If you’re a regular reader you will know that Pepper our boxer dog along with Ziggy the French Bulldog and our cats Marley and Reggie are often mentioned on My Three and Me.
This post is all about Pepper though, my first pet as a grown up and the four-legged friend who stole my heart from the start. We were recently asked by Petplan Pet Insurance to share our Pethood Story and the only pet who I could talk about is Pepper. Although I love all our pets she is the one who gave me that fuzzy feeling inside. I know I sound like a mad woman but only a pet owner (and especially a boxer mummy) would know what I mean, my pets are like extra children in our house.
When I was younger I was obsessed with boxer dogs – I loved them and always said that one day I would have one – no one believed me that was until they met Pepper and when they did they fell in love with her as much as we did. She was so sweet and loving and still is – she melts my heart. I honestly can’t imagine a time when she won’t be here with us and even the thought of this gives me anxiety. Next week Pepper will be 11 years old. She may be old, a little deaf, blind and smelly but I can honestly say she is my best friend and I’m not alone in using this term for my pet according to Petplan Pet Census 2018 41% of pet owners refer to their pet as their best friend and 41% even call them their baby.
The day we brought Pepper home wasn’t planned but it was the best decision we ever made. We were just going for a look – that’s what we said… I had always planned to own a red coloured boxer dog as when I was small that’s the ones that I fell in love with, however, upon seeing Pepper that all changed. She was unlike any boxer I had ever seen. She is a reverse brindle in colour which means she has a much darker coloured coat – in fact, she is almost black (her KC name is Lucky Black Bess).
We have always said that she chose us before we even had the chance to look at her and her siblings, out of the three puppies that were playing in the garden she was the first to come over and say hello and immediately wanted to play with Callum who was a toddler at the time. Although Callum was only small when Pepper came into our lives Nathan was a tiny baby – he was 7 months old and since that day Pepper has seen herself as Nathan’s protector. He is the first person she greets when we come home and he is always the first one to throw her ball in the garden when she wants to play.
A couple of years passed and James came along just as before Pepper loved him from the start. She loves to “play” football with James in the garden and in her younger days was known to jump up on the trampoline with him to try and have a bounce.
Fast forward a lot of years and Pepper really is an old lady now, she’s almost grey, has very selective hearing and few teeth but she is loving life and still loves to run around the garden after Ziggy and she loves to sunbathe – we don’t allow her to do this for long though as boxers are notorious for overheating and getting heatstroke (as are most dogs).
We have been so lucky that in the 11 years we have had Pepper she has never had any major problems or health issues. Many of our friends who do own boxers haven’t been so lucky. I would say that if you are planning on owning a boxer dog it is important to do your research first, they are big dogs, are very boisterous (Pepper although slower than she once was, she still gives the boys and Ziggy a run for their money when in the garden) and can have lots of health problems especially with their hearts and kidneys and they can be more susceptible to certain cancers too.
If you have a cat, dog or another pet that means the world to you, Petplan would love to hear from you. They are asking for other pet owners to share their own Pethood Stories by using the #PethoodStories hashtag on social media.
Do you have a pet? If so I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.
*This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own*