Penni the dog spent her first year and half of life trapped in a drug house basement.
When she was rescued, she was scared of everything. Her owners had abused her constantly, both physically and verbally.
Rescuers were concerned Penni would struggle to get adopted. Then, Blaine DeLuca came into her life and changed it all.
DeLuca wanted to rescue a dog for awhile but had trouble finding his perfect match. Upon meeting Penni, he was warned of her past. The rescuers explained her timid nature and that it might take a little while for her to get comfortable with him.
DeLuca sat against a wall and Penni was slowly introduced. To everyone’s surprise, Penni wasn’t scared at all – she even licked DeLuca and sat on his lap!
In that moment, DeLuca knew he found his dog.
Once he brought Luna home, he realized how traumatized she must have been. Even the simplest things scared her.
“You could see it in every inch of her demeanor,” DeLuca told The Dodo. “She was absolutely terrified of everything under the sun. It was awful. It was an uphill battle for quite a while. I couldn’t even get her to walk. She would just sit in the corner with her head down. Six months, no eye contact; she was a full-blown disaster at that point.”
DeLuca had no intentions of giving up. He worked hard to get Penni comfortable. He had friends over with their dogs and even brought Penni into a home environment with other dogs – all he wanted was to get Penni feeling safe and happy.
While Penni was struggling, DeLuca was living in New Jersey. The weather was rather chilly, making it hard to go outdoors. The two lived downtown and the environment was far too reminiscent of where she came from.
So the pair moved to Las Vegas.
The hot climate of Las Vegas changed the game for Penni. With all the landscape to explore and the warm weather to embrace, Penni’s life began to change. Every hike DeLuca went on, she came along.
“At that point I could really start to see her demeanor change,” DeLuca said. “I realized how much she enjoyed being outdoors. We’ll sit inside and she’s just a normal dog, but as soon as you open the door to go outside, even if it’s just for a walk down the sidewalk, she just bolts into pure happiness.”
As DeLuca made friends with fellow hikers, Penni got more time to explore and meet new people. All the outdoor adventures gave her a new sense of confidence.
Suddenly, she was a happy and loving pit bull.
“She was terrified of anybody that walked anywhere near her,” DeLuca said. “If the door to the house opened, she would be in the bathtub. Now she comes to the door, tail wagging. Even every inanimate object, like if I pulled out a basketball for instance, she would take off in the other direction, versus now, she’ll sit out in the driveway with me when I’m shooting a basketball.”
Now, Penni and DeLuca go on as many adventures as they can.
To zip lining!
Penni loves facing new and exciting challenges. She shows DeLuca endless trust and is entirely brave no matter what they do.
Penni’s transformation is a story that helps change the current perceptions of pit bulls. She proves that pit bulls can do anything – and then some! They are loving and trusting dogs. Penni’s Instagram is great proof of her calm demeanor.
“On the days I’m wanting to go do something and I maybe can’t find anybody to go with me, it’s awesome to know that I’ve always got her,” DeLuca said. “There’s not one time where I’ve ever taken her out where she wasn’t excited, wasn’t ready.”
Penni’s life began in total darkness, trapped indoors. Now, she embraces the sunlight and the great adventures that await outside. Of course, Penni still struggles with some anxieties, she has come farther than anyone could have hoped.
“She is who she is at this point,” DeLuca said, “and I wouldn’t trade her for any other dog on the planet.”
Source: The Dodo