"Pepper Becoming"

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Evolving from a dog no one wanted to one who touched countless lives, “Pepper Becoming” humorously, tenderly, and sometimes painfully recounts the unlikely true story of two kindred souls helping each other navigate life’s challenges.

Abandoned by her owners 15 miles from her home, she was dirty, diseased, and emaciated when seized by the police on the streets of New York. Scheduled to be euthanized at a municipal pound after her owners refused to claim her, she was adopted, returned, and again scheduled to be euthanized. Finally rescued by a no-kill shelter, she lived in a cage for nearly two years while deteriorating emotionally and behaviorally. 

With predestination in the air, her path crossed with a novice dog trainer (the author) seeking to improve his skills by volunteering at the shelter that housed her.

Despite her distrust of people, and his disinterest in the responsibilities of dog ownership, they immediately bonded and embarked on a nine-year journey that would change them, and those whose lives they graced, forever.

Captured Moments from a Shared Journey

Photos from the book "Pepper Becoming"


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Additional Photographs



Videos of Pepper



Pepper performing the first trick I taught her while she lived at the shelter.



First romp in the snow after living in a shelter for two years.

Whale Eye!


Showing stress while guarding her bone. We resolved this issue fairly quickly.

Not Happy!


Losing it when she spots the mail truck.  We resolved this too (see how at 00:35).

Ding the Bell!


A favorite trick of hers- ringing a service bell. Here she learns how to do it in the snow. 

The Look!


Trying to get her to take her vitamins. She ain't buy-in'. Instead, I got "The Look".

The Olympics


At the :02 point, Pepper growls. The last part of the video shows the Portuguese Water Dog- The Olympics winner.

Her Soul


Those who she accepted into her inner circle, saw this dog's soul.

"This is coming to you live.."


During one of my webinars, Pepper decided to chime in with a sneezing fit. Of course, I found it to be wonderfully amusing.

The "untrainable" Dog


Labeled by the shelter trainer as "untrainable" with a "screw loose" - showing off her favorite activities. Untrainable?



Teaching Pepper a gentle face to face greeting (Volume must be up for this one). And yes, she did get it right, eventually. 

Sniff In A Bag


Too old to go for walks and sniff, so, I brought the sniff to her. Collected leaves, dirt, pine needles, in a bag.

"Come What May"

"Over the Rainbow"

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Pepper Becoming

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