A week ago
our family lost the most reliable member.
Her name was Pepper
She was a three time loser, rescue.
When we found her at the pound,
she stood at the front of her cage
looking very sad
she did not bark like all the other dogs around her
she did not flinch or cower in the corner
she just stood there
looking me eye to eye
never looking away
I knew then and there she was coming home with us
When they took her out of the cage
for us to be introduced
the first thing she did was get up on her haunches and give me a hug
Mind you, although she was only 6 months old
she was already 50 pounds and as tall as me when she did that
Again, while hugging me we looked eye to eye
there was no licking
She introduced herself to the whole family that way
all four of us received a hug from her
Because she had been returned a few times, we wanted to know why.
she hated loud noises,
she was a runner,
she was getting too big....
we decided we could handle all of that
As so it began,
life with Pepper.
She had a lot of anxiety already for a pup so young
she cried when things were too loud
she desired comfort from us when she was scared.
Not once was she aggressive.
She was so gentle and loved everyone that came into her world.
For the house on Boston St. was her world, her kingdom.
All were welcome.
She became the official greeter when people came to the door.
She attentively hosted new comers
Participated in all manner of social activities we had.
And when guests would stay over night,
she was quick to make sure they were safe and breathing.
She would also take it upon herself to make sure all were up
and awake each morning.
She did not do this by barking,
but instead by gently getting close to a person's face
and staring until they woke up.
When she or others were cold, she would offer to sleep next to them.
Which was great, since she grew to be a large 80 pound companion.
She was a great watcher of the house as well.
Every day she would walk the perimeter inside and out
to make sure everything was in order.
As she got older she would often lose her footing or get stuck.
We began to use the phrase, "back it up, back it up, back it up"
and she would.
She would step backwards
until she got to a place where she could right herself.
She was smart
She loved popcorn,
and to sneak around the oleanders.
She was super sensitive when someone was hurting or sad
She loved car rides and often would invite herself
to ride along with whoever was leaving,
when she needed to get out of the house for a while.
It was very hard leaving her behind when we moved to Pennsylvania
But at her old age, we knew the cold would be too much for her
It was almost too much for me!
She made many friends over the years
In the end
old age and disease took the best of her
now all that remains are memories
and our family will forever miss her....
I believe that God brings people,
places, things and even animals into our lives to teach us.
Pepper taught our family many things
**redemption is always possible
**everyone has something lovable about them
**living in the moment is an option
**forgiveness is ongoing
**forgetting past hurts can occur
**every day is a new day to start over and start again
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NCV)
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.
Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others.
Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.
Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth.
Love patiently accepts all things.
It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.