Green Education Network awards Pet News and Views its seal of approval.

Pit Bull Stories

I’m owned by a cat. And yes, I love dogs. Lately, I have been writing a bit about Pit Bulls. Personally, I think they are adorable. My neighbor has one, and he is the sweetest boy. Even my nine-year old who can be intimidated by bigger breeds loves this dog. 

A friend of mine wanted to adopt one, but didn’t because she couldn’t afford the home owner’s insurance that she would be charged if she gets a Pit Bull.

Cody is a Pit Bull therapy dog. See story below.

I’m focusing on Pit Bulls again because they need ambassadors since they are often discriminated against. A Pit Bull owner named Melissa has experienced different forms of discrimination against her dog, Sam. Whenever she’s out with Sam, people shrink back and ask her if he’s a Pit Bull.

Melissa wasn’t sure exactly of his makeup. Sam is a rescue dog.  So she decided to get a DNA test for Sam; she found out that he is 45 percent American Staffordshire terrier, 45 percent Basset hound, and 10 percent Chesapeake Bay retriever.

Having people walk away or cross the street when they see you coming is one thing. Recently though the negativity got worse. She was in the park with her dog, Sam. Someone came up to her and said, “I don’t want my dog playing with a pit bull. Get that dog out of here.” Other people joined in, saying they didn’t ever want to see Sam in the park again.

Melissa took Sam home and then burst into tears. I’m appalled and disgusted by this and by dog discrimination laws that are still being passed in cities around the country. In some cities, Sam wouldn’t just be hounded out of the park; he could literally be dragged from a home and killed.

The same day I heard about this story, I also learned about another Pit Bull. This one works as a therapy dog.

Rescued Pit Bull Helps Community

It’s hard not to believe in fate when you hear Cod’s story–a deformed puppy that was abandoned at a shelter and is now a certified therapy dog.  Due to prejudice, even healthy pit bulls can have a hard time finding a home. But Cody landed in a shelter with a deformed foot, and his chances weren’t looking good until San Diego-based Even Chance Pit Bull Advocacy stopped by the shelter to see another dog and noticed the limping puppy.

Soon Cody was on his way to the rescue’s vet, where he was diagnosed with a congenital deformity called ectrodactyly or lobster claw.  Through donations, Even Chance paid to have an orthopedic surgeon correct the problem. Cody underwent a successful procedure to fuse his two toes together and to connect the surrounding skin, transforming his lobster claw to a mitten.

Fate stepped in again when one of the surgical interns introduced Cody to her parents, who were looking to adopt. In his new home, Cody continued to rehabilitate with water therapy. He also began training and showed a natural inclination toward therapy work. His adopter, Barbara Sulier, describes him as a “sweet little loving boy with a charisma that pulls people over to talk to him. He loves all people and wants to make them happy.”

Cody is a working Pit Bull.

At age one, Cody is the first Pit Bull to be certified as a therapy dog through New Leash On Life’s Lend a Paw program in Los Angeles.

“During the wheelchair client test, he gently put his paws on the lap and kissed the client who was thrilled,” describes Sulier. And while Cody still has a slight limp due to missing bones and muscles in his right foreleg, he doesn’t let it slow him down. Sulier believes it will also help physically challenged children relate to him. Cody illustrates just what is possible when prejudice is set aside. Once discarded as damaged goods, he is now changing lives as a therapy dog.

18 comments to Pit Bull Stories

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michele Hollow, Michele Hollow, Lana Bunch and others. Lana Bunch said: Must luv PitBulls! RT @michelechollow Pit Bull Stories http://shar.es/mRvC4 [...]

  • catherine ignatowski

    They get a bum rap. Any dog can be trained to be mean. My brother has a full blooded pit bull and he’s a doll. He was wonderful with his children, they would all play together. I don’t think that it’s fair to discriminate against this breed. If only people would treat animals with the same respect as humans, wouldn’t that be nice?

  • Ugh. I’m so sorry that Melissa and Sam had to deal with that at their park. It’s unfortunate and unfair. People are convinced that “pit bulls” are mean, vicious monsters. My Staffie mix Emmett is a therapy dog who works with children. He loves his work, and he helps a lot of kids with disabilities. Occasionally we enroll in group training classes with Emmett and our shepherd mix Lucas, just for fun and to work on new skills. At the end of a 6-week program, a woman from our class said to me and my husband, “Emmett seems sweet. But if you two have children, you’ll put him down?” While I’ve received numerous comments over the years, that one is the most memorable because that woman had just spent six weeks with us, seeing how Emmett behaves, and she STILL held that misguided sentiment. We, as owners of bully breeds, need to ensure that our dogs behave as bully ambassadors at all times. We need to arm ourselves with a few polite responses. But, most importantly, we need to focus on education because this nonsense has to stop!! Thank you, Michele, for posting so many positive pit bull stories!

