SMF - Just Installed!

Main Menu

For Pepper ‘My Sunshine’

Started by BrookeR, September 25, 2020, 06:29:45 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Yesterday afternoon I had to do the hardest thing that I have ever done. I've always had my best mate there with me to comfort me through everything, so this is so hard without her. My beautiful girl Pepper has grown her angel wings and is now running free from pain. The steroids had eaten her muscles away, weakened and tore a ligament and her joints were eroded and in terrible condition. It was only for her love and sheer devotion/determination of her not wanting to let me down or miss out on anything with our family that has kept her walking for this long. My vet thought we would have to let her go at the start of the year, but typical Pepper she wasn't having that and gathered all her strength and has continued to amaze us. I would do anything for her and it had came to the point where there was nothing else I could do, as much as I desperately wished I could. This was the best thing I could do to help her. I know it was right and I shouldn't feel guilty but being the one to have to make that decision is unbearably hard and something I have wrestled with for some time now and will continue to. Having only spent a handful of nights away from her in over 13 years, this night has been extremely hard. The silence is deafening. Not being able to hear her soft breathing and sometimes loud snoring at the end of the bed. My heart feels like it has been ripped into a million pieces. Having worked from home with her all her life, the reminders are everywhere. She was like my shadow and it's so painful turning to not find her there....even in the bathroom. This year has been especially tough caring for her and my whole world has literally revolved around her. It has been physically and emotionally draining but I wouldn't change anything. She has given me so much love, devotion, loyalty and happiness. She was 'my sunshine.' I have loved her for her whole life and will love her for the rest of mine. I am so grateful for all the extra time we have had together. We could have lost her 6 years ago to Impa, when the vets had given up on her and couldn't diagnose what was wrong. Then there was the rare aggressive cancer that just vanished, plus a number of other times when the odds were against her.  She was unbelievably tough and one of a kind. It seems like we spent another lifetime together since her impa diagnosis. So I guess I need to think of that be so grateful. Just take one day at a time and hopefully the pain will get a little easier as time passes.

I just want to thank everyone on this forum. Thank you Catherine and especially you Jo from the bottom of my heart and from Pep. Pep and I wouldn't have gotten through the last 6 years since her IMPA diagnosis without having this place to come to (mostly late at night) and put down my thoughts. The wealth of knowledge and especially experience here on these tricky immune diseases exceeds any I could find elsewhere. It has been such a great place to come when you feel so lost & confused with what's going on and need to hear from others who have been there and had so much experience in similar situations. That is something I couldn't get anywhere else and am eternally grateful.
I hope I can still visit and try help others from time to time.

Thankyou from myself and Pep.xo
Brooke with
Pepper, the English Staffy (IMPA since Dec 2014)
NSW Australia


Thank you for letting us know this, Brooke even though I am now feeling tearful. It has been a long journey, with both you and Pepper fighting everything that was thrown at her and still enjoying life. But there comes a time (and I have experienced this quite a few times now), when we have to make that terrible decision but we do not do it lightly and in time we realize it was the right decision.

I have also experienced the being with them most of the day (and night) and then the extra caring they need when they get older, and are not very well but they are still enjoying life. I also understand and have experienced the sheer determination they can show and many a time "cantankerous" has been uttered by me.

I am glad that I was able to help and I do hope, Brooke, you will stay on the Forum to help and inspire others. But I think for the moment you may need some time to yourself, to grieve, without having to read of other ill dogs.


Oh Brooke,  I am so sorry to read about your dear Pep.  I also feel as if one of the family has gone.  I had got to know her so well and, a character such as Pep, one couldn't fail to love, even from this distance.  She is one of the most amazing dogs that I have had the pleasure to know.  Some animals are a cut above the rest.  I can't explain it but it is like they are on another level, and I always thought Pep was one of those. Despite her illness she was not going to be beaten and she was determined to leave before her time.  It is so hard for you, and you are right, they do take a piece of our heart with them. Making this decision, and saying goodbye to save suffering, is the most unselfish thing that we can do, and it is the hardest.  At times, I wish we had that option with human loved ones.   

It is so tough right now but in time, this pain will ease and the pain will be replaced by the wonderful memories and the pleasure of having a girl like pep in your life.  They give so much to us, and they are never forgotten.

My heart goes out to you Brooke.   Run free dear Pep. You will always be an incredible girl.

With love


Koda bear

I am so sorry for you and I know you are missing your dear Pepper. I am brand new on this forum and as I read through many posts I saw Peppers name quite often. You have fought a hard battle.
I am sending thoughts and prayers to you from the other side of the world.
I hope that you can find some comfort as you get through this very dark time.

Missy, and Koda, in New Hampshire, USA.


Thank you all. Thanks Jo, for your kind words, I really appreciate it. I have always thought that Pep was special & on a different level, but I am extremely biased. It's comforting to have you reassure my thoughts.
Pep had the most beautiful soul and was nothing short of amazing with how she overcome everything she was dealt. I always thought it was unfair how much she had to go through in her life. But going through all that together just made our bond even stronger. She never let anything get her down and was determined to throw everything she had at it to continue on and enjoy life with her family. Even at her worst she pulled herself together, put her smile on and continued on. She didn't dwell on things or feel sorry for herself, she lived for every moment. Her positivity and determination was inspiring and it's amazing how much a dog can teach you about life and love. I am so grateful to have had her as part of my life and now have so many beautiful memories of important moments in our life that were shared with her and forever will be.

Sadly she just couldn't live forever, as much as pep was determined to give it a go. I wish I didn't have to make the call for her, but really I couldn't see it any other way. Her never give up attitude and not wanting to disappoint me, I see now it was always going to have to be this way. A week has passed and I've gone over everything so many times in my head. I felt guilty for ending things when she could have still continued on but she had become so fragile. I was scared one of her bones may just eventually snap. I didn't want her to end that way in unbelievable pain and have to rush her to a vet and do it there. So I feel more comfortable now that I made the right decision and she could be at home where she felt most happy. She must have known as she pulled herself together and had such a great day. She was more mobile and spritely and even more loving and snuggly than normal. There were many little things she did throughout the day which were significant that she hasn't done in sometime. She had a great last day. We went for drives and did lots of special things. She had a treat of salmon for lunch and a chocolate paddle pop at the end. She loved paddlepops when she was younger and hadn't been able to eat one for years.
In an ideal world I would have loved our vet who has been with us since Peps impa diagnosis and who we have built a special bond with  to have been there with us in the end. But in typical pep style (she always had bad timing when her problems happened) Ironically it ended up being the same day and time when our vet really couldn't have been there for us. She gave birth to a baby boy. I had a feeling all along since finding out about her pregnancy, that it was going to all end up happening close.  But never expected it would be the same day and almost the exact same time. So that's a special little gift that ties pep with her forever. Another sign of Pep being on another level. The circle of life. It's nice to think new life came as pep left this world. A special gift from Pep at the end. :)
Brooke with
Pepper, the English Staffy (IMPA since Dec 2014)
NSW Australia


Our thoughts and condolences are with you Brooke.

Pep will always be one of those special ones who will live on in our memory too.

Best wishes to you and the family.