Being born a pit bull, or any dog that even vaguely resembles a pit bull is a cruel twist of fate. From birth, you are hated and feared just because of the way you look.
Research has proven that pit bulls are not hard-wired to be killers. In a responsible, loving home, pit bulls become one of the most dependable and loving pets possible.
Yet, if the average person sees a pit bull or a dog that even vaguely looks like a pit bull, they instinctively cross to the other side of the street.
They will argue about how many children are mauled every year by pit bulls. They know about these attacks because they have been headlines.
They aren’t aware of the thousands of attacks by other breeds that go unmentioned. Those stories don’t have pressure sensitive points that the media needs to make sales.
Christianna Willis is a veterinary technician, so she didn’t recoil when a pit bull stumbled up on her porch recently at her home in Nashville, Tennesse. Willis sees a lot of pit bulls at the vet clinic where she works.
At her clinic, as well as most responsible breeders and shelters, they refer to the dogs as “Pibbles.” A slurring of their breed name more befitting the dogs with big hearts and loyal souls far better than their official label.
The “Pit Bull” got its name from those that bred the animals that they could toss into a “pit” dug into the earth where another animal awaited it. The dogs would fight to the death. Only the one that fought like a “bull” and ended as the victor would win its owner a lot of money…and win itself the chance to do the same thing, over and over.
Willis knew that this frightened dog was probably no more likely to harm her than any other breed. In fact, seeing hundreds of different breeds on a regular basis had left Willis leerier of many other breeds before a pit bull.
In a role reversal, this time the human knew that the dog was no threat to her. The dog was the one cowering and afraid. It took a little bit of coaxing on the part of the kind vet tech to get the shivering dog to let her touch it.
Willis knew how to do a basic check, so she began to run her hands over the dog to see if it had been harmed somehow. It was exhausted and covered with small wounds, but it was what she found inside the dog’s mouth that brought the hardened vet tech to tears.
Many of the dog’s teeth had been filed down, others removed completely. This was proof that the poor dog had been used as a bait dog to train other dogs to be brutal killers in a dog-fight ring.
Willis’s heart melted as she pulled the frightened dog into her lap. She sat there, holding the dog and weeping as her mind raced along avenues that could let her bring the people responsible for this dog’s suffering to justice.
That mistreated pit bull had no idea that fate had been infinitely kind by pointing her towards this particular porch on this exact day. Finding Willis was her first step towards a beautiful, bright future.
From that day forward, Willis and the dog she named “Mama Jade” were fast friends. The first thing that Willis did was create a Craigslist post describing Mama Jade’s suffering with a plea to help her find the dark-hearted humans that were responsible.
Sadly, no one came forward with any help that ended with an arrest. But, proving that the human spirit is strong and the human heart is open, donations came pouring in to provide the extensive health care that Mama Jade required.
Of most importance was the fact that Mama Jade was diagnosed with breast cancer during her first physical exam. This required immediate surgery, as well as intense follow up treatments.
Nothing could be done about the mutilation of her mouth, but she was placed on a special diet. A dog that cannot chew bones, crunch kibble and eat the usual dog treats will quickly fall into bad health. It’s almost impossible for any sized dog to get the proper nutrition from an entirely soft diet.
Willis knew how to prepare foods so that Mama Jade could eat everything she needed not only to recover from her illness and injuries, but to thrive. And thrive she did.
She is hardly recognizable today from that fateful day when she stumbled up onto a kind-hearted vet tech’s porch. Her lifespan was shortened by the terrible mistreatment, abuse and neglect she suffered, but whatever time she has left will be spent surrounded by love.
Please do your part in trying to stop the horrible practice of dog fighting. Not only is it illegal, but the dogs that are involved in the rings are always abused, neglected and the majority will die a horrible death.
Be part of the solution to ending the “sport” of dog-fighting. Help end the misery that every dog that crosses the path of these criminals are subjected to.
If you suspect someone you know of being involved, do the right thing and turn their name into the authorities. If you see suspicious activity, tell the cops. Donate to causes that specifically target dog fighting rings.
And, when someone starts talking about what a terrible breed is the pit bull…stop them in their tracks. Be informed about the facts of the breed and how it is falsely accused in the press and in the minds of the masses.
Consider adopting a Pibble that has seen the worst that life has to offer and still greets every day with a big smile and a wagging tail. Special dogs like Mama Jade.