Friday, March 23, 2012

Look Who's Home!

I have written this post in my head a dozen times, and it never came out this way.

I was going to talk about how this dog hadn't drawn the cushy lot in life, how we weren't the type of pet people who let their dog sleep on their beds, or even in their house. I grew up on a farm where animals worked and lived outside, and I just couldn't get past that bias.

I was going to talk about how she hadn't exactly drawn the short straw, either, since she has always had people who loved her and the run of the back yard and a perch on the deck to watch the world go by.

There was going to be a  little section about how she delighted in running away in her younger years, and the not-so-merry chases she led us on until we discovered that she would come running back if we threw a Kleenex on the ground to be pounced upon.

All of those posts ended the same way: Pepper didn't come back. She had been clearly unwell last week when we took her to the vet; something was desperately wrong.

Pepper's been our family's only pet, though, and we didn't know how to deal with this stage of her life. A friend had the best advice: "We always promise our pets that they will not suffer. Ever. Luckily, doctors can treat our four-legged family much more humanely than those with two legs," she wrote. "Your pet is a family member and he or she will 'tell you' how far to go and when it's time. You will know."

Yesterday the vet decided he had done all he could for our dog, and suggested we take her home and see how she fares. She nearly wiggled herself out of her collar when she saw Husband, and greeted us with unbridled delight. Husband was afraid she wouldn't be able to climb up to the deck any more; he turned to refill her water dish and when he turned back around she was looking down from the top step, holding out her paw to shake.

Pepper is not the same dog she was just a week ago. She now looks at us with her head tilted, giving her a quizzical appearance. If she tries to run this head tilt makes her fall over, so she walks carefully, like the old person she is.

But today she's curled up in a spot of sun, right outside the back door, where she can watch us and be ready for us to open the door and scratch her head. The time may be coming soon, but she wasn't ready to go yet.

Pepper's home.


  1. Aww, that's so nice. Reprieve! I'm happy for all of you.

  2. What a sweet post and photo! So happy for you.