Archives: Positively Pit Bull
Meet Zeke, Bella, and Lucky!
Location: Hanover, PA
Ages: Zeke – 8, Bella – 4, Lucky -2
Their story, as told by their person, Donna:
I first met Zeke when I met my boyfriend 5 years ago. Honestly, at first I was nervous around Zeke and nervous to have Faith (10) and Chase (5) around him, but that didn’t last long at all. I soon found out that the only thing Zeke was going to do was lick us to death. I don’t think people understand the true nature and kindness of a pit bull until they actually own one or are properly educated on the breed. It’s a shame that they have such a bad rep. A year after meeting Timmy (my boyfriend) and Zeke, we adopted Bella when she was 3 months old, and we fell in love with her right away! Zeke immediately took a liking to her and followed her around, like her protector. They became best friends and she was just as friendly with the kids as Zeke had been.
Then along comes our little Lucky Ducky; Timmy actually found her on the side of the road! She had a messed up nose, serious nasal and respiratory issues, and her fur was falling out in clumps. We took her to the vet and had every intention of getting her better and then finding a home for her…well, needless to say, she didn’t go anywhere because we weren’t able to let her go. So then all of a sudden we had THREE pit bulls. Wow…
Some people hear that and they are like “aren’t you worried about them around your kids?” or “that’s way too many dogs, especially mean dogs like that breed.” I just tell whoever is so concerned to educate themselves before they speak about the breed. A LAB bit my daughter and a DALMATION bit my son. So, yeah…point made. Lucky sleeps with Faith every night. We tell Lucky to go to bed and where does she go? Right into Faith’s room and up on her bed; it’s the sweetest thing ever.
I just wanted to share a little about my pet pits and help to spread the word on what a wonderful breed they are. Hopefully one day they won’t have the negativity surrounding them and more will get adopted and taken into good homes. I love my dogs, and I couldn’t imagine a day without them.
Ruca’s story, as told by his person Breauna:
Ruca is a purebred pitbull that kind of fell into my lap when he was about 7 weeks old. I didn’t really know much about the breed, but I didn’t believe the negative stereotypes that I had heard. Originally, my ex-boyfriend got him, but as soon as we went and picked him up, it was love at first sight, and we decided he would be both of ours. I was only 17 when we got him, and was still living in Kenai, Alaska with my family. From then, we moved to Portland for two years, and then down south to Ashland for the next two years, and Ruca has been with me every single step of the way.
Every summer when I return back to Alaska from Oregon, I drive my truck the 3,000 miles back and forth again for the fall. Ruca has joined me every single time (when we embark on the mission again in a few months, it will be his sixth time!). I think of him as my little nomad dog. He is happy wherever we go, and we do travel quite a bit.
From day one, Ruca has proven to be one of the best dogs I’ve ever known. He was always loveable, great with children, other dogs, and other animals in general. With him, there is no back-story of overcoming aggression or being treated poorly. Pitbulls are raw proof that even those with a tough-looking exterior can be some of the biggest softies around. He is 95 pounds, but in his mind, he’s the size of a chihuahua; he is such a cuddler and a lap dog!
Ruca loves tennis balls, car rides, going on runs and hikes, swimming, high fives, but more than anything… he LOVES blankets (yes, that does mean that he sleeps in my bed with me — under the covers — every night. he’s too cute, I can’t say no!)
Almost every person who meets him that had previous reservations about the breed has changed their minds after meeting him. Anyone who sees that famous pit bull smile can’t help but smile back! He has changed my life forever, and I honestly don’t think I will ever own any other dog besides a pitbull again. He has even inspired me to pursue my dream of opening a non-profit pitbull rescue.
Ruca’s story is one in a collection of stories about our fabulous dogs. Want to share your dog’s story? All the details can be found on the Positively Pit Bull page!
Name: Mo Chara, Mo for short
Age: 3 years
City: Washington, DC
Mo’s story as told by his person, Aideen:
His name is Mo Chara (“My Friend” in Irish, I’m from Ireland) but we call him “Mo”. He just turned 3 in July. We, my husband Ian and I, adopted him in New York in 2010, and in 2011 we moved to the DC Metro area. So, he is for now, a Washington D.C. dog with a Mammy from Ireland and a Daddy from Boston.
He looooves to do agility and has a real talent for it. He especially loves it when he knows that his favorite treat is on its way, Doggie Ice Cream. Any sort of large ball he can get his teeth in to either, and he’s happy out.
