Good Bye Faithful Friend

Saturday morning our farm dog Pepper got hit by a car.  She has aged a lot this summer and her habit of crossing the road in front of our house to do her business on the other side of the road caught up with her.  A car hit her and never stopped.  True to Pepper’s nature she made it back up to the house and to her perch at the top of the steps but her leg was injured.  We watched her and checked on her hoping she was just battered but Monday we came to realize that this time, Pepper wasn’t going to just snap out of it.

Pepper

Years ago as the kids were at the bus stop at the end of our driveway a snowmobile barreled down the ditch.  Pepper ran towards the snowmobile thinking she was protecting the kids when a car came along and hit her.  She went for an awful roll end over end.  She spent two days in the dog house until I made Hubby help me get her out to take her to the vet.  Finally, he dumped her out of the doghouse and carried her into the  back of the Suburban.  She TOTALLY freaked out being in the vehicle and ended up jumping out an open window.  The dog we thought was horribly injured suddenly seemed just fine.

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From that time on, Pepper hasn’t quite been the same.  She was still a good and faithful dog but she seemed to have a brain injury.  Her eyes didn’t focus quite the same.  She wasn’t as people friendly either.  She became deathly afraid of confined spaces or entering buildings.  Try as we would, we could never get her to sleep inside the garage.  She wouldn’t even put a paw in the garage.  Thankfully in the winter she made a bed for herself in the commodity shed on some bales of straw.  Yet she was always good to everyone in our family.

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That injury left Pepper arthritic and at the beginning of summer we noticed that she had a large lump on her inner rear thigh.  We knew that Pepper’s time was numbered.  As the summer progressed and we bought the house we started to wonder more and more about Pepper, seeing more smaller lumps appear and knowing that she’d never make the transition to moving to town.

Sunday as a family we talked about Pepper trying to decide what was best for her.  It was so hard.  I watched my grown boy who loved and cherished Pepper as his childhood buddy say that he too thought that we needed to put her to sleep if she wasn’t better on Monday.  Pepper always was “his dog”.  She always liked him best.  The other kids that were here agreed.  We all know that Pepper is 13 years old.  We all know that the arthritis is getting worse and worse.  We all know those lumps she has growing on her underside can’t be good.  By mutual agreement, we decided if by Monday she wasn’t better we’d call the vet and have them come to the farm to put her to sleep.

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Thankfully I had some pain pills left from when Ruby had surgery that we were able to get Pepper to them to keep her comfortable.

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Monday came the vet wasn’t available so she came today.  Today we put Pepper to sleep…a year and 5 days after Gracie died.  I am so thankful that we have the best vet and the best vet assistant.  They were kind, considerate and so respectful of Pepper.  You never really know how much you can love your vet until you have to put your dog to sleep.

It is so sad…so sad.  I so miss walking the field paths with these two-Pepper and Gracie.  They kept me safe and kept perfect company as we walked.

All the time when we’d walk, Pepper would stop right here, look at me and wait to see what direction I would go…if I was going to turn towards home or continue down the path on a longer walk.  Sadly Pepper Girl, this is where we split up.  You go home.  I have to continue down the path.

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Pepper was such a part of the farm….such a part mine and the kids’ lives.  You were forever faithful and if dogs go to heaven, I’ll see you there Pepper Girl.

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32 thoughts on “Good Bye Faithful Friend

  1. Ellie

    So sorry Jo that you and your family had to say good-bye to your beloved dog. You did the kindest thing to let her go and not prolong her suffering.Losing a pet is losing a member of the family, just a four legged one. We love them,cherish them and then let them go since their days are fewer than our. I hope you and your family will be able to concentrate on the happy memories you have of Pepper and hold her in your heart.

  2. Janinne

    So sad. It’s a terrible decision to have make but glad you didn’t make her stay longer than she should or could. The compassion of a good vet is priceless!

  3. Raine

    So sorry for your loss. Our animal friends are a special part of our family. Hugs to all of you as well as Ruby- she will miss her big sis too!

  4. Laurel

    So sorry for your loss, Jo and family. Your vet and assistant are awesome. I believe animals go to heaven so you will see Pepper again. Hugs to you.

  5. Jan S.

    Losing a pet is so darn difficult. I do believe that animals go to heaven, as well as people. What a reunion it will be when we get to see them again!

  6. mary

    I’m so sorry for your loss Jo, I can hardly write as my eyes keep tearing up. It is so hard to let our fur friends go but not right also to leave them suffering. Big hugs from Canada

  7. Cindy

    Jo and family, so sorry for your loss. Our pets are part of the family. Your sharing has brought back memories of my first pet. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Christine M

    I’m sorry to hear that Jo. It is such a hard thing to do. We have recently had to say goodbye to our old girl, Ginger, but we know it was the best for her.

  9. Kirstie Cantegreil

    Oh Jo….I cried as I read your blog. I had to put my faithful George to sleep about a month ago (blogged about it at mirandaandlu.blogspot.com) after 11 years of friendship. It breaks your heart, doesn’t it….and no matter how many times you go through it, each time is as horrific as the first. We have now welcomed Belle into our home….a 5 month old Lurcher from the rescue home…..and the friendships begin again. I hope that time heals your (and your family’s) pain. xx

  10. Cheri

    I’m sorry for your loss, but your post was a wonderful and beautiful tribute to Pepper. I had to help a friend take her beloved cat to be put down due to health complications, and it was a very sad experience. It’s great you have a lot of pictures and memories of Pepper!

  11. Toni Anne

    I’m sending prayer’s to you and your family. Many years ago, we had to do the same with my childhood dog named Pepper. It’s so horribly painful but so much better for Pepper. There comes a time when you know that you can’t take their pain away. It’s so sad, for everyone. Hugs, Toni Anne

  12. Anna

    So sorry to here about Pepper, but I know she will be at the rainbow bridge waiting on you some day. Our pets are our babies and it is never easy letting one go. My prayers are with you and your family. Anna

  13. Terri geesey

    I’m sorry for your loss, Jo. I’ve been down that road before too and it’s a tough one. God is near the broken-hearted. Praying for you and your family.

  14. Mandy Dunne

    Jo, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your words are so eloquent, particularly about Pepper’s path taking a longer route. My your heart be less heavy, knowing Pepper is not in pain anymore. I hope your pain heals quickly so you can get back to remembering the happy times.

  15. Rita S.

    Jo,

    I’m so sorry for your loss!! I know from personal experience how heart-wrenching that decision was. But know that Pepper is no longer in pain and is waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge.

  16. Gloria

    So sorry, we love our pets so much and I know from experience how difficult this type decision was but no more pain for Pepper. You made the right decision for Pepper.

  17. Carolee

    Sorry for your loss. Pepper had a good life with your family. Some dogs have terrible lives.
    I too, have a great vet, Dr. Tammy. When my first Rottweiler had bone cancer at 6 years old. She sent her assistant to my house to help me dig her grave. It took me all day. She then came to my house to put her out of her pain. Before my husband died the year before. She offered to see if she was a match for a bone marrow transplant. When I had too leave to stay at the hospital in Iowa City with him, because he wasn’t going live. She told me to bring Roxy to her Clinic., and she took care of her, until the kennel could come and pick her up. None of these people would let me pay a cent.

  18. Jane @ Handiworking

    I am in tears for the hole Pepper’s absence will leave in your heart. It is so darn hard to let them go and thinking about this has me missing a few of our 4-legged babies so much. Sending hugs and prayers to your family!

  19. Linda in NE

    I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost one of our cats June 1st and our son & wife have lost three dogs in the last four years. It’s never easy, but we wouldn’t want to see them continue in pain either. You did your best for Pepper.

  20. Joyce

    Jo–Sorry about your loss, Pepper. He knew that he was loved and gave you his whole heart. He was always there waiting for your walks. What a bonding time for your both. Pepper was very lucky to find a family who loved him . No more pain for all.

  21. Sue

    I’m so sorry, Jo. Just reading it brought tears to my eyes. I have been through it, too. so sad and yet I really do believe they are running around and playing in dog heaven, just waiting for us.

  22. Evie H

    Sorry, I had to wipe the tears from my eyes before I could write this. I know the heartache you and your family are feeling at having lost Pepper. Next Sunday will be one year since we had Annie put to sleep . I have frequent “Annie” days when her loss hits me hard and I wind up in tears. I miss her so much! Hugs and prayers.

  23. Skye

    Oh, Jo, I have tears in my eyes. I am so, so sorry that it was Pepper’s time to walk on. (for your sake, not hers; she is free & happy now)
    Sending love to your family & deep gratitude for all the years you shared with her. <3

  24. Susan P

    Jo, your post about Pepper made me cry. The love of our animals is such a special bond. I have to believe that Pepper is in heaven watching over you. She was lucky to know such a loving family.

  25. farmquilter

    Prayers for you and your family. So hard to lose such a faithful, loving family member. She will be waiting for you with Gracie when your road comes to an end here.

  26. Lea

    Jo, I am so sorry about sweet Pepper. I cried as I read this. My heart goes out to you and your family. When we lost our dogs last year the vet tech said “When people like us get to the pearly gates it will take us a long time to get through because we will have so many beloved pets welcoming us.” I believe he’s right about that. Pepper knew she was loved and I hope this brings you some comfort.

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