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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy Minnick, NJ              

Customer Testimonials
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Pepper 11

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Entered: 12/05/2020
Status: Adopted
Age: 18 Months; born 07/24/2019
Color: Liver/White
Weight: 40 lbs.
Gender: Altered Female
Location: Goochland, VA
Health: UTD, HW-, receiving low dose of inexpensive anti-anxiety medication
Temperament: Good with people as young as 15 (too energetic for younger children), good with other dogs, not good withcats

Pepper 11's Story . . .

Update 02/08/2021:  “Unfortunately, Pepper was obsessed with the resident cat.”

Pepper was adopted by a family that hoped she would make a good addition to their household. Unfortunately, Pepper was obsessed with the resident cat. It became apparent that this would not be a healthy relationship and Pepper was returned to MAESSR. She will need to join a family that is feline free.

Original:  “The family that puts the time and training into Pepper is going to end up with a wonderful addition to their home.”

Pepper's Virginia family made the hard choice to relinquish her to MAESSR due to her HIGH energy levels and her anxiety in new situations and when meeting new people.  In these circumstances she would quickly go into the over-stimulated mode.  The family felt it was not fair to her to have to spend so much time in her crate because of her antics when the kids had friends over.  Her over stimulation was shown daily when the owner’s husband came home from work. Pepper would get so excited she would jump and nip at his legs, arms, pants, and hands—but she would never bite. In these situations she was wild-eyed, panting, hard to calm, and too rough. This overstimulated behavior and hyperactivity would occur daily.

Pepper is possessive of stolen objects and will run to keep her prize. The item cannot be taken from her without her growling and snarling.  Her foster family is teaching her to trade, giving up whatever she has stolen for yummy treats instead.


Pepper is also a very competent counter-surfer.  When her foster mom tells her to get down, she does most of the time; however, if she steals something from the counter, then she feels like it is hers forever.  Young Miss Pepper has a great deal to learn about proper behavior.

When she barks at new people and dogs, her foster mom has been working on distracting her by having her sit and, then, if she does not bark, she gets a high value treat.  To help calm her down further, Pepper has been started on a low dose of inexpensive anti-anxiety medication.


This high energy girl pulls on a leash, but she knows basic commands and rides well in the car.  She is housetrained too.  Pepper is extremely sweet and loving most of the time.  She loves to run and chase birds and squirrels in her backyard.

At night and when home alone, Pepper is crated.  Although her owner could bathe Pepper and handle her feet and ears, Pepper was not groomed due to not liking to be restrained.

Despite her high exuberance, Pepper is a lovable dog who loves to play fetch and tug-of-war.  She does best in a very low-stimulus environment.  She will need a family that is committed to being firm and consistent with her training.  MAESSR will be requiring two series of obedience classes within six months of adoption to help with bonding and also to show Pepper the proper way to act.  The family that puts the time and training into Pepper is going to end up with a wonderful addition to their home.