Kiss-a-Bull

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Linked up at Focus on Family with lovingasoldier.com

Tom and I have decided that we are going to adopt another dog soon. And the crowd goes wild! Wahhhh!

Ok. In all seriousness, this process got real last week when we put in an application. We were beyond excited to set up a meet and greet with this new dog who was seriously perfect.

Then we promptly got denied as parents.

Nothing like a swift kick to the rear end…

Fortunately, it was nothing we as individuals did or our references said. It was all about a matter of a breed ban.

Grrrrr.

Because we live on base, we are restricted to owning certain approved dogs. And to be fair, this shelter was only looking out for the best interest of this dog when they denied us, and I cannot blame them. But, that doesn’t mean it hurt any less.

Also to be fair, Tom and I were not trying to cheat the system and knowingly get a dog that we can’t have. This particular dog was listed as a mixed breed initially to be later listed it as a “pit bull” mix once more information was discovered about the pup’s pasts.

So here I am standing loud and proud on my soap box.

I am vehemently against breed bans of any kind. I truly believe that any dog is a product of it’s environment. You can train a dog to be mean, and you can train a dog to be nice.

It all takes time and patience. And sometimes, more time and patience.

Many people believe that pit bulls will turn on you without provocation. This is a sorely mistaken myth. They are no different than any other dog. People forget that these are all animals and their instinct is to protect themselves. So more often than not they are put on the defensive off the bat because of how people react when they see them.

People think they are mean dogs and are popular fighting dogs. Well a lot of this has to do with the fact that this breed is very intelligent and easy to train. So they can take commands, even if they aren’t the best idea. Just because they are easy to train, doesn’t mean everyone who owns them is a good trainer or has good intentions. (It’s just like parenting human children…we don’t all end up the same.)

Grace is a boxer, but often gets mistaken as a pit bull. I don’t know how many times I have had to calm her down because some stranger started screaming in her face or tried to go after her too quickly. Seriously, people yell at my dog when she is on a leash by my side. And Grace doesn’t bark, yet these people go after her. (Don’t get me started at how drunk college students reacted to her on campus…) Dogs just rely on instinct and following cues that they have been taught. Because I have taught Grace well (at least I assume), I can get her to calm down in a matter of seconds, or she just looks at me and knows everything is ok.

It is so sad to hear that people will not give this breed [pit bulls] a chance. I hate that good people can’t take these sweet pups in because we happen to live in an area that believes in enacting these bans.

Pitties are extremely loyal dogs and generally love children. They do have a lot of energy and are playful, which can be destructive if not handled appropriately, which is the same for many high energy breeds. So you need to know your dog. Sounds like brain surgery huh?

I think people should do research about dogs before they decide to adopt. There are different temperaments that will fit different lifestyles. I know that Grace needs a lot of activity, which is why we plan to get her exercise every day whether that’s joining me on my runs or Tom taking her to the dog park. If we couldn’t do this in our life style, we shouldn’t have agreed to take on this responsibility. They need love and attention, and if done so dogs are wonderful additions to any person’s life.

I don’t know how I would have gotten through Tom’s deployment without Grace. I still cuddle with her more at night than I do with Tom…It just breaks my heart that there are so many pit bulls that remain in shelters (or worse) because of these restrictions and cannot become companions to many well-deserved families.

Here are some websites that do such a better job than I ever could making things understand-a-bull.

http://www.bulladelphia.org/default.aspx

http://www.nashvillepittie.org/

http://www.pittyloverescue.org/

Someday when Tom and I have our dream farm, we know that we are going to do all we reasonably can to save or sponsor pit bulls and also senior dogs (another group of dogs neglected).

But for now we are limited, so our search for Grace’s new sister/brother continues.

And I leave you with a picture of my sometimes mis-understood girl.

We have walked by this park every day on our walks/runs and only recently did we find out that they were water sprinklers! What? Now we stop by to run though them and get a little drink every chance we can!

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We adopted Grace from a shelter, and I will only get future dogs from shelters. There are just so many wonderful pets waiting for their furrever home, that I could never bring myself to go to a breeder. We each have our own pet stories, so I don’t judge those who do go the breeder route as long as you love your pets! There are upsides to both scenarios, you just pick your cup of tea. I think it takes a special person to genuinely decide to have a pet and love and care for another being no matter which way they come into your lives. As long as you love your pet after making sure it is the right fit for your lifestyle and do what’s necessary to keep them healthy and happy, I support any adoption!

So you don’t get off that easy, here are some more pictures of the best decision we have made to date!

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If you look closely, you can see the typical Grace spit bubble. She is a slobbery girl…

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Stay tuned for our adoption adventures. We hope there is more soon to tell!

3 thoughts on “Kiss-a-Bull

  1. My brother owns the most lovable pitbull. Her name is Coco, she’s 2 now, and quite possibly the largest lap dog on record. You’re absolutely right. All breeds rely on the training and upbringing they receive, because this girl is a born lover, cuddler, and snuggler. This is the link to my fave article about pitbulls by their other name “nanny dog” http://www.ywgrossman.com/photoblog/?p=676

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