Pepper arrived on Saturday morning.
She's an eight-month-old black Lab mix, still very much a puppy, who weighs about 30 pounds and will probably weigh around 35 when she's full grown and filled out (she's a little skinny right now). Despite her small size, Pepper is very much a Lab -- she has the slightly wavy and oily coat (but softer and less greasy than a pure Lab's), a miniature version of the rudderlike tail, the extremely friendly temperament (she seems to be one of those dogs who loves everyone on sight and has never known a stranger), and the natural inclination to carry things around in her mouth.
I named her "Pepper" because of the unique black flecks on her white chest, but really I should've named her Cuddles or Snugglebum or something sappy like that, because that is the kind of dog she is. Super sweet, gentle, and people-oriented. She needs a calm, supportive home that'll give her plenty of affection and help her build her confidence. No force-based training for this girl -- she's so soft that even addressing her with a mildly exasperated voice makes her cringe.
Pepper comes from a high-kill shelter in rural Georgia -- in fact, we pulled her so soon after Gremlin (despite my usual resolve to take a breather between foster mutts) because the shelter was scheduled to put down all the dogs that didn't have a commitment before Hurricane Irene struck, even though the hurricane wasn't projected to go anywhere near that area -- and it is evident that she had little or no training in her past life. She's not housebroken (AT ALL: the mess count for the last 24 hours includes three poops, one pee puddle on my rug, and one vomit in the hallway), has no idea how to walk on a leash, and was terrified of stairs when she first came to us. (The fear of stairs, at least, has rapidly receded; she goes up and down a little hesitantly, but she goes. Living in a third-floor walkup will do that for you.)
Pongu's already counting down the days.