Several years ago our little dog “Pepper” came into our lives as a rescue. She was not friendly to strangers nor especially other dogs, regardless of size. Pepper was so protective, loving, and the best alarm of unfamiliar sounds of any dog I’ve ever known. Her capacity for love was universally limitless – the wide smile, wagging tail, and bright eyes always brightened our outlook on anything.

Some time ago she had some incident where her hips and back were injured. At time she could hardly use her back legs nor climb steps, but being such a trooper, always did all she could. A vet in Socorro offered no treatment except for ‘mickeys’ we could administer occasionally. More recently her in Alamogordo it became evident that she was in pain all of the time. Her behavior changed being aggressive at times, even toward us. Our Belgian Granddaughter said that it must be her way of telling us that it was ‘her time’.

This morning, Christmas Eve, we took her to a local vet on the recommendation of a dear friend of about 40 years. This kind hearted old man examined Pepper thoroughly and said that there was nothing at all that anyone could do and that euthanasia was the most appropriate action, that it was the KINDEST thing we could offer. So, he completed that and we brought her home.

I had contacted a pet crematorium early today just in case we needed that support. I called the operator as soon as we got home – she arrived within a half-hour to take Pepper to her facility in Tularosa. She was the kindest most supportive person that could ever be our contact for this we would hope for. Debbie will return the cremains in a few days. She operates a large animal rescue/treatment facility for abused and injured animals. I did feel great relief that the honor of our dear Pepper would be preserved.

But, while we feel great relief that Pepper is no longer suffering, we are. Neither of us can see ever having another pet right now. I wish all of our friends a very Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, ours is not. Some might say that she was “just a dog”. Nope, Pepper was not “just a dog” – she was as much a part of us as we are to each other. We’re so much better for the few years we had with her.

Sadly, Jim

Plugging Away

Here Cat and I continue to move into our new home here in Alamogordo. We continue to find every encounter we have with people here to be simply remarkable! Every person is so kind and considerate. The USPS is the most efficient and pleasant in our history! Such happy helpful people. We’re blessed to live here in such a mecca of good people. We have discovered so many marvelous restaurants and shops everywhere.

Well, except for our only and last ever visit to an Applebee’s restaurant…. Never in our past has a visit to one of them been even marginally acceptable…. Ever! We decided to give them another chance and regret doing so. Everything associated with the visit was unpleasant. No circumstance will make us return………

Our home is really coming together. The living room is about 95%, our bedroom super, and ‘office’ also near complete. The walk-in shower in our master bath is to come as is security/storm doors front and rear, window treatments, and back yard landscaping with rock and the workshop there. We’re patient as we can be…. The garden shed we ordered from Lowe’s will be assembled Wednesday/Thursday. Yea! The garage is workable, though not for vehicles yet. I’ve worked on a workbench and shelving. We’ll likely have a water softener installed soon. The kitchen cabinets are to be installed next month! We’ll have them do the cabinets in the master bath too.

Our ’41 Ford pickup is in progress to resolve the catastrophic engine failure and a few other things. I really considered the Chevrolet LT-1, but am going with a different crate engine. It will have fuel injection mostly for the efficiency and reliability it provides.

Cat and I love living here – the Sacramento Mountains are so majestic and CLOSE! Our view to the West of the Tularosa Basin, White Sands, and then the Organ Mountains by Las Cruces are so nice. Frequent colorful sunsets and sunrises bring joy to us both. Our neighbors are marvelous as well. It’s a very quiet neighborhood with very little traffic.

Wednesday is our 25th Wedding anniversary. Doesn’t seem a day more than a week. We’re profoundly happy together! Not certain yet what we’ll do to celebrate, but it’ll be appropriate.

Wishing everyone a magical and loving Christmas!