Koko and Pepper shared a special bond

Meshach with Pepper.

Koko, our Boxer came into our lives in the year 2005. It was a few months after we lost a Brindle Boxer to kidney failure in her twilight years.

Koko was already seven months old. She got into our Omni and sat on the passenger’s seat in the front. I guess she had a feeling of rejection, as she sat stoically, staring straight ahead, all through the ride.

She immediately took to us and would look forward to all the car rides she could get. She accompanied us to almost everywhere we went. She intuitively knew when it was a Sunday, and would be waiting near the car for the ride to Church, where she would insist on partaking in the coffee and snacks that we would buy.

Koko made us realise that animals don’t forget easily and they too have feelings when we took her to visit her previous family after two years. We thought that it would make her happy, but all she did was give a little wag of her tail, and gave me a look of ‘What are we doing here, let’s go home.’ She jumped into the van and faced the road, with a look of finality.

A new chapter opened in our lives when we had to relocate. On joining a new employer, we were asked to live on their sprawling campus on the outskirts of Bangalore. That’s when a month old Rottweiler pup joined the campus, as a ‘Campus Dog’. She was named ‘Pepper’ as she was black. She appeared to have a slight squint and was a spitfire. Once she realised that we were no threat to her, she mellowed down, and in about a couple of months she became a ‘People’s Dog’.

Koko’s motherly instincts kicked in the moment she saw the little tyke. She groomed her so well that she learnt all that a dog normally learns from their mother. But a Rottweiler’s reputation preceded her. Everyone on the campus was wary of her until they got to know what a gentle giant she was.

Koko never went beyond a hundred meters from our house. But Pepper went all over the place; also at times stray outside the campus, and as a result, picked up a lot of jungle lore. Once she spotted a rabbit and chased it, jumped through the barbed wire, and was gone for some time. When she returned she had a deep gash on her chest where the barbed wire had caught her; we had to rush her off to the vet to have it attended to.

Pepper loved running errands for us. Since we were living far away from the city we would request the drivers for picking up some essentials when they went out to bring in the staff. As the transport came, she would receive all the staff with a wag of her stump of a tail, and greet her favourite friends effusively. The drivers would hand over our bag to her which she would proudly carry and wait until someone took it from her.
Both Koko and Pepper loved ice cream and insisted on having their share whenever we indulged in it.

It was heartbreaking when Pepper was diagnosed with bone cancer; we were all devastated. It affected Koko very much that she also left to ‘Happy Hunting Grounds’ a few months later.

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Koko and Pepper shared a special bond

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