By Luke Kenton
The dog days are well and truly over for this adorable pooch who, once left to die in a basement, now leads a life of adventure with her loving owners.
Though five-year-old Penni may now spend her days traversing, hiking and climbing around some of Nevada’s most spectacular mountain ranges, life hasn’t always been plain Abseiling for this adorably doggie, who once suffered continuous physical and mental abuse from her previous, vicious owners.
‘Left to rot’ in a basement, Penni, a Pitbull-mix breed, suffered vile abuse and neglect for the first two years of her life, before being cast onto the streets of the Bronx, New York, USA.
Spotted by a police officer after a number of days out fending for herself, Penni was rescued and taken to a local animal shelter, but her troubles didn’t end there; as a result of drastic over-population, she was immediately placed on the euthanasia list, with death seeming to be an inevitability.
Thankfully for the seemingly doomed pup, help was on its way, as just before she was scheduled to be put down, animal rescue volunteer group, ‘Fur Friends in Need’ intervened just in time, placing her in the care of first-time-owner, Blaine DeLuca.
Now, three years on, Penni’s previous life of shackles and neglect seems a far-cry from the reality she now leads with Blaine, wether it be zip-lining through Red Rock Canyons of Nevada or trekking the glorious mountain ranges of Utah.
Blaine, 29, who moved with Penni from New Jersey to Las Vegas Nevada, said: “Penni has changed my life, everywhere she goes she steals the show.
“She is such a loving and affectionate dog, it’s hard to believe that anyone would ever want to hurt her.
“She was terrified by everything when I first got her, I often had to wait till really late at night to walk her, because the noise from the busy city streets of New Jersey would physically leave her shaking in fear.
“Penni was so untrusting, she simply didn’t want to interact with the world.
“Every day was a real challenge, but gradually we got her over her fears.
“I started taking her on small nature trails during daylight hours to try and help her relax, she immediately responded.
“She was an entirely different dog in the solitude of the forest, that’s when I realised her taste for adventure.
“We then moved to Las Vegas, and knowing the success I had with taking her on small hikes in the past, I was not about to leave her out on these new adventures around Nevada.
“The hikes were not as nearly intense in the beginning, but as her passion became more and more evident, my confidence in her grew.
“Before long I had no reservations in taking her anywhere, there’s no terrain she can’t handle.”
Embarking on adventures around Nevada, California, Utah and Arizona, this travelled pooch is now well-traversed in long-distance hiking, rappelling, canyoneering, cliff-side scrambles and zip-lining.
And the adventures aren’t about to end there.
Blaine said: “Anyone that has trekked with Penni will agree that she is happiest when she is outside.
“Whether it’s on top of a mountain on walking on the sidewalk, her demeanor reaches a new peak when adventures are abreast.
“One highlight of our adventures together was when we hiked Havasu Falls in Nevada.
“We covered 40 miles over three days and saw everything the area had to offer, together.
“I would love to take Penni to some of the National Parks, but unfortunately that is currently not allowed.
“Every dog owner makes the decision – where consciously or sub-consciously, to fully integrate their dog into their family.
“You have the choice to treat your dog the way is deserves to be treated.
“So next time your pup greets you at the door with uncontrollable happiness, ask yourself the question: what did we do to deserve dogs?
“We share an incredibly unique bond when we are out experiencing these events.
“Not everyone can say they’ve been rappelling with their dog.”