When we were small our father told us that we couldn't get a dog unless we could get a pedigree Springer Spaniel ... free. He thought he was being clever but he underestimated our desire! The eldest Madcow-Brother would read the classifieds every evening in the Times Age for us and finally there it was. A pedigree Springer Spaniel puppy free to a good home!
Well I don't know about the "good" home but we got there first. Apparently a young couple had a new house, a new garden, a new baby & a new puppy and something had to go. Lucky for us they decided on the puppy rather than the baby.
So Pepper came to live and was everything a good family dog should be. The Madcow-Brothers will probably remember other stories (or tell them better) but nothing can diminish this lovable rogues place in our hearts.
We had to take out a personal liability insurance policy after he ran away to play with some sheep in a paddock not far from town. Lucky for us (and Pepper) the farmer had a moment of doubt as he raised his gun to shoot him, and when he whistled Pepper came lolloping over to him and climbed into his truck. It was quickly evident to him that Pepper had no interest in mauling his flock - he just wanted someone to play with. A few years later he further disgraced himself by nipping a charity collector in the bum but it was a very large bum and far too much temptation for any self respecting dog to resist.
He was for a number of years plagued by attacks of bronchitis, caused mainly by his habit of dragging his blanket onto the roof of his kennel and sleeping up there no matter whether there was rain or hail. As the vet bills mounted my father took drastic (and rather cunning) action and rebuilt the kennel as an A-Frame which put paid to his soggy sleepouts. It didn't however stop him from his night time barking as he got older. He had become increasingly more deaf and the dark was just too disturbing. One night my father woke to the barking and yelled at the top of his voice "Would you shut up you old bastard!!" There was then a deathly hush in the house as both he & my mother realised it was not in fact Pepper barking - it was my grandmother and her hacking smokers cough. Nobody ever mentioned this in the morning at breakfast, but that night Peppers bedding was shifted to the security of the laundry where the the night noises could not disturb him. The grandmother however continued to cough.
These are my favourite pictures of him - especially the one by the riverbed. It seems that the only time he would oblige with such a regal pose was when he was filthy. Interesting to note that when I indexed all the slides "Pets" was included in the "People" folder. Hope you enjoy them Anne!