Every time we walk down the street and meet other dogs, he just wants to sniff and play with all of them. Funnily enough, he absolutely loves playing with the smallest dogs he can find. And most of them love him. If not, they bark and well, Mo just wants nothing to do with a barking dog so he’ll just walk the other way.
He really is one the happiest dogs in the world. In fact, a neighbor in our building actually described him as “always so positive” which I took pride in knowing my Mo was giving the right impressions. Unfortunately, due to his color and size, a great amount of people judge him on his appearance and that really does break my heart. However, I look at him and realize he doesn’t even notice them judging him so we both move on with our lives from people like that.
The cutest thing I’ve ever seen with Mo was when he playing with a neighbor dog, in New York. It was around Christmas 2011 when a huge blizzard swept up the East Coast. The neighbor dog, Sparky, and Mo were brought out in the snow after the worst of blizzard had past, leaving about 2 feet of fluffy, pure white, untouched snow in the nearby soccer field. So, we released the dogs. The could not get enough of it. They were prancing up and down, getting lost, making little tunnels of their bodies like a worm hole every where they tracked. They were 2 very happy dogs. When they were done, they came back to us pining for a hot water bottle and a cup of hot chocolate. (well, I’m assuming that much) but as soon as Mo got home, he curled up on his bed and didn’t move for the rest of the day.
I think that memory is extra special because blizzards and heavy snow fall are few and far between in DC so it was nice that he at least had the chance to experience it and have a lot of fun. There have been plenty of fun summer days here tho. But that’s for another day
Mo’s story is part of a collection of stories about wonderful pit bull and pit bull-type dogs who are helping change the face of breed discrimination. Check out all the other Positively Pit Bulls!
In light of the heartbreaking BSL news this week, I wanted to share a Positively Pit Bull story that sheds a light on the lessons dogs can teach us. It is possible to overcome prejudice and fear!
Lua’s story, as told by her pet sitter, Liz Maradyn:
Lua, Another Dog in my Home
When I first meet a dog, it’s not always love at first sight. Like a good friendship, sometimes it takes a while to build up. That’s the way it was with Lua; my trust and love were slow to grow, but once I saw what a fantastic dog she was, there was no stopping my love for this girl.
I got a call from a pet sitter wanting to know if I would be interested in boarding a dog for Thanksgiving weekend. I have a pet services business, Paisley Dog & Cat Services, in Ottawa, Ontario. I don’t normally board dogs, but the owners were in a bit of a bind, no pet sitter. I knew that my husband, Mike, would not at be pleased. If I was going to board this dog, and make a ‘case’ for needing to, I would have to meet this dog, who may be a pit bull.
I hadn’t had any experience with pit bulls, and I was both nervous and curious. Of course I had heard all about pit bulls, some good, and some not so good. I had read about the ‘Vick Dogs’, and about the rescue ‘Dog Town’ in Utah. And I had also heard of attacks on dogs and humans, not pretty stories.
It was time to meet Lua. Lua a young dog, about a year and a half, was black brindle, small to medium in size, and well muscled. And she could jump very high from a standstill – impressive. She came right over and started to lick my face, and then rolled over on her back. Possibly it was what she did with everyone, but I thought that she was trying very hard to win me over, as if she knew that my being there was important. The pet sitter tried to get Lua to sit, or rather under some sort of control, because Lua was all over me!
I decided to take Lua for the weekend, but I wasn’t 100 % sold on her, and I wasn’t sure how it would work at my home. I had two dogs and a husband to be concerned about. I had to show greater confidence than I was feeling to pull this one off. In the end, my husband ignored her the whole weekend, well, all of us. My dog Claire, a Jack Russell cross pug mix, and Lua, acted as though they were long lost sisters from another life, they got on famously, except for a bit of toy resource guarding, and food resource guarding, and sometimes me, I was the resource. Nothing like a spicy relationship! Finnegan, my very soulful Labradoodle, took Lua like a champ, wasn’t too thrilled about the whole thing, especially when Claire and Lua gained up on him in the field.
What interested me in Lua was her thought process. I could tell that she was trying to figure out what the rules of the house were. She quickly discovered that in order to get outside, sitting was necessary, and that each dog would be called by his/her name to go outside. Lua looked at Claire and then Finnegan, just to be sure that she understood. And she did get it, and then she decided to do it better. She sat faster than my dogs, she lay down faster, she was better on recall. When I sat down at the dining room table, she lay at my feet. It sounds pretty incredible, and I began to look at how ‘slow’ my dogs were! Sleeping arrangements for us three: Claire, Lua and I sleeping on the foldout couch, Claire got the top half of me, Lua got the bottom half, and eventually all of me, over the course of the night. Finnegan got to sleep on his bed – enough girl stuff going on for him I think.
