Hi, I am from Cedar Rapids, IA. Originally from central IL. I am divorced and dating a pit bull owner. I have worked as a volunteer with sites that are against animal abuse several years ago. This was where I first learned about Breed Selective Legislation. I met others who had pit bulls or dogs who had been "accused" of being pit bulls which was something I had gone through. My big girl, had a playmate who was a boxer/pit mix and he was the most gentle, obedient and wonderful animal I had ever met. The more people I met with pit bulls, the more I heard how loyal and human-loving they really were. I was honestly hesitant to own one because of all the hysteria and lies. I saw what friends went through and how they could not take their dogs to off leash parks because they were afraid they would be accused of starting something even if they had not. I was really surprised when I saw Caesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, take his pit bull to an off leash dog park. I began watching TV shows like his and Pit Bulls and Parolees as well as Pit Boss. My love for the breed has grown since then.
I love pit bulls for their soft hearts, loyalty beyond insanity and their willingness to love even the unloveable. I love what I call their meaty head. I love petting their heads and feeling all that muscle under my hands. I like to massage it. Other dogs just have bony heads I think. I love their beautiful physiques, the shape of their heads and especially I love their intelligence. My pit bull kisses EVERYONE, even cats. Every time we go to the vet he tries to kiss their mascot kitty who is declawed in the front and always gets smacked in the face. He still wants to be friends.
My pit bull is a pure breed (no papers) American Staffordshire Terrier. He is a gorgeous brindle with perfect markings and an upside down white T on his chest and some white on his paws. He is the sweetest, most gentle baby boy. He will be 2 in July 2012. My son brought him home when he was 6 weeks old. (I know he was weened too early which upset me.) Someone gave him the dog as payment for a debt. He was living in my basement at the time. Every time he went to work the poor thing would cry in his kennel for hours until I could not stand it. I would go get him out and babysit him until he got home. I got very attached to him and when my son moved out, the trailer park he moved into would not allow pit bulls, so now he is mine. I helped to raise him and train him so he seemed fine with the transition. He is GREAT with kids! The neighborhood kids all LOVE him. I have taken him to the park and let kids pet him, and he senses when they are afraid and crouches himself down until he is laying on his belly so they won't be afraid to come up to him. One mother came up to me and told me her little girl is afraid of dogs and she could not believe she was petting him. Of course, we get irrational parents who get a strangle hold on their kid and will not let them come pet him. When we go to the pet store I plan on an hour because everyone has to pet him.
I never even had to train him to heel. He just does it when he is on leash. He figured out how to put his paws on the screen door handle and open it, so I can't have doors open. When he has gotten out, he just runs around the house in circles, but I am worried that something will happen, so he never goes outside without a leash on for his own safety. We live in a crazy, prejudiced world. He has been attacked twice by other dogs that drew blood. Once on his ear and once on his snout. He never fought back either time, even when he was gushing blood all over the place. He hid behind my legs and my big girl and I had to do the defending. Now I carry pepper spray and a cell phone on our walks. By the way the dogs that have attacked us, have been mixed breeds, not pit bulls at all.
I am interested in education of the public about pit bulls and in helping to get rid of breed selective legislation as well as abuse of pit bulls. Any pit bull who would become a vicious killer, had to have been severely abused to make it that way in my experience. I am also interested in new things to teach my sweet heart, so new tricks are always welcome. He loves getting healthy treats and is willing to work for them. (He will eat anything from cashews to peanuts to chicken liver to avocado, apple cores and some veggies, crazy, huh?) I am also interested in potty training suggestions as that is the one thing that keeps him from being the perfect dog. I tried crate training and puppy pads already. My other dog trained so quickly using the crate and I never had issues with her.
I am also proud owner of a mastiff/boxer/etc mix, about 80 - 85lbs of huggable doggie. She is also brindle with black face and ears. She is an instigator so I have to watch her. She straightens right up when I bring out the disciplinary spray bottle of water. She also has white on her chest and some feet. I have an orange tabby tiger cat with gold eyes that goes on walks with us. She goes off leash and stays about 10-20 ft behind us. We are one big happy family. The dogs always look behind us to make sure the kitty is following. If not, we wait for her to catch up. We walk every day no matter the weather. We play other games sometimes too and we do our tricks at treat time.
I am excited to read about all of your furry babies too and hope to learn and share with all of you!