Chile Pepper, A Pit Bull Rescued From Death

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

Chile Pepper, May 1, 1997

Hi! My Name is Chile Pepper, and this is my story, in my own words. because I was such a “hot little item” for quite some time, my foster mom gave me that name.

My Early Life

When I was a tiny pup, about five weeks old, three mean guys cut off my ears with scissors. Two of them held me down while the other cut: it hurt a lot; and I cried and cried. A couple of days later I was still bleeding and unresponsive, so I was taken to the vet, nearly dead.

I was so limp and listless that the doctors and nurses wondered if I would live because of the blood loss and collapsed lung. But I was a brave little boy and very determined that I would live to love another day! Perhaps you saw me on TV, in newspapers, or featured in an SPCA video.

Later I was an honored guest at The Roundhouse (the New Mexico State Capitol) with Ali MacGraw, speaking for animal/child abuse legislation — how animal abuse is an indicator for future, or even current, child abuse in a home….

Determining that I was an animal abuse case, the Santa Fe County Animal Control took possession of me. Next, I was turned over to the Animal Shelter for protection, then placed with a foster family. I was taught me to be gentle with children — my foster home had 3 big dogs and a 2 year old little girl. My foster mom, Carmen, taught me good manners; since I was an American Pit Bull Terrier, she knew I would have to be extra well behaved so that the terrible reputation that preceded me (very much unfair to my breed!) would be defused, and I would win people over. She patiently worked with me, and soon I absolutely loved having my ears rubbed and scratched!

Bad Guys Learn To Respect Animal’s lives

The three mean guys, who thought they would make me a fight-to-the-death dog, went to jail, paid fines, and did community service.

After several months, when the hoop-la was over and people no longer feared for my life, it was time to go to a new home. My foster mom loved me, and I made her laugh, but I was too big for her small home.

How I Met My New Human

Over Christmas, while my foster family was on holiday, I spent a week with my good friend Kate Rindy, director of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. I got a visit from a girl named Annie. Her office was near by, and she had walked over; she often came to visit the shelter and enjoyed saying, “Hi!”to all the animals. This time she made a special trip just to see me!

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 life. I could tell that she loved doggies and let them snuggle 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 come back.

There were several families who had qualified to adopt me, and my foster mom took me to some of them for try-outs; keeping my tail between my legs and sulking, I told them I was not happy with them; so back home we went. 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 out. I kept thinking of Annie, and as it turned out, she kept thinking of me too.


Then one glorious Saturday my foster mom and I went to visit Annie’s home and all her critters. I was joyous beyond belief! Right away I played and ran with a Cattledog puppy. Hallelujah, I was finally in the home of my dreams! Annie loves me!

There is a pond to play in, lots of other doggies who happily accept me, a kitty to sniff, couches and beds on which to lounge, vehicles to help drive; and the horses leave me the most delicious round cookies (guaranteed to form great green clouds four hours later!). I was ecstatic! For the first couple of weeks I was quite the “Velcro”dog, somewhat unsure if this was a permanent home or not. my new human was not going to be out of my sight. I wanted her to know how happy I was to be part of her family.

Now it’s 2006, and I’m nearly ten. I’ve had such a wonderful life, in spite of two TPLO surgeries in 2000 (tore my stifle [knee] ligament and had the tibia bones realigned). I still run along on horseback rides, where I can pursue one of my favorite activities, chasing rabbits. I’m not fast enough to catch them, but what a fun game we play!

Thank you for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it!

Tail wags, wet nose presses, and LOVE, Chile-the-pitbull.

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