Pepe: Bull Terrier

48″x48″ Oil on Canvas 2018

Human: Emy Richter, Des Moines, IA  U.S.A.

 I met Pepe in the fall of 2013. As a foster agent with Midamerica Boston Terrier Rescue, I had just placed a 6 year old female with a loving home. I was so pleased with the progress this latest one had made,  because she presented with so many challenges. Dolly had been a puppy mill breeding dog her whole life, without proper socialization, nutrition or medical care. She was terrified of everything and tried to run away every time we went outside. She soiled all over the house and cowered in the presence of humans. She barked or cried constantly. She lived with me for about 5 weeks while I worked to heal her body and her heart, and worked very hard to find a human match for her that could be dedicated to continuing the time consuming and patient work of settling her into a real life. As much as I came to love her, I was relieved to have her move on to her forever home so I could begin to take back my house!

Just as I was preparing her for transport, I received a call from MABTR’s director in Omaha with word that a Boston has been picked up as a stray in Osceola. The dog had been at animal control for two weeks without anyone claiming him, and without being adopted. No microchip. The next day he would be euthanized. Could I drive out and retrieve him?  Of course. (Slight sigh…I had just washed all the rugs!)

I drove Dolly to the Ankeny airport to hitch a ride with a private pilot who was banking flying hours and had agreed to take her along to St. Louis. Then I headed for Osceola.

Within the first 10 seconds of meeting Pepe, I knew that he needed to come home with me forever. I have fostered and placed more than 100 Bostons, but I could immediately feel a special connection between he and I.

Over the next five years Pepe and I pretty much never left one another’s side. We went camping together, hiked in the Smokey Mountains and the Ozarks; swam, fished and boated on the lakes of Northern Wisconsin, visited the Great Lakes of Michigan and Huron, and started training with me to become a certified therapy team. We plan to visit hospitals, nursing homes and libraries.

Last summer Pepe had to have an eye removed at the Iowa State veterinary clinic.

He is the most trustworthy and loyal dog I have ever known. He would follow me to the ends of the earth even if he had to calmly maneuver through masses of grabby toddlers or screaming fireworks. He is simply unflappable as long as we are together. Oddly, he will always refuse to go on a walk with anyone else if I’m not along, too.

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