UPDATE 2013 June 5
Pepper has crossed the rainbow bridge, on June 3, 2013. Brad, the human who gave Pepper his final happy forever home, let us all know. In his words (parenthetical remarks are ours):
"Pepper passed away sometime during the night on Monday June 3. That day he had a warm bath and air-dried himself out in the sunshine on the front porch (one of his favorite places and pastimes). He seemed happy and comfortable, and he went to sleep as usual after his dinner and of course a couple hours of tap dancing around the house. (Brad always laughingly described as "tap dancing" Pepper's habit of walking around his home after eating dinner in the evenings, as if to check out all of his favorite spots before retiring in his bed near Brad's bed.) All was well and I didn't see anything unusual. When I awoke in the morning I found him in his bed. I thought he was sound asleep but actually he had died.
I am happy to report that this final weeks were far better than whatever his life had been before. He was quite a character and often brought a smile to my face. I will miss him, as he had easily made his way into my heart. But I know that he is in a good place and enjoyed his final days here. Thanks for saving him and making it possible for me to help him in his last time with us. --Brad"
Thank you, Brad, for giving Pepper the love and the home he had waited all those long years to find. From Joyce saving him from that hot desert and finding us to your asking at just the right time for an older dog that you could help, it seemed like this whole story was a meant-to-be. It's good to try to do good, isn't it?
-- from all of us at On Wings Of Care
2013 April 07
Salton Sea, California
“I may be old, and I may be deaf. I may be blind, and more than a little arthritic. But my name is Pepper, and I don’t give up on life easily. I know my good times are coming, and if I have to wait right here for life to find me, I will!”
And wait he did. By the time Pepper’s first angel found him, he was sitting all alone in an empty parking lot in the hot dry desert near the Salton Sea. He was so weak and dehydrated he could hardly lift his head let alone walk, but she could see that he was alive. She called another angel, a woman named Joyce Lindsay, who took Pepper to the VCA Valley Animal Medical Center Emergency Hospital. They kept him for a few days and did lots of diagnostic tests, including x-rays and blood work. They told Joyce that Pepper was about 15 years old and assured her that Pepper had plenty of life left in him, he was just going to have to take it a little easy in his old age!
We received the plea for help from Joyce. It came among the hundreds of others we get in any given week. But this was an easy one, because we had just recently heard from a wonderful friend and dog-lover named Brad who lives near Kings Canyon National Park in California, near the famous giant Sequoias. Brad said that now that he was finally settled in his retirement ranch, he wanted to do what he has promised himself ever since his beloved old dog “Tess” died a few years ago. He wanted to offer hospice to another old dog. We sent him a photo and the story of Pepper, and that was it -- Pepper’s dream had come true! Not only would Pepper have Brad for his devoted human, and the fabulous Bar2B ranch to live on, he would also have two very sweet female terrier canine sisters to love, whom Brad affectionately refers to as his Bees -- "Wee Bonny Bee" and "Honey Bee."
Pepper stayed with us for a little while in the Los Angeles area until we transported him up to Brad. He seemed to listen to our every word as we told him about his new life to come! A few days after he had arrived at Brad's ranch, we visited him again -- and what a new Pepper we saw! He had learned his way around the front yard and the house, and he sleeps like royalty in all the beds that Brad has made for him. Here are some of our favorite photos. We especially like to see the big smile on his face when Daddy Brad carries him along on their daily walks! Pepper -- you were right all along. Life did have something good in mind for you, after all!
Here are many more photos of Pepper, from his nightmare of being lost and alone in the desert to becoming Mister Happy Camper at the Bar2B Ranch! Thank you Joyce and Lisa and the other fabulous rescuers who networked Pepper and brought him to On Wings Of Care. And big, big thanks to you Brad, for opening your heart to this wonderful old-timer and making his dreams come true!