This is a rescue story as well as a plea for help. Shadow's dad passed away suddenly about a month ago, and now she's in need of a home (MD area).
Family Pit Bull Pride
By: Mom to Drama and Sister to Shadow, Kasey-Dee Gardner
Let me start off by saying I don’t believe in fate. However in 2006, during rare downtime at work, I mistakenly started browsing Petfinder.com. This is never a wise decision, especially if you are not actively planning on adopting an animal. Trust me… those sweet little faces will pull you in every time.
Within minutes of flipping through Petfinder.com, I had found the perfect dog. He was a little Pit Bull mix with crooked paws and a bloated belly; he was the runt and he was the last one in his litter. I knew no one else would want him because they would probably see him as flawed. I saw him as perfect. A few days later, I drove to a shelter in Atlantic City, New Jersey to adopt this little runt, who because of his expressive personality soon earned the name Drama. At this time of Drama’s adoption, I didn’t know much about Pit Bulls. I had ignored the media’s depiction of them and decided to give the breed a chance. Why not? After all, Pit Bulls are dogs too.
Over the last four years, as I’ve gotten to know Drama and many other Pits, I’ve realized I was right, pit bulls are no different than any other dog breed. They are simply man’s best friend. The strongest example of a Pit Bull’s love didn’t come from Drama, but from a homeless Pit Bull mix picked up in the streets of Baltimore. Three years after I adopted Drama, I noticed an email about an abandoned Pit Bull in my inbox. I don’t know what about this particular email caught my eye; several of these types of urgent request emails come through my inbox every day. For some reason, this one caught my attention. Instead of passing it along to no-kill rescues, I opened the email and froze. The email was a plea seeking a foster family for a medium-sized Pit Bull mix found abandoned on a Baltimore golf course. The dog, maybe a year old, was in bad shape. She had clearly been neglected; her body was missing huge chunks of fur, her tail was furless, she had cuts on her emaciated belly, and the sickly Pit Bull had a raging case of heartworm. Recycled Love in Baltimore had placed her in veterinary care and now it was up to a foster family to save her life. My first instinct was to call my animal-loving parents (whose 17-year-old dog died the year before) and beg them to help. After much persuading, my parents agreed to foster the dog under the condition that once her health improved; she would be adopted to a good home.
This story has both a happy and sad ending.
A few months later, after extensive heartworm treatment, nutritional food, exercise, and lots of love, this once scrawny Pit Bull bounced back to perfect health. And just as my parents said, she found a good home. Theirs. My retired Father fell in love with the dog he named Shadow…. a name she rightly earned because she followed my Dad’s every step. For the last two years, Shadow and my Dad were an inseparable match. They would run errands together, go on daily walks to the beach, watch movies, and take long naps. He tried not to go anywhere without her. He showed the world that anyone can be a Pit Bull owner and in return, she showed him endless devotion. Shadow’s loyalty completely transformed my parents’ lives. They were always astounded at her joyful and devoted nature. Shadow inspired a new love of life for my Dad and in the end that was all that matters.
Tragically, a month ago my Dad suddenly died due to complications from a stroke. Over the last month, while human emotions have run the gamut in our family, the hardest emotions to ease were Shadow’s sadness. No one could explain to her that her owner had died. For weeks she sat by the door waiting for his return. Often in the last month, I catch her lying next to my Dad’s empty bed, or curling up in his old clothes. It’s heartbreaking. Now, because my Mom is physically unable to care for a young, strong, joyful Pit Bull, I am in desperate need to find a person that can adore her as much as my Dad.
In the end, I still don’t believe in fate, however, I do believe that humans and animals are paired for a reason. In my case, I was matched with Drama so I could understand the love of Pit Bulls and spread the word of their goodness. For my Dad, Shadow provided a special gift like no other – she enhanced the last two years of his life. Now, she is meant to be someone else’s Shadow and show them the true meaning of endless love.
If you are interested in adopting Shadow or would like more information about her, please go to Recycled Love’s website at: http://recycledlove.org/adopt/animals/shadow