If you’ve come by the clinic in the past week, you’ve most likely seen a little black fluffy dog sleeping by the front windows. Or maybe he sauntered blindly through your exam room. You might have even heard him huffing away as he walks aimlessly through the clinic. His name is Pepper.
You may have asked about him, where he came from, or who he belongs to. Some of you were moved by his story, and many of you may not even know his story yet. Not only is this his official introduction to you, but also a story about one of the best human beings we’ve ever met.
Pepper’s human-mom passed away 3 years ago right at Christmas. Pepper’s human-dad…I don’t really know that ‘broken hearted’ is the appropriate adjective. I have never seen a human grieve so much in my whole life. Now, don’t get me wrong, Pepper’s daddy was always so happy and cheerful. He was never in a bad mood, and he could talk to you for hours and hours. He was truly an inspirational human being, to be in such misery, but still give thanks and keep on the sunny-side. One could only hope to be as kind and loving as him…I can’t even describe the aura he has around him.
Pepper and his dad drive around all day long, a man and his dog, to avoid all the wife’s things at home. She must have been an amazing woman for she was truly, truly loved by this man. His eyes would light up with the very mention of her. For three years, they remain on the roads around town, even when gas was astronomically high in price. They’re only home at night, and in the mornings before they begin their driving. Pepper’s dad also told us how he and Pepper would visit his wife’s grave in Conroe every day. He explained how Pepper knew (even though he cannot see well), he knew exactly which tombstone to go to without being led as they had visited so often.
These two were best friends. Pepper’s dad revolved around Pepper. If Pepper wanted, Pepper got, and in return, Pepper gave him the companionship that he so desperately needed.
Pepper’s dad seemed particularly sad one day when he came in for Pepper’s recheck appointment. I’m not sure how the subject came up, but he expressed a concern that if he passed away, who would care for Pepper?
This man had touched our lives for many, many years. He was more than our client, he was a true friend and he was a man that we could never forget. It was this day that we made a promise to him with tear filled eyes. In the event that Pepper’s dad goes home to be with his wife, we would take care of Pepper like our own until it was Pepper’s time.
He left a note at his house and told his neighbor’s that if ANYTHING happened to him, Pepper was to be taken to our clinic. The pair continued to visit every few weeks, and the thought of losing Pepper’s dad had disappeared from our minds.
On Saturday, December 18th, we saw in the Conroe Courier that Pepper’s dad had passed away.
Of course, we were all in tears because we loved this man like family. We wondered what happened to Pepper because it was our promise to him to make sure the dog was taken care of. I think it’s safe to say that we were seriously stressing about it, because we knew how important Pepper was to his dad.
A few days after the funeral, the clinic received a call regarding Pepper. Pepper was brought in to our clinic that day, and he became ours.
So, that is Pepper’s story, and how he came to be with us and why Pepper has a very, very special place in our hearts…
– Tiffany Dieringer, CVAPepper Nichols