Unbeknown to me this was the second time she had drawn blood in a matter of days – the earlier incident had involved a delivery boy’s ankle. Pepper was a Jack Russell terrier. She had been hailed as a hero in the Daily Mail in October for raising the alarm when our house caught fire, (link) and in the annals of valiant Jack Russells came close to Sir Ranulph Fienne’s Bothie, who is the only dog to have stood on both the North and South Poles. Pepper is now no more, but we can remember her with the words of Lord Byron’s’ Epitaph to a Dog:
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one – and here he lies.