One Pit Bull Terrier Speaks Up

Remember me?  I’m Riley, one of those lake dogs that showed up on this blog last August. Since we seem to be on the subject of Pitt Bull Terriers – the ones that don’t have their forever homes yet (like Chickpea)  – I thought I’d speak up. Get a few things off my chest.

I’d like to start by telling you a story.

Once upon a time, there was a woman who loved dogs SO much that she pulled them from certain death and set about finding homes for them.  The dogs that she helped were all street strays.

Dogs that had either wandered away from their homes because there was an open gate, or no fence at all to keep them safe.  Dogs that had been deliberately abandoned:  tied up to mail boxes, tossed out of cars; dogs that learned to live by their wits or that wandered aimlessly.  All lost.

All shapes and sizes of dogs.  Purebred and mix–breed. Youngsters and seniors. Dogs that were healthy and dogs that were sick. There were a LOT of dogs that needed her help.

She wanted to save them all.

In the beginning, she did this all by herself.  She had a huge heart but very little resources and no one else to rely on.

She never understood why other people wanted to save just one kind of dog.  So, while other people she knew got involved with breed specific rescue work, she focused on the dogs that had one thing in common:  they could all be found on the streets of the town that she lived in.

As other people found out about what she was doing they reached out to help.  Pretty soon, she was able to turn her grassroots efforts into a non profit animal rescue organization. With a Board of Directors.  Whatever THAT means.

They helped lots of dogs.

This story started more than 21 years ago.  Way before my time. And, I’m told that the organization she started is still doing good work today.  Because there are still lots of us out there.

Which is the point to MY story.  We are not just Pitt Bull Terriers, even if this is my favorite kind of dog.  And, don’t get me wrong.  I love it that there is an ever growing fan club for me and my kind.

But, what I want you to hold in your hearts is that there are a LOT of different kinds of dogs out there … more than enough for all of you.












  1. Polly says

    I agree with Riley that all breeds who are in need of rescue should be rescued. But I think those who center their efforts on just one breed serve a purpose that should not be ignored – many of the breeds are misunderstood as to characteristics and needs. Those who focus on one breed may be able to more fully judge the suitability of a dog for placement, and of an adoptee to deal with that breed. For instance, I have concentrated on rescuing rotties, given I had fallen for one when my son brought one home, and I know that large, black dogs have two strikes against them, much less their breed to hamper them. The woman who rescued our second one did not concentrate on rotties, and she was frightened of the one she was fostering, and did not know what part of her behavior was typical rottie and what was frightened dog. Fortunately the rescue group did have a behavior specialist to call on, and she was able to figure out “Princess” and her protectiveness and reticence to strangers – and we now have her in our house – Greta is a charm. But we knew a lot about rotties by then, and being on the same page as the rescue group was a good thing for her and us.

    • htkhp says

      And I’d say that both Riley and I agree with you – that we need both breed specific rescue groups and we need rescue organizations that choose not to limit themselves to just one breed of dog. My own specialty – almost by default – was ex-racing greyhounds; I spent 7 years helping adopters to understand the characteristics of THIS kind of dog.

      The rescue group you worked with did a smart thing: having a behavioral specialist available for their foster homes.. It’s so easy to misinterpret a dog’s behavior because you’re not familiar with how different breeds react in a given situation or around other dogs. Better yet was your own understanding of rottweilers – I’ll bet it made for an easier transition when you brought Greta home.
      Riley was pretty quick to recognize the network of people who focus solely on Pit Bull Terriers — I think he’d echo your own comments that w/out the safety net of a group that chose to work with “just his kind,” he might not be telling his story today.

    • htkhp says

      They are sweet aren’t they? My son comes home with lots of stories about the ones that are up for adoption our at the animal shelter where he volunteers one day a week.

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