I think that it was Lua’s laying at my feet that really did it. When we came in from the field, and both of my dogs were goofing off, Lua laid at my feet. She has as much energy as the other two, but she was contented to lay down. And that very act, reminded me of dogs that I knew growing up in the countryside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The dogs that I remember would go everywhere with their person, in the truck, in the fields, in the country store, and in the dining room, asleep at their feet while their person ate dinner. It began to dawn on me what a great dog Lua was. She’s one of those dogs that comes along, and is so very special, that even if she is not your own dog, it doesn’t matter.
It was hard to drop her off, let me tell you. But the way I figured it was that Lua was not the first very special dog in my life,and I think probably not the last.
Here’s to you sweet thing, all my love.
Across the country, advocacy and education organizations are gearing up for National Pit Bull Awareness Day, October 22.
In the meantime, Bless the Bullys is dedicating the whole month to pit bull awareness. How fabulous!
To help celebrate, find an event near you! (Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.) If you’re in the Indy area, join Indy Pit Crew in celebrating NPBAD at the Veterans War Memorial. I’ll be there with Cooper!
What will YOU do to honor pit bull-type dogs this month?
Image: stephskardal. The caption reads: The dog shown in this picture is available for adoption. Call Salt Lake County Animal Services (801) 559-1100 and ask for animal ID #A338092.
City: Los Angeles
Favorite things: belly rubs, cheese, giving kisses, the sound of my husband’s car when he comes home, her kitty sister Stinky and her stuffed toy soccer balls
Bella’s story, as told by her person Tanaya:
We adopted Bella about 3 years ago quite unexpectedly. My husband and I were at our local pet store buying cat food when of course they were having an adopt a pet drive. Our building recently converted to dog friendly and we had been talking about getting a dog for some time. Well, we instantly fell in love with a small pit-mix and started the adoption process. After a few phone calls with her foster family we were ready and excited to bring her home. Frustratingly, at the last moment her foster dad called to say he wasn’t comfortable adopting her out to a family that lived in an apartment. He was dead set she needed a back yard. I was upset and devastated.
Well, the next day, slightly mad that we had purchased supplies for a new dog we would not be bringing home, my husband went to our local SPCA just to look and see. We knew we wanted an older pit bull because LA shelters are overrun with them. That is when he met our Bella. Her name was Foxy back then but she didn’t seem to respond to or care for it. Out of all the dog he saw that day, she was the only one that was calm and lovingly kissed him through her cage. After testing her with the cats at the shelter we started the process to adopt her.
The shelter knew very little about her. Even though she was 5 she was basically untrained. They surmised from the pads on her elbows that she was kept outside on hard ground or cement. A bit of her tail was missing and she was pretty shaggy with little bald spots. They knew she had a least two litters and was probably used as a breeding dog.
Well we brought her home and gave her a good scrubbing, within hours she learned to love her crate, in days she understood “no,” “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Within months she was walking like a champ on her leash. In a year her fur grew over the broken tip of her tail and in a few years her pads have all but gone away. She put on weight and muscle and our 60 pound pitty turned into an 85 pound PIT!
What makes Bella a good pit bull ambassador is how calm she is, especially around children. We have lots of little dogs in our building that aren’t always the best doggie neighbors. One of my neighbors who has a little girl, who just adores Bella, commented to me once that his daughter is afraid of all the other dogs in our building but not Bella, who at the time was easily taller than her and of course MUCH MUCH bigger.
I don’t have a favorite memory per se. I treasure every memory made with Bella. She has introduced me to my neighborhood, neighbors and surrounding areas. She has given me confidence and better self-esteem. She has taught me what unconditional love is and made me a better human.
Recently, after surgery for a polyp, we were told they found cancer in the polyp and there was no way to know if she still had the cancer except with a major invasive surgery. When I was crying about the news she was smiling just as big and bright as ever, wiggling her happy little butt as if to remind me that what was important wasn’t tomorrow, but today. We have decided to let her be the happiest dog she can be for as long as she has left!
Just the thought of her smile, her joy when she rolls around in the grass, or her warm tongue on my face can brighten my day.
This post is part of Positively Pit Bull, a collection of stories about how wonderful our pit bull type dogs and pit bull mixes are! Have you submitted your dog yet? Please do! We can’t wait to meet your pup!
Meet Marley! An international Positively Pit Bull!
Age: 14 months
City: London, U.K.
