Running with Squirrels

fostering dogs that need it most

My Confession

So … I have a confession to make.

I used to be scared of pit bull type dogs.

When I was young I had a negative experience with an aggressive dog (now I understand aggressive due to poor pet ownership) and it unfortunately skewed my perspective for quite a while. When foster dad and I moved in together and decided to adopt a dog, I had one criteria … I didn’t feel comfortable adopting a pit bull type dog.

Boy was I in for a surprise. As we walked down the aisles of amazing dogs at our local shelter we saw a LOT of pit bull type dogs. Foster dad walked up to Reese’s crate and said “What do you think about this guy?”. My initial thought was “Are you nuts?!?” He looked like a pit bull type dog and I immediately felt nervous. However, there was something gentle and soft about Reese … he was the only dog not barking and sat looking at us with his big brown eyes. So, I cautiously agreed to take him out to the yard at the shelter to walk and play for a few minutes.

Reese’s little brindle face looked up at me as I took his leash and walked him around the yard. He stayed next to me and walked at my pace. He gently gave kisses to the shelter worker he had formed a bond with and I was amazed and quickly falling for Reese. As we returned him to his crate we decided to take a leap and put in an application to adopt Reese.

When we first brought Reese home he was nervous and would check on us as we slept by running over to our bedside to make sure we were still there. I have to admit I was still a bit unsure of how he would behave … even after we brought him home.

It took me about a week to realize that Reese was the sweetest, most loving dog I had ever met. He would snuggle up and cuddle on my legs if I sat on the floor and he always wanted to be in the same room as his people. He gives the best kisses and greets you like he hasn’t seen you in years every time you come home. I was clearly won over by Reese pretty quickly!

About two years ago I had to have back surgery and was in a great deal of pain leading up to the operation. Reese lay by my side being my nurse the entire time. I can’t imagine having to go through that experience without him and thank foster dad for helping me to open my mind, heart, and our home to pit bull type dogs. Our lives are so much better for it!

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12 thoughts on “My Confession

  1. reese certainly is a sweet and loving dog … and so much of that is due to the love you give him … he is a lucky pup!

  2. I wrote a post on this recently away. All it takes is one pooch to change your mind!

  3. I used to feel the same way! I realized how few of us really have a chance to meet pitbulls in person (have you noticed the people with the steretypes really haven’t met a pitbull) so this is what gave us our ‘mission’. So great that you are using the web and real-life to expose more people to the realities!

  4. Confession: I used to be scared of them too! Double confession: When we adopted Turk, we were told he was a corgi mix and didn’t question it. He was 2 years old before we were told by the vet that he was most definitely a pit bull type dog. What a great way to change my stereotypes though – to find out I’d been unknowningly living with one for nearly two years! But like Two Grads said, it just takes one pooch to change your mind!

    • We had a similar experience. Reese was listed as a German Shepherd / Terrier mix likely to help him get adopted without the “pitbull” label. At the time our county only adopted out non-pitbull type dogs to people who rented. Luckily, Reese wasn’t listed as a pure pitbull and we were able to adopt him. Thankfully, now the shelter has changed their policy and renters are allowed to apply to adopt pit bull type dogs.

  5. We used to have a “no pit bulls” rule when it came to picking out dogs for our family. They weren’t the only breed on the list but they were at the top. Then Sadie came along and there is no longer a breed ban in our home. No siree. It does just take that one dog and I’m so thankful that Reesie found you as Sadie found us!

  6. Donna on said:

    The Nanny Factor…true dat

  7. Allison on said:

    I also admit to a closeted pitbull phobia when we decided to adopt a dog. I’m so glad that I let Luke talk me into adopting our sweet Ozzie. I couldn’t imagine life without him and of course our next pittie Olive. They are Maggie’s best buds!

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