My dog, Pepper

My dog, Pepper, died last night. She’d lived a good, long life and, sadly, had to be euthanized because of advanced arthritis. As my son, Chris, and I said our final farewells to Pepper last night, I thought of all the funny, and not-so-funny, things Pepper did in her life.

To begin with, Pepper wasn’t the friendliest dog in the world. For example:

1.) At the very first agency pool party in 1996, some original Peppercommers decided to snap somePepper_2   photos by my pool. We were sporting our new Peppercom t-shirts and thought the timing was perfect for a photo op. Someone suggested we grab Pepper, put a shirt on her and include her in the pic. To say that Pepper was less than thrilled with the idea is an understatement. She snapped and snarled at anyone trying to put the shirt on. Finally, my partner held her while I slipped the shirt over Pepper’s neck. The framed photo now hangs on our firm’s back walls.

2.) Ed and Pam Moed paid us a visit one day to sit by our pool and reflect on the agency’s early successes. Our revelry was disrupted, however, by shrill screaming coming from the bushes. Pepper had found a nest of rabbits and was busy scooping them out, one-by-one, and tossing them into the back of her throat. It was a brutal scene reminiscent of something from Animal Planet’s Shark Attack Week. Pepper wiped out an entire family. Or, so we thought. The next day, I found a solitary bunny floating face down in our pool. The little guy had left a note saying he couldn’t go on without his family.

3.) Pepper loved to run away from our backyard. I cannot tell you how many times our neighbors would call with "Pepper sightings." And, my wife or I would have to pile in the car and retrieve the dog. And, sure enough, there would be Pepper, soaking wet and muddy from having dove into some unsuspecting neighbor’s pool.

4.) Speaking of pools, Pepper loved ours and used to dive in repeatedly, swimming the length and width time and again. One of the saddest things to see this past Summer was Pepper’s inability to even walk up the steps to get to the pool.

When I think about Pepper, I think about the many ways in which she unknowingly helped Peppercom. Clients, prospects and everyone else loved the fact that we named the agency after a dog. I cannot tell you how many times the agency name served as a key icebreaker in a critically important new business meeting. People just love dogs and immediately bond with other people who love dogs. If I ever write a "business tips" book, I’ll dedicate an entire chapter to the importance of dogs to new business.

Pepper wasn’t the greatest dog in the world. And, her personality prevented anyone from getting very close to her. But, she was a good, loyal companion and gave us nearly 14 years of fun. And, hey, how many dogs can say they’ve had one of the country’s top, midsized firms named after them? Rest in peace, Pepper. We’ll miss you.

17 thoughts on “My dog, Pepper

  1. Pepper’s been gone for some time now, Mathew, so I tend to remember her positive traits. She was a great watchdog and an amazing swimmer, for example. But, when it came to being affectionate, Pepper just wasn’t. Period.

  2. You memories reflects how much you loved Pepper (and how much he did to you as well). From above memories I can tell he was not a easy going dog. Isn’t it?
    – Mathew J.

  3. Thanks Dog stair. Pepper is now long gone but certainly not forgotten. Her likeness greets visitors to the NY office and our website features visuals of dogs. It’s amazing what an ice breaker “dogs” can be in business. There’s always a dog lover in every meeting.

  4. Hola, saludos desde Mexico. Hoy buscando la noticia de pepper el perrito que viajo de atlanta city hasta florida y ya fue encontrado por su amo. fue como llegue a esta pagina tan linda y me conmovio demasiado lo de Pepper su hermoso perrito, siento mucho que no este mas con Uds. Gracias por compartir su historia y me hubiera gustado mucho darle un beso a pepper . con respeto. atte. Laura Salazar,Matamoros,Tamaulipas.MEXICO

  5. So sorry to hear about the loss of Pepper. I never knew him, but like many Peppercommers, told the story of his name many times. His legacy will live on!

  6. I’m sorry to about the loss of Pepper; I too am a dog person and it always hurts to hear this type of news. Fortunately, her memories will live on with you and your family. I’m sure there are many other great stories like the ones you shared in this posting.

  7. For those of us who work at Peppercom, it feels a bit like we lost our dog, too. I can’t imagine how we’ll get through the next new business presentation without choking up a little on how we got our name — especially you, Steve.
    And hey, glad you named her Pepper, rather than Princess or Teeny or some other girly name. The agency wouldn’t have had the same personality.

  8. Very sorry to hear about your dog Pepper. We have three dogs – two Rottweilers and a Beagle, and I know all too well how they are truly members of the family. Best to you and your family.

  9. Oh no, I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Pepper. I’m glad to be able to say I worked at Peppercom while Pepper still walked the Earth.
    I can’t imagine what I would do without my Roxie – the incredibly wiley pit-bull looking dog who is really a Lab that just stands there as the neighborhood cat takes uppercuts to her nose.
    What is that – 98 human years? A good run…

  10. Sorry to hear about the loss of Pepper, Steve. While I never met your dog, it’s funny to think about how many times (even) I have told the story about how the agency was named after her.

  11. I’m very sorry for your loss, Repman. It sounds like Pepper had a very adventurous and fulfilling life. Pepper definitely is a doggy legend.

  12. Very sorry to hear about the loss of Pepper and will toast his long and prolific life today as well.
    Cleo, my family’s golden retriever was also put to sleep due to arthritis. It was a very hard decision, but the best for the dogs who are in tremendous pain. They appreciate our compassion and that we are not selfish enough to keep them around with a truly poor quality of life.
    To Pepper!

  13. Cody family –
    I was so sorry to hear about the loss of Pepper. I totally agree with your post and the importance of Pepper to the agency. It was the name PEPPER that stood out to me when I was searching for a new job six and a half years ago on HotJobs. It was such a different name for an agency and sounded fun. Once I came in for an interview and heard how the name Peppercom came about, I was convinced this was a culture I would fit into. I’ve always been a dog person. Dogs are loyal and faithful companions…even if sometimes they aren’t very social. And social or not, they are more than just animals, they become part of the family. It’s no accident that our summer party is today. I’m looking forward to having a drink in Pepper’s honor. I, for one, may not have considered working here if not for him 🙂