This letter will fit every Pit Bull owner - a must share. WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME BEFORE I RESCUED MY PIT BULLby Ashley They said, “he’s strong, about 67 lbs, and he’s a puller but with some training he’ll be great.” Okay, I thought. Easy enough. But what they should have told me was something entirely different. What they should have told me was this.
This is an adventure. Welcome to the best years of your life.
Where misconceptions, stereotypes and judgments are now personal attacks against not only someone you love dearly but you, yourself. And how you will feel like it is your personal mission to show the world how his “kind” is completely misunderstood.
Then you will read up on all the facts and statistics about Pit Bulls and realize half of what people believe is completely false or terribly misconstrued. Like pits having lock-jaw? False. Pits are born aggressive. False. Pits have stronger jaws than Rottweilers. False. Pits don’t make good family pets.FALSE.
Also, in the midst of being accepted into his pack, you will learn what loyalty really means. You will also know what it feels like to be scared half to death every single time your doorbell rings before explaining to your mailman, “he’s nice, I swear! Sorry…thanks for the– sorry again.” Then you both will laugh, well, you will and he will look at you proudly, expecting a treat.
You will also walk with a little extra bounce in your step because this powerful, gentle giant stands beside you. You will feel a kind of pride you’ve yet to experience because you know you’re not only doing your baby justice but you’re part of the millions who are pleading for the rest of the world to give these amazing creatures a chance.
But sadly, your heart will break every time you hear about a Pit Bull who has landed in the hands of a wrong person or found himself in an awful situation. Whether it was dog fighting or an abusive owner or left tied to a park bench with nothing but a blanket. Your heart will break because you will come to understand the heart of a Pit Bull. Your heart will break because you will experience the love they, without question, give and with every tear you cry from hearing these awful stories, you will wish you could end it all.
Then you will feel incredibly grateful. Because this guy is yours and you are his and that’s something that can’t ever be taken away. Even if you don’t believe in a God above, this bond will feel like it was magically planned many moons ago, where the stars aligned perfectly and placed you two exactly where you needed to be to find one another. And you will be so blessed.
You will learn the frustration you feel when he is destroying your kid’s toys or eating food he’s not supposed to or barking when you wish he wouldn’t, fades quickly. That snuggling has now taken on a whole new meaning called: all over you, all the time, no matter what. And now you make it a point to never appear to do ANYTHING that could look like you’d be hitting him because seeing him duck his head out of fear hurts. You will also learn when he’s sticking his big head out your car window to expect 1 of 2 responses – a dirty look or a smile and nod. You learn you’ll smile in both cases.
Nobody tells you your heart will change. But it does. You judge less. You care more. You learn how to accept life a heck of a lot better than before. You learn how to forgive and how to let go and how to live in the moment.
They should have told me I was going to learn how to love better. That loving this Pit Bull was going to change my whole life. And that he would make us so so happy!
But chances are I wouldn’t have believed them anyhow. I guess it was something I had to learn on my own, with this guy.
Misunderstood dogs face uphill battle to change public perception By Rose Frosek | Photographed by Bethany Obrecht From Modern Dog Magazine
Pit Bull. Two simple words, but so very charged, the reaction to which varies wildly. There are their fearful detractors, those who would have them demonized, having fallen prey to the dogs’ misrepresentation in the media. And then there are their champions, who are struggling to change the tide of public opinion. “Pit Bull” is, in fact, a loose term for many distinct “bully” breed dogs, such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There is a general misunderstanding of the nature of dogs that fall into the Pit Bull camp, one that can be blamed largely on the sad fact that any aggressive attack is often inaccurately blamed on the scapegoated Pit Bull with little concern as to the offender’s actual breed. According to testing by The National Canine Temperament Testing Association, the Golden Retriever, Poodle, Border Collie, English Setter, and numerous other breeds are considered more likely to become aggressive than the breeds commonly referred to as Pit Bulls. While the average score of the 231 breeds tested was a mere 82.4 percent, Pit Bulls scored a 86.5 percent (the higher the score the better).
In truth, bully breeds are goofy, loyal, lovey dogs, by and large fantastic with children. In the UK, they were known as “nanny” dogs, and many Victorian illustrations of family life portray a sweet Pit Bull-type dog overseeing his chubby, beribboned charges.
Yes, this personable package comes wrapped in a powerhouse of a body, one that historically was bred for the cruel blood sport of dog fighting, but these dogs are anything but mean by nature. Sure, some, if left unchecked, have more of a tendency toward dog-aggression than, say, the average affable Labrador Retriever does, but if ever there was a testament to the underlying sweet nature of these dogs, it is seen in the rehabilitation stories of the Pit Bulls seized from Bad Newz Kennels, the Virginia dog fighting ring that was run by NFL quarterback Michael Vick.
Subject to some of the worst humanity has to offer, these were dogs that were caged or chained alone in the woods, tortured, and forced to fight, the torn-apart losers of the battles callously dumped in mass graves, the females tethered to rape tables. And yet, thanks to public outcry and an unprecedented ruling by the judge overseeing the Vick case, nearly $1 million was put aside for the rescue and rehabilitation of these dogs. With the help of a great many caring individuals and organizations who were unwilling to see them put down after having suffered only abuse at the hands of humans, these former dog-ring fighters have now been adopted into homes with other dogs, and are volunteering in elder-care facilities and schools to help children learn to read.
There is much work to do, though, to change public opinion. Many, many dogs falling into the Pit Bull camp, lumped together under this one inaccurate label, are crowding shelters, their numbers vast, the available homes few. Moved by the plight of these dogs, Brooklyn-based photographer Bethany Obrecht turned her lens to some of these animals, who hopefully faced her camera.
Sadly, most of the dogs Obrecht photographed didn’t make it, victims of an overburdened shelter system and an uninformed public. We’re hoping we can change that with a positive public relations campaign taking aim at their misrepresentation and drawing attention to the plight of legion Pit Bull-type dogs in desperate need of a home. Adopt a sweet, goofy, grinning Pit Bull today. We’re willing to bet you won’t regret it.