July 9, 1993...that was the day that Pepper came into my life. After hearing a story on the news about a litter of puppies thrown away on the side of the road without their mother on a hot summer day, my sister and I decided that we would each like to adopt one of the puppies to join our families. The little puppies, two weeks old, needed to go into foster care till they were old enough to go up for adoption. We waited and waited till the day finally came. That day was July 9, 1993. We drove to the Animal Protective League very early that summer morning, my sister, my daughter and myself, and were the first in line. We were let into a room and saw seven chubby little puppies running around on the floor. We each picked up a puppy. My sister picked up Maxie and held her close to her heart. My daughter, Rachelle, picked up Pepper and begged me to let this be the puppy we would adopt. I put my puppy down and we took Pepper home to join our family. At 6 weeks old, she was so tiny, just 4 lbs. She was mostly black, with a spot of white on her nose and some soft white fur on her chest and under her long tail. She had the softest and silkiest fur I've ever touched. Rachelle said, "Let's name her Pepper since she's black". |
For the next 14 years, Pepper brought me nothing but joy. She gave me unconditional love. I will never forget that precious face in the window every time I pulled in the driveway. She had one ear that sat up higher than the other. When I would come in the house she "smiled" at me with her toothy grin. She loved to drink from the toilet, pick through the trash, swim in the river, chase golf balls in the basement, play with her toys and eat...boy did she love to eat. She would beg for scraps at the table and "dance" for us any time we asked. You couldn't go near the cookie jar without her letting you know she wanted a treat. She and her sister Maxie spent much of their younger years together. They played so hard that they would make us tired watching them. She always had lots of energy. In her later years, she shared her home with Bandit. They liked to run on the golf course in the winter time and just lay around the house together. She slowed down a bit at about age 13. She had some arthritis and was hard of hearing, but she remained very active. We walked in the park with Grandma & Cousin Goldie every day for several miles. She did love the park.
In March of 2007 she was diagnosed with kidney disease and developed renal failure on May 5, 2007. She spent nine long days in the hospital. With the help of a wonderful doctor and his staff, I was finally able to bring her home. For three months I cared for her and gave her everything I had to give. She was weak and fragile so she was never again left alone. Her Grandma & Grandpa cared for her when I was at work. Grandpa even stayed with her in our home while I was out of town. Rich, Auntie Charlotte & Uncle Ryan stayed with her too. We wanted to make sure she was safe at all times. She was on so many medications. I administered fluids twice daily to keep her hydrated and flush toxins from her body. We hand fed her since she lost her appetite. We tried so hard to get her stabilized. She did well for a while, and got stronger, but every time we got one problem fixed, she would develop another. On August 21, 2007 her blood pressure sky rocketed causing her to have a stroke. There was no coming back from this one. With her family surrounding her and the help of her loving doctor, we allowed her cross peacefully over the Rainbow Bridge. She joins her Sister Maxie, Cousin Goldie and Bandit.
I miss her so much. There is hole in my heart that can never be filled. I have so many wonderful memories that I could fill a book. She was my baby girl and I loved her with all of my heart.
Visit Bandit http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BANDI120/Resident.htm
8/28/07-Good Morning Puddin'. It's been one week since you left for the Bridge. I miss you terribly. I hope you are settled in. Did you find your Sister Maxie, Cousin Goldie & Bandit? Lots of moms & dads have e-mailed me. I hope you've met their babies. I put you by the lake and in the winter time. You loved to swim and loved the cold weather. I can't wait to see you again. I love you.
9/4/07-It's been two weeks without you & the house is so empty. I wish I could kiss your sweet face again. Last night I slept with "Monkey" It made me feel closer to you. I miss you so much my baby girl.
9/11/07-Good morning my little angel. I can't believe that three weeks have passed since I last held you in my arms. My heart aches without you. How I wish I could touch you again. I had hoped that the pain would subside but it is still there. I can't stand not having you with me. I love you so much baby girl.
