GLOUCESTERSHIRE, U.K. — When Deb and Neal Peperell opened their hearts and home to Zander, a Rottweiler cross, they had no idea the impact this dog would have on their healing.
The Peperells had lost their Collie Milly in a tragic accident. While out walking one afternoon, Milly slipped, fell and broke her spine. Devastated with the news, there was nothing they could do to save her, and the Peperells had to say a solemn, sudden goodbye. Milly was a much loved family pet and her loss was heartbreaking to not only the Peperells, but to their other dog Reg, a Jack Russell Cross. The four had been a family, and when Milly died Reg missed his canine companion dearly.
When a family friend suggested that the couple explore rescue and adoption, the couple visited the Cheltenham Animal Shelter where they happened upon Zander. The once starved dog was skin and bone, and looking for a permanent place to call home. Zander also had a charming little quirk, a tongue deformity which allowed him to lick from only one side of his mouth.
Though Zander was a bit on the vocal side, Deb described him as “lovely,” knowing it was love at first sight. Peperell says,
“When you go to an animal shelter, you’ve got to look past things like barking and think about what kind of dog they could become.”
Zander fit the bill — he was friendly, great with children (the Peperells have four grandchildren) and loved other dogs. The meet-and-greet between Zander and Reg went very well, and soon after Zander officially became permanent part of the Peperells family.
Although no dog can ever replace one that’s been lost, Zander’s story highlights how welcoming new love into your heart can help alleviate the pain of losing a loved one, and bring new found happiness, love, and joy into your life.