Life With Pit Bulls
- pg 2
Bridgette's "Wonder Dog": Thelma was a red and white Pit Bull.
She was on the "big boned" side, we called her "Fattie". Thelma
always slept with me. When I was ordered to stay in bed with a
with her head on my belly. When my baby was born he slept with
me and Thelma had to sleep on the floor. She would sneak on the
bed every night, only now it was my baby she cuddled up next to.
She was so careful not to hurt my son. In fact, if my husband or I
got to close to the baby in our sleep she would let us know it.

Thelma did one very amazing thing which earned her the name
"Thelma the Wonder Dog". We had a koi pond in the backyard. One
day I was working in the garage and Thelma dropped a Koi at my
feet. I yelled at her and spanked her so bad her feelings were hurt.
Five minutes went by and she comes back in with another. This
time she was barking and acting strangely. I went out to the pond
and all of my fish were dying. I got the pump running and was able
to save 1/2 the fish. If it wasn't for Thelma, I would not have
checked on them. I know that dog knew exactly what she was
I was always a dog lover, and I wanted my son to have the same
love for animals as his mother and I. I decided to get a puppy
when he was born. We wound up getting a white APBT who we
named Stitch. Family and friends were so concerned about our
choice in breed. Fortunately I had studied the breed before
selecting, so I was assured that I had made the right decision. In
some of my research I read that APBT and some other bully breeds
were known as nanny dogs because of the way the interacted with
children. This was a trait I desired in our future companion. I also
needed a dog that was tough and could deal with some of the
roughness a baby could issue without being overwhelmed and
biting. Stitch is everything I could have ever wanted. He has shifted
the negative view many had of Pit Bulls. Everyone calls him Julius’s
(my son’s) brother. He is very good with my son. Julius will lay on
him, pull his such as "sit" and Stitch will execute them as if it came
from my own mouth. I was never a pit bull lover. My wife was the
one that recognized this dog as a perfect breed for our family
(sometimes wives are right LOL). I have never had such a
wonderful dog in my life. He sleeps with us (wife doesn’t like that
to much), and stays by my side. I can’t see how this breed could
have the reputation that it has. My wife always says there is no
such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners (maybe she’s right

Stitch with his owner's son Julius.

Stitch has change the image of Pit Bulls in my family so much that
my mom recently purchased a pup of her own. You will never know
or understand the beauty of this breed until you own one. Stitch
will do anything to please me. He makes me so proud. I have
established what is acceptable and he does his best to satisfy. I’m
so glad to see people making an effort to reveal the true nature of
this breed minus the media hype.
Jessamy relates life with Ronnie: My boyfriend called me one
HAVE. The dog had been locked in the band room of his fraternity
house, not by one of the brothers, and had spent Thanksgiving
break without food or water. He couldn't keep him at the house
and wanted to bring him by to see if I would like to keep him. He
didn't say what kind of dog Ronnie was, probably so that I did not
immediately say "NO!" about the decision to keep him.

Yes, I was one of those people who thought Pit Bulls were bad by
how calm and gentle he was. He immediately licked my hands and
face. He was the sweetest thing I had ever seen. I WAS IN LOVE!
How could I say no to keeping him.

Ever since that day Ronnie has been my faithful co-pilot. Ronnie is
the perfect dog. He was house trained when I got him and never
messes in the house. He loves to play with other dogs and has
never been aggressive. He even lets my friend's toy yorkie sit on
his head. Although I always keep him on his leash when I go out
in public, he enjoys his walks. Who wouldn't want to flaunt that
sweet face? The awesomest thing I must say is that Ronnie has
never barked. When my friends complain about their dogs
keeping them up all night barking- I laugh.

I had a lot of dogs growing up. Mostly all golden retrievers. I
thought they were the greatest dogs ever... until I met Ronnie.
My mom used to brag that our dogs were so smart. They are no
match to Ronnie. He turns on the TV when he is left alone and
even changes the channel, he can turn on and off the lights, and
even open doors. When he got a hold of my bag of cookies sitting
out.... well lets just say he opened the trash and put the evidence
inside. I spent all afternoon looking for them and even yelled at
my boyfriend thinking he had eaten them all. It was not until we
found the bag covered in slobber inside the trash that we realized
it had been Ronnie. I almost had to yell at him for the first time
but I couldn't help but feel outsmarted. Besides Ronnie promised
me he would never do it again.