Favorite things: Marley loves nothing more than to be chased. He will goad another dog to chase him by grabbing a stick in his mouth nudging the other dog with it and getting them to chase him. He loves all the usual doggie things: hanging out of the car window, running besides a bike, learning tricks, giving cuddles, and chewing on expensive footwear!
Marley came to us from a single parent family who bought him as a puppy and after two weeks the teenager got bored of him, so we were there to rescue him. Since then he has treated us to licks, belly rubs, and a lot of talking!!! He can sit, speak, stay, hi-five, shake paws, roll over, jump, and run 100m in 7 secs!
Marley now has a brother who is a Staffordshire bull terrier, albeit a year older, they are able to rough and tumble like dogs should. Marley loves my wife and adores my daughter as whenever he sees them he licks them like crazy. He is a fun loving, lovable rogue who gets compliments wherever he goes, from young to old.
He loves grabbing a stick and enticing any other passing dog to play with him, regardless of where he is, be it park or garden. Marley really is a true ambassador or the Pit Bull breed.
City: Little Rock, Arkansas
Favorite things: Loves his stuffing free squeaker toys, his scooby snacks, sleeping, playing with other dogs at doggie day care and people.
Brody’s story, as told by his person Kenny:
I had wanted a dog for the longest time; I knew I truly loved animals. I’m the guy who runs out in the street to save a dog, the guy who calls the police when I see a dog in a hot car, the guy who cringes when he sees a dog chained up outside, and a guy who always got upset at the amount of bad media dogs got on TV, especially pit bulls. I felt this couldn’t be how these dogs really were, and being up for any challenge, I knew this was the breed I wanted. I looked long and hard, and found a breeder that had three generations of pit bulls on his property and encouraged me to come see them. Keep in mind at this time I knew nothing about backyard breeders, death row dogs or any of the number of ways to save animals. I was just a guy who wanted a dog. I drove down and saw the bloodline, and they were the friendliest dogs I had ever seen. The breeder taught me about the breed, and even made me sign a contract that would allow him to stop by unannounced to check on the dog, and remove him from me if he felt the dog was mistreated.
July 11, 2002 – The day my life changed forever. I was over at the breeder’s house watching the pups being born. I had never witnessed this and was in awe. It was an amazing site, and I wanted to learn more about animals. Then I saw this tiny little brown mass come into this world and realized he was a lot smaller than the rest. I was told he was a runt, and that he was going to have a tougher time in life. Well, like I said before, I love to challenge myself. I knew right then and there that I wanted that puppy, and that’s how Brody came into my life. I ended up taking Brody home before he was supposed to be separated from his momma because he was having issues, and the breeder was concerned. I fed this little man with an eye dropper, and he became my life. Brody would sleep in the bed with me, next to my chest and never needed for anything. I knew that this was what was missing. As Brody grew up I was more and more amazed at how this dog could say things with just a look. How could this breed be involved in so much negativity? I needed to find out more, so I started taking my dog everywhere from a young age. Brody was around all breeds of animals and types of people since he was old enough to walk on his own, and I learned that how they act is based on how you raised them. I had to do something to speak for these dogs, people needed to see what I saw. They had to know that all pit bulls are not evil.
Jan 2004 – I never even heard of BSL before Brody, but found out about it quickly. I’m in the Army, and the chance came up to go to Germany. I had always wanted to go, but was told that I would have to give up Brody in order to do so. This was a lifelong dream, and I went home to think about it. I was sitting on the couch when Brody walked over, jumped on the couch, put his head in my lap and looked at me as if to say, “It’s ok daddy, I understand.” I am man enough to admit that I lost it. I was not giving up my dog for some stupid law, and I was willing to give up my career for the love I had for this animal. I turned down the move, and my boss at the time was understanding and helped me get stationed in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, where there were no BSL laws. Kansas was great, we found a doggie daycare for Brody so he could play all day while my wife and I were working, and we even fought and won when the county tried to pass BSL.
June 2011 – We are now in Little Rock. Brody is getting up there in years. He’ll be 9 next month, but don’t tell him that. I think he still thinks he’s a puppy. That could be because I had him neutered before he ever had testosterone in his body. He’s been acting like a puppy his whole life. I’ve recently found Twitter, and realized I found another podium for me to speak about the bully breeds. I even have a few celebrities following me because they believe in what I do. We’ll be moving again soon, but like we always do we will check the area and make sure they allow Brody’s breed. We’ll check for a good yard, but only for him to play in. Brody is an inside dog and still sleeps under the covers next to me every night. I don’t know if I will ever be able to own another dog, none will ever compare to Brody. I made this dog a promise that I intend to keep. I promised him that I will always fight for his breed, and I promised him that the world would always know about the kindest dog I have ever known. I was the first thing Brody saw when he opened his eyes almost 9 years ago, and if I can help it, I will be the last thing he sees when he closes his eyes forever.
