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Pitbull Owners Survival Guide

« Naughty or Nice? Santa Knows | Main | Happy New Year! 2006 - A Toast To You & Your Dog! »

December 24, 2005



I recentley just celebrated my beautiful dogs 4th birthday. I adopted her when she was 2 mons old. Her mother, a full breed pit was brought to the Brown County Humane Society in Indiana. She was severally starved, abused and pregnant. She was very young, too young to probably be having puppies but had been over bred any way. The humane society staff had little faith that the puppies would make it, and even their mother Grace had a dire prognosis. The amazing staff at the BCHS fought for Grace and her future babies anyway and to there astonishment on 04Jul 2004 Grace gave birth to 4 beautiful pit mixed angels. 2 boys and 2 girls, one whom later would become my BEST friend. During the time that this sad story was turning into a miracle, I had the mis fortune of loosing my boston terrier. He was in the backyard for his morning run, when a neighbor was walking her dog agressive akita on a retractable leash (stupid) and it ripped right out of her hands as the dog leaped over our fence and brutally attacked our little murphy. My mother ran out when she heard his cries. She immediately took Murphy to the vets, he had surgery and had to have many tubes to drain infection from his organs. We never left his side. For several weeks one of us was always laying with him as he hated the head cone we stayed and protected his wounds instead. Finally he started to eat and walk a little bit, but 3 days after he seemed to be getting better he passed away in his sleep. It was the worst day of my life. I couldn't see the ground when i tried to help my dad and brother dig the grave because of the tears. After days of crying I finally decided to adopt a new friend. This new friend would not replace Murphy but be a new chapter in my life.
I searched and searched when I stumbled apon the story of Grace and her puppies. I immediately felt a connection when I looked in Moniques eyes (Diamond was her pound name). I had looked for days for the right friend and I knew she was the one. I drove 3 hours from cincinnati to nashville indiana not realizing there was an hour time difference and the humane society had closed. I relentlessly knocked on the door and the sweetest young woman opened the door. She had just been getting ready to euthanize my little girl. She was so relieved that Monique (Diamond) was getting a home. We both cried as I held the puppy in my arms. I was happy to hear Grace and 2 of the other puppies had been adopted. Grace's new mommy was kind enough to let her stay with the puppies till they too got homes.
I had to do a lot of convincing to get my friends and family to start opening there heart despite her breed, but now they get upset if i come over without her. She is definately my greatest friend and my camping buddy too. If I had my way she would go every where with me, including work! So when you think about Independence day (04july) please think of the birth of my little girl and her desire for the indepence and love for the most restricted and misunderstood dogs of all. And all dogs getting the freedom to be loved! I know that Murphy is looking down and is very proud to have saved Mo with his own heart. Thank you Zsa Zsa,Monique wishes she could play with you and Is sending you lots of wags! And she wants to send her greatest love to all of the humans that have taken the time to open there heart and mind to bring peace to the unluckiest dogs of all and make a step towards a beautiful future!


What a coincidence! We got our first pit bull rescue in a very similar way. My husband's sister was working near Times Square when she found a female pit bull, still lactating, covered with tar. Her pups had been taken, she was starving, and she was extremely friendly. Emily took her home, but her other female dog wouldn't let the pit bull stay (female-female aggression). So we ended up adopting her, here in WI, much to my dismay (I thought all pit bulls were crazy killers). 11 years later, here she is, snoozing on the bed with our other pit bull rescue (a young male). While our elderly husky is a sweet, sweet dog, pit bulls have got to be the most adorable, loving dogs on earth. (And all our friends and neighbors think we're utterly insane too).

Brian C

Your story is a true love story. I own one myself he is all white. i guess you can say he is a rescued dog sort of. my brother-in-law (thank you jay) got married and lived in arizona. he had the dog for 3 years. when they move to thier new home. the was BSL ordinance in their town. he didnt want to give the dog to the pound so he asked my wife if we can have him. we live in NJ. we picked him up from the airport he was the most friendliest dog i have ever met. now he is like one of my kids (listens better somtimes lol) I get really upset when I hear things in the news about pitbulls. i just wish some of these law makers would keep my dog for a week and see that they should punish the deed and not the breed.


That was just so beautiful. I know those glares people give. own two beautiful rotties that I love dearly.

