."

The Grieps had purchased the puppy in early March, but a series of medical issues struck and they suddenly found themselves juggling a new puppy between medical visits.

"It was too much for them at the moment," said Howard, who lives in Gardnerville Ranchos. "That's how we ended up with this little monster."

The "little monster" is Penny, a brown and black, 4.5 pound, 11-week old puppy who loves to chew on anything in sight.

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"We play together," said Howard's daughter, 5-year-old Bella Meza, a kindergartener at C.C. Meneley Elementary School. "We taught her tricks."

"For Bella, it's like having a little sister," Howard said — Penny likes to steal Bella's Barbie dolls.

Penny will eventually fill out to about 10 pounds, but for now, she's small enough to ride in Howard's purse on trips to the pet store or to pick Bella up from school.

For anyone interested in a furry friend of their own, Thursday was National Puppy Day, a day dedicated to encouraging the adoption of dogs from shelters and humane societies, and the Douglas County Animal Shelter has 10 young pups seeking homes.

The dogs range in age from 1-3 years-old and include pit and lab mixes and a husky, said shelter manger Janet Duzan. A $10 pet adoption fee includes mircochipping.

The Douglas County Animal Shelter is open for adoptions from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. It is located at 921 Pinenut Road.