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This is Pepper. She’s almost eleven years old. She’s normally an outside dog. But she got in the house today when a storm was rolling in. So we kept her in. She’s fluffy, so it wasn’t until today that I noticed that she has lost a great deal of weight.

It reminds me of her mortality and that she won’t be around forever, even though she’s been a huge part of my adult life. She’s been a part of our family for as long as my husband and I have been married. She’s outlived two other dogs. She’s escaped the safety of the fence to go exploring many times, and still came home safe.

She enjoyed her time inside and received her first bath in ten years. She noses through the garbage, she ate cheese and gravy. She played with children and took a nap in my bed when she was soaking wet (the bed is still wet).

We are going to be transitioning her in slowly, she can be indoor/outdoor. She will get to be lazy some, gain some weight, and we’ll take better care of her.

She is my Pepper dog, my pepperoni, my first “kid” and she greets me every day when I come home from work. There have been one or two days where I was afraid when she didn’t come out right away, but I’ve always gotten to hear her bark from inside the garage (she’s had free reign of the garage since she was too big to squeeze out the gate).

If I ever came home it she weren’t there to greet me, I’d be heartbroken.

-c