God Bless and merry Christmas. Yollie

Bonnie Carpenter

What a wonderful story here just before Christmas. I wish that every one could understand these magnificiant animals like we do. My Buddy is the most loving, kind, precious, wonderful dog that I've ever had and I cannot imagine life without him! Humans have done this to these animals. Animals are not born mean nor do they have any idea what kind of dog they are. What pitbull owners and any owner of what lawmakers deam vicious dogs need to do is simply do not stand for their legislation any more! We can stop this but it takes all of us that love our animals to do it. No one has the right to ban or take an animal.
I'm so glad you saved this beautiful lady. Without you she would have died.

norma rivera

hi nice to know other people like pit to i own one my self to. my 2 daughters to one of my daughter have 2 kids and they grow up with the dog and that dog is wonder full i love her she was my first grand daughter.thas depend how you raise them is like your mariage how you form you man and you woman any way good luck.bye


Just makes me want to cry....
I had to steal my first pit bull, she was taken from her litter when she was no taller than grass, and the man who took her wanted a pit bull! She was 3 weeks old, and he left outside in an enclosure not as big as a car, feeding her dog food. Again, she was THREE weeks old!
By the time I took her at her 12 weeks, she was worm ridden, belly swollen, ribs showing, sores all over. This was a puppy - don't people get that? My neighbors were glad that someone did something, and if I hadn't, would she have died?
She was my love for over 13 years, and she's rolling in stuff up in heaven waiting for me (I hope) She's been gone four years, and I still feel her.
I have three now, picture follows, and can't imagine life with anything less than a pit - they are completely fabulous. All are from rescue, but none was in as dire straits as Moo, my angel darling.
I commend you on stealing/saving your dog. I was commended too.
Kisses to you and the dog,

EDITOR'S NOTE: Like you, I also cannot imagine life without my baby, my Princess Zsa Zsa. I would like to comment of saving versus stealing. Saving an abandoned dog - whith no owners anywhere in sight - is one thing, stealing a dog that belongs to another is - well another thing. If any creature is in distress, ill treated, plea contact llaw enforcement ASAP and wait for theri arrival so the slugs responsible can be fully prosecuted. We must begin to send a message that cruelty will not be tolerated.


That was an amazing story. Im so glad you gave Zsa Zsa the chance to become such a wonderful companion. My pit bull is 12 and I can't imagine my life without him. I plan to always have a pit in my life and hope to one day become a foster mom. Thank you for sharing your experience :)


Your story brought tears to my eyes. We are loved by 2 PitBulls and I fear everyday that some ignorant lawmaker is going to get my "kids" taken away from us. They are so much more than PitBulls. They are loving, playful and the most loyal companions anyone could ever ask for. They never meet a stranger and love children even though they don't have any human kids of their own. Breed Specific laws are just so wrong in my eyes. To me it is the same as making a law that all red haired people must be located and euthanized.
I am going to point all our friends and family to this site and the others I've found linked here. I appreciate all of you who are brave enough to be the voice for the breed that is so misunderstood...Thaddeus and Sadie thank you as well.

The Editor

I can't imagine life without my Sophie. I think taking in any rescued pet is a risk, but I'll take that risk over and over again for the joy of giving an animal--especially a pit bull--a chance at happiness.


Just wanted to say that your dog is a very pretty girl who should be doing eukanuba ads; don't let anyone tell you different and certainly don't let that stuffed shirt from the CDC or whatever get you down (next time ask him if he's ever seen your dog. When he answers yes, then say, "Gee, you could have fooled me-your head is so far up your pompous a@# that I assumed you couldn't see much of anything...")

Other than that, to heck Montclair-unless your dog was there most of these people probably couldn't pick out a real pitbull if it jumped up and did a tapdance on its hindlegs for them. I live a short ride away in NYC near Gramercy Park and I see dogs like yours all the time-at the Union Square market, on my way to class (I am in college), on walks, etc. and often times they just wag happily and come over to me to say "hello"; they don't scare me at all and as a kid I used to be terrified of them; it was a schoolyard legend that they ate children.

Quite the contrary is true now-it's mostly the little dogs I wouldn't dare pet, the kind that get carried around in those handbags in particular. Just about a week ago I was walking home from school and saw a little boy try to pet a Yorkie and the dog just about tried to snap his fingers off. I caught myself thinking that it was such a shame he didn't meet some of the dogs around my neighborhood as I have no doubts that none of them would have tried that or even wanted to.