9/18/07-My baby, it's been four long weeks since I had to say goodbye to you. My heart is breaking without you. Everywhere I look, I see your sweet sugar face. I miss walking into the bedroom and seeing a tail & a tootsie sticking out from under the bed. I look for you in the window when I come home. I miss caring for you when you were sick and needed me most. Life is not the same without you my baby girl.
9/21/07-How can it be that one month has passed since I had to let you go my baby? My heart is empty without you. I wish I could have you back with me. Last night Grandma & I walked at the park. It was my first time there without you by my side. We talked about you and Cousin Goldie and wished you were with us. When we walked past the river, I could still see you swimming and giving me that sad face when I told you it was time to get out of the water. Now I wish I'd have let you swim longer. I had no idea that it would be our last time. It seemes like such a long time ago. Sleep softly my little puddin' pie.
10/2/07-My little sugar pie, I can't believe that six long weeks have passed since I last kissed your sweet face. Everywhere I look, I see your precious face. Life is not the same without you next to me. The pain is so deep. I never thought it would be this bad. Every day is a struggle. I think of you constantly. I hope you know how much I love you and miss you my sweet baby girl.
10/21/07-My baby, each and every day has been a struggle since you left me two months ago. You are the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night. I miss you beyond what I could have ever imagined. I keep waiting for you to visit me in my dreams. It hasn't happened yet. I long to hold you in my arms again my precious.
10/28/07-My baby, the weather has started to change. How you loved the cold weather. The wind is blowing the leaves off the trees. I picture you standing on the deck with the wind blowing your long soft fur. You loved this time of year. Halloween is just a few days away and I know how much you loved the kids coming to the house for candy. Everything is different without you. Keep watching over me my baby.
11/6/07-My precious, today we had our first snow of the season. I cried when I saw it come down. I know how much you loved the snow. I have so many pictures of you with your beautiful black fur covered in soft white snow. The best part of winter for me was always watching you enjoy yourself. I remember when you used to find a big pile of snow and lay belly down on it. You always brought a smile to my face my baby. Nothing in life will ever be the same again now that you are gone. I miss you so badly that my heart aches. I love you.
11/21/07-Three months ago today I had to kiss you goodbye for the last time. You've been gone almost as long as you were sick. We are expecting tomorrow to bring a big Thanksgiving snow storm. You would have loved it. I can picture you standing at the door and scratching to go out. It won't be the same tomorrow without you standing in the kitchen waiting for bites of turkey. Keep watching over me baby.
12/21/07-My baby, four months have passed since you left me. Last night I had my first dream about you. You were outside playing in the snow. It felt good to see you again. Please come to me often so that I can see you from time to time. My heart breaks when I think about you at the Bridge. I hope you are near all of your doggy friends. Keep watching over me baby. I love you so much. Merry Christmas Puddin'.
1/4/08-My precious angel, 2007 is gone...it was a bad year and I'm glad it's over. I think of you constantly and wonder if the pain will ever subside. It is so bitter cold outside but I think of you and how much you would have loved it. Thinking of you makes me smile but also makes me cry. I miss you so much. Save a warm place for me next to you my baby.
1/21/08-Good Morning my baby, I just cannot believe that it's been five months since you were taken from me. I am so alone without you. My heart breaks every day, especially when I look outside. I know how much you loved the cold weather. I close my eyes and see you standing on the deck looking out with that beautiful long fur blowing in the wind. I can almost hear you scratching at the door to go out. You are my special soulmate. I love you and miss you with all of my heart.
2/21/08-My beautiful baby girl, I cannot believe that six long months have passed since you crossed the Bridge. I miss you so much. It has been very difficult for me to live without you. I remember all the wonderful times we spent together. I think of you on that last day and know that you are in a better place. You struggled those last three months. I tried so hard to make you strong and healthy again. I would have done anything. All I have now are the memories of your unconditional love. I will never forget you my baby girl. I love you so much.
3/21/08-Good morning my precious. You are on my mind this morning on this seven month anniversary of your passing. I miss you as much as ever. I think of you every day and try to think of the happy times we had together. Easter is just a few days away. I'll think of you begging at the table for ham. I added some Easter decorations to your residency. I hope you like them. I will always love you my baby.
