Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Tribute to Man's Best Friend

On September 13th our dog Pepper lost her battle with cancer.  It was only a month ago when I took her to the vet, as she was not her usual self.  The test came back as cancer and it took its toll on her quickly.  Pepper was almost 14 and she spent here whole life here at the golf course.  It was her favorite place to be.  After a weekend of being at home she could not wait to get back to the course.  As we would make the turn from France Ave. onto 38th Street she would whine with excitement as she knew we were getting close to work.
Stalking Geese

There weren't many animals she hadn't chased or tried to tangle with on the course.  The squirrel population definitely was diminished during her early years (her best day was 3 squirrel kill in a time span of 30 minutes) as her herding ability allowed her to turn on a dime.  Her mix of Border Collie and Australian Cattle dog provided her with exceptional speed, agility and of course intelligence.  She pursued many raccoon's (one time just a little too close costing here the tip of her ear, a trip to the pet hospital and $250 for me) and chased many deer.  One morning while touring the course Pepper got a little too close to a fawn and was subsequently pursued closely by a doe that was not too pleased with Pepper.  This may be one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed; seeing a dog get chased by a deer.
For almost 14 years she rode everyday next to me on my cart.  Sometimes she was relegated to the office and usually for reasons she did not understand.  Pepper wanted to be where the action was. Sunday evening cart rides were always a treat and she would sit right between me and my boys.  Most mornings we would stop at the club house; for me a better cup of coffee and for Pepper a blueberry muffin and if she was really lucky fresh bacon from the kitchen.  Her final ride was on September 13th.  I knew she was not feeling well.  She laid on the cart all morning.  I was in my usual morning rush, rolling greens and hurrying around the course.  She didn't seem to mind.  I'm pretty sure neither one of us knew that day was going to be her last ride, but I did find time to talk to her as I usually did and tried to comfort her as I knew she was not well.

Continually working, looking for something to herd

The ride for me is a little lonelier now, but I have many wonderful memories of my fury friend.  Having grown up on a farm, we always had dogs, and many of them, but Pepper was by far the BEST dog I have ever had.  Her first place ribbon from obedience class has a permanent a place in my office and she will always have a place in our hearts.  Thank you to the members of Minikahda for allowing me to have Pepper roam the grounds and earn her keep maintaining the golf course free from geese. We had a good run Peppergirl.

After a long run on a hot summer day, nothing like cooling down in a mud puddle. 


6 comments:

  1. will there be a replacement? Pepper did a great job on the Canadian geese. will be missed

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are letting Cooper take over the duties. Sue and I are going to take a break from getting another dog at this point.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry to hear that Jeff. I have 2 golden Doodles at my course and can't imagine life without them...Well I sort of can as they both got picked up last Saturday and were taken to Doggy Penitentiary until I was able to bail them out on Monday The house was way too quiet those two nights
    All the best Jeff
    Larry

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jeff - Sorry to hear about Pepper. I know very well how you're feeling. I lost two Goldens to cancer (hemangiosarcoma, which basically made the blood vessels in their stomach swell and explode). Neither lasted more than two weeks after diagnosis. They just lost all of their energy. They were sisters from different litters and died one year apart to the week, one eleven and the other ten. You were fortunate to have Pepper as long as you did.

    Even though the house is quiet and the seat next to you on the cart is empty, don't dwell on that. Remember all the love and devotion she showered on you for all those years. That's why we spoil our dogs so much; their time here is relatively short.

    There will come a time when you'll feel like filling the house with noise again and have all the fun (?) of training a new pup to do it's thing on the course. Until then, fond memories of Pepper.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jeff - So sorry to hear about Pepper. I remember when we put Jak down, not only did we loose a valued employee, but a good companion as well. Wishing you a great fall.

    Casey

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a beautiful and touching tribute to your beloved Pepper. My eyes still well up when I think of losing my little Jack four years ago... Thank you for sharing some of the adventures and photos of your very special and faithful friend and companion.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete