although many, many years have passed.
One night my Dad came home from work holding a box.
I had no idea what was in it
no thought at all.
Hushed voices between my mom and dad.
And then gathering around the table while my Dad opened the lid
Reached deep into the box and pulled out
“She was the runt of the litter
and I just couldn’t say no,” my Dad explained.
My Mom saw work but my brother and I saw a playmate.
And that’s what Pepper became.
Our friend through so many moves.
I remember laying on the floor beside her dog bed
talking with her about so many things.
Pepper, a cocker dachshund mix
seemed to know from the beginning
the art of contentment.
She knew what to do
and did it. No problem training her.
She played with us
and then would curl up at our feet.
Happy to be apart.
Once she was attacked by a neighbor’s dog
and we rushed her to the vet.
She accepted stitches like she accepted everything else.
I’d play the piano for her and she was my audience always wanting to hear more.
We’d ride our bikes
pulling her in the wagon behind us.
Yes, Pepper, was the perfect dog.
When I was 13 I saw the change. Her walk grew slower. Her eyes sadder.
But she never complained and still stayed close.
I’d play the piano to make her feel better
Knowing her last day was approaching.
You never are prepared for something like that, are you?
I quietly treasured my memories in my heart.
Every once in a while I see a photo
or something that remind me of Pepper.
She taught me patience
and the joy of giving.
If there are dogs in heaven,
I know that Pepper is there.
Ever sweet. Just wanting to be with you.
Another precious gift of God
that lingers on in my heart.
Shining moments all around.