August 20, 2003 - January 25, 2021
Most people don’t know the story of how Pepper and I met and connected.
It all started 17.5 years ago when my mom’s dog had a litter of puppies. I wasn’t in the market for a dog because at almost 22 I was working a full-time job as a massage therapist, doing house calls, and had two jobs bartending to make ends meet in Houston. My dad just knew this little dog was for me and he joked because of all the little sounds she made. She was super talkative and expressive and what began as a bit of a joke from my dad to give me such an animated dog quickly became a bond that couldn’t be described easily to anyone else. However, if you saw us together you knew. I was hers and she was mine.
I didn’t have much information other than the fact that she was demanding attention and I’d heard her “chatter” over the phone, but that was it. As the date approached for me to journey home to Kansas and pick up my little buddy, I had a dream. It was very vivid. There was this little furry black and white dog bounding towards me, bright pink little tongue and happy as could be. When I woke up, I’d realized in the dream I’d been calling after my friend, Pepper. So, I called my mom and told her what her name would be and about the dream. That’s when I found out that my little sugar was black and white and had a cute little pink tongue that stuck out of her mouth at all times. As a matter of fact, over the last 17 years, I’d grown so accustomed to seeing
Pepper with her tongue out that when she’d decided to roll it all into her mouth it didn’t seem as natural. It’s something that has been a characteristic of Pepper and something people would recognize about her as we journeyed through our life together.
My dad was right, she “talked” all the time with cute little whines to communicate how she was feeling and the reality that she needed my undivided attention. Pepper and I loved to howl and sing together and she was able to replicate an “I love you” pattern in her little howls. That hasn’t happened in some time, but I can still hear it and it’s like music to my ears.
All this to say, “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty was a song that I’d sing to her as we’d cuddle in bed at night. She’d lay her little head on my chest and as I sang she’d creep closer to my face (as if it were possible to get any closer) and nuzzle in.
With her iconic pink tongue and black and white locks, it had been true, I’d met her once upon a dream.