Pepe's original owner was sold a "bill of goods" by the pet store where she purchased her puppy. The store sold Pepe as a "smaller" dog--an Eskie/Poodle mix--but the baby boy grew up into a 55 pound moose.....looking much more like a white Lab than an Eskie! The family was unable to keep this sweet boy, due to his size. When Diane Gonzalez went to evaluate Pepe, she was charmed from the get-go -- he looked like a big, beautiful white Lab....with a smidge of absolute Eskiness.

Diane took Pepe home to foster, and once we posted this boy on our website as an Eskie/Lab mix, we had more hits in one day than any other dog we have posted! We had so many inquiries on Pepe that it was hard to select the right family. We thought we had done right by the big guy on our first selection from the group,....but unfortunately our judgement was off! The first adoptors disappointed us by returning him....well, not every match is made in heaven.

Pepe's luck was running high, though. When the adoptors dropped him off, Diane's neighbor, Michelle was thrilled because she had wanted to adopt him all along! Michelle is a delightful young lady, who helps Diane walk the foster dogs. She had spent alot of time with Pepe and had grown very attached. There was absolutely no doubt that this was the right home for Pepe, and Diane is thrilled that he is close-by, where she can keep an eye on her little love!

Here is a report from Michelle:


My name is Michele. I am 16 years old, and I have wanted a dog all my life. My parents always said “NO”. They had their own reasons; too much work, too this, too that! Whenever my aunts and uncles and grandparents asked me what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday, the answer was always the same, “a dog”. The reaction to that was usually a chuckle because everyone knew my parents didn’t want a dog. As the years went on, I came to the conclusion that I would not have my own dog until I was grown and out on my own. Instead, I spent time with the neighborhood dogs. I doggy-sat for my neighbor’s Bichon Frise when they were away. I also took a walking job for my neighbor’s American Eskimo Dog, Lady. As soon as I was old enough to work, I began working at a dog kennel where I am currently employed, and I take care of people’s pooches while they’re away. I was interacting with dogs every day, but I still wanted one of my own.

Around the fall of 2000, Lady’s owner, Diane, decided to become a volunteer for Heart Bandits. Diane became a foster home for these Eskimo dogs in need of homes. It was fun meeting different dogs and watching them get adopted into nice happy homes. I also enjoyed walking these other dogs along with Lady.

One day I came home from school, and my mom told me that Diane had a new rescue dog at her house and that he looked like a Lab/Eskie mix. I was so excited to meet this new dog. When I saw Pepe I fell in love with him right away. All he wants to do is sit on your lap and be near. He follows you everywhere. He absolutely loves people and wants to push his wet nose into their faces. I introduced Pepe to my mom, and she thought he was special too, but my parents were still hesitant to adopt him.

Pepe was with Diane for a couple of months until a family adopted him on Valentines Day. I was so sad to see him leave and KNEW that he should be my dog. I think my mom was sad too and thought we should have adopted him because she sensed there was something special about Pepe too! But now it was too late, he was gone. I kept a picture of Pepe in my room so I could remember him.

A month later, Diane told me that Pepe wasn’t fitting in with his new family too well and he would be coming back!!! A SIGN…HE SHOULD BE MY DOG!!! I told my parents about his returning and could I please have him. They talked it over and finally decided that I could and should have Pepe. I was shocked! I seized the moment and called Diane right away to tell her that we would be adopting Pepe.

Before I knew it, he was with us in our house. He has added so much love and pleasure to our home. His moods vary from extremely affectionate and loving to playful romping around. Pepe sleeps in my room on the end of my bed. He likes to be near. My mom has become as attached to him as I am. She loves taking him for walks and even lets him on her lap. My dad and my brother and sister are attached as well. One thing is for sure; there is no shortage of love for this American Eskimo/Lab named Pepe! Pepe is a great addition to our family. We are sooo glad to have him. Even as I type this now, Pepe is laying at my feet.

Thank You Heart Bandits and Diane-

Michele, Her Family, and Pepe too!