Ronnie has changed my life. I could never see a life without him. I
even chose not to attend law school in the state of Ohio, turning
down a scholarships, because of all the breed specific legislation.
The hardest thing that I have to deal with his the glares. Ronnie
is so perfect and most of the time I get compliments on how
beautiful and well-behaved he is. But, the glares from some
people make me eerk inside. I even had a big dog, who wasn't on
a leash, attack Ronnie who was on his leash. Ronnie just sat on
the ground with his tail in between his legs (he is a lover not a
fighter). The owner was about to apologize when he realized that
he was a Pit Bull and said that it was my dogs fault... after all he
is a "pit bull". It made me so mad. But instead I just walked away.
My mom likes to say that Ronnie is like Shrek. People judge his
outside before the have a chance to know how wonderful he is. I
hope to use my law training to work towards banning the use of
breed specific legislation.
When we were seeking a new dog, my family said they would
like for us to own a Pit Bull. Of course due to my "education" I
refused vehemently, stating all the usual myths perpetrated by
the media.

Several months later a friend of mine got a puppy (this poor
then decided they couldn't keep it. She came to me with the sob
story of how she couldn't keep the dog and would have to find a
home blah, blah, (you know the lines). Being the big softy that I
am I agreed to take the puppy sight unseen (we had one dog a
sheltie mix). My friend had told me the pup was a Boxer. Well, I
picked the little thing up and brought it home. I was so proud of
myself because my husband had been wanting a short haired
dog we could keep in the house. I had solved the problem.
When he walked in the door that night I proudly showed off my
acquisition. He looked at me so funny and said "I thought you
said you would never have a Pit Bull". Of course I countered
with "He's not a Pit Bull, he's a Boxer". My husband said, "Well,
believe whatever you want." Although I didn't want to believe
him, he had owned Pit Bulls before, so I knew what we had was
a Pit. Apprehensive as I was about this breed, I was determined
that this little black faced puppy was at his last home. Good,
bad or otherwise, I just didn't have the heart to turn him out of
another home.

A couple days later, I noticed symptoms I didn't like. The vet
confirmed my worst fear with one word, "PARVO". Standing
there with tears welling up in my eyes I took the antibiotic the
vet offered and a list of instructions. The Vet didn't give much
hope for his survival.

13 years later, he's a happy old dog (some crippled with
arthritis). I've seen this dog share everything from a pop
sicle to
a bologna sandwich with a child under the age of 2 (the
neighbor's kid). I have gotten up in the mornings and found the
dog and neighbor's kid asleep in the dog house together. (Yes,
irresponsible neighbors.) This dog has been something else. I've
owned all sorts of dogs, German Shepherds, Poodles, Beagles,
Spitz, Labs, and countless mixes. There will never be another
breed of dog that will capture my heart like this one has. 13
years after my first contact with the victimized Pit Bull, I have
breed 3 litters, shown in countless shows, rescued,
ated, and successfully placed in loving homes several
abandoned or unwanted dogs. If you truly love this breed they
crawl right up inside your heart and become a part of you. I
can't think of any other way to describe it.

During those younger years of my life my family's next door
neighbor's 19 year old son had an akita/rottweiler that he was
training to be an "attack" dog under his own misinformed
guidance. At one point he was placing truck tires around the
dogs neck, tying a rope around it, getting in his truck with the
rope hanging out the window and driving down the street with
the dog hauling this truck tire doing his best to keep up and not
get dragged. Numerous times this dog had chased my dogs,
myself and my family members back into our house.

Finally when I was 12 years old all hell broke loose. The
neighbor's son who at this point went away to college left the
dog with his elderly parents for a year or so. In October 1992
the parents left the country for two weeks leaving the dog to a
bag of food and bucket of water with access to the backyard
and garage. The day the parents came home, pulled into their
driveway and opened the garage door I happened to be
playing with my brother in our cul-de-sac. As soon as the
garage door opened this abused and neglected dog came
barreling out. I still have visions and nightmares of this dog
sprinting towards me. In a flash I was tackled by this 120lb dog.
Mind you I was 12 years old and about 90lbs. The dog snarled
and tore into my flesh, I somehow managed to cover my face
with arms where I sustained a massive amount of injury mostly
to my arms, that later required 70+ stitches. I was able to get
to my feet when the same neighbors ran up to help pull the dog
off of me. I ended up in the emergency room and underwent
immediate surgery.

