It’s been a month today. On Friday, August 19, we said goodbye to our Pepsi. He was 13 years old and the best dog in the world. Anyone that knows me well knows how obsessed I am with my dog and dogs in general. Cuddling with Pep was my favorite way to wake up or fall asleep. Coming home to him was the highlight of my day. He had an underbite, he barked a lot, and he was my very best friend.
In 2003, I was in 5th grade and my sister was in 7th. We had been begging our mom to get us a puppy, but we didn’t think she really would. Eventually, she caved in and we started looking for the right one. We wanted a little yorkie. We found a breeder and picked our little guy just a few days after he was born. We couldn’t take him home then so we waited a bit and came up with a name. We were set on Mossimo for a while (what a silly name looking back!) but then we chose Pepsi because he was black & brown when he was born. One day, my mom did what she loves to do. She surprised us big time. She drove back to the breeder and picked up Pepsi without telling us. When we got home, she told us to go look in his cage. We thought it was empty, but there he was. The cutest little black & brown nugget. He was ours and part of the family from that very second.
Over his 13 years, Pepsi lived in 4 different houses in 2 different states and went on more car rides and long distance road trips than probably most humans do in that time frame. He loved going for a ride, especially when he got to sit on my mom’s lap as she drove. Pepsi was loved by all of our family members and friends, even those who claimed they didn’t like dogs or were afraid of them. He didn’t like other dogs though. Sadly, he never made dog friends because he was just more of a person-dog than a dog-dog.
Pep was part human and part dog, we’re convinced. He could tell time and would always bark and make a fuss when it was nearing the hour for him to get his next meal. He also could talk. He would yell and talk back when he didn’t get his way. And he could understand so many English words! He knew sit, stay, come, gimme kisses, get out of the kitchen, potty, moo-cow (the name of his favorite toy), go for a ride, our names, and more. Pepsi also had so many nicknames. We rarely ever called him Pepsi. It was always Pep, Baji, Baj, Stinky, Tick-Tick (the sound of his nails as he ran & walked on the hardwood floor), Puppa, Poopsie, Sprite (my dad’s nickname for him) and any other silly name that we could come up with.
Pepsi’s health declined pretty quickly in his last few months. I think that’s what made it the hardest. One week he was fun and fine; the next week he started having seizures. When his seizures were calming and he was getting back to normal, the next thing we knew, they came back and with other painful symptoms and personality changes. All within a month, he was a completely different dog, and we had to make the tough decision.
In all of the sadness, mourning, and loss, I have totally seen God’s grace and goodness and comfort. God is so gracious to have given us 13 years with Pepsi. That’s 91 dog years he lived. And a majority of those years, he was healthy, boisterous, and loving. He had a few health scares in the past, but nothing serious until his last few months. I thank God that we didn’t have to find Pep hit by a car or attacked by another dog or anything else traumatic. We had a full week of knowing when his time was coming to prepare ourselves and to give him all the love we could.
God is so gracious to have this happen while my mom, my sister, and I were together and able to support and comfort one another. I’m thankful that this didn’t happen while I was studying abroad for 3 months in 2014 or while my sister was away at school for 4 years or while we had family visiting from out of town.
Before saying our final goodbye at the vet, we held hands, prayed, and cried. My sister prayed, thanking God for showing us His love through Pepsi. Pepsi was always happy to see us whether we left his sight for a few minutes or a few days. He would jump around, bark, run, and go crazy when we’d come home. He especially loved showing my mom that attention. He was so loving despite how much we left him. That kind of love is rare to feel in your heart. It’s love from God for sure.
It’s been a month now and it still feels surreal every single day. I’m still expecting to see him when I wake up, hear him running around the house, or greet me when I come home. It’s like a constant in our lives is missing. If you have a pet, give them a hug, a cuddle, and a kiss for me. I’ll remember the happy times and reminisce through photos. We love you, little pup.