4/21/08-Today is eight long months since you left me. I've been thinking about you so much lately and remembering the joy that you brought to my life. Sometimes I sit in your favorite chair in the bedroom. I close my eyes and think of you. Your love was always unconditional. I wish I had more than just memories of you. Even though your body is gone, your spirit will never leave me. I love you so very much.
5/5/08-My beatiful baby girl, one year ago today you fell very ill and I had to take you to the hospital where you spent nine long days. I had such a sick feeling in my stomach. I couldn't eat or sleep. I cried for you and worried so much that I would never be able to bring you home. It was the beginning of the end of our journey together. I was grateful for those last few months we had & will always treasure that special time. I did everything I could do for you. I miss you so much. I love you Puddin'.
5/21/08-Good Morning Puddin' Pie. These past nine months have been so difficult for me. I think of you every day and wish you were here by my side. I picture you in your favorite chair. It's hard to believe that it's been empty for so long. Every time Grandma & I walk by the river, I see you swimming. You sure loved to swim. I hope you have a river up there at the bridge. Rest peacefully my baby and keep watching over me. I love you more than you can ever know.
5/28/08-Happy 15th Birthday my precious. Today is your first birthday at the Bridge. I sent a big birthday cake and present to your residency. I hope you like them. I had hoped that you would have many more birthdays here with us. You are always in my thoughts but especially today as I think of you and your sister celebrating your special day. I just know that you will do something wonderful. You can eat as much cake and goodies as you want to. I love you so very much baby. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PUDDIN'.
6/21/08-My beautiful baby girl, time just keeps passing by. Ten months without you has been so very painful. I want to hold you next to me and smell your beautiful fur. I sometimes sit in your favorite chair and think of you. It makes me feel closer to you. I wish that we could be together again. You and I will always be soulmates. Some day we will be together again and then we will not ever have to be apart. Until that time comes, please keep watch over me and know that I love you.
7/21/08-Good Morning my beautiful baby girl. It was 11 months ago that I had to let you go. The time just keeps going by. I miss you every single day. You are so special and mean so much to me that you will never leave me. You are forever in my heart. I still see you in all of your favorite places around the house. My heart is empty without you. I miss you Puddin'.
8/21/08-Today is one year since you left for the Bridge my baby. I know that you are at peace and not suffering but I sure do wish you were here with me. I still see you sometimes when I look over at your chair. The time has passed so quickly. There is not a day that goes by that you are not in my thoughts. My love for you will never go away. We have a special bond that can never be broken. I miss you so much Puddin' and all of the special things you did. I loved that way you danced for your treats and when I asked for a paw, you always gave me both of them. I miss taking you to the park to walk, sniff & swim in the river. I love you more than you can know.
10/9/08-My beautiful baby girl, I've been thinking about you so much lately. Once again the weather is starting to change and I see you scratching at the door to go out. It's apple picking time again and I remember taking you to pick apples with us. You always left a little gift in the orchard. I smile just thinking about it. I added a basket of juicy apples to your residency. You sure did love apples. I miss you so much Puddin'. I'll see you again some day. Come to me in my dreams baby. You don't come to me very often. I'll always love you.
10/30/08-Good morning my beautiful baby girl. I just want to tell you how much I love you and miss your company. I hope that you are happy at the Bridge and that you are watching over me till the day that I join you. I love you Puddin'.
11/10/08-My baby, I woke up this morning to snow on the ground and my thoughts immediately went to you. Snow was your favorite. I wish you were her to enjoy it with me. You'd be at that back door scratching to go out. I hope that there's snow today at the Bridge too. I love you baby and I miss you so much. Sleep peacefully Puddin'.
11/21/08-Good morning my baby. Today is 15 months since you left me. I woke up to lots of blustery winter weather. Of course I immediately thought of you. How I would love to see you running your nose through the snow and rolling around in it. I miss hearing you scratching to go out. I just want to to know how much I love you and miss you. I decorated your residency for Christmas. I hope you like it. Please visit me in my dreams baby. I love you.