My final advice is to get involved with other pit owners, even if you have to truck into the city to find them. This way you can watch that CDC guy's face twist in shock and horror as not one pit walks by on a leash, but twelve of them.
Good luck!

adina forsberg

I work with a pitbull rescue group in san diego california. Over the years in gaining knowledge about the breed and owning this bred of dog I couldn't picture myself ownign any other. It saddens me deeply and often angers me intensly to hear and see the inhumane and cruel things done to animals and specifically this breed. I foster many and see them come and go in many diferent states. Some come in so sweet and you would never know they had been mistreated by their behavior. Some so badlt treated - you wonder how they are still so loving and beautiful in spirit. Some do take some patience and work - but what in life doesn't. I can only hope that somehow people learn more of the real side of this breed and concentrate more on being better pet owners in general and work together to stop the cruelty. I would love more information on how to be more proactive in this area. Any info send my way. I would like to take action instead of just being angry.


in April of 1999 we bought our first home. One of our main reasons for finally taking the plunge was so my wife could have a dog. All she wanted was a German Shepard, but being a responsible person, she began looking at local shelters on line. At the same time, not to be outdone, our daughter, 19 at the time says "I would love an English Bulldog puppy" after a little research we decided we wouldn't buy a puppy, not only the cost, but the shelters were euthanizing dogs at an alarming rate and the more sites we visited the more this became apparent. To make a long story short, at one shelter perhaps 45 minutes from where we live they posted a litter of adorable puppies, that were not English, but American bulldog mix. They also had a picture of this scary looking beast which had to be the epitome of every pitbull horror story I had ever heard. Mind you now, the only thing I knew about pitbulls is what I heard in the media, but it was enough to convince me I would never want to own one or even be in the same town with one.
Was I in for an Epiphany! We called the shelter and made an appointmen to go see the "American bulldog puppy named Opal" Black Brindle and white and all of 4 pounds, we were thinking about it when my daughter pipes up "do you have any English bulldogs or mixed"? To which the lady who ran the rescue answered "we have Winnie" that is the day my life was forever changed. "Winnie" of course was the dog whose picture on the website made every bone in my body say"oh hell no" just goes to show, pictures can be deceiving.
Now one other thing that is important to this story. I went on this trip to the shelter very reluctantly, I really didn't want a dog in the house. We already had 4 cats,(and still do), and all I could think of was hair, smell walking in bad weather, feeding etc. Just one more pain in the butt responsibility for me. Well the lady at the shelter walks me over to where the adult dogs were kept in tiny chain link runs, there sitting forlonly was "Winnie" the hell beast from the website, when she saw me she looked me straight in the eye and to my dying day I will swear she smiled at me. And I could hear her tail just gently tapping at the side of her cage. Against all I had thought, I asked Mary, (the lady that runs the rescue)if she could let her out. She explodes out of the run, before I can get out of the way she is leaning her whole body against my shins grunting like a pig and wagging her tail so hard I thought her ass was going to fall off. That was early May of 1999. Winnie now shares the furniture with me and Opal, who turned out to be more pit than bull dog, and Cash our little boy who we got in October of 2003 with the understanding that he was to be a foster only until the rescue we became involved with found him the perfect home. Well we got him, 2 hours before he was to be euthanized, barely 8 pounds swollen belly and ribs showing from malnutrition. We nursed him through ringworm, Parvo, he is now 2 1/2 of course we adopted him. He's had one hip repaired, the other one is going to be replaced when we get our tax return, and my vet bill for the last 5 years is well into 5 figures, and if you asked me if I'd do it again my answer would be "I wish I knew about these wondrous creatures years ago, all that time wasted in ignorance. Power to the PITTS!!!!!!


There was a time I was one of those people that had real fear fof pitbulls. But then our daughter got involved with pitbull rescue and that was jus the start of true love. I have learned so much about what beautiful loving creatures they are and am blessed to have two I call my grandkids. Thank you for your beautiful story and you have a special place waiting for you some day.


What an amazing story! Thank you so much for telling it. I have been in pit bull rescue for some time and every once in a while, you have those days when people really get to you. The days you just can't put up with ignorant people's comments toward my pit bulls and stories like this are what keep us going!

Thank you for sharing! My pit bulls and all the others out there truely appreciate it!


Thanks for sharing your story. I hear all too often about the sadness of lost and unwanted animals. I'm lost sometimes because I wonder if there is anyone left that considers these guys (pets) a part of the family and to hear the love in your story warms my heart. I, too have a terribe and vicious 16 yr. old chow chow mix. (Who is found regularly running with fear from my Aunt's cat!) In America, people would grab their kids....instilling fear. Now that we are living in Germany, people stand in line to pet 'my wonderful Grizzly bear'. With enough people, we can bring attention to the discrimination. One day, maybe Americans can stand in line to pet a sweet little pittie! Happy Holidays to all and pray for ours guys in the shelters.


