Pepper is a male Shih Tzu left by his owner at a local shelter at the age of 14. He spent five weeks in the shelter, was briefly adopted, then brought back to the shelter. The stress of the moves was very hard on this old dog. When bloodwork showed that his liver was failing–either from Cushing’s disease or liver disease–the shelter knew he was also a very sick little dog and his prognosis wasn’t good. Fortunately, they contacted Old Dog Haven for help with Pepper.

For the first two weeks in his ODH Final Refuge home, Pepper slept curled up and all alone. He’d leave any room the people were in. In the morning, he’d limp from arthritis. But slowly, as he settled in and was given love, attention, and full reign to be the master of his domain this little guy’s health sprang back! His liver values returned to normal and his shyness evaporated. He began to sleep with his family, and then became inseparable from them. His ODH family tells us that “Pepper will scratch any closed door between his humans and him. We’ve nicknamed him the “lurker” because he’s always staring, waiting, watching for a chance to jump into a lap or beg for attention.  And now, because he feels safe, he sleeps all stretched out and no longer limps in the morning from sleeping in an uncomfortable but safe position.”

What a transformation. Pepper’s ODH family shares, “From a dog literally dying from the trauma of being left in a shelter, to a happy, bouncing senior with a pep in his step, needing five walks a day, and loving every part of life, Pepper embodies why Old Dog Haven exists. He has so much love and life left to give – he just needed someone to give him a chance to show it.”

Update:  Pepper’s health finally caught up to him and his family had to say goodbye.  He has almost a year with them and truly made the most of his new, loving home.  This dear boy showed how much he loved his new life and we are so grateful that he was able to feel so much love and care before he had to leave.