Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails.
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil, worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
I trust in Thee.
--Ann Kimmel

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Pal Peppy

Peppy: Pastel Portrait by Julene Baker-Smith; ArtByJulene.etsy.com

About ten and half years ago, two things happened that dramatically changed my life for the better. 

The first was, I ruptured a lumbar disc while practicing throws (I was the one "throwing", if you could call it that--I wasn't very good at it) in a martial arts class. Back spasms and sciatica quickly ensued, and I was more or less a wreck. 

The second thing was, I finally pitched a hissy fit and gave my dog-hating husband an ultimatum: I was getting myself a house dog--maybe even two--and he could like it, or lump it! Not that I hadn't had dogs over the years; when you live in the country, you really need a dog, but my husband decreed they had to live outdoors. 

It seems his mother, back in the 1950's, had scrimped and saved to buy some chicks, and while she was out one day, their old farm dog had somehow managed to get at them and kill them all. She hated dogs ever after and her kids were thoroughly indoctrinated with her attitude, a discovery I somehow didn't make until after I was married and was committed to this bafflingly anti-canine individual. 

But with the kids growing up and leaving home, and with an aching back and shooting pains up the leg, I got mean and fed up and conversation-deprived enough to make a stand, and decided I was getting myself a dog. A little dog I could take with me in the car when I ran errands. The bad back dictated it had to be a miniature or toy breed; I couldn't lift much. I was researching and combing ads for a dog to adopt when my daughter suggested, "Why don't you get a pomeranian?" I'd never even heard of pomeranians, let alone seen one to my knowledge. 

To bring this rambling intro to a close, after a few months of praying for God to give me the right dog and searching to find him, I became the overjoyed owner of a 4-month-old red sable pomeranian puppy whom we named Peppy. You can read more about that here:   sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2014/11/whats-in-name.html

Oh, what a blessed day! I became a happier, nicer, more contented person with my little dog to chat with all day long. We all became nicer people, in fact. Even my dubious better half was won over. Not that he'll ever be a mushy, dog-loving pool of oohing, ahh-ing sentiment like his wife, but he realized these little dogs were good company and entertaining to have around. I say dogs because eventually we ended up with three poms. And in the house, no less! 

All of which brings me back to Peppy, and the reason for this post. Those of you who've followed the blog over the years know Pep's had his ups and downs. A product of "back yard breeding", he inherited some unfortunate health issues. A bit of that is covered here, if you want a recap:  sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2012/05/home-again.html
Pep even had his own Etsy shop, MyPalPeppy, for a few years to raise money for surgery he needed, and then to raise funds for small breed dog rescue efforts. So over the years Peppy developed a modest following of sorts. 

It's for you kind readers who have a soft spot for my little dog that I report, with sadness, that Peppy's life is drawing to a close. He just turned eleven, and under reasonable circumstances could have expected five, six, or seven more years, but his congenitally weak trachea is giving out, his breathing is labored, and we're out of viable options for treatment. His vet had prepared me for this outcome--I have always known it was inevitable--but somehow I didn't expect his decline so soon or so suddenly. This past weekend was pretty rough. 

Peppy after seeing the vet yesterday and getting a shot... pretty tired out.

Right now Peppy is on medication to keep him comfortable and--hopefully--give him a brief reprieve, but barring a medical miracle, I know I won't have him with me much longer. He's still eating fine (we gave him a mini cupcake last night to celebrate his 11th birthday) and from time to time, he likes to go out in the yard and sniff around. No more running, but he's still giving me his good dog smile and seems interested in what's going on around him.

Peppy, May 15, 2017

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the precious gift of this dear and special friend. How kind You are, to have shared him with me.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift
is from above, coming down from the 
Father of lights, with whom 
there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James 1:17

I'm feeling both sad and glad... Tears? Yeah...  But laughter, too. Pep's a good boy. Treasuring our remaining time together.

Update, September 2017

To my great gladness and surprise--and that of my vet, Peppy has made a good recovery from his near-death illness earlier this year. The trachea condition is a given, but it's been under control with medication, and his life is back to normal again. I still keep a close eye on him for any deterioration, but all in all, he's doing well! God is good!


  1. Pep sounds like such a wonderful dog and it's so sad that his better days are past him. Thanks for sharing this great story! (Rob)

    1. Thank you, friends. I think every dog has a story--they touch so many lives, and ask for so little in return. Would that I could achieve half as much in my long lifespan!

  2. peppy will be missed by all who know him and have felt his love. god be with you.

    1. Thank you, Jackie. You've known him since the beginning. We've had some great walks together.

  3. What a heart touching story of Peppy, it was an honor to be commissioned to paint this awesome little dog, along with his brother Wickham.

    Peppy was fortunate to have such a wonderful home with you Victoria, and you were fortunate to have him as well!

    I know how difficult this is for you...

    1. Dear Julene, your portrait of my boys is something I will treasure forever.What a gift you are to those of us who love our "fur kids". Thank you for your kind remarks.