Introductions

6

 

We are shaking things up a bit here at PitBulls.org. My name is Jen. I am a new blogger to this site and want to give you a bit of background about me before I dive in.

First of all, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to be part of a dialogue that perpetuates a positive message about a frequently misunderstood yet lovable breed. I hope that my contribution is worthy. I welcome your comments and look forward to our discussion.

Now, a bit about my connection to pit bulls so you know where I’m coming from.  It started with a dog named Rijker. (I named her after female boxer Lucia Rijker.) I met her while volunteering for a rescue organization when I was in college. She was a tiny brindle puppy with white paws. She was enthralling. After many nights sleeping next to her, her head on my pillow, she was stolen from me. Someone had snatched her from my fenced-in yard when I wasn’t watching. I will be haunted by this my entire life. Today I have a picture of her tucked away in a special place, just as the memory of her is tucked deep in my heart. Sometimes, in private moments, I weep for her. I have so many unanswered questions and unresolved feelings. In the aftermath, I promised myself I would educate people about pit bulls and protect them in any way I could.

Years later, I started fostering pit bull puppies for a local rescue. What a joy it is to watch them learn and grow! I’ve placed puppies in wonderful homes and am happy to say they are all doing very well. Then I met Dasher, a red-nosed puppy. He was slumped over on a street corner wearing a ripped t-shirt, bound by a shoestring, eating old chicken nuggets from the ground. I wasn’t ready for a new puppy, but fate intervened. We named him “Dasher” because the man who was trying to sell him called him “Basher” and we didn’t want him to get confused. Besides, it was Christmas time, so if the name fits. … He, now 4-years-old, is my baby boy. He is silly, energetic, loving and sensitive. He has a mischievous side that leads him to antagonize our two cats and 13-year-old miniature pinscher, usually with one of his toys in his mouth. You know how that ends: they scold him and he thinks it is great fun. I will talk about Dasher often, so please feel free to share thoughts about your dogs.

I hope you have a better understanding of me as a pit bull lover. As I snuggle with Dasher now, I am giddy with anticipation, ready for your comments. Fire when ready! 

 

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6 comments

Comments

Fuzzbutts's picture
Fuzzbutts
Fri, 06/15/2012 - 11:19am

Hi Jen, we rescued a puppy a year ago that was from Georgia. She was found in the woods, half starved. A local shelter had went there to help out a shelter that was over run with dogs. While there, thank God, my Bailey was found. One of the girls that volunteered there told me about Bailey (then Grace... by the grace of God she was found.) I was looking for a friend for my other dog, a Catahoula named Zoe. To make a long story short, they are the BEST of friends! We were told she was a boxer but I knew she was a mix of something. When I took her to the vet he said "you know you have a pit bull." Since then I have met someone that said she was a American Staffidshire, Staffie. I looked up video's of the breed and she looks exactly like them. Bailey is absolutly the sweetest dog we have ever had! She loves to cuddle, has the ability to calm a hipper child, is gentle as can be, steals the warm spot on the sofa and she just oooozzzzes love! My question is what is the difference between a Staffie and a Pitbull? Are they th same dog?

Thanks,

Dianne

 

 

jennifer.tom's picture
jennifer.tom
Sat, 06/16/2012 - 9:43pm

Thank you for sharing your story, Dianne. Now, I am no expert but I will tell you what I understand to be true about the difference between Staffies (Staffordshire Bull Terriers) and pit bulls (American Pit Bull Terriers). First of all, their genetic background is the same; however, they are different breeds. Staffies are named after the Staffordshire region in England. They have wide heads, short faces and small ears when compared with APBT's. Your friend may also be reffering to Amstaffs (American Staffordhsire Terriers). Amstaffs are similar to Staffies yet are heavier in weight and have been bred in the United States, hence the name change. If you have any more questions about APBT's, we have a few great articles on the site that clarify the history of them and exactly where they came from.

