This is Lee, one of the co-creators of Love Peppi. This month's editions of Pouche Affaire will be all about my journey into the adoption of my dog son Peppi.
Let's kick off with where I come from, I was raised in Wales where we forever had dogs, and for as long as I can remember there was always an innate connection with them. When I moved to Malta, after years of living in London (moved there from Wales), and being consumed with my career, I found myself missing the joys and pure love that only a dog can bring into your life. If I’m being entirely honest, my ideal dog would have been a miniature dachshund, like my childhood dog Portia. Or maybe a Golden Retriever like my Original Gangster Ranger who with crushed hearts we had to say goodbye to a couple of weeks ago. He was an old dude and just the best ever, I guess we all say that about our dogs and you know what? You're right, yours is the best, mine is the best, they’re all the freaking best. Gonna cut straight to the chorus here, after weeks of questioning if I had the time/lifestyle to bring a new dog into my life, in the height of a global pandemic. I woke up at 4am one morning with an overwhelming feeling that it’s something that I was able to do and in fact had to do! Buying a puppy was never really an option for me. I wanted to give a special pooch a home that was full of love, fun and awesome adventures and did I find him, dammmnn did I find the perfect dog son…...Enter my superhero Peppi.
After weeks of procrastinating (ummm it’s an illness) I finally showed up at Noah's Ark dog Sanctuary mid pandemic to talk about the possibility of adopting a small breed dog, and I hate to say that I was only looking for a small breed dogs, but this is what best suited my reality and therefore allowing me to give a pooch the BEST home and life ever. And I was also very aware that when people look to adopt they look for small breed dogs, which means the medium and larger breeds are left waiting for their forever homes. I'm gonna be raw and honest here, my very first visit to the dog sanctuary wasn’t a pleasant one and this has nothing to do with the sanctuary itself or the volunteers because they are amazing, and I really wanna stress that. But it was more that I felt as though I was shopping for the perfect dog and judging other dogs in need for their size or maybe even age, which in fact was totally irrelevant because I brought into my life the coolest Dogoo who was already 9 years old.
When I first I laid eyes on Peppi, in his pen at the far right at the end of the sanctuary looking every bit like a cute comedy movie dog star. I instantly enquired about Peppi and was told that he wasn’t ready to be homed yet even though he had been waiting for his forever home for almost 6 years, after being homeless on the streets for 3 years. Peppi, is a smooth fox terrier, but I think he is a mix with slight pointer in him (I’m doing the DNA test soon…..extra) and so he is very much a medium size dog, and even though I was looking for a small breed I was just smitten at first glance.
However, since I was told Peppi was not ready, I quickly accepted that he was not up for adoption and even though I was a little bit disappointed I moved on and walked away. I walked a few dogs at the sanctuary but something wasn’t clicking, it’s kinda like people I guess you know when it’s the right fit. Fast forward a week of visiting and loving every minute of walking possible adoption sons, I met a volunteer that I had never seen before…...Enter Rachel. Full of bright, positive and infectious energy, she just oozed passion for her job at the sanctuary. After literally after 2 sentences with Rachel she was like…OMG Peppi is for you have you walked him? When my response was no I didn't think he was ready. She promptly marched to Peppi’s pen. I entered with Rachel and within 5 seconds the 3 of us knew I would be adopting him. I spent 2 ½ weeks visiting Peppi where I would pick him up at 7am and drop him back at Midday. This gives us a real chance to bond and work on our future together as a dog Dad and Son. Those hrs were the best full of adventures and naps and as the days went on it grew harder to leave him in his pen but make no mistake Peppi loved it at the Sanctuary, he was their star and spoiled rotten as he should be.
Another fast forward, now I was at the point where I knew in my heart that I wanted to adopt him so I started the process by asking Rachel if she thought i was the right fit…..I know the answer but Rachel had cared for and had a deep love for this boy for 6 years and really shaped the way the way his lordship behave today, which is with pure class. YES!!!! Lee you are!! Cue the tears from Rachel ½ loving that this boy is finally going to his new life and ½ realising that he won’t be at the sanctuary anymore. It was tough on her and I totally understood that. She knew Peppi more than anyone and it just felt like the universe aligned for the match and change is hard, especially letting go of a Pooch that you have bonded and grown with for 6 years.
Peppi was adopted on the 18th June 2021. I guess the whole vibe of this blog is to really get across how adopting a dog is so rewarding and a dream process. Peppi had never had any training at all… like none, he was on the streets for 3 years prior to the Sanctuary so those years were spent just trying to survive up in those streets. My main worry, well I wouldn't say worry per say but I was aware that he wasn’t potty trained at all! From the moment my dog son walked into my apartment he has never had a mistake inside, he doesn't even potty on the terrace, it’s like something clicked within him and he know, damn i'm not messing this up, what he did not know is that he could mess up as much as he wanted he still wasn’t going anywhere, he was with me now forever however hard it would be… you Peppi are NOT going anywhere!! I also thought that it would be literally a year before I could trust his recall, it took a week to train him there, little swat genius boy. This Street Pooch who has been through so much, (I don’t even want to know all the things he might have experienced) walks by my side, sits and high fives on command, he is calm, polite and pure class. He comes everywhere with me, to work at restaurants in the weekly food shop… everywhere and hell does he do it with dignity! Wrapping up, my adoption experience was an utter dream and yours can be too, even with an older dog, they CAN learn new tricks believe me, they can be reborn! Massive love and respect to all the sanctuary volunteers who made my boy’s journey end in success… well that is an understatement. It's darn right a miracle how he grew from his adoption.
Peppi will be with me almost a year now and our journey is only just starting. He is my best friend, my teacher, my therapist… my son! I guess we were just 2 dudes who found each other who had so much to each one another… yeah a team, a pack that lives in the now and loves every second!
If you're ready to give an awesome Pooch a new life, Check Out Noah's Ark
Lee & Peppi :-)