  • Michele, I agree Pit Bulls need ambassadors. They need people who will help educate other about the fact that dog aggression is not breed related.

    My husband and I are trying to contribute. We created this t-shirt here, Brad Pit Bull http://boutique.thedailytail.com/apparel/women.html?design=10

    We want to let people know that Pit Bulls can be as handsome, intelligent and kindhearted as Brad Pitt.

    :-)

  • Judith Gaughran

    I’m a volunteer dog-walker at the local animal-control shelter and I know that pit-bulls are great dogs who’ve gotten a bad rap because of owners who do everything possible to bring out the worst in their dogs(every breed has that potential). I talk them up whenever I can.

  • I love Cody’s story Michele! Reading about Cody kissing his client gave me a BIG smile. Pitties love nothing more than to lick people to death. Zeus does the same thing with me. =)

    By the way, I just started a new Facebook group called Raw Meaty Bones for Pit Bulls. I’m going to post this story over there and feel free to join and post any other Pit Bull stories that you’d like to. =D

    Thanks for “stepping up” for Pit Bulls Michele!

  • montanna

    My boyfriend just got me a pit mix for our anniversary and she is my baby. her name is godzilla and she is about 2 months old. she sleeps with me, rides in the car and goes everywhere i do. i went to my mother’s for the fourth of july, and my whole family freaked ut at the sight of my puppy! even after all the wonderful stories i have told about her. my mother won’t even let her in the house so i slept in my car with her. she is so sweet and couldn’t hurt a fly. it shames me how ignorant people can be.

  • Thanks Judith, We need more animal ambassadors like you.

  • Thanks Maggie,
    It is amazing that people have such dumb thoughts. When I brought my newborn home from the hospital (just over 9 years ago), people asked me if I was going to get rid of my cat. After all, some people believed that cats’ can rob babies of their breath. Who the heck comes up with these things! I’m too polite to say.
    Michele

  • Hi Catherine,
    It would indeed be nice. And we humans need to be nicer to each other too.
    Michele

  • My pit bull story is that they are the best family dogs *ever* My Mom had two (one is still alive) They are the happiest, friendliest, snuggleiest dogs. I have only had good experiences with PBs.

  • Sherry

    Montana, so sorry to hear that! My pit cross has always been the most sweet tempered dog from a puppy of 7 mo. (she was taken from a place where I believe the people were trying to make her mean. She is now 12 yrs. and still the sweet tempered baby, always loved my grandkids, especially my granddaughter since she was a little baby. I would have slept in the car too!

  • Sara

    A note on home insurance re: pit bulls. Some companies recognize that breed bans/charges are ridiculous. State Farm is one, I work for, and they don’t have a breed bad/charge. Just a FYI :)

  • Our pit bull story: Frasier was recently adopted. We had Frasier for over five years. (We do animal rescue work in the PHX area – and we are one of the very few local groups who believe that pits deserve to be saved.) Frasier had been held down on a kitchen table by the man who owned him while another man butchered his ears. Frasier was rescued by a kind lady who does cat rescue. She called us and we went and got him. Last month after he demonstrated what a gentle and good natured soul he is, Frasier was adopted. Bob and I cried as we told the family (who didn’t originally want a pit) that they were giving Frasier for the first time a loving family living. And he deserved that, and more. The family has shown us photos of Frasier with his family – and again I cry.

  • Hi!

    I am writing a book on Pit Bulls and will appreciate, true, positive stories about them.
    My belief is that most animals are basically kind. Iit is how we humans treat them that makes them stressed, fierce and reactive.

  • [...] Pit Bull Stories « Pet News and Views [...]

  • Helena

    I am an avid Pit Bull activist, and hearing these stories brings a smile to my face. I currently have 4 dogs all rescues two of which are Pit Bulls, I worked with every breed out there over the years and, not to say Pit Bulls are better than any other breed, but they have more heart, courage and loyalty than any other breed in my experience. Not to mention their ability to forgive and forget the many hardships they face if just given the chance. My newest is 85 lbs 2 years old super high energy, but he respects not only my 17 year old dog but is so gentle with my 16 month old daughter. I have had the opportunity to change a few minds over the years and I remain optimistic that with enough good owners, we will one day, change the way society sees these dogs.