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A Rescue Dog Story – in Memory of Pepper Ann

by on January 22, 2014 - Leave a Comment

Pepper Ann, a Rescue Dog

Today I lost a friend. Her name was Pepper Ann. Not a name I would have given her, but it suited her well. She was a little spitfire, and made her presence known wherever she was. And she was, well, very peppery!

Pepper was saved from being euthanized last year by the Schnauzer Rescue of Florida. The person that rescued her couldn’t keep her as she barked incessantly at all the other dogs in the house. That’s how she came to live with us, and what lead me to write this rescue dog story.

I thought she was beautiful when I first met her. She was all black, and her coat was wavy and thick. When it was time to go, she hopped in the front seat for the long ride home, never whimpering or acting restless. When we got home, she bounded out of the car and into the house to check things out. And quickly settled into her “wannabe” alpha role. That’s when I realized what all her barking was all about!

Pepper wasn’t your typical Schnauzer. She wasn’t a lap dog. She loved being petted, and loved human attention, but was distrustful. We were always wondering what she had been through to be so untrustful of others. That’s the thing when you foster. You don’t always get the history.

She would get up in all the other dogs faces and bark at them, as if to say, “Hey, listen to me! I said don’t go there! That food is my food! Don’t do that! That’s mine!” OMG! It was so funny, because all the other dogs would just ignore her and move on. I suppose the barking came from not having food. She was a stray and very underweight when found. She didn’t take well to sudden movements or handling, either. We were bitten a few times initially. But with time and patience, Pepper grew to trust us, and we never had a problem with her. Although the barking never stopped. We just got used to it. Tuned it out – just like we do sometimes with the people we love when they get “noisy.”

Pepper had this puppy-like behavior. I used to think she was ‘special” because she acted so much like a puppy. She would trot about – always wanting to be on the move, ears flapping, gangly legs hopping about. “Hey, what are you doing! I said don’t do that! You can’t play unless I say! Hey, what about me!,” she would bark at all the others. Again, everyone would ignore her.

And as time went on, she came to trust us. She would lie on her back and let us rub her belly (a BIG trust issue for those of you that are familiar). We could pick her up anytime, in any way, with no protest from her. She would follow us around the house everywhere. She would sometimes whine, “Hey, what about me? Why don’t you listen to me? I need you to pet me!” She was, well – as I said before – peppery. And maybe a bit salty too.

A little while back, she had a major seizure. They called it Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome. I guess that was the beginning of the end, because she never was the same after that.

She passed on to what those in the pet world call “The Rainbow Bridge.” Thankfully, she appears to have passed in her sleep. I had to write this in memory of her. She made me feel like I was able to fix something, or make things better in a world that is often filled with disappointments and cruelty. She was, as most dogs are, loyal and unconditionally loving – in her own special way. And I am glad to have been a part of her life.

Thanks, Pepper, wherever you are.

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