Dog Who Couldn’t Get A Home Because Of His Tongue Finds A Mom Who Thinks He’s Perfect

Don Pepe was found abandoned in a box outside the Mistley Animal Rescue Centre in the fall of 2020. His rescuers suspected he’d come from a puppy farm, as he wasn’t at all used to being inside or getting affection. He warmed up quickly, though, and his new friends at the shelter hoped he would find a home right away, but that wasn’t the case.

“He was at the shelter for about five months before I adopted him,” Khaya Castagnoli, Don Pepe’s mom, told The Dodo. “People had been passing him up because of his tongue.”

Don Pepe is a senior pup and only has two teeth left — so it’s pretty much impossible for him to keep his very long tongue in his mouth. It gives him a unique look that some people didn’t appreciate, but as soon as Castagnoli saw Don Pepe and his wild tongue, she knew she had to adopt him.

Now, Don Pepe lives with his mom in London, and his tongue is still as unpredictable as ever. It’s clear the tiny senior dog has very little control over it, causing it to end up in funny positions …

… or even get blown around on a windy day.

“Sometimes I swear it seems like he waves with his tongue, but whether this is voluntary or involuntary, I’m not sure,” Castagnoli said. “He does give licks still, so he does have some control over it.”

For the most part, Don Pepe’s tongue doesn’t really get in the way of him living his best life, and even if it does, he finds ways to work around it.

“Sometimes he struggles with eating his [favorite] snack — peas — because they roll around too much,” Castagnoli said. “But otherwise, he manages his food just fine. His tongue is out pretty much all the time. I only ever see it go in when he barks (which is very rare)! I think it’s an effort for him to hold it in as he only has two teeth left.”

Even though Don Pepe’s tongue didn’t wow adopters, now it brings people nothing but joy. Passersby can’t help but smile and laugh when they see him and his goofy tongue, and Castagnoli is so thrilled the world loves Don Pepe as much as she does.

“He definitely cheers people up — you can’t look at him and not smile,” Castagnoli said. “A lot of children ask if they can touch his tongue, they’re enchanted by it. Some don’t [recognize] him as a dog but think he’s some creature they’ve never heard of. They ask why his tongue is always out — it’s a good opportunity to talk about animal rescue.”

Castagnoli is so glad she found Don Pepe and loves him for exactly who he is, tongue and all.

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