Friday, September 9, 2011

Pepper has gone to the Bridge

Pepper.  Sometime in 1995 - September 9, 2011. 
A sweet, sweet girl
A good, good, dog

Pepper passed away, unassisted, at the vets today, shortly before 1:00 pm this afternoon.  The cause is unknown still - perhaps her Cushings, perhaps pancreatitis, perhaps tainted dog food - all we know is that she became very ill yesterday and never recovered.  She was sixteen years old, twice an SPCA dog, and I was her foster mama. I feel sick that she could not die at home in my arms, and devastated to think she might feel she was abandoned once again.  I hope with all my heart that the pain meds took away her awareness of her surroundings, and that she knew she was loved to the very end.

Pepper, Boney Pepperoni, Peppy Pepsi Coli, sweet, sweet girl.  You were with me for only 6 weeks, but oh how I fell in love with you. Your big eyes hypnotized me, commanding me to get you food, take you for a walk, go to bed because you were tired and couldn't sleep without me.  There was no denying you anything - you knew how to make your needs known, and did so in a quiet but very persistent way.

You loved to go for walks, and you demanded a walk shortly after breakfast and again in the evening.  You never let me get away with being lazy or feeling rushed.  We walked.  You barreled along, nose to the ground in true houndy-dog fashion, and after a few blocks, energy exhausted, you looked at me sadly as you slowed to a plod and whispered "Could you please carry me home?"  I couldn't, so we very, very slowly plodded home together.  We had such great walks together, Pepper, and I shall miss them.

You were obsessed with food, firm about consistent meal times, ready to chase the other dogs out of the kitchen if dinner might be happening soon.  You were impeccable in your manners around other dogs as long as no food was near, and you learned quickly to respect the cat's space and right to be here too. You slept beside my bed, but only if I was there - never would you go to bed without me.  We both got up each night so you could go pee, because you were fastidious about doing your business outside and old age/weak bladders just seem to go together.  I hope you don't think that you were sent away to the vets because you soiled in the house on your last day here.  You did nothing wrong, though you clearly showed concern for those big messes on the carpet.  It's okay Pepper - it wasn't your fault.

On your last afternoon here, when I knew I needed to get you to the vet, Sadie left her spot watching over Charley and moved to watch over you.  I guess she knew it was your time. 

There's an empty food bowl on the counter tonight, and an empty bed on the floor.  But at the Rainbow Bridge, a sweet shepherd-hound cross is running free, full of life and energy and joy once again. 

Bye, Pepper.  You were one great dog.

I wonder if it's dinner time yet?

Pepper at the beach

Cooling the paws in the water

Sadie watching over Pepper on her last day at home

Pepper.  Forever Loved.


Karen said...

She was very much your dog, Jean. My condolences on her passing. Very few big dogs live to such an extreme old age...she was so lucky to have you in her final weeks, and I have no doubt that she knew she was deeply loved.

EvenSong said...

So sorry for your loss. Know that you gave her the love that she deserved right up to the end (and that she understands about the vet trip).

Anonymous said...

I am stunned to read this and so very sorry Jean, but glad for Pepper to be pain free again.

What a wise and good girl Sadie was to spend time beside her and comfort her as she started not to feel well.


Anonymous said...

Oh very sorry..RIP sweet Pepper...Jean she had a grand time with you even tho it was not for a long time...blessings to you and pepper and your furkids..


Anonymous said...

Hugs to you Jean. She was a real sweetie and I'm so happy so was able to enjoy the last 6 weeks of her life c/w a personal attendant.

Daragh said...

Knowing the wonderful vets in this town, I am sure Pepper was held and loved and did not feel alone....

Sheryl said...

I am so, so sorry. Pepper knew how much she was loved. Dogs always know.

Rest in Peace, sweet girl.

Brigid said...

I ache for you, Jean, having just lost my cat this week. You were both blest to have each other, and I'm sure she knew (and knows) that she was well loved.
But it hurts...

Black Jack's Carol said...

I'm so very sorry, Jean. RIP Pepper. You never doubted that you were loved - I feel sure of that.

Funder said...

Oh, I'm so sad for you! I'm crying too. :( I'm sure she knew the vets were good people who cared about her - you would not take her somewhere uncaring.

Dawn said...

Jean, you did such a good thing to give Pepper a loving last home. You took her in when few would, knowing that her time with you would be short.

Some good news as well, I now know that my Daphne is in a loving home with a friend of mine. Her problem with the other female dog has been resolved. It is so great to know that my beloved dog is well and happy.

If we are able to know about the world after we pass over, Pepper's former people had the comfort of knowing the same for her. What a gift you gave them, knowing their beloved dog was loved even after they had to leave her.

Linda said...

I'm so sorry, Jean. You gave her the best weeks of her life.

King said...

She knew you loved her and she knows now, as she watches over how much you're grieving that the situation was out of your control. You did what you knew to be the best at the time. Take a few deep breathes and rejoice in her freedomw from pain now.
Run free now with your young again, smoothly shaped, angel body Pepper!
Warm Hugs
Del & Mark & The Royals

Anonymous said...

Jean I just read this and I'm very sorry Pepper left you so soon. But what a great place for her to be for those last few weeks. Thank you for taking her in.

Deb S.

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

I am very sorry that she has passed. Thank you for showing Pepper so much love while she was in your home.

Anonymous said...

Pepper was such a beautiful soul. I could see it in your photos and stories. My condolences for your loss of this very special dog.

Thanks to your kindness, Pepper lived out her remaining time in your caring home. I'm sure she felt she had finally found her family.

Wishing you comfort and fond memories.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jean, I'm so sorry to read this post.

Thank you for taking Pepper "home". And she knew it, don't worry about the last day at the vets, she knew home at your place for the last weeks of her life. Lucky dog.

Unlucky you to fall in love again, and lose that love so soon.

I'm really sorry.

Sincerely, Sharon

Birdlady said...

Oh, Jean - I'm so very sorry about Pepper. Thank goodness she spent her last days with you - she would have known she was loved. Rest in peace, Pepper.

Janice Gillett said...

Oh Jean i am so very sorry for your loss and such an unexpected and tragic turn of events. Please don't think of him not being with you when he crossed as he most certainly was under your blanket of care and from where he runs now he surely must be filled with love and gratitude as he carried those gifts when he left our world from yours.
Take comfort Jean that you in the days we count your Pepper was with you was a life time of love , walks and freinds in his.

Jean said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind thoughts. Pepper is very much missed around here.
Ironically, I learned today that Bobbie, the little sheltie I almost adopted recently but who was palliative and went to live with Gail of Big Heart Rescue, died on the same day as Pepper at almost the exact same time - as an earthquake hit our islands. No doubt that shaking was the effect of many paws racing to greet them at the Bridge. How beautiful that they should enter together.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Oh Jean, I am very sorry for your loss. I have tears on my eyes... Pepper was a real sweetie and I loved her at the first moment I saw her in your blog.
Her sweet and lovely big eyes hypnotized me too. Pepper knows that you gave to her much love.
I am very sorry...
With a warm embrace to you.