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Remembering My Dog Pepper

November 13, 2011

I’ve written about my dog Pepper in this blog before (here and here). I’m sad to report that I had to have her put to sleep on October 17th – the day before her 16th birthday. I’ve been devastated ever since and couldn’t write about it until now. The picture shows her grave with her spirit looking at us from the background. I swore I wouldn’t get another dog for a lot of reasons, but my home and my life are so empty without her that I may have to change my mind.

I keep trying to talk myself out of it. The other day, I was cleaning out the file that I kept on Pepper and was going to throw away all her vet bills. I decided to total them up and see how much I spent over her lifetime. They came to $2,327.00. Then I figured that I spent about one dollar a day to feed her which came to about $5,720.00. That’s $8,047! For the past few years, Pepper ate better than I did. I really shouldn’t try to put a price on all the love and companionship that Pepper gave me but, living below the poverty line like I do, I don’t know if I can afford to do that again.

Last week, against my better judgement, I went to the animal shelter to see what they had. I fell in love with a 4-month-old puppy, but I came home empty-handed. I’m getting up in years myself, so if I got a puppy now, she could very possibly outlive me. Then there’s all the training and attention that an overly energetic puppy would require.

I could give some elderly dog a loving home in her autumn years, but older dogs require more medical attention and I don’t want to have to go through the agony of putting down another dog anytime soon… if ever again. So what to do… what to do? I’ve always had a dog and things are not the same without one.

I would love to find another Pepper, but I know that is impossible. She was one of a kind and we were perfect for each other. I visit her grave several times every day to tell her how much I love her and miss her. I’d give anything to go back 16 years in time and start over with her again, but time only moves forward. Saying goodbye to her was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She is gone but she’ll never be forgotten.

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