For years I was plagued with nightmares of that horrific
incident. I thought I would never trust big dogs, especially such
breeds like Akitas and Rottweilers again. I heard terms and
breeds like "pit bulls" and shuttered. I instantly associated
these dogs with violence and terrible people.

In my early twenties I got a job grooming dogs, which later lead
to an interest in veterinary medicine. It was only a matter of
time before I was in school studying veterinary medicine and
working in veterinary hospitals. Here I was exposed to many
breeds of dogs including pit bulls. With this came exposure to
people who owned these "notorious" breeds that I came to
fear and resent. This is when I started meeting responsible pit
bull owners who adored their dogs and had dogs that were
well trained and taken care of. Before I knew it I began falling in
love with pit bulls. After doing a large amount of research and
lots of communication with pit bull advocates and rescue groups
I decided I was going to adopt a pit bull.

After months of research I finally found Reese, a 2 year old red
nosed American Pit Bull Terrier. 10 years ago I would of been
instantly terrified of Reese. Someone had cropped his ears and
he had that incredible APBT physique. I learned Reese was
abandoned when was 6 months old, intact, had a horrible
allergies, a terrible case of demodex (mange) that ravaged
most of his skin and coat and horrible eye infections in both
eyes. However, the shelter saw something special in Reese's
character and instead of euthanizing him kept him around and
got him to a vet for a check up. He was sweet, very submissive
and rarely if ever displayed any signs of aggression. A rescue
group finally gave Reese a temporary home outside of the
shelter and that is where I found him. I knew I could help this
dog, give him a proper home and get him the medical attention
he needed to get back on his feet.

Within a few months of owning Reese his eyes and his coat
were 110% improved. He is great with my two cats and
AMAZING with my 2 and half year old daughter. He sleeps in my
bed literally spooning me every night. He has quite a regiment
at breakfast and dinner with the eye drops and medications as
well a strict diet for his coat and allergies. We go for walks and
car rides everyday. He is quite the attention grabber when we
are out and about and I am always more then eager to tell
people his story and let them introduce themselves to Reese.
Usually I will have him sit and shake their hands and most
people think that is great! Still many people cross the street or
throw me dirty looks when we are out and about but in time I
learned to not let their ignorance bother me.

This dog has brought an endless amount of joy into my life and
well as my family's. He is so sweet, silly and all around amazing.
This dog who looks so powerful and intense is the biggest love
bug goof ball you will ever meet. The sense of security of having
Reese around especially with my daughter is great. Screw
having an alarm or worrying about solicitors when you have a
dog like Reese posted on guard in your front window.

I will never own any other breed of dog after owning Reese. I
am a proud pit bull owner and have become quite an advocate
for the breed as well. I continue to read, study and research
the breed as well as share my knowledge and experience with
the breed as well.

Reese with the author's daughter

Reese - from dumped dog, to cherished family member

After my experience of being attacked, I have learned so much
of a dog's personality and behavior is derived from the owner
and the experience's they bring to their dog's lives. If the
experiences you share are rich in love, fun, joy and family that is
what your dog will come to respect and look forward to.
Page 1, Page 2, Page 3
We adopted Babe about a month ago from the local humane
are ecstatic to have a dog that loves to play and cuddle with

My fiancée and I are constantly amused by this wonderfully
curious and very intelligent creature. I love that when we
take her out to events like our son's baseball games, people
are not afraid of her. Many people come up to tell us how
pretty she is and give her a belly rub. She is definitely
already spoiled. Every night - actually in the wee hours of
the morning - I feel her front paws hit the side of the bed.
Then she rests her chin on her paws and gives me "the look"
until I bring her up on the bed with us. Then she snuggles in
and snores the hours away.

Babe livin' the good life.

Babe is definitely more work than any other dog I've ever
owned. She has a mind of her own. She's curious about
everything. High energy is an understatement. I'd be lying if I
didn't say that at first we wondered "What have we gotten
ourselves into?" But now that Babe is settling in, getting
comfortable in her new home with her new routine (she was
the humane society for three months!!), life with her has
become a true pleasure. I can honestly say that I have never
had a dog before with such an oversized personality, not
I ever had a dog that was so cuddly and affectionate. She
reminds me so much of Hobbes of the Calvin & Hobbes comic
strip - a good belly rub can make everything right in the