Ms. Pepper's Journey, Part 2

Posted by Pia

Last week I shared the benefits of fostering and introduced you to my latest foster, Pepper.  I also promised that her story would have a happy ending. In reality, Pepper finding her forever home isn't an end at all --  It's a wonderful new beginning!  Naturally, our parting pulled at my heart strings.  I will miss the little spice girl but I'm thrilled to have been a part of her journey.

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Pepper and I had some good times.   We discussed Freudian analysis over mini martinis (virgin, of course). 
First, she sniffed...

1 Pepper and I had some good times. We discussed Freudian analysis over mini martinis (virgin, of course). First, she sniffed...

Then she ventured to have a taste...

2 Then she ventured to have a taste...

Soon things began to appear a bit blurry.  Perhaps a placebo effect....

3 Soon things began to appear a bit blurry. Perhaps a placebo effect....

Much to my surprise, Pepper then asked for a cigar....

4 Much to my surprise, Pepper then asked for a cigar....

And here is the infamous Gus, Pepper's adoptive brother. Why the uniform? When Pepper's adoptive mom Kelly is not at home policing her canine crew, she is hard at work fighting crime as a real life police officer!

5 And here is the infamous Gus, Pepper's adoptive brother. Why the uniform? When Pepper's adoptive mom Kelly is not at home policing her canine crew, she is hard at work fighting crime as a real life police officer!

And here is Gus with his late friend Dyson, a rescued bulldog. Gus lost his best buddy last year, but thankfully for Pepper, Gus and Kelly have opened their hearts to a new family member.

6 And here is Gus with his late friend Dyson, a rescued bulldog. Gus lost his best buddy last year, but thankfully for Pepper, Gus and Kelly have opened their hearts to a new family member.

Kelly reports that Pepper sleeps under the covers cuddled up to Gus.  She gets 4 walks a day and apparently she and Gus play non-stop! Here are the two siblings together.

7 Kelly reports that Pepper sleeps under the covers cuddled up to Gus. She gets 4 walks a day and apparently she and Gus play non-stop! Here are the two siblings together.

Here Pepper is practicing a little runway walk to showcase her chic new pink winter-wear!

8 Here Pepper is practicing a little runway walk to showcase her chic new pink winter-wear!

Best buds and partners in canine crime....

9 Best buds and partners in canine crime....

Pepper asks, 'Does this parka make me look fat?'

10 Pepper asks, 'Does this parka make me look fat?'

Pepper and Gus creating traditions of their own now.
Waiting of for the local coffee house to open and give them a treat

11 Pepper and Gus creating traditions of their own now. Waiting of for the local coffee house to open and give them a treat

Pepper has taken it upon herself to guard the plush kitten Kelly gave her as a welcome gift.

12 Pepper has taken it upon herself to guard the plush kitten Kelly gave her as a welcome gift.

Somebody's getting sleepy...

13 Somebody's getting sleepy...

Pepper approves of Kelly's hip taste in furniture!
And of the radiant heat flooring!!!

14 Pepper approves of Kelly's hip taste in furniture! And of the radiant heat flooring!!!

She recalls the days of needing to be bundled up for warmth!

15 She recalls the days of needing to be bundled up for warmth!

An email I just got form Kelly...

Hi Pia- Pepper is doing great! I'm so glad you saved her and happy she's with me and Gus now. She's so funny! She now knows when I'm off to work so she plops herself on my bed and looks at me as if saying, 'Are you sure you'd rather not stay home and cuddle?  Look how cute I am on your pillows!'  Too funny! And so lovable!

Big hugs,  

Kelly, Gus and Pepper

16 An email I just got form Kelly... Hi Pia- Pepper is doing great! I'm so glad you saved her and happy she's with me and Gus now. She's so funny! She now knows when I'm off to work so she plops herself on my bed and looks at me as if saying, 'Are you sure you'd rather not stay home and cuddle? Look how cute I am on your pillows!' Too funny! And so lovable! Big hugs, Kelly, Gus and Pepper

Only thing I'm having trouble explaining to Kelly now is why Pepper expects a martini at happy hour, analyzes Kelly's every move and insists on being called

17 Only thing I'm having trouble explaining to Kelly now is why Pepper expects a martini at happy hour, analyzes Kelly's every move and insists on being called "Dr. Pepper." Perhaps I overindulged her a bit while fostering?

I'm often asked about the possibility of becoming too attached to a foster friend that you eventually plan to relinquish. Fostering is not for everyone, and as animal lovers we can of course get attached -- it's natural.  Certainly if it's a good fit to adopt your foster, then the rescue group can help you decide that.  For me personally, I am of the mind that if a great home can be found for my foster, than I can weather the transition knowing I have space to step up in the final hour for another worthy critter in need.

Actually, I have often stayed in touch with many a grateful adopter. I get periodic reports, photos and holiday cards showcasing the happy little mugs of those I've helped save. It feels good to be a link in that chain and it reminds me of the importance of keeping a space to always help more in need.

To learn more about fostering an animal in your area, visit AdoptAPet.com.

