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Today’s post is a little bit hard for me. It’s in memory of the first dog I ever got to know. His name was Pepper, and we just needed to put him down yesterday.
Pepper bounced into our lives almost 14 years ago. He was an adorable little puppy, and stole my heart instantly.
After all, what young girl doesn’t want a puppy?
From the first moment we got him, his personality was apparent. Whereas most dogs eventually stop whining at night, this one didn’t. Seriously. He was one of the most stubborn little critters I’d ever met. But that didn’t matter to me- he was absolutely adorable.
For a number of years, he was energetic, too. As soon as he was strong enough or large enough, he was jumping over anything in his way. His favorite place to jump onto was the couch.
(I unfortunately don’t have any pictures of him being energetic, mostly because my camera skills were not the best.)
He would also do anything for a treat. Seriously. It was adorable when we were training him. We taught him how to shake hands, especially after sitting. Sometimes, when he was extremely intent upon receiving the cheese and we told him to sit, he would just give us his paw to shake hands. (He learned combinations very well.) Similarly, he would frequently roll over when we told him to lie down.
Some people say that humans are the only ones able to smile, but Pepper was a proof by counterexistance that the statement is false. He had one of the cutest smiles.
He put up with so much, too. He was one of my favorite photoshop subjects… (Expand the following picture for its full “glory”.)
He put up with bandanas (and looked adorable in them).
He was sometimes a little derpy. But what dog isn’t?
He was extremely lazy, except for when there were treats involved. Or when it came to finding good places to sleep… If he saw a soft place, he would get onto or into it.
He sometimes looked ridiculous. Especially after a bad haircut (which I can’t find pictures of) or after he got wet. (The dog on the right is Pepper.)
I can’t find any good pictures of this either, but he had an interesting way of indicating when he was happy. Unlike other dogs, which wag their tails, Pepper would arch his tail over his back. When he was younger and generally cheerful, his wakeup routine was darling. He would wake up, stretch back, and then as he was stretching forward, his tail would just go vwoop! over his back at the same time he stretched his tongue.
We would constantly make fun of him. He was cute, but also very lazy, and selectively intelligent. (He could figure out what you wanted him to do if you had a treat for him. Otherwise, no.)
That position of his was a frequent one. His lack of activity earned him the nickname “meatloaf.”
He was also a greedy guts, and would wolf things down. (He illustrated why the term is “wolf things down”, actually…)
Recently, for example, our other dog got a tomato. She didn’t know what to do with it, and treated it like a ball. Well, as soon as she looked away, Pepper was able to steal it.
Pepper was an absolute sweetheart. He frequently hid it well, but he was sweet. And sometimes, that sweetness, playfulness, and head-tilting attentiveness while you were talking to him would shine through.
Goodbye, Pepper. I’ll miss you.