I almost called this post ‘Alice’s Friend that made me me’. Because that’s sort of what it is really. Just like in other FTMMM posts, Alice talks about shared interests, love despite differences, and life lessons being taught. I will leave it to Alice to explain who the wonderful Pepper (who having met in real life, I can confirm is as wonderful as is described here) is, but I think you’ll agree she’s rather beautiful, and that we’d all like a friend like her…
First, a bit of a disclaimer. This post is another step along the path that will (hopefully) lead to me writing for myself a bit more. I’m a comms and PR girl in my day job, so I write all the time, but not about me, my life, my experiences. It was writing for this lovely blog (*high fives Clare, Aisling and Anna*) that introduced me to the joy / catharthis / satisfaction of writing about things that have a deeper meaning on a more personal level. I’ve got subjects that I really do want to write about and share in the future, and while I’m not quite ready to dive into the heavy stuff just yet, this post gets me that little bit closer. Anyway…
Pepper is our (mine and my husband Si’s) nearly five years old Weimaraner. Here is a pic.
I come from a long line of dog lovers – my family have pretty much always had Labrador crosses. Labs are generally eager to please, obedient, easily trainable and utterly loyal. Pepper is not a lab. She is fickle, demanding, a bit of a princess, stubborn – in short, the most strong-willed, defiant dog I have ever experienced. But I love her dearly and here are some of the reasons why:
- When we play fight, she is incredibly conscious of how pathetically weak and flimsy us humans are. She could cause us serious damage if she wanted to, but she doesn’t. Even when Si has poked her in the head for half an hour with an empty kitchen roll tube. Bad Si.
- She can lift my spirits instantly after the crappiest day. It’s a bit of a cliché but to have another creature be so overjoyed to see you when you walk through the door is pretty awesome. Even if you do get a bit drool covered and tail whipped in the process.
- If I’m upset or low, she’ll know to just come and put her head in my lap or lick my hand rather than barge my leg for her dinner. A while back when I was not in a good place myself for rather a long time, she actually got more anxious, naughtier and really restless. To know that my mood affects her so much helps keep me on the right track – or at least gives me another reason to pull myself up if I’m in danger of sinking.
- Despite me saying that she is demanding, she really has some very simple needs and wants – food, love, sleep, stimulation and lots of walks. She helps me to remember that we humans add on all this other stuff that we think we need to make us happy – we don’t, the simple things can be more than enough.
- Using the ‘dog years’ formula, Pepper and I are pretty much exactly the same age at the moment. And she’s still a bit of a baby – if a (usually much, much smaller) dog has a bit of a go in the park, she’ll run behind me for safety. If there are fireworks outside, she’ll hide under the table. If I’m working in our study, she’ll whine at me until I drag her bed in from the living room as she prefers to have company. And I think, yes, even at the ripe old age of 32, you can still be vulnerable and scared and unsure. And that’s OK.
- We are totally agreed on our love of a stable door.
So that’s Pepper. Smelly, clumsy, hairy and very, very loveable. I’d love to hear about your non-human friends and companions who add that special something to your life.