Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pepper, part 1


Pepper at 8 weeks
When Hubby and I were dating back in the late 1980's I told him that I liked dogs. He said OK, like it was no big deal. Who doesn't like dogs right? (I have since discovered that many people don't like dogs. Weirdos.) I tried to impress upon him that I really liked dogs -- big, furry, drooly dogs. When we got married I expressed my desire to get a dog as soon as possible. Twelve years later, after two kids, three duty stations (including an overseas tour) and seven moves, I finally got the green light. It was time to get a puppy. There was one caveat: base housing was changing the pet rules to no dogs over 20 pounds; if I wanted a big dog (duh!) I had to get it right away so it could be grandfathered in. No pressure!!

In January of 2000 we had a massive snow storm. Everybody was snowed in for days. Everybody but the base where I lived and worked, that is. While my friends were at home watching TV, I was manning the office. Except for the occasional phone call where I would cheerfully say "Yes, we're operational," I was bored stiff. I spent most of my day surfing the Internet. On Penneysaver.com I saw an ad for free puppies. I was so excited that called right away. The woman who answered told me that she had eight puppies -- six boys and two girls -- and their eyes weren't even open yet. And yes, I could come see them as soon as the roads cleared. I went home and told the family that we were finally getting a puppy!!

My puppy with the white toes
We drove 45 minutes to The Middle of Nowhere to look at the puppies. (In my excitement I had forgotten to check their address. Hubby was a bit annoyed.) I picked up each puppy and snuggled with it. Most of them squirmed and whined, but the female with the white toes settled down immediately. She was going to be my puppy. I was going to name her Phoebe. For six long weeks I dreamed of bringing home my puppy. I read training books, bought a crate, instructed the boys on puppy protocol. I also called the poor family in The Middle of Nowhere a dozen times to see how the puppies were doing. The day finally came, we could bring home the puppy! When we got to the farm the man said that the other female hadn't been spoken for, so I could have either one. I got down on my knees and called "Here puppies!" They all came running, eight beautiful black and tan fur balls. In the lead was the female with the white toes. It was a sign!

If only I had known that she would totally adore Hubby. Not me, the one who picked her, dreamed of her, loved her before her eyes opened. She was Daddy's Girl. *sigh*

See Part 2 of Pepper's story here.