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (10)

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    It’s really good to see that Pepper has a good home now. All animals need to be in a good loving home. When I go for my walks, I often see other dogs which live inside small fenced areas and never anyone with them. Day in and day out, I see the same things. I have a very loving home and get lot’s of attention. I’m a part of the family and do my share of loving too. I guess I sometimes earn my keep by keeping the squirrels off of the back porch.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • I am so happy for Pepper!!!
    and I'm so glad you mentioned about getting too attached to a foster friend...that's my problem...I'm not made for fostering. I bred horses for many years and had a hard time selling them because I worried if the new homes would be as safe and good as with me...although having helped many people in caring at their homes or farms for foster animals, it was easier letting go of them when they got adopted.

  • I can't stop laughing at the picture captions because they evoke the true essence of Pepper's new home and her new outlook. Pepper is as sweet as pie and deserves every bit of attention that she commands. Fortunately, Kelly has two hands and can love us equally. I am showing Pepper the ropes around here and assisting in training her to be a proper hostess and family member. She's a smart cookie (obviously she's been reading a lot) and I am quite confident that she will excel at manners. In fact, she has already mastered "not diving into her dinner bowl" - she politely waits like a lady. Emily Post would be proud. With any luck, Pepper will trust us more and see the benefits of belly rubs (she doesn't know what she is missing).
    We take lots of walks every day because Pepper is still learning "inside" from "outside" but understands that a little carob treat is well worth the wait to go out.
    I've introduced Pepper to some of my friends and she especially loves Katie and Cosmo. I can't wait for her to meet Plato and Beetle. They are my two best friends in the neighborhood. I also have to take her out of town to meet my cousin Oliver. He has a big back yard and a really cool waterfall to romp around in.
    It's naptime.
    Big Hugs!
    Gus
    PS This Thanksgiving I am especially thankful for Pia who looks out for those less fortunate.

  • I'm a Pittsburgh artist specializing in pet portraits. Visit my website at http://www.ashleyreid.net. You can also visit me on Facebook at Ashley Beech Reid's Pet Portraits. I offer a wide variety of prices and sizes to fit every budget/wallspace. I also donate 10% of each commission to the animal shelter/cause of your choice. Contact me for more info.
    Thank you,
    Ashley

  • Little Pepper is definitely a little cutiepie! I jotted some encouraging remarks last week, Dr. Pia, about your newly-found friendship, but it somehow fell by the wayside behind the scenes in the actual publishing process . But what's important is that little Pepper was being loved and nurtured by you, and now there's someone else that wants to perpetuate that goodness on a more permanent level.

    You ARE to be applauded, Dr. Pia!...my mushiegushie heart would get attached to any pretty little thing in need, and it naturally would be difficult to surrender a new-found friend. It's wonderful that you still get 'progress reports' on the many little friends that you've helped along the way.

    I reallyreally enjoy your contributions here on TheDailyWag. Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and loved ones and all that you hold dear!

    My beautiful little Mandy (I can't help it! She is!) and I want to send warm wishes to all our fellow readers/writers (some new 'voices', too!) for a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow. I comment with confidence that we ALL have full hearts for our pets, and we can be thankful for their unconditional love, warmth, the companionship they provide, as well as the means the Lord has afforded us to be able to care for them properly.

    Grace and peace,

    =^..^=

  • Thanks Pia, you are a credit to the human race!!! wish we had millions more like you!! thanks and have a great holiday!!!

  • Hi Dr. Pia, I am so happy to see that sweet little Ms. Pepper is doing so very well with her new family. It's absolutely amazing how well dogs or other animals do when given much love and attention by those who really care. As I have said before, you do a fabulous job of helping animals survive in really loving homes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Jan (Dudley Do Right's Mom)

  • Hi Pia! I'm just writing to say that all is well here at the beach and I am loving my new home.
    Since I am a California girl, I can do without the cold but it's toasty in the house and on the heated floors. And you should see the new outfits I have. I especially love my pink velvet jacket with the brown bow. It's so me! I am just waiting to get some boots because my little feet don't like touching the cold ground.
    Gus has adapted to my presence and is even trying to teach me some manners. We love to play around the house (we have so many toys) and sometimes race home after our walk. I am still trying to figure inside from outside but I'm not being punished for my accidents anymore. I love the little carob treats I get when I do the right thing! Yum!
    My crate is comfy and decorated like no other crate in town. It is decorated with my orange blanket from you and a fluffy green satin pillow - every dog deserves a little luxury.
    Thanks for finding me a new and loving home.
    Big hugs and kisses
    Pepper

  • Pia
    It's freezing here - can I stay in California until it gets warm again?! And I'd like to bring Gus since he is teaching me all sorts of good behavior. I miss you and look forward to seeing you soon.
    Pepper

  • Pia,
    I am still trying to figure out what this white stuff is falling from the sky but it's a lot of fun to play in. Gus and I run around the neighborhood like maniacs when it snows because no one is around and it's very peaceful. I am thinking of getting a pair of Uggs - I think they'd go well with my new pink sweater and pink polka dot vest.
    Wags from us to you!!
    Pep

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