Pepper was the senior Pomeranian-mix rescue dog that made it all happen. Our mission to create this sanctuary was fueled by our desire to honor this special dog. It was with our founders where he found the love and safety that he desperately needed. Pepper was a dog who needed others to see the incredible worth of an old soul. Sometimes a person is lucky enough to find all three rolled into one special heart, and that was the story of Pepper and his owner, Mary, PSDS’s founder. Little Pepper was a sidekick, hero, and best friend to his partner-in-crime and human rescuer, Mary. She adopted Pepper in 2011 when he was around seven.
Before coming into Mary’s arms, Pepper spent his early life navigating years of neglect and heartbreak. Mary saw through Pepper’s tough exterior and unpleasant disposition that had served him well in his years of living in survival mode. Once he was with Mary, he spent his remaining years being pampered by her compassion and acceptance of all his quirks, gifts, and unconditional love. It was love at first sniff. Really, they accepted each other exactly how they were—their true selves. In Mary’s loving arms, this grouchy, dentally-challenged rescue dog got a new name, Pepper, and a new ‘leash on life’. Together, unconditional love carried them through the next five years, across a battle with Pepper’s diabetes and blindness. Pepper became the inspiration for Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary.
Pepper became Mary’s sober companion and they were soulmates who made it their mission to pay it forward to other furry senior sidekicks in need who are waiting to find their forever home and unconditional care. No matter how undeserving an old dog appears to be on the outside—perhaps arthritic and slow, or with dental woes, or blind or deaf—these dogs deserve love, compassion, dignity, and care right up until their last breath is taken in loving arms. Pepper himself inspired Mary, Justin, and Leigh to open Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary. Pepper’s legacy teaches us to appreciate the connection and purpose we find within each other and the honor that it is to care for the most vulnerable among us. As Pepper showed us, senior dogs have so much love and wisdom to share.