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Breca, German Shepherd baby.


Breca a little older; she may be familiar to anyone with whom Penny emailed as she loved to share pictures

Breca, big girl now and showing the red colouring in the black Showing she was the dog of a linguist interested in language acquisition, she chewed the cover of one of Penny's books; it was 'The Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold!

Penny Simmons

Walking with Breca in Gentlemans Walk, Norwich


Then along came Kees, another long-haired black Shepherd

but a Belgian [Groenendael] this time, rescued, and a sad boy at first.



But he soon learned to smile with Penny's unconditional love


And loved trips to the forest *************** **** And of course snow!

And he was still smiling when he was quite old, thanks to Penny



After Kees had taught what a joy Belgians are, after a long life he left us as they all must, but along came Kai, another rescued Groenendael in need of her love. Almost feral at first, he was scared of everyone, and wanted to hide in the garden. Penny's total hands-on attitude – 'You behave as if you love them, and very soon you do!', changed that slowly and his beautiful personality shone. Bonding accomplished by an expert in love.

Kai babyKai lammy

Quite a beautiful boy, allowed to shine *********He loves his toys, here with Lammy


A very affectionate boy, ever grateful & demonstrative for being rescued - home at last

Kai forestKai and Penny

Penny Simmons

Walking among the bluebells

Then after Herefordshire and Mortimer Forest came Scotland and deeper snow than he'd ever known, a delight.

And after the wilds of Scotland, he has settled in North Norfolk and the beach and common where freedom again is possible

Then there was Freya whose rescued Lurcher mother met a Dalmation ...


Freya was mothered by Breca, then bossed Kees as his older sister after he took Breca's place. She then took on Kai and helped him become a normal dog after an unknown puppy ordeal left him traumatised when Penny rescued him and gave him his forever home. Unfortunately for Freya, Kai wasn't interested in chasing after balls or frisbees, her two major interests, he was puzzled why humans kept throwing things away only to shout 'fetch'. Freya enjoyed Herefordshire, Scotland and Norfolk again, where she grew up in Norwich, and where she eventually died and is buried under a weeping cherry tree Penny planted for her, and a rose called Freya.



Penny Simons

They were all on a promise, there would be something for each of them - in the middle is Freya's sister Poppy

Penny's love of dogs was evident in her regular support for years of Dogs Trust, and also in her Friendship status with PDSA, she was a PDSA Best Friend for over eleven years as the certificate below shows.


One thing Penny was always proud of was the dogs she had rescued. But she was more than just a dog lover. She fed birds in any garden she had, never stinting on the cost, her motto: 'no one should go to bed hungry', and none did in her garden.

In Herefordshire she fed a blackbird [with a pure white tail feather] who became quite used to her, feeding by her feet, even bringing his mate and babies to meet her and be fed. She called him Deryn Dhu, Welsh for Blackbird, and a possible source of 'derring do' since blackbirds are colourful characters and a bit feisty.

And in Scotland, the Magpie strutted


She gave regularly to Dogs Trust with a monthly standing order to support the brilliant work they do to save the victims of uncontrolled dog breeding; dogs as fad or fashion statement, abandoned when interest lost. As a linguist, she couldn't help studying their cognition, and how they interacted with her, and gave 'voice' to their communication with gestures and body posture. Her dogs always had a huge vocabulary of English words they knew well, and were able to understand sentences not just known words. She estimated they have the approximate mental age of a 6 year old human child as far as reasoning went, but a mature dog was more 'mature' than any six year old! Having had a lot of experience with children and language acquisition, she was a good judge. Only recently have beahavioural scientists stated that dogs have a mental age of roughly a six year old child! Again, Penny was there first, but unpublished and unsung. And all her dogs had a similar smile.

She volunteered to work for a seal sanctuary on the Norfolk coast while living in Norwich, and learned how to handle and feed baby and adult seals, as well as a variety of other injured species the sanctuary took in; guillemots, a kestrel, owls, herring gulls, etc. She took them all in her stride and treated them with calm kindness as fellow beings on planet Earth in need of her care.


Penny Simmons & seals

Penny feeding her rescued seal babies on the Norfolk coastal rescue 'They're very like dogs' she said.

The music playing is 'Solitudes - Rituals of winter' all about wolves