Penny’s Doggy Treats. Penny 20, adores her 9 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Princess. Princess is Penny’s taste tester. Penny is involved in the entire doggy treat making process from mixing and kneading to packaging and adding tags. At the moment, the treats are peanut butter and honey flavoured with a view to making mint ones (mint is very good for doggy breath). Treats are sugar free. Penny’s selling them at the South Geelong Farmer’s Market which is held on the third Sunday of the month. She has a facebook page Penny’s Doggy Treats www.facebook.com/Pennys-Doggy-Treats-473055809693851/
I had the pleasure of catching up with Penny, the girl with the radiant smile, her helper Rachel and Mum Liz. Rachel has been with Penny for over 6 years and feels part of the family. She also has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lola, who is the same age as Princess, ‘They are the best of friends.’ Penny attended Roslyn Primary School and graduated last year from Belmont High with a VCAL Foundation Certificate.
‘We did our own version of Schoolies. I went with Penny and a close friend of hers, Emily who she went through school with, to Merimbula. We had a week up there watching Disney Movies, going for long walks, using the accessible playground and mixing cocktails,’ says Rachel. ‘Malibu and pineapple was my favourite’ adds Penny.
The Doggy treats are her first business venture, but she’s also been very busy on other projects. For years Liz has been commissioning Penny to make Birthday and Christmas cards. Rachel and Penny attend Kaiser Crafts card making sessions. One day she might branch out and sell these as well.
On Fridays she attends a speech and social group. She and her friends, Brodie and Abby, won the ‘Scope Best Group Writing Award’ for the picture story book they produced,
‘Sarcastic Blue Diarrhoea’. Each author chose a character. Penny chose to be a Florist and also chose the location for the story, Fiji. The other two mischievous characters are a yellow monster and a gnome. Penny told me she’d love to go to Fiji and Rachel added ‘only if I can come’.
‘The three friends make such a great team that we’d love Brodie and Abby to join the Doggy Treats Venture. We’d like to find an industrial kitchen to work out of as we need a fair bit of space.’ Having Cerebral Palsy has meant the girls are all in large chairs. Cerebral palsy affects a person’s ability to move due to damage to the developing brain.
Penny adds ‘Thanks to the NDIS I have a new communication device and wheelchair that allows me to stretch and stand up. My helpers come to my home and help get me out of bed and take a shower. I was able to write and illustrate the book that was published. I’m able to attend volunteer work at Kalkee Aged Care with a helper once a week. I’ve been able to develop my own business, Penny’s Doggy Treats. I’m able to be independent, live my own life and not rely on my parents.’
Penny is the second eldest of 4: Angus (22) has recently graduated from Deakin University as engineer, and Penny’s two younger brothers, Hamish (17) and Sam (13), are in secondary school. Liz lectures in Economics at Deakin University. Dad is in the Airforce and is often away with work.