Thank you for saving this beautiful girl and giving her a responsible , loving home.

you really should know something important about Pit Bull dogs........

They can become extremely addictive.

AB & CJ Ireland

Truly inspirational...Zsa Zsa you are loved now.


Re: the doctor's comments

I'm reminded of a woman who sat with friends, and her dog, at a restaurant's patio. A family was seated nearby.

Several times the children at the next table were overheard asking if they could go pet the dog. Each time, the father answered, "No."

After overhearing another plea from the children, the dog's owner told the man it would be okay if the children petted her dog.

The children's father replied, "No thank you. I'm an emergency room physician, and I see the damage dogs can do to children."

To that, the woman replied, "Did you drive here?"

(...You see, many, many more children are seriously injured in automobile accidents - and by their parents, relatives, and friends; as well as by spiders, swimming pools, playing baseball, bicycles, and even five gallon buckets - than by dogs. The dog owner knew this, but the hysterical doctor apparently did not. By driving his children anywhere in a motorvehicle, he was putting his children in infinitely more danger than they are ever likely to be in, when faced by supervised dogs in a public place. Indeed, even when children are seriously injured by dogs, they're usually injured by their own dogs, or that of a neighbour.

It's important to us to remind people of the facts, and not let them get away with silly and unproductive hysteria.)


i come from a somewhat similar situation. my oldest boy Damien (pitbull) was born on July 2nd '03 and spent his first 4 months (all summer) living in a garage in Hammond Indiana, just outside chicago. after i got him almost every day people in my old neighborhood would ask about fighting him. i eventually moved to a nice neighborhood because pitbulls were regularly stolen for fighting in cicero, and i couldnt let that happen. but in wealthy suburbs we are regularly discriminated against. my girlfriend babysits and both my bullies are with 4 kids every day. yet people out here pick their children over their head or cross the street when they see us coming. these are the same parents whos children throw tantrums in stores and hit their parents when they dont get what they want. from my observations i can honestly say my dogs both are better behaved than most children. maybe the parents are just concerned that thier kids will kick my dog or pull its ear? the only thing worse than ignorance is when its combined with arrogance. your dog is beautiful and i wish you many more happy (hopefully discrimination free) years together. merry christmas


Thank you for a beatiful story. My sister and I rescued a sweet little pitbul from an abusive home. We snuck in and snatched her from her 3-foot chain, where she lay tethered in her own filth, with food strewn on the dirt around her. She has a festering wound on her ear and fly poop around it. The vet who examined her actually commended us for stealing the dog. Susy is the sweetest, most loving little pitty I've ever had the pleasure to meet. She lives with us and her little chocolate lab "Sister Hazel". Rah, rah, Zip, Boomba, for Pitbulls!

Eve Nelson-Barry

I'm reading this the day after xmas. I had to put my male doberman to sleep two weeks due to health issues, at 7. He'd moved in with me at 22 months and 3 homes later. I was told he & littermates were put in shelter by "breeder" at 5 months old. The 2nd home gave him up "good to free home" due to biting son (he puppy nipped terribly), the ACO didn't know what happened in 3rd home, but found him on a freezing Jan, starving, shivering, scared witless, back in shelter. A doberman lover friend took him out, fostered, and he moved in with me five days later. i had to take something out of his mouth later that nite, no problem. I covered him w/blanket to sleep, got up in middle of nite, pulled blanket out from under him to cover him up again, he just sighed!! "I'm home!" He later became a certified therapy dog, sweetest temperment in the world, but without TLC and structure, he would have been a nightmare, and it would NOT have been his fault. Because of him I fostered, and kept an owner give up female dobeman, who at over 9 is still going strong, thank goodness! We mourn Harvey, my sweet bubba dude, but his spirit is with us, and I will get another doberman, but this time when we're all ready, it will be "puppy" probablly rescue again tho! It's not so much the breed, it's "the people."


Bless you Both.
Now thats the TRUE meaning of Christmas.


They say the greatest of all human traits is compassion.True compassion extends to all of god's creatures........after all isnt god spelled back wards DOG?


I had a street rescue dog, whom I
brought home just before one of my birthdays. She was a mixed breed with health and psychological issues that took three years to straighten out. But she was the best birthday present I ever had. Thank you for
Zsa-Zsa's story. I wish for you
the many years of joy I had with
my Sookey.

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