That would be the full name of my precious two and half year old French Bulldog. You don't even have to really know me on a personal level to know that this dog has my entire heart and soul wrapped around her little paw. My parents bought her for my 22nd birthday and since October 18, 2009, my life has never been the same.
Today made me want to write about her because I wanted to address something that I get constant scrutiny for. Pepper was bought from a pet store, the one I happened to work for at the time. YES, A PET STORE. I can't tell you the ugly faces, rude remarks that I get from strangers asking me about her and quite frankly I don't understand why it is that I have to sit and defend where she came from ALL THE TIME. Don't get me wrong, I will gladly answer anyone's questions that they have about her. I will take the time and answer anything, honestly! But there is a way to do so, politely! You would think that this is a common sense sorta thing but people get very fired up about these sort of issues. Most of the time I get to hear drawn out, emotional and rude speeches about how she came from a puppy mill just because she was purchased from a pet store instead of a breeder. Are all pet stores bad? Of course not. There are still businesses that have integrity and get their animals from reliable sources. I have never denied the fact that there are some horrible people running businesses involving animals. But I would think this is a little different, I was an employee at the store where I bought her. I knew the people taking care of her on a day to day basis and this included myself. While I don't know her original breeders, I don't think that matters a whole lot. She was checked out by repatible vets that my animals have been to for the past fifteen years that we have had animals! What mattered to me and what I would hope would be the main concern of any owner is that she was healthy and happy. I think that those are pretty simple concerns. I don't know why people just assume that since it's a "breeder" that the dog is somehow "better"? People have this attitude like your dog is an unhealthy, worthless thing if it isn't brought into this world by a breeder. Just because people say that they are breeders doesn't make them reliable or capable of bringing animals into this world! Many people nowadays try and have puppies just to simply make money! These people don't know what they are doing half of the time when they should leave these sort of things up to professionals to do. Just because an animal isn't from a pet store doesn't mean that their living conditions, treatment and health isn't at risk. People breed dogs in absolute filth in their backyard, have fleas, don't have clean water or proper sheltered living conditions to accommodate all of these puppies. Yet my dog is from a puppy mill just because she is from a pet store? I also get a lot of hate for the fact that she was bred out of state. People automatically flip out at me when they hear that she is from Missouri because it is a "puppy mill" state. What's even funnier to me is that before I ever tell them what state she is from they throw out the puppy mill term at me. Just because a dog comes from somewhere else other than California it is automatically a puppy mill? California is the only state that produces "normal" non "puppy mill" dogs? I can't help but laugh at how stupid people can really be. People can be really that ignorant. I also see a lot of people who seem to think they are better people simply for the fact that they adopted/rescued their dog. I am 100% for adoption. I just wanted something very specific for myself. I met a younger gal today at the dog park who had rescued an English Bully. He was beautiful and such a friendly soul. I listened to her story about how many health issues her dog has and how he has to have leg surgery next week. While I commend her for taking on such a task not just emotionally, but financially, I didn't like how she talked to me condescendingly because Pepper wasn't a rescue Frenchie. While someday I would love to be able to rescue a Frenchie, I simply can't take on that task now. I don't like being judged for that either. People are at different stages in life! There is no way that I could take on thousands of dollars spent for surgeries and other health problems. I again commend her for wanting to change a life, but don't make others feel like less of a person, not as good of an owner just because they didn't do the same. I just want to be left alone and have some peace when I am with my dog.
Again, majority of the time I am told my dog is a puppy mill dog. Do I know as an absolute fact that she is not? No, I don't have that answer. But I do know this: I love her and she is my companion. If in fact she was from a puppy mill, she is mine and is treated well now. That's what should matter. She has always had proper care for her health. Puppy mill dogs are generally very unsocialized, and malnourished. Pepper has never been either one of those and besides the fact she was born without a tail, she is structurally as close to perfect French Bulldog as she can get. I wish I was able to thank her breeders for creating such a perfect little dog in my eyes! But back to the whole puppy mill thing....If negative people want to assume whatever they want (which they will do anyways no matter what) they should think of it as a positive thing. If people are really animal activists, they would just care about the overall well being of the animal. They wouldn't consume the entire focus on where they came from, but where they end up. For these obsessive people, they should see it as I "saved" Pepper. Since they truly believe that's what she is, I saved her from her horrible previous life. Now I still think this is so extreme but bottom line people shouldn't judge me so much!
Would I ever buy another dog from a pet store? No. My answer isn't no because of all the crap I have gotten from people, it is because I would hope that I wouldn't be working one in order to see for myself how the business is run/how the dogs are treated. I definitely do have to say that I will have Frenchies for life. This breed is perfect for me and my lifestyle. I couldn't imagine having another type of dog. There is not a moment that I can't help but smile when I am around her. Pepper is like a little person. She is very sensitive, loving, happy, funny, adventurous, sweet, playful and kissable :) She has brought so much joy to my life and has forever changed me. What is so special about Frenchies is that they need to artificially inseminated and have to have a Cesarean section in order to give birth. So every Frenchie you see is a planned little miracle. Pepper is my sweet sweet angel sent straight from heaven. That is what she means to me and that's what I want people see, not all of the other bull.
Until next time.....