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Happy Tail: Pepper the Beagle

Wednesday, June 28th

A love letter to the former owner of a very-loved dog.

Six-year-old Pepper lived every day of her life as the best friend to her senior mom.

They ran errands together, attended obedience school and shared chicken--Pepper's most favorite treat. As the years went by, Pepper's mom became unable to care for herself, and earlier this month had to moved to a senior assisted living facility.

She was not able to bring Pepper with her. She was heartbroken, but worked diligently to try and re-home Pepper, but ran short on luck and out of time.

So, Pepper's mom called BARCS and set up an appointment to bring her here. She trusted our staff to find Pepper a new home filled with love. While surrendering Pepper, she described her to our intake staff as "the most beautiful, loving, friendly, spoiled rotten dog with great long ears."

Our hearts were broken.

Five days went by while Pepper waited in her kennel at BARCS to catch the eye of a new family. During those days Pepper remained polite and gentle, but always looked worried--it was clear that she was missing her mom. But then, on the eve of Mother's Day, Kristen Bowman visited BARCS in search of a companion for her mother. Kristen's mom had recently lost her Beagle Charlie.

Kristen knew it was a sign, and adopted Pepper as a Mother's Day surprise for her grieving mom, Terrie. During the adoption process with Kristen, our adoption staff members shared Pepper's story. Finding Pepper began to feel even more like fate.

The next day, on Mother's Day, when Kristen surprised her mom with Pepper, she shared her story. (Pictured is the moment Terrie met Pepper, her Mother's Day surprise.)

Terrie decided she wanted to write a letter to Pepper's former mom, to let her know just how loved and special Pepper was to her and their family. She mailed the letter to BARCS so that we could send it to the senior assisted living facility where Pepper's first mom now lives. Here is the letter:

You don't know me but I have a story to tell you that may interest you. My name is Terrie Bowman, I have been married 36 years to a police officer, l have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren. 15 years ago I bought a little beagle puppy from a breeder in Pennsylvania. He became my second son. His name was Charlie and he quickly wrapped his little paw around my heart. To make a long story short, Charlie became ill about a year ago and gradually went downhill until March 14, 2017 when he couldn't go on anymore and died in my arms. My heart has never felt such grief. I cried for days and felt like had lost my best friend, which I guess in a way I had.

My daughter was so upset at my grief for Charlie that she decided to make it her mission to find the perfect dog to fill the void in my heart. She went to breeders, shelters, private homes until Saturday May 13th, the day before Mother's Day, she went to BARCS. She found this beautiful, sad little girl and instantly fell in love. Her name was Pepper. When she brought her home to me, I felt like l had been with her my whole life. She wasn't as accepting of me and so we took it slow and I'm happy to say that today, May 22 she is sleeping in her new bed next to me, she sits in the chair with me and she finally smiled over the weekend. l wanted to write this letter to you because I know how hard it was to give Pepper up, but rest assured Pepper will have the life of a princess. She has a big sister, a foxhound named Grade Jo and they wear each other out playing. I truly think Pepper was sent by my Charlie to be his replacement and he's happy that his Mama is happy.

I hope this letter makes you feel a bit better knowing that Pepper has come to the most loving home ever. If you would like to respond to me I would love to hear from you. Again, my name is Terrie Bowman and my address is [WITHHELD]. l am enclosing two pictures of Pepper taken yesterday. She misses you, but she's happy to have such a wonderful place to live. 

Terrie Bowman"

We mailed the letter along to Pepper's first mom. Pepper's two moms have since connected to share stories and photos. Here's to many, many more years of a wagging tail, belly rubs, Beagle-y bat ears and chicken--lots and lots of chicken.