Let’s clear one thing up quickly, then we can move on: The purpose of Positively Pit Bull (or, I venture to say, any other pit bull education or awareness campaign) is not to highlight “exceptions.” Rather, the goal is to show that these dogs are like every single other dog out there. They make wonderful companions, great family pets, and all-around fabulous dogs. These dogs aren’t the exceptions; they’re the rules.
Now that that’s settled.
My goal for Positively Pit Bull is to feature two dogs every month who demonstrate how fabulous pit bulls and pit mixes are. And, I’m excited to say, we’re right on track!
Have you met all 10 of the Positively Pit Bulls yet?
The Positively Pit Bulls:
- Sadie in Portland
- Cici in Seaside, California
- Holly in NYC
- Kenai in Windsor, CO
- Scout in Bloomington, IN
- Kinsley in Dade City, Florida
- Emmett in Bloomington, IN
- Millie and Wonder in Germantown, MD
- Princess in West New York, NJ
- Diamond in Maryland
I have to say, this has turned into such a fun project because I’ve gotten to read so many darling stories, and the pictures… oh my! There are some cutey patootey dogs out there!
Here’s where you come in: Have you sent in your dog’s story yet? How about tweeting or Facebooking the project? I’d love to exceed the two per month goal! But for now, I’m looking for dogs to feature this summer!
So check out all the Positively Pit Bull submission details, and send in your pup’s story! We all can’t wait to meet your fabulous dog!
Age: 16 months
Favorite things: Diamond’s favorite things are walks, scritches from her people, pig’s ears and chicken feet, and running in the dog park with other puppies. She loves car rides, even though they frequently end at the vet. She also enjoys licking people, so much that we wonder if someone snuck into our bathroom and replaced our usual soaps with bacon-flavored body wash. Her other favorite hobbies are taking apart anything left on the floor (that means it’s hers, right?), and searching for treats hidden in a towel or blanket.
Diamond’s story, as told by her person Kelly:
Once we got her home, we discovered that Diamond was a shy, nervous little girl. She spent most of her first days at home in her crate. It was our friend Ashly who really helped bring her out of her shell. Ashly really has a way with dogs. She’s still shy and easily scared, but we’re making really good progress with her. She’s okay with meeting new people and has even given kisses to the vet on occasion.
I also learned about how broad the definition of pit bull actually is–that it’s a group of breeds, not a breed itself, and that most people don’t know what a pit really looks like. And I learned that that bit about pit bulls snapping because their brains grow too big is complete and utter urban legend. So, even if Diamond doesn’t have a drop of pit blood, she’s taught me a lot about them just by looking like one and giving me a reason to research.
People tend to assume Diamond is a pit, I think based on her brindle color and muscular little body. But as a cautiously friendly, happy little dog, her personality is miles away from the stereotype of pit bulls. She loves to rough-house with other dogs, but she’s really good at scaling her play to what other dogs are comfy with. She’ll tumble with big dogs and play gently with puppies. I think having her out and about gives people the opportunity to see her as an individual dog, and hopefully see other pits, pit mixes, and possibly pits the same way–as individuals. I hope that when someone comments on what a sweet, pretty dog I have and asks what she is, and I tell them she’s a shar-pei mix, probably with some pit bull in her, it changes their perceptions a little bit.
We tried, on a couple occasions, to teach Diamond to fetch. At the dog park, she’s happy to run after other dogs fetcing tennis balls or frisbees, but she doesn’t care about the ball itself. I did throw a ball once, a couple feet, and she brought it back to me. After all kinds of praise, I threw it again, and the look she gave me was crystal clear: “I already got it for you once. If you keep losing it, that’s your problem.” Tug-of-war is similarly interesting. As soon as you pull, she lets go as if to say, “Okay, you can have it.”
Being the only dog in our house, Diamond has learned to interact pretty well with cats. She and Haley, our four-year-old kitty, chase each other up and down the hall and around the coffee table. Totally friendly, with never a growl or a hiss. They’ve also come up with a game we call “Sniff the belly.” Haley lies on her back, and Diamond sticks her nose in the kitten’s fluffy white belly. Haley bats at her, and Diamond tries to zip away before she can get batted. And then they do it again, and again, and again. I’ve also seen Haley grooming Diamond on occasion.