I hope that helps!  

llong45431's picture
llong45431
Fri, 06/15/2012 - 11:23am

Hey congrats this a great place,  I to have been smitten by a pit bull her name is Roxy last year I needed to rent a house in a hurry and ended up getting one in a not so great part of town and with my house was a puppy.  She is beautiful her face was injured and she had a little limp and in this house was also a full grown male not very friendly.  So I could not go in so I went to the car and went to call the owner and this kid walked up and said that he was not finished moving that they were his so he proceeded to ask me if I wanted to buy her and being in a pinch I just had no money.  So I stayed the afternoon with her and then it was time to go so he asked again if I wanted her and I said I dont have the cash so I said if you really want to get her a good home I will be back in the morning and we will talk again.  I went and worried all night about this little goofy looking girl being with the male that had already hurt her.  So the next day I rushed and went back to the house because he said he would be out and I wanted to see her one more time and I opened the door and there she was and the house was empty with a note she is yours.... it was love at first site and I would not trade her for the world she is my little 75 pound butterfly we eat and sleep together we share pillows and she never leaves my side.  she is just about 1yr now and I am amazed with her she is the best dog in the world she had a tough start as I was told by neighbors but she is a queen now.  I have been wanting to start fostering and I have been reading about it she would be a great mentor for other animals either that or a service dog.   She just fills your heart with joy whoever meets her ppl are so scared of her at first but so totally in love when they get to know her.  I love that all this is happening on the internet I am learning so much and want to become more a part of each day.  Ppl with pit bulls are special we get to feel the true joy of a pets love Keep up the good work and I will continue to learn and follow. 

jennifer.tom's picture
jennifer.tom
Sat, 06/16/2012 - 9:49pm

What a great story about how you found Roxy! It is also exciting to hear that you are thinking about fostering. There are many pit bulls out there who need a loving environment and many rescues that cannot handle the multitude of dogs they have. I have learned through my experience that although fostering is extremely rewarding, it is a huge commitment. I would suggest contacting some locals rescues and asking them any questions you have about how to get involved. They will likely be ecstatic to hear from you! 

aparker240's picture
aparker240
Fri, 06/15/2012 - 12:51pm

Hi Jen!

FOr the past 5 years I have been ready to adopt a dog. I was never in the right living situation so I fought to get into a new apt that accepts dogs. When I started out I knew I wanted to adopt a pit b/c they are truly amazing and in such need of adoption. The bleeding heart in me knew that I could give a pit bull a great home.

I adopted a small 1.5 year old female who had been rescued by a VT based rescue from being a stray in NYC. She was taken to vt and put in the care of a trainer who fostered her until I came along.

We have dealt with her seperation anxiety, by crate training. I am so proud of her b/c in 2 months she was completely crate trained.

NOw onto the good stuff. She is NOT well socialized and has severe issues with greeting new dogs. The only time I've ever seen her act appropriately around a new dog is when we picked her up from her foster and she had a remote e-collar on and was put into a submissive state by the trainer to meet us and my friend's dog who came along that first day.

Since then, and meeting and befriending that one dog, she has not been able to act in a non aggressive way to new dogs. I'm very upset about it b/c I feel that I'm not providing the leadership she is looking for in those situations.

Since I got her I've been working so hard to get her into good behaviors for our daily hour long walks, some days are WAY better than others. If we take a new route, or go somewhere else for our walks, I lose control, and when another dog comes a long I am compleltely out of control.

 

Any guidance?

jennifer.tom's picture
jennifer.tom
Sat, 06/16/2012 - 10:05pm

Let me start by saying I am *not* a trainer or a behaviorist and cannot speak about these things with the authority they can. I can, however, share my experience with Dasher and hope that helps you. 

Dasher had a similar response when we first started walking him after we got him. He turned into the Tasmanian Devil! It was shocking and hard to see. After interviewing some trainers, we found one we were comfortable with and she changed our lives. We found out Dash is a very sensitive dog, so he was picking up on any insecurities we and other dogs around us had. If you are anticipating that your dog may act up, you are probably transferring that energy down the leash to your dog. With help from a trainer, you can take control of the situation and be the leader your dog needs. I cannot stress enough the importance of feeling confident with your trainer right off the bat. It is like every relationship. It has to start off on solid ground if it is going to work. It may take time, but you will learn so much about your pit and will see the benefits of your hard work.

Don't get discouraged! You can do it!

Stay safe and try to avoid uncomfotable situations until you start working with a professional.

Good luck!