Chile Pepper's Story
Animal Stories from

August 2009

Chile Pepper

"Life gave me lemons, but I made lemonade....
and lemon meringue pie...
and lemon parfaits.....
and lemon squares.....
and lemon sorbet..."

Chile Pepper, May 1, 1997  - Chile Pepper - 01

(from an interview on the PBC 'pit bull central', marking the celebration of his first birthday)

Hi!!! My Name is Chile Pepper. My foster mom named me that because I was such a 'hot little item' for quite some time.

You see, when I was a tiny baby, about 5 or 6 weeks old, 3 mean guys cut off my ears with some scissors. 2 of them held me down while the other cut and cut, and it hurt a lot and I cried and cried.

A couple of days later I was still bleeding, and feeling just awful!! Finally I was taken to the vet because I was nearly dead. So limp and listless... the doctors and nurses wondered if I would live because I had lost so much blood. But I was a brave little boy, and very determined that I would 'live to love another day!!'

When I first arrived, a girl named Kim was in the lobby with her 2 chocolate labs. The three of them thought I was very cute but oh-so-sad. Mocha and Melvin were getting their shots, but all activity stopped when I arrived. After awhile it was clear that I was going to need a new home when I was well, and Kim called her friend Annie to ask if she wanted another puppy, one who was very sweet, and very needy............


Over the next few days, as I recovered at the veterinary hospital, many volunteers from the Shelter came to see me, to cuddle and love me, and I made a lot of good friends!!!!! They still remember me and enjoy when I come to visit. I am so happy that they are so happy!!!!!!!!!!! Chile Pepper - 07

It was then decided that I was an animal abuse case, and the Santa Fe County Animal Control took possession of me. Next I was turned over to the Animal Shelter for protection. I stayed at the vet hospital for many days, but as I got better, and when my ears were healed and I had plenty of blood back in my vessels, I went to live with my foster family. It was a wonderful place!!

There were three big doggie friends, and a little 2 year old girl who loved me and played with me, and taught me to be gentle with children; we shared toys, and she was so sweet to me. My foster mom, Carmen, taught me good manners; being an American Pit Bull Terrier, she knew I would have to be extra well behaved so that the terrible reputation that preceded me (very unfair to my breed!!) would be defused, and I would win people over. It took many weeks for me to trust her enough to let her put a collar around my neck; I had such painful and scary memories!! But she just patiently worked with me, and soon I absolutely loved having my ears rubbed and scratched, and enjoyed going for walks on my leash.

Carmen has a dog obedience organization, and she knew all the just-right things to do to help me recover; I will always love her for helping me become such a good doggie!!!!!!

The 3 mean guys, who had thought they would make me into a fight-to-the-death dog, all went to jail, had to pay fines, and did community service. The 'main' guy had to work hundreds of hours at the Animal Shelter, and all I can do is pray that he has learned how many sad things happen to doggies because of ignorant people; maybe he has changed his ways and is educating his friends....

After several months, all the hoop-la was over, and people no longer feared for my life. Now it was time to go to a new home. My foster mom would have liked to keep me; she really loved me, and I made her laugh.


Every night when she came home from work, I'd run into the closet and bring her one shoe, and she would 'trade' it for a great bone. And when she was cooking in the kitchen, I'd sit by her to keep her company, sometimes right on her feet. Chile Pepper - 06

By now I weighed 53 lbs., and her home was just too small for 4 big dogs and all the humans, so she started telling people that I was ready to be adopted.

Over Christmas, while my foster family was on holiday, I spent a week with my friend Kate, who is the director of the Animal Shelter.

One day a girl named Annie came to visit me. She had walked over from her office, only a block away. She often came to visit the shelter and enjoyed saying hi to all the animals. This time she came specially to meet me because she had several friends in mind who might give me a good home, and she wanted to meet me in person. I could tell she loved me right away, and I loved her too. I jumped up and gave her a great big hug!! I put my big pink nose all over her and could smell all the other doggies and horses and country living. I could especially tell that she loved doggies and let them snuggle next to her on the couch, sleep on the bed, and ride in the truck with her everywhere she went. I knew this was the human for me........... But she went away and didn't came back.

There were several families who had 'qualified' to adopt me, and my foster mom took me to a couple of them for 'try outs;' but I wasn't happy with them at all, and kept my tail between my legs and sulked. I knew I wanted to live with Annie, and figured that if I waited long enough, and told my foster mom what I liked and didn't like, she would eventually figure it all out!!!!!

So she took me back home. I kept thinking of Annie, and as it turned out, she was thinking of me too. She just couldn't believe it-- not one of those families she had talked to wanted me!! She was waiting to have a little Cattle Dog puppy, a grand daughter of her beloved Scrapper who had died one year before. She really missed how sweet and affectionate and attentive she was, and what a good friend she had been.... But I wanted her to know that I was all those things too, and could hardly wait to show her how much I loved her, and how devoted a companion I would be!!!


Then one Glorious Saturday my foster mom and I went to visit Annie's home and all her critters, and I was joyous beyond belief!! I got to run all over with another puppy a little older than I, Kanga, had a pond to play in (boy, do I love to swim!!!), lots of other doggies to romp with, a kitty to sniff......couches and beds on which to lounge, trucks to help drive.... and those horses had left me the most delicious cookies.... My, those snowy horses sure look interesting.... Chile Pepper - 03

So I came to stay at my new home. I was ecstatic!! For the first couple of weeks I was a bit of a 'Velcro' dog, somewhat unsure if this was a permanent residence or not; I had to be certain not to let my new human out of my sight!!! I wanted her to know how happy I was to be here!!!! But I was SO happy, and wanted her to know!!!


Soon, I even reminded Annie of Scrapper (her beloved Australian Cattle dog, who died in 1976) when I would sit near her on the ledge behind the couch, or snurvle in her hair, or put my chin on her shoulder when she drove; I love to snuggle on the couch right next to her, and put my head in her lap and help on the computer. Chile Pepper - 02


She even taught me to type so I could write this to all of you, my new friends!!!!  

When I'm really good, Annie lets me do the driving!! Chile Pepper - 05

And even though I have no ears, many think I'm as handsome as Yul Brynner!!!


Chile was special Guest Of Honor at the----

BARKIN' BALL .....yum, what a delicious biscuit!!!!!!!!

2nd annual fund raiser for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. Kate Rindy, shelter director, gets a special kiss!!!!!!!! Chile Pepper - 04


I'm a lover, not a fighter!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chile Pepper - 08





3 years ago I had to have 2 surgeries, TPLO, Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. my stifles had been badly torn...... but frozen peas made them feel soooooo much better!!!!!!  Today I'm running and jumping and back to normal!!!!!  Chile Pepper - 09


Hope your day brings you lots of love and tennis balls and bones and love, and running in the grass and fresh air, and if you are as blessed as I am, running after the horses on a fun ride with my humans, a pond for frolicking and chasing fishies and eating algae, and all the other delights of Makarios Ranch life!!!!  Chile Pepper - 10


GOD bless each and every one of you!!!!!!!!!!

Big wet kisses to each of you, and SWEET DREAMS!!!

LOVE, Chile-the-bean

Chile Pepper - 11

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