I’ve been meaning to write a post for Pit Bull Awareness Month and today while cleaning out my inbox I found a picture that I’ve been searching for for months and I dare say, is quite fitting for the topic at hand. Check it out:
Recognize that face? This is Maggie, about a week (and a week’s worth of meals) after she was found. That thing hanging from around her neck is what she chewed through to free herself. Look at her ribs. Her sunken forehead. Her posture. The dark, sick rings around her eyes. This picture makes me think of Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
And look at her now. Meat on her bones, a twinkle in her eye, and a big ole goofy grin on her face. Quite the transformation, right? Well, I want to let you all in on a little secret: this is normal. That’s not to say it’s “normal” to find severely abused dogs, but what is normal, is to see these kinds of transformations in dogs once they find themselves in loving homes–and that’s particularly true for Pit Bull type dogs. It’s been said time and again that Pit Bulls are a particularly forgiving and resilient type of dog, heck, I said it yesterday when I talked about Gracie, but I thought sharing a little visual could only help to further my point.
Even more important than the physical transformation though, is the emotional. After being found, Maggie was initially in boarding, then a different foster home, then she finally landed in my care. The first foster was wonderful, and absolutely loved Maggie, but she was so terrified by the man of the house that she would lose complete control of her bowels and refused to come inside if he was home; she would hide out in their yard until he left for work. Realizing that this was not the best environment for her, I was asked to take over her foster care. Of course I agreed, and the rest is history.
Now, Maggie leaps into Rich’s arms when he gets home, plays like a lady at the park and daycare, welcomes new dogs in to our home, is all around confident, silly, and very happy. She can still be unsure of strangers, but she is getting better with every day! Just last weekend Rich took her to Home Depot where she proudly walked around her with beloved dad and even stopped to let strangers give her a pat on the head. If you met Maggie a year ago, you would never believe she was capable of this. I’ll admit, I wasn’t even sure she would ever get to this point! But true to Pit Bull form, Maggie has proved me wrong and blossomed into (dare I say it out loud?) our most well-behaved, well-adjusted
dog family member.
I see that this has turned into a “Isn’t-Maggie-Awesome” post and that wasn’t my intention! I honestly can’t even pick one specific thing to discuss for Pit Bull Awareness month though. There is the obvious point of this post: Pit Bulls are amazingly resilient and have stunning transformations should them come for a bad start. But then there are also all the myths that should debunked. Our friend did that here though. Or the fact that they make fantastic family dogs. Or how smart they are. Or how cuddly and loving they are. The list goes on and on. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite lines:
“If you’re lucky enough to be owned by a Pit Bull, you’re lucky enough.”