(See part one below for the beginning of this adventure)
Pepper and I were kindred spirits immediately. The second day she was at my house, I went into her area with a bag of dog treats. As I pulled the treat out for her, she came and sat at my feet. That is probably one of the saddest moments in fostering, because it is the second you know she was someone’s pet. I searched Craigslist and lost pet websites, called every ad that could have been her, but nothing. What was her story? I will never know.
I settled into a daily routine with Pepper and the puppies (sounds like a rock band?). There was a lot of googling and texting involved since I was clueless to the ways of gruel and whelping boxes. My husband just shook his head a lot. He actually put his head in his hands and sighed when he discovered my daily weighing of the puppies, to be sure they were getting nourishment nursing, was conducted on his food scale protected by a paper plate.
Momma was a different story. She was one of the gentlest dogs I have ever known. I would walk her and play with her, and all my trepidation about the breed melted. Some dogs are mean, some are not, and breed may create a disposition, but it does not absolutely define. (#labelbreakers). One of my good friends has two “pigs” as she calls her pitties. I was intimidated by their big heads and massive, square jaws as I went to her house the first time. And then her female pit decided to say hi by sticking her nose all the way up my skirt unnoticed until her cold nose hit my bum. I grew up with German Shepherds and giant Dobermans (think of a Doberman the size of a Great Dane), so I know first hand other breeds who can get a bad wrap.
To market her, my case manager at the rescue league decided we needed a cuter name, so I changed it to Peppi. Peppi the Pit Bull. She should have her own blog.
About six weeks passed, the puppies weaned, and another foster stepped up to help save my marriage. But finding a foster for the “Terrier Mix” was going to be near impossible. I was secretly glad. Peppi and I had bonded, and she was a piece of cake to obedience train, and had never had a single accident in my house (even though she had been entirely in an outdoor kennel for six months prior) so she would be a great dog if we could just find the right home.
We had her picture and story up on the rescue’s Facebook page. Sure enough, one fateful day they receive an inquiry about her. I offered to let the potential adopter introduce her 12 pound, long-haired Dachshund to Peppi at my house. The foster managers of the rescue warned me to be cautious, but I assured them that Peppi was gentle, and I would manage the introduction.
The potential adopter and her 20-something daughter show up with their precious dog, and we introduce the dogs, and chatted while the pooches sniffed butt.
POTENTIAL ADOPTER: “Ideally, I want this dog to go with my daughter to graduate school. She will be living alone, so I want her to have a dog for companionship, that is sweet as pie to her, but will put the fear of God into strangers.”
ME: “Peppi is a canine missionary. One look at her, and they will start praying.”
That is when I knew it was meant to be. Ultimately all the puppies and Peppi the pit bull went to forever homes. All because I was tipsy on Facebook and love dogs. Never underestimate how dropping your filter and taking a risk can be the best choice.
My favorite picture of Pepper/Peppi – and the pile of big-bellied, puppies that by a happy accident ended up at my house.