Fur Friends at KaLex

Written By: Lynda Fox

Moe and Tenny take a walk with their owner on the Kendal campus.

When Sally Nunneley moved to Kendal at Lexington a few months ago, we were lucky to get a two-fer. That’s right: two wonderful new dogs to add to our canine census.

Tennyson, who goes by Tenny, is the older dog. He has been with Sally for all but the first eight weeks of his sixteen years of life. He is a red dachshund, now with silver overtaking the color, just as with many of us. Tenny has been lucky several times in his life, following the very unlucky death of his mother when he was one week old. His breeder refused to give up on him, and she successfully bottle-raised him and his four siblings. Then, as good fortune would have it, Tenny found his forever home with Sally. He rewards her every day by being a super loving cuddler. He considers himself human and loves to sit face-to-face with her.

Moe is the relative youngster, a rescue dog who came to Sally at one and a half years old, after losing his home to divorce and being in foster  care with nine other dogs. He was an “instant dog,” complete with shots and training. Now ten years old, he looks like a slightly larger version of a miniature pinscher, and genetic testing revealed him to be ½ miniature pinscher, ¼ chihuahua, and ¼ Rhodesian ridgeback, so it’s easy to see where his larger size comes from! Although not a snuggler, he made an immediate connection with Sally and with Tenny. From day one, there have never been any bad feelings or jealousy between the two dogs.

Having two dogs is not new to Sally. Because she previously had a very demanding career, she felt it only right to always have two dogs together. Over the years, she has alternated between dachshunds—the favorite pet of her childhood—and a longer legged dog. She wisely knows that “the old dog helps train the young one, and the young dog helps keep the old one young.”

Giving each dog personal attention, together and separately, is a priority for Sally. Every morning, after breakfast and going out, it’s game time, with different games to suit the different personalities. Tenny loves his toys and is a fetch dog. He trained himself to retrieve the toy, then taught Sally to throw it again—and again! Moe has no interest in toys and is all about treats. His games include “stand up and twirl” and “hide and seek.” For the latter, he first obeys “down/stay” while Sally hides two treats for him to sniff out.

Sally handled changes inherent in moving to Kendal in the way she handles everything: with logic and determination. Although the dogs have always been leash walked—frequently on the Chessie Trail—they previously had free access via doggie door to a fenced-in yard to do their business. Tenny has always been very business-like about it, but Moe was more of a sniffer and marker. With Sally’s patience, Moe has now mastered the art of giving a long bladder-emptying pee on her command: “Do your business; hurry up!”

Sally, Tenny, and Moe love being able to just walk out their door to hike the various Kendal trails and play in the Kendal Dog Park. And having tighter quarters encourages Moe to be less stand-offish. The dogs (as well as Sally!) are great additions to the Kendal community, because, as she says, “They are really good dogs, friendly to people and other dogs, and happy and content every day.”