Diving Lessons

Stefania from Milan and her Jack Russell Terrier Pepa have been a couple forever. Pepa is now 14 years old and Stefania keeps taking her everywhere: Spring in Ibiza, summer in Puglia, to Miami in the fall and Xmas with the family in Milan. Pepa loves the sun and the sea as much as Stefania does: “In another life she must have been a professional diver!” She may not be the perfect guard dog – but she always recognizes the bad guy in a television show

Pepa found YOU instead of the other way round, it that true?
Yes, she did. It happened in Milan, Pepa was part of a litter of a founding friend of the Dr. Jack & Mr. Russell Association. She was meant to go to a family in Brescia, who had some kind of problems and couldn’t adopt any more. Destiny wanted me to pass by. When I went there to take a look, she was the only one of the litter that was missing. They were looking for her everywhere, eventually we found her fast asleep – in my handbag..

How do you get on with each other?
Pepa is very intelligent, she listens and understands perfectly well. Can you believe that she actually follows human conversations and watches television? Between her and me there’s a continuous silent dialogue going on. It may sound absurd but when I ask her something she would answer with her eyes pointing at things for example. It wasn’t always easy to teach her good manners but I was very strict when she was a puppy. This allows us now to be together anywhere, any time. Pepa may be like a daughter one day, or more of a mother another day. And, most of all, my friend. I keep telling myself: Don’t forget that Pepa is a dog. That said, she is part of the family. A partner for life.

Who would she be if not a dog?
A dentist! Just kidding, but as soon as she sees a dog that she really likes, she cleans his teeth. Seriously? She would be a professional diver.

What is it that you love about her most?
She makes me feel that I belong, that I’m with someone. She makes me laugh and she follows me everywhere. She can be cuddly one moment and the next minute very independent. Remembering the pandemic for example: During the second lockdown you could tell she was fed up with me! Whenever I tried to join her, she went into another room. Furthermore, she is good with everyone. Unless she gets attacked and needs to defend herself – so fierceful that you might think she’s a Great Dane!

Anything she taught You You wouldn’t want to miss out on?
She taught me patience and silence, to slow down from all the stress and enjoy the simple things in life. Contact with nature, for example. But, first of all, unconditional love.

Something funny you’d like to share?
When I’m in a hurry during walkies and she pretends to not understand and slows down on purpose! Annoying, but also sweet. Really funny is when we’re watching a thriller and she would growl at the bad guy.

And where does she sleep?
Well, don’t tell anyone but she actually sleeps under the duvet with her head on the pillow! She certainly has a couple of dogbeds, too, and sometimes, very rarely, she decides to take a nap in one of those.