I have not always been a Pit Bull lover and advocate. In fact, the majority of my childhood I was afraid of dogs as a result of being chased down my street by a 100 pound lab that wanted to play. In my naiveté I assumed all dogs were untrained beasts that just sat and waited for the perfect time to catch a kid off guard and pounce. I grew up listening to the media and was poisoned by their negative spin, selective reporting, and misrepresentation of facts with regard to Pit Bull characteristics and attack statistics. I was among the masses that typecast Pit Bulls and other bully breeds as cruel, aggressive, unpredictable baby-eaters. That was until I met Biz…
While in college I was going to visit a friend that had recently adopted a Pit Bull. The only Pit Bulls I had seen to this point were neurotic dogs featured on a generic, nightly newscast being lead away from a home or locked up in a cage as a result of a heinous act with which they had been involved. I believed all of the hype I had been digesting pretty much since birth, and was absolutely terrified to go into my friends home for fear that the dog would snap and rip me limb from limb.
All of my irrational fears promptly melted away the minute I saw Biz’s stocky, black body come wiggling up to greet me at the door. In the same way people say “I just knew” when they meet their soul mate, I knew things would never be the same for me from here on out. Never before had I seen a dog so genuinely excited to see a person enter a residence! We were immediately best friends, and we spent many nights from there on out sharing hot dogs and cuddling on movie nights.
I was soon driven to adopt a pit of my own, and when I finally moved into a place with a yard during my last year of college I drove to a shelter in New Jersey and adopted a 9 month old brindle female Pit Bull. She had a broken leg that had never received proper medical attention and was found wandering the streets in a not-so-charming area outside of Camden, NJ. My heart instantly broke for what she must have been through; I took her home that same day and named her after my favorite Japanese soup, Miso. Miso is absolutely the sweetest dog on earth. She wants nothing more than to lay by your side and lick you, pretty much anywhere she can, until you can not take it anymore. Unfortunately, my landlord was brainwashed by the mainstream media and considered this breed to be the spawn of Satan; I was threatened with eviction if I kept her. I knew the last thing I was going to do was return her to the pound, so I contacted my partner’s dad.
My father-in-law was incomprehensibly understanding of my situation and told me not to worry – as long as the dogs (he already had one other female pit in the house) got along he would surely adopt her. Lucky for me, both Beryl and Miso were instant friends, and Miso found herself a new home, a new playmate and a great dad. I really do not think words could ever express how much I appreciate what he has done for her, and she makes sure to express her gratitude to him daily with lots of kisses and snuggling.
Despite my struggle dealing with giving up Miso, my love of the breed grew by leaps and bounds. I relocated to the west coast shortly after graduating college and we adopted a pitty named Guapo. He was maybe a year and a half old when he came to live with us, and within his first five minutes of being at the house he threw himself belly first into the pool! He immediately took to the resident bully, Biz, and and the two became best friends from that point on. Guapo is another dog that adores his people, he is the ambassador for our home, making sure to greet each and every visitor with plenty of kisses and hugs.
Tucker is our third canine house mate, and we adopted him about a year after Guapo. A roommate at the time spotted his goofy mug on a local rescue’s website and after seeing his face, with one big brown spot over his eye, we knew we had to go and see him. At 10 months old he already weighed about 75 pounds, his head much too big for his American Bulldog body. We knew we were going to take him home instantly when, at the animal shelter, he tore out of his cage, jumped a waist high fence and lavished us with kisses right there in the waiting room.
These dogs are part of my family, and I could not imagine how empty my life would be without their constant companionship, goofy antics and undying affection. It is the same characteristics, however, that make them vulnerable to abuse when placed into the wrong hands. All of the dogs you see in the news are not loved family pets like Tucker, Biz, Guapo and Miso, they are dogs that have been mistreated in one form or another. Whether it be forcing them to spend all day outside, exposed to the elements, training them to be aggressive, over breeding, physically harming them or placing them in dogfights, these dogs have never been given the chance to be cared for, and they will act the way they were taught in order to elicit praise from their owner.
The mission of this site is to break through the stereotypes that are pervasive in our society regarding pit bulls and bully breed dogs through education and the promotion of responsible ownership. It seems that every era has a certain breed of dog that is demonized by the media, in the past it has been German Shepards and Rottweilers, and currently it is the Pit Bull. It is important for bully lovers everywhere to unite, speak out against and fight the breed specific bans that have become commonplace all over the world, because right now no one may be targeting Boston Terriers, but who knows what will happen after all of the Pit Bulls are gone.
“To know a bully is to love a bully.”