Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)'s Reviews > Pepper Becoming: The Journey of an Unwanted Dog and the Man Who Wanted Her

Pepper Becoming by John D. Visconti CPDT- KA
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it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, dogs, non-fiction, stand-alone
Recommended to Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) by: Bob Henderson

I seldom read non fiction, and although I am deeply into dogs I do not often read dog books. This one was an exception and so glad I read it. It is the story of an abused and neglected dog destined to live out her life in a no kill shelter that had rescued her from worse. It is also the story of the author, a man who had never owned a dog but who had decided to become a dog trainer. He still did not intend to own a dog. John and Pepper met at the shelter of course, and not immediately but over time formed a bond. Reluctantly, John made the decision to adopt the problem dog, Pepper. There are some photos of Pepper scattered through out the book, and she appears to be an Aussie or Aussie mix. Since that is my breed, it added to the story for me.

I would not say that a reader has to be a dog lover to enjoy this story. I do think one needs to love animals and to be honest, needs to believe in unconditional love. Love of any kind, but the real thing. Sacrifice, loyalty, and most of all understanding.

In reading this book I felt that I came to know a great deal, not just about Pepper, but about John. He too has had his problems in the past which play a part in his relationship with not only Pepper, but with the rest of his world. There are times I mumbled to myself, "you really are crazy" but at the same time I understood the things that he did for Pepper that led me to my mumbled words. It's just a beautiful story of nine years a man spent with a troubled dog at the center of his world.

On a serious side, I learned some things about dog training from John. I have bred dogs for more decades than I like to admit, but you can always learn. And I do not mean training for competition or herding or hunting, but rather training to have a dog you can live with. I live with a dog who was never abused or neglected but who has some quirks similar to some of Pepper's. She also hates the UPS man (lots of dogs do) but includes the mailman, the Fed Ex man and actually includes my family too. It includes every human who comes to the front door. I live alone in the country, so I am fine with it, but a little control would be nice. John explains not only the things he does to take the edge off some of Pepper's quirks, but why it worked.

It is a book with humor, laughter, stress and sadness. We are all going to lose our beloved dogs because they simply have shorter lives than we do. I had tears in my eyes on page 6 when losing Pepper was mentioned briefly and I had not even met her yet. The sacrifices John made for his canine companion when her health failed are things that not most of us could do, financially or mentally. But he did them and I give him full credit for all of it. I also give him credit for going on with life after Pepper, because there is a lesson to all of us in that, no matter whether the loss is a dog or anyone else we lose.

I am glad I met John and Pepper.
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Reading Progress

September 2, 2018 – Started Reading
September 2, 2018 – Shelved
September 5, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 19, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 19, 2018 – Shelved as: dogs
September 19, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 19, 2018 – Shelved as: stand-alone

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