12/24/08-Merry Christmas Puddin'. I hope that Santa will bring you something good up at the Bridge. Maybe a new toy or something yummy to eat. I know how much you loved to eat. Things are not the same without you. You are always with me baby. Your loss is still so painful. I hope you know how much you meant to me and how much I will always love you. You left an empty hole in my heart that can never be filled. Give lots of hugs & kisses to Maxie, Bandit, Goldie, & Reine. I will always love you my baby girl.
1/11/09-Happy New Year at the Bridge my baby girl. We've had a lot of snow in the past couple of days. You would have been in and out all day long. How you loved the snow. I think of you every day and I love you more than you can ever know. I changed your residency for you. I hope you like it. I love you Puddin'Pie!!
2/6/09-My precious Puddin' Pie, this has been such a cold and snowy year so far. How you would have loved it. I feel so empty when I think about you scratching at the door. You loved to play in the snow. I hope there's lots of snow at the bridge. I wish I could send you some. I know that you are watching over me every day. You are always in my heart. I have a special place in the house dedicated to you that I look at every day. Your ashes are in a beautiful urn surrounded by your food bowls, collar, leash and some of your most favorite toys; monkey, baby & squeaky banana. I miss you so much my baby.
3/26/09-Happy Spring my beautiful baby. The weather has been warming up. We've been walkimg at the park. I always think of you and how much you loved the park. There are lots of deer. When I pass the river, I look at your favorite swimmimg hole. I can see you splashing around in the water and chasing after stickies. I decorated your residency for Easter. I hope you like it. You can eat all the chocolate you want to at the Bridge. I will love you forever my precious.
5/5/09-My baby, today is two years since you became so sick. That day is etched into my mind and my heart. I was so worried. I was afraid that I'd never be able to bring you home. With Dr. Hammer's loving care, I was fortunate to have you back home with me after nine long days. Unfortunately we didn't have a lot of time left together. I will always cherish those last few months. I had such hope that you'd get well. It was not meant to be. I love you so much my baby. Thank you for the 14 loving years we had together.
8/21/09-My precious baby girl, is it really two years since you were taken from me? It doesn't seem that it can be that long. I miss you every day and you are always in my heart. I love you so much and I will never forget the bond we had. I know that you are always looking down on me and I'm sure that you miss me as much as I miss you. One day we will be together again and I hold that thought in my heart. Save a special place for me. I love you so much my Puddin'.
9/8/09-My baby, I just received word that your girlfriend Kelsey crossed the Bridge on Friday. I know that you will welcome her and make her feel at home. Please keep her close to you and snuggle with her at night because she must miss her loving family so very much. Tell her to send them a sign that she is OK and watching over them. As always, I love you so much.
11/26/09-Happy Thanksgiving my precious baby girl. I haven't visited you much lately, but that doesn't mean that I don't have an emptiness in my heart. Holidays are not the same anymore without you here. I know that you made Kelsey feel welcome at her new home. Her family misses her terribly, as I miss you. I decorated your residency for the holidays and left you a yummy sandwich to munch on. I love you my beautiful baby girl. HAPPY TURKEY DAY!!!
12/19/09-Good Morning my beautiful baby girl. It is finally snowing and as always I am thinking of you and how much you loved the snow. If you were here, you'd be standing at the door begging to go out. I love the picturs I have of you with your beautiful soft fur covered in fluffy white snow. How I wish I could kiss your sweet face one more time. Thank you for the 14 precious years you gave me. I love you.
12/25/09-Good Morning my baby girl. You are with me in my heart and soul today. I wish you were here begging for food like you used to do on all the holidays. I will feel your presence with me as I always do. Merry Christmas Puddin'. I love you more than you can ever know.
1/14/10-Happy 2010 my baby. I sent you a box of popcorn to eat. I remember how much you loved it. I can still picture you catching every single kernel that I would throw for you. I miss those special times we had together. Keep looking out for me. I love you so much.
3/27/10-Happy Easter my precious puppy. I sent you all kinds of goodies for Easter. I will be thinking of you as we celebrate the holiday. I know you would love to beg at the table for some food. I miss you so much my angel and I think of you every day. I dreamed about you the other night. It was so good to see you again. I wish that I would see you in my dreams every night. Please come to me often. It makes me feel so good. I love you baby girl.
5/5/10-It was three years ago today that you got so sick. I remember it like it was yesterday. We rushed you into the Emergency Center since it was Saturday. I thought I was going to lose you that day. We gave it everything we had for three months. You were such a fighter. How I wish I could kiss your sweet face again. I love you baby.
5/28/10-Happy 17th Birthday my precious. How I wish that we could be together to celebrate. I placed a big cake and balloons at your residency. I hope that you like them. I love you and miss you so very much my baby. Please watch over me Puddin'.
8/21/10-My beautiful baby girl, today is three years since you were taken from me. I miss you so much. I hope you are at peace in your home at the Bridge. I made your site perpetual this week so it will never go away. Any time that I need to see you, I can always go to it. I love you so much Puddin'.
11/24/10-Happy Thanksgiving precious. I left you some a delicious pumpkin pie. I will always remember how much you loved to beg for goodies on Thanksgiving. Carving the turkey was your favorite activity. Of course you didn't carve, you just ate the turkey. I miss you baby and I want to hold you again. I will think of you tomorrow. I love you always.
12/13/10-Hello my precious. It's so cold outside today that I couldn't help but think of you. You would love it. I see you standing at the door begging me to let you out. I can see your beautiful soft fur blowing in the wind. Please know that I think of you often and will never forget you. You will always be in my heart.
12/25/10-Merry Christmas my precious baby. I wish you were here with me today. I love you.
1/5/11-Happy New Year Precious. I left you a hamburger and a big hot fudge sundae to ring in the new year. There's also a comfy recliner for you to curl up on when you finish eating. I love you so much sweetie.
5/5/11-My baby girl, today is four years since you became so ill. It was the beginning of the end of our journey together. I tried so hard to make you well. I would have given anything to be able to undo what happened to you. I will never forget the time we had together. I know that you're taking good care of Grandma now that she is with you. She must be so glad to be reunited with her Goldie. Please continue to take care of her for me because I miss her so much. I love you Puddin'.
8/21/11-My precious baby girl, how can it be that four years have passed since you were taken from me? My heart will always have an empty spot that you one occupied. I look at pictures of you an can't believe that you're really gone. I know that you make the bridge a brighter and happier place with your presence. I will never stop loving you or thinking about you.
5/5/12-Today is 5 years since you became so sick my baby girl. I will never forget that awful day. I thought that I was going to lose you. I was lucky that you were here with me for three more months. I think of you every day and I never stop wishing that we were together. It comforts me to know you're watching over me. How I wish I could have you here. We will be together some day but for now I must go on without you. I left you some of your favorite treats. I still remember how you would catch every kernel of popcorn that I would throw to you. I love you more than you can ever know.
5/28/12-Happy 19th Birthday Puddin'. I wish that we were together to celebrate. I am leaving you a yummy strawberry cake for your birthday and a rubber duckie to play with. I love you as much as ever and I am thinking of you today as I always do. Happy Birthday my baby girl.
8/21/12-Good morning my beautiful baby girl. Today is five long years since you were taken from me. Life will never again be the same now that you are not with me. You however will always be in my heart. I think of you every day and long to touch you again and put my face into your soft fur. I miss you so much Puddin'. Please continue to watch over me.
12/25/12-Merry Christmas Baby Girl. I'm sorry that I haven't visited you in a while. I wish you were here with me today. Christmas is so depressing now. I wish I could go back to the way things were when you were with me. Life is not the same without you. I love you Puddin.
