Since October is National Adopt a Pet Month, I thought it only fair that I share my own adoption story. This is the story that set me on the path of learning and loving the American Pit Bull Terrier.
The story starts in October 2004. I had been wanting to adopt a dog for sometime. Since I shared a house, I had come up with criteria that would work for the both of us. We both agreed that the dog should be adopted from a shelter. The criteria we agreed on was older, did not bark, small in size and did not shed.
I was living in a small town outside of Baltimore, Maryland at the time. I had done my research and decided to visit the Animal Welfare Society of Howard County, Maryland. The yard was filled with people and dogs. Every time a new person entered the yard, the dogs would throng around them, I was no exception. I had my list, I had a plan.
Much to my surprise, a little white bundle of energy with floppy ears pushed his way to the front of the pack. He made eye contact. The list went out the window. The shelter had him listed as a ‘terrier-mix’. I was naive. I hadn’t had a dog in 15 years. To be honest, breed never entered my mind. Part of what I was looking for was that ephemeral ‘click’. This little white dog had it.
The staff knew a match had been made. They brought us into an examine room to get to know each other. An hour and a half later, the formerly known Mikey, became Quizz and I had myself a dog. The carefully considered criteria had gone out the window. He was small when I got him (a 3 month old puppy), he didn’t bark, he shed, and now he is older.
I brought him home and the first words out of my house mate’s mouth was ‘You brought home a PIT BULL!’ It didn’t matter to me. I knew that I owed this dog an opportunity to be the best dog he could be. So I enrolled him in obedience training. I taught him appropriate behaviors. I learned to be a responsible pet owner. I read everything I could about the American Pit Bull Terrier, learning to sift through the fear to get to the truth.
Fast forward 6 years later, I have a Pit Bull who manages to charm just about everyone he meets. Children adore him. He adores cats (we had no clue about that). Through him, I have come to understand the proud heritage of this breed. To delineate between myth and fact. To meet discriminatory statements and actions with patient fact and example.
I’m grateful for the day he chose me that autumn day.
My Pit Bull is my family.
Please do your part, adopt a dog from your local rescue organization. They will help you find the right match for you.
Ring Dog Rescue
Richmond Animal League
Richmond Animal Care & Control
REMINDER: Ring Dog Rescue Presents “Training People for Pits Sake”, Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Chesterfield County, VA Fairgrounds
October 23, 2010 – National Pit Bull Awareness Day – Find a Pit Bull near you and get to know them.