By Judy Brandon: CNJ columnist
I saw a little black dachshund the other day that reminded me of Pepper. We found this tiny black dachshund at our friends’ house. Immediately Buffy loved her and every time we would visit our friend, instead of Buffy playing with the other children, she always entertained herself by playing with Pepper.
Pepper had been found on one cold night and our friends temporarily took her in. We could tell that she was old by the gray sprinkled all around her nose. That is why we named her “Pepper.”
Our friends had advertised on the radio and in the newspaper but the previous owners never responded. After a year, they decided to give the search up. When we heard that our friends had decided to give Pepper away, we thought that she would be just the pet that Buffy needed.
It didn’t take long for Pepper to learn our routine. She even started pushing Annie and Buffy’s bedroom door open in the mornings.
Annie and Buffy were so concerned that Pepper didn’t have a middle name so they gave her one. The little dog that we had no idea where she came from soon became “Pepper Marie Brandon!”
Not only did she move into our home, she moved right into our hearts.
Buffy loved Pepper. Summer came and Buffy and Pepper “hung out” together in the backyard. Buffy would walk along the graveled path and Pepper would be right at her heals. Buffy would pick my flowers and Pepper would nibble at the strawberries. Pepper was always with Buffy. Sometimes Buffy would hose Pepper off on hot summer days to cool her off. I don’t think Pepper liked that much but Buffy thought she was doing her a favor. Buffy dressed her up in doll clothes and pulled her around in a box with a string. They even jumped on the trampoline together. Pepper cooperated through it all.
Two years passed and in her own way with her little arthritic body, Pepper opened up a whole new world for Buffy. We all knew that it had been just the right move for us to take this little dog into our home.
That next year Pepper died. It was a difficult time, especially for Buffy. I don’t know about pets and heaven but I like to think that they have a place in God’s preparation for eternity. I don’t know. But I do know this. Paul talks in Romans about all creation groaning and waiting for its deliverance. This is what he wrote: “The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. “(Romans 8:19-20, The Message).
I don’t know all the details of heaven and I am certainly no theologian. But I do know heaven will be wonderful and far beyond anything that we can imagine.
It might just be that when Buffy gets to heaven and experiences all those glorious things that God has prepared for her, she might just hear a little bark.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: