Pets of Broadway: Mean Girls’ Jonalyn Saxer and Penelope Peanut

Pets of Broadway aims to highlight Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional productions while inspiring audiences through positive tales of pet owners in the business. We’ll be sharing the brand’s stories every other Thursday, so check back to read more about your favorite actors and actresses and their amazing animals!


Pets of Broadway


“I adopted Penelope about three years ago from Animal Haven. I had been thinking about adopting a dog and the only thing I knew I wanted was for the dog to be under eight pounds so they could travel with me. So I went to Animal Haven to look at another dog they had listed on their website and that dog was a little bit bigger than I thought it was going to be and then they brought out another dog and that one was still too big and not very friendly. I described what I did and how I needed the dog to be able to travel and they said ‘we have this other dog that would be perfect but she might be out of your age range.’ I said ‘oh I’ll meet her!’ I was willing to meet any and every dog because I didn’t want to limit myself.”


Pets of Broadway

“They brought down Penelope and she had been there for about two weeks. Her name was Nessa so I said ‘that needs to change!’ They found her on the street and she was about a pound and a half lighter than she is now. She had a huge bald spot on her butt and bald spots on her legs from allergies and stress chewing. I just held her in the shelter for half an hour and she just sat in my arms and gave me some kisses. They found her on the street and said she had all these allergies and was allergic to every protein except for venison. I was like’…ok…that’s fine.’ And she can’t eat dry food because her teeth were really bad. I’m like ‘that’s fine, yea…i’ll fill out an application.’ I knew the application processes could take a week or a month but for me I filled out the application and I think because she was a senior dog, I got a call later that day being like ‘your applications been approved you can come pick her up tomorrow.’ I’m like ‘oh my god I’m getting a dog, I’m not going home, I’m going to petco.”


“I picked her up the next day and took her to the vet. She had to have nine teeth removed because they were all decaying and she was just a little old lady. The allergies turned out to be more of a very sensitive stomach. I don’t feed her chicken or beef products. She eats mostly venison and some fish. My friend used to say, ‘I just imagine Penelope in the wild, hunting down deer.’ She still has an upset stomach sometimes and her go to is to barf on my pillow in the middle of the night so I usually stay away from anything that will make her stomach upset.”


Pets of Broadway


“When I adopted Penelope, I had recently closed Honeymoon in Vegas. I always knew I wanted a pet so I always said ‘when I get on Broadway years from now, I will get a pet and I will be settled. Then I got on Broadway and I was like ‘I feel like I should get a dog or something!’ I waited and thought if Honeymoon opens and we’re successful then i’ll get a dog. The show opened and the reviews were great but we were still kind of limping along so I was like ‘ok maybe I shouldn’t get a dog.’ Then I was unemployed and was still kind of looking and it was actually the best thing ever to get Penelope when I was unemployed. I had a job coming up in Dallas and then I had the out of town tryout for Gotta Dance so I knew I had a job and was somewhat financially stable but it was great to be unemployed when I got her because I could spend all day with her and didn’t have to leave her right after getting her. Then when I took her to Dallas with me, we were not in an apartment with my castmates. It was just me and Penelope in a one room apartment and that got us super bonded. We came back from that trip and she was my dog and she loved me and it was really fun to have her there. It’s always fun to have a dog out of town. She’s perfect. She’s the perfect dog. One of the best things was her being a senior dog. She doesn’t have that puppy energy. She just chills and she sleeps a lot and someone else trained her.”


“I just love her so much. She really changed my life. I didn’t think I could love something as much as I love her. I’m still young and I will want to have children in the future, but I can’t imagine loving anything as much or more as my dog. I’m sure I’ll love my children as much but not more! I believe she knows how much I love her. She’s the world’s most perfect dog. She’s my little princess.”

See Jonalyn Saxon in Mean Girls on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre.

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