Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Very Special Dog


Everyone has, or has had a special pet. One that just seems to complete you, whether it is a dog, cat, or more exotic pet. Well this story is about a very special dog, both in life and after.

Pepper was my Doberman Pinscher. She wasn't your average dobie and she never would have made the show dog circuit, but she was very special to me and her family.

A friend gave Pepper to me when she was only 7 weeks old. Two days after she came to live with us, she came down with a terrible illness that almost took her very young life.

With the help of a good vet, I nursed her back to health, yet she never grew to be quite as big as most female dobies. That didn't matter, she had a big heart.

We lived in the country and had a TV antennae tower, in order to receive the basic networks channels. The tower was behind our house and next to the fence where Pepper's doghouse was.

It just so happened that that tower was like a lightening magnet. Lightening struck it at least twice while we lived there.

Trust me when I say that Pepper hated and feared lightening after that. At the first distant rumble of thunder, she was hunting for another place to hide, definitely not in her doghouse!

Aside from the lightening, Pepper was fearless. She was an intelligent companion and family protector. She was well behaved and did just about anything I asked of her. She was a fierce guard dog when needed but was gentle to all who knew her. Pepper even loved cats, especially ours, whom she raised from a tiny kitten.

As Pepper got older, she went completely deaf; I suppose the cause was due to the lightening strikes and thunderous, roaring boom they caused. We were at home both times and it was like someone exploded a huge bomb in our back yard.

Due to her deafness, Pepper learned to literally read our minds. All I had to do was think of what I needed her to do and she, like the good dog she was, would obey instantly.

Pepper outlived most dogs of her type and was with me for 14 and a half years, until one day she was too old and sick to get up. I knew it was time and so did she. I called the vet and he drove out to our home.

As Pepper laid her head in my lap, she looked at me with those soft brown eyes, as if to say, "It's
ok, I'm ready."

I spoke the words, "I love you, my Pepper." and she exhaled and was gone. I bawled for hours.

Not a day went by that I didn't tear up every time her name was mentioned. I sometimes still do, yet I know she will always be with me... she showed me.

I buried her that day, in our back yard. Our other dogs would refuse to go near the grave.

Pepper was buried, wearing the red collar that was her favorite. She had others but she liked that one best.

It was a year after Pepper had died and I kept seeing movement on the back porch, a glimpse of Pepper as she spun round and round like she used to, when she knew I was about to step outside.

I figured it was just my imagination, wishful thinking. Pepper was gone and nothing could bring her back.

Our girl Sheltie (Bea) had made a home in Pepper's old doghouse but one day, Bea refused to go into the doghouse, even though it was raining.

I figured there might be a wasp nest or scorpion, so I pulled out the dog blanet and what came with it, was amazing. There in the blanet was Pepper's red collar. It was still buckled, just as it had been around her neck when we buried her.

I checked and Pepper's grave was undisturbed. All was as it had been.

Several years later we moved from that house, to a farm. We still had the cat that Pepper had raised, the cat who missed Pepper almost as much as I did.

I kept that collar and when my cat died at age 17 and a half, we buried him with Pepper's collar. They are together now and at peace.

I still miss them both. I always miss them but I know that they are always with me, in my heart.

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