"Penny" is for Jackie, who commissioned the painting for her mom's birthday. Penny was part Lab and German shepherd, and possibly greyhound as well, because she was skinny and fast. She was an active and adventurous dog. She loved Vermont, where Jackie's parents have a place. Penny would run around, explore the pond, and get lost in the woods.
Penny loved turkey. She would get some meat from the turkey whenever the family had it for dinner. One time they left a turkey carcass in the garbage can and left the house for a party. When they came back, the garbage can was still latched and upright. However, Penny somehow got the carcass out and had a party of her own with the leftover meat!
She loved sleeping with Jackie's parents. When she got too old to jump on their bed, they slept for months on a mattress on the floor. In the reference photo for the painting, she was on her own dog bed, in which she never really slept. That's the place Jackie's mom would say goodbye to Penny everyday when she left for work and still says goodbye when passing it.
Jackie shared many more stories about Penny, who was her childhood dog. They grew up together and went through their awkward stages together. She hopes that her mom doesn't cry when she sees the portrait. I hope Jackie doesn't cry either!