5/5/13-Good Morning my baby. It was six years ago today that you began your struggle to live. I will never forget that day and how scared I was when you became so sick. We were so lucky to have found Dr. Hammer. He gave me more than three very precious months with you. I always think of you and miss your sweet face. I know that you have made the Bridge a happier place and have welcomed may more fur babies. Please watch over me baby and come to me in my dreams. I want to see you again so badly.
8/21/13 - My baby, today is six years since I last saw your loving face. Now that you're gone, I have only pictures, videos & memories of the time we spent together. I wish I could smell your beautiful silky soft fur again. I left you a nice juicy steak and French fries. I will never forget how much you loved to beg for table food. Now you have a whole steak for yourself. I know that you're watching over me and I look forward to the day I will hold you in my arms again. Stay happy my Puddin'.
11/10/13-I think about you so much my Puddin' Pie. I was looking outside at the leaves falling from the trees and I thought of how much you loved it when the weather started to cool off. I remember what a struggle I had trying to get you to come inside. I hope you are spending all of your time outside at the Bridge. I am sending you yummy peanut butter & some popcorn. I remember when I used to throw you popcorn and you caught every single kernel. I miss you so much my baby. I love you.
12/12/13-I am thinking of you during this holiday season, my precious. I decorated your residency for Christmas. I hope you like it. I love you baby girl.
12/31/13-Another year without you has gone by and a new one is beginning. Everything is different since I can no longer hold you in my arms. I can't wait to see you again my Puddin.
5/5/14-Good morning my Puddin Pie. I cannot believe that it's been 7 years since you became so sick. On that day, I knew that I would need to take extra special care of you for the rest of the precious days we would have together. I had hoped that my tender loving care would have been enough to keep you by my side for a long time. I did not know that we would only have a few short months together. I do treasure those days and I tried so hard to make you well again. I am comforted knowing that you are no longer suffering and that you are waiting for me to join you. I will never stop loving you.
5-28-14-Twenty one years ago today you were born into this world. How could ever I know how much joy you would bring to me? Happy Birthday my beautiful baby girl. I left you a yummy birthday cake and present. I love you.
8/21/14-My baby girl, it's been seven long years since I had to let you go. I still miss you and think about you every day. I love you so much Puddin'. I still see that sweet face in the window waiting for me to come home. Be happy my baby. I left you some yummy goodies. I love you so much.
5/5/15-My precious angel in heaven. Today is 8 years since you became so very sick. My heart broke as I watched you suffer. I miss you every day. Please continue to look after me my Puddin' Pie. I love you.
8/21/15-It has been 8 long years since I held you close to me. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. It seems like it was just yesterday that I held you in my arms. I will always love you my baby girl. I left you a yummy hamburger to enjoy. I love you.
12/4/15-My baby, our beautiful Sadie came to join you at the Bridge today. Please take care of her and make her feel welcome. Help her to try on her angel wings and watch over her mommy and sister, who miss her so much. Snuggle with her tonight so she doesn't feel alone and scared. I love you my Puddin'.
5/5/19-My precious Puddin', eight years ago today you became so very sick. It was horrible for me to watch you suffering. I cherish the time we had together and I still think of you every day. How could I ever forget your loving eyes? I miss you so much and I love you forever. We will be together again one day. I look forward to seeing you and kissing your sweet face. I love you.
8/21/16-My baby. I cannot believe that 9 years have passed since I last held you in my arms. It still is so painful to think about you not being here with me. Please watch over me and come to me in my dreams. I long to see you again. I will always love you baby girl.
5/5/17-My Puddin, I can't believe that it has been 10 years since you became so ill. A full decade has passed. I love you so much & miss you terribly. I wish I could kiss your sweet little face just one more time. We will be together again some day my baby. I hope you enjoy the sundae I left for you.
8/21/17-My baby, how can it possibly be a full decade since you were taken from me? I still miss you so much. I will never stop loving you. There is a hole in my heart that can never be filled. I love you so very much.
8/21/18-My baby girl, eleven years have now passed since I last held you in my arms. I miss you each and every day. I will always love you my girl. You left a space in my heart that can never be filled until the day I see you again.