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.