A story about a street dog and a photographer lady

Tanja Van Lonsperch Van Lonsperch's English Blog Leave a Comment

A story about a street dog and a photographer lady



Some of you might know, that I have a little black dog in my team of two: Pepe. I’m gonna tell you the story of us.  


How I found Pepe in the animal killing station

It was actually really easy but a little complicated. A friend of mine, her name is Marlin, told me about her Dogo Carario-Mix. She was gonna pick him up at a killing station in Hungary. At that time I knew about the street dog issue in some european states but I didn’t know why anyone would need something like a killing station, so I began to research and as an example I’m gonna take the state Hungary in my story.


Der Straßenhund Pepe fand sein Foreverhome bei einer Grazer Fotografin


Why are there so many street dogs in Hungary? Because noone feels responsible. No one feels a need to castrate the dogs, so they multiply extreme fast. The dogs live on the streets, give birth to their puppies in holes in the ground or directly next to a highway. It happens very often that the little puppies plod onto the street and get knocked over by passing cars. 

The animals get abused like beaten, woundet just for fun or because the people are annoyed by them combing through the trash bins. Partially they just get killed because of being alive. Just like my neighbour killed the little cat babies when I was younger. She flushed ’em down the toilet and told us kids later when we went to go searching for the kitties.

Some animals in Hungary are lucky and are brought to an animal killing station.


Animal killing station – what’s that? 

The indication “animal killing station” sounds totally negative at first view. And yes, the name says one thing that’s actually happening in that places. BUT there are a view associations and animal welfarists in Austria, Germany and surrounding states that cooperate with such animal killing stations. These animal protectionists help the dogs in the stations find a home. They collect money and in-kind donations in their home contries and bring it to the dogs. 

From warm blankets to sheets, plastic dog baskets, food and everything a dog needs to survive a little longer. Also the animal protectionists search for a home for the dogs. They visit interested people at their homes and make sure the dog will come into good hands. Then the dog is checked veterinary, gets all necessary vaccinations, an official EU passport and he’s brought outta the hell-hole and into the new sunny life. 🙂
 Furthermore let’s talk about Pepe and me: 



Pepe must “go”

So Marlin told me about her dog – and then a key moment happened – she showed me pictures. 🙂

Her huge Dogo Canario was a total monster, he was so big! And on one of her pictures I discovered a small black fur ball with big eyes. He was standing nose high under the huge Dogo and didn’t actually have to duck his head.

He was been in the killing station for more than half a year and if no human would want him, he has to go soon. And I guess we do not have to talk about what “go” means.


Der kleine schwarze Hund "Pepe" wartet in einer ungarischen Tötungsstation. Er weiß noch nicht, dass sein Leben sehr bald eine glückliche Wende nehmen wird!

Pepe waiting in the animal killing station.. and waiting…


Marlin showed me the website of the accociation that sheltered the black dog. It said that he was called “Pepe”.
And this was his description: “26.11.2013: Pepe – Little boss: Pepe was found at a gas station in Eger. He might be quite small but he has “leadership potential” 😉

At that time I could not even guess how TRUE that actually was. 😉
It was very clear for me that I do neither have the necessary space nore the time for a dog. It was not possible to get him. But for some unexplainable reason I felt something like responsable for that little man. It was like there was a silent bonding, some kind of deep connection and understanding for each other.
Facing it: I had no choice. Nobody asked if I wanted or if I could, it was my obligation to intervene his destiny.


Der schwarze kleine Pepe-Hund in einer Tötungsstation in Eger, Ungarn.

Pepe is coming home and preparing himself for the journey to Graz. He’s getting all vacinations he needs and an official EU passport EU-Pass.


The decission – Pepe is coming to Graz!

Those times I had a boyfriend. He wasn’t too enthusiastically about my plan, but he promised to support me as good as he could with project “Pepe-is-coming-to-Austria”. That was totally enough for me. 😀 When I talked about my plan in the office of my job everyone was full of pleased expectations and even my boss aggreed. An office dog? So why not!?

I held long e-mail correspondence with the animal protection organization. They checked me, I checked them. I was thinking a lot, slept very bad, had Pepe’s snow picture as desktop wallpaper and ultimately I caught myself while signing a protection contract. 😉 Oops!




Little dog on great journey

Pepe was driving to austria on front passenger seat next to the head of the animal protection accosiation. The back seats were full of dogs too and the journey took more than 12 hours. Departure: Eger, that’s further than Budapest. Intermediate stop: Baden near Vienna for owner transfer. Arrival: Graz

We met in Baden near Vienna in the house of one lady that also received a dog from Eger. When Pepe sat down next to me and layed his snout on my lap we had our first look and I immediately was facilated. It had been the right choice. His glance was full of fear, but I also saw strenghts in it and calmness.





And now?

That was just the beginning of a very long and exciting adventure. It was the first step of the journe to myself. With the years I became a whole other person. His fears forced be to became calmer and attentive, I had to develop awarness of reading humans and dogs, become determined in my appearence and I learned to make my decisions wise and sustainable. Because he needed that to be able to trust.

In the mirror image of his look it’s possible for me to reflect my own life, to question my values and priorities and to only gift my time to people and situations that enrichen me and Pepe.


Der kleine schwarze Hund Pepe steht mit Gummistiefeln in einer Pfütze bei leichtem Regen. Daneben erkennt man die Beine von Tanja Van Lonsperch, ihre Füße stecken ebenso in Gummistiefeln. Für die zusätzliche Stimmung im Bild trägt Pepe eine Hawaii-Blumenkette.

And they were happy ever after… 🙂


Feel free to tell me your story in the comments! It would be a pleasure to read it!

More news about me and my work check out my Facebook and Instagram.


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