Interview with author Annette Cain and her dog Pepper … co-authors of Ageless Dogma: A Dog’s Life Guide to Staying Young
tell us more about Pepper, how old is she? when did you get her? did you adopt her from a shelter, rescue her or get her from a breeder or ??
Pepper is coming up on her 10th birthday (4-15). However, she still thinks she’s two! She was one of 18 puppies (2 moms, same dad) from my friends’ dogs. My husband and I decided it was time to grow our family, so we took Pepper (aka Pep) home when she was 3 months old.
what made you choose a Lab?
Friends’ dogs were Labs. Pep’s dad was a field trials champion. We chose Pepper out of all the other dogs because she was the only one with a white patch on her chest, a ridge on her nose, and her personality, of course!
how often does Pepper do doga?
Everyday. She starts before she even gets out of her bed in the morning and always stretches after all of her siestas. Most nights after dinner, she’ll do her own unique ‘doga’ stance—she goes down on one shoulder with her rump sticking up in the air and tail wagging (picture).
what are her favorite things?
Hopefully us, but sure bets are:
The obvious—tennis balls, peanut butter-filled gongs, squeaky toys
Activities—going to the beach (includes swimming & riding waves), taking a ride (anywhere), digging squirrel holes, morning walks, and lots of wagging!
Worst favorite thing—Pep loves getting ahead of us on the trail and eating coyote skat (must be the right vintage though)
what kind of diet does she eat?
Mostly wholesome dry food (minus the skat). Snacks include: pb, greenies, chicken jerky, and usually whatever my hubby is snacking on. Pep loves fruit…she actually pulls persimmons right off of my grandma’s tree. She’s sad that persimmon season is over. (picture of her under tree)
are there specific things you do to help Pepper remain youthful?
Daily walks, weekly swims, supplements (chondroitin/glucosamine and fish oil), playtime, and she’s really good about taking naps.
does she like to travel with you, do you take her with you?
Pep would like to go everywhere with us. Our favorite vacation is renting a house on the beach (favorite beach is Stinson—private part is very dog friendly).
does she have any doggie play pals? do you take her to the dog park or dog beach?
Pep is very socialized when it comes to dogs (helps to come from such a big family), however, she could take ‘em or leave ‘em. When we go to the beach it’s all about chasing the ball or scooping up crab shells—she doesn’t even notice other dogs around her.
what is the best, most inspiring thing Pepper has ever done? funniest/ silliest? most rewarding time you have ever spent with her?
Best/inspiring: When Pep was just a year old, she had a terrible accident. She had to undergo several surgeries and had 100’s of stitches (even actual buttons at one point) and was in a cone collar for three months. She was such a trooper and taught me much about surrendering to uncontrollable circumstances, going with the flow, and grinning while bearing pain.
Silliest: Pep’s ‘rump in the air’ act always makes us chuckle
Most rewarding: My husband says the most rewarding time has been from when we picked her up until now. For me, it’s how she greets me with joy every time I enter the room (this is one of her traits in the book).
have you had other dogs?
I grew up in Belize and had many dogs as a kid…a German Shepard named Apache, a Dachshund named Whiskey, and several “pot likkas” (meaning “pot lickers”—what we call mutts in Belize) Ginger, Swing, Yum Yum and Tubby.
what made you write your book with Pepper in mind? what gave you the idea?
My passion is to help others age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. My tagline for my business is “Age less. Live More.” and when I saw a bumper sticker one day that said, “Bark less. Wag More.” the idea for “Ageless Dogma” came to me…the bumper sticker and Pep inspired me to write a book that could help people “Age Less and Wag More!”
have you written other books?
This is my fourth book. I have written 3 previous books on health/fitness—“Fat Chance,” “The Lazy Way to Shed Some Pounds,” and “The Lazy Way to Get In Shape.”
are you planning to write other books?
Yes. I have many ideas tucked away in my head and I’d love to write a novel in the future.
what is the most rewarding thing that you enjoy about your work?
I absolutely love inspiring others to take care of their bodies and take part in life. I do this through writing, speaking and coaching. It is very rewarding to be creative and connect with others.
anything else that you’d like to share?
Annette’s website agelesswithannette.com