So look at what we done did! We have a new little pooper at the farm. Meet Pepper. We didn’t quite know what we would do with the sudden loss of Basil last summer. She left a big hole here and we didn’t want to just replace her with just anything. Zina and I did some soul searching and, as one has to face up to the fact that time keeps marching on, that if we were going to endure puppy-hood again, we had best get after it. If Pepper lives the normal 10-12 year lifespan of a Lab, we will be in our 70’s when she is gone. So if we wanted to train another dog, now seemed to be the time to do it. It was a bit of a search to find her as well. All these quarantined folks were buying up dogs hand over fist and were hard to find. Remarkably, when I was just about to start searching out of state, an ad on our local grocery store’s community bulletin board said that a farm not 10 miles from us had litters available. So we got on the list and did the couple of months worth of waiting. We even paid a bit extra to have pick of the females of the litter. While Basil was a great dog, she was an Alpha. She was pretty hard to train. Pepper was born on the 5th of November and we got her New Year’s eve 2021. So, if you have ever had a new born puppy, you understand just how much our lives have changed recently.
As usual with Labs, she is a pretty smart little lady. Watching Sage, she caught on to potty training with almost no effort. She still has the occasional accident but that is usually us missing the cues. It is pretty simple. If something goes in the front, it is going to push it out the back. Last night, for the first time, she made it all the way through the night. She will do the basic commands, sit, stay, come, down, get the hell away from the shoes, etc. Of course, they work the best if you have a hotdog treat as a reward, otherwise, the attention span can be a little short. We have done this a few times now, she is doing great. Big sister Sage has kind of begrudgingly accepted this intrusion into her usually tranquil life. She won’t tolerate her in the house, but will engage in Big Time Wrestling with her outside. Sage has also been a good instructor. What a sight it was to watch her teach Pepper how to go up and down the stairs.
One thing for certain, especially since I don’t bend well at the waist anymore, is that they put puppies a lot lower to the ground than in years past. She has definitely up’d our activity levels. She is crazy entertaining, has the energy of a wound up spring, and has brought back some smiles we seemed to have lost somewhere along the way with all the gloom that seems to be hanging over everyone these days. We will photograph and post as she grows into those floppy ears and over-sized paws. Momma was about 75 lbs. Pepper likely will be as well.