Saturday, February 5, 2011
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The wandering 65-pound Pit Bull mix might have seemed menacing to some passerby, but one woman will always remember him as her “guardian angel.”
The Florida woman, who has been identified by authorities simply as “Angela,” was leaving a playground with her toddler son in Port Charlotte when a man approached her in the parking lot with a knife and told her not to make any noise or sudden movements.
Angela didn’t have to do either to protect herself and her child — a dog mysteriously ran to the scene and charged the man, who quickly fled.
“I don’t think the dog physically attacked the man, but he went at him and was showing signs of aggression, just baring his teeth and growling and barking. It was clear he was trying to defend this woman,” Animal Control Lt. Brian Jones told Pet Pulse.
“I don’t know what this man’s intentions were, but it is very possible this dog saved her life.”
The exceptional part of the story, Jones said, is that the dog had never met or even seen the people it quickly jumped to defend.
“You hear about family dogs protecting their owners, but this dog had nothing to do with this woman or her kid,” Jones said. “He was like her guardian angel.”
After the alleged thief ran away, Angela quickly placed her son, Jordan, in the car and tried to drive off. Before she could, though, the dog jumped into her backseat, waiting with her for the police and animal control officers to arrive at the scene.
The dog was transported to a local shelter and if his owners don’t step forward within five days, Jones said, Angela and her family plan to adopt the savior she named “Angel.”
Animal control officers and shelter workers believe Angel is lost, and not a stray, because of his good health, sturdy weight and mild temperament.
“It’s funny, that someone’s irresponsibility could have saved someone’s life,” Jones said of Angel’s possible owners.
For Angela, it doesn’t matter where the dog came from, just that he was there when she needed him most.
“I don’t know what his [the thief's] intentions were — I don’t know why he did it, but I’m glad that — we call him Angel — I’m glad that Angel showed up because I don’t know what would have happened,” Angela told NBC2 News.
Friday, February 4, 2011
In this photo, Gunnar is on the left, and Lola is on the right.
It's alittle blurry, but you can see that she's shaved all around her neck. She had stitches all around her neck, shouders, front and back legs. She also has a tube sewed into her neck to let fluid drain because the dogs punctured her larynx.
It is now February, and my husband and I nursed her back to health. :)
Completely healed, she is looking for her forever home. We've grown so attached to her, that we needed to find the PERFECT home for her. Fortunately, my Mom, who used to be scared to death of dogs, period, now wants to adopt a pit bull. They will be adopted her in mid-February.
This picture was taken only a few days after her surgery. She was still in an immense amount of pain, and Gunnar and Lola were concerned about her like a good brother and sister.
Friday, October 16, 2009
My co-workers got this book for me because I work with animals and my husband is in the Marines. I'm a veteran wife, I know how the Marine Corps works and I know how Marines work. You'd think I'd read and heard it all and that I'm probably just as much of a hard-ass as my husband. Well I am. However, as I was reading this book, I came across a couple paragraphs that truely touched me, in a way that nothing I've ever read has. It basically sums up the Marines and what they live and die for. I couldn't stop reading these paragraphs over and over again.
"It's not because we didn't belong or didn't like team sports, and it's not because we couldn't afford college or were manipulated by recruiters or dumped by some chick and then had to prove a point. Those guys joined the army. We didn't have rotten childhoods, we didn't hate math, we didn't bully skinny kids on the playground and didn't start fires in the garage.
And it's not like we joined up without thinking about it, or like once we got in they didn't give us time to think about it. Believe me, sleep deprivation, food rationing, and sit-ups make you think a whole hell of a lot about it. We weren't coerced. We weren't brainwashed. Our souls weren't plundered.
We just can't help it.
We aren't cut out for anything else. We were Marines going in and Marines coming out. We don't want to take orders.
And you want to know something? I don't care anymore. I used to, when I first joined up. I worried about my parents' objections, my college buddies' sneers, being called a "jarhead" for the rest of my adult life. But hell if I could help it. The minute I signed on the dotted line, I had this sort of out-of-body party that hasn't been matched since.
Listening to these guys snore around me [Marines], I really like what I am-a Marine. I like being strong. I like being brave. I like going in first. I want to go in first, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let anyone shoot my puppy."
Lieutenant Colonal Jay Kopelman and "Lava".
I emailed this passage to my husband (he's currently deployed in Iraq), and he said, because Marines are men of few words, "Yup, that's pretty much it."
I'm not finished with the book yet, but I couldn't help but share that passage. I'm sure they'll be more where that came from soon.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
What Michael Vick did was inexcusable. He showed a total disregard for not just the law, but a lack of respect for a breed of dog that has people like Vick to thank for their banning in certain areas of the United States and Canada. It tends to be easier to forgive a DUI, possession, even robbery......but this was an act that he knowingly carried out for quite some time. It wasn't a mistake and he wasn't sorry he did it, he was sorry he got caught.
And yet, I believe he should be given a second chance. Call me naive, call me unmoved, call me inhumane if you so desire. This man saw their strength, their loyalty, their commitment to their owners- everything we as responsible pit bull owners see as well. Unfortunately, he decided to see those things, and use them for what he felt was his own benefit, for a sport. He used them for his own selfish needs. And now he can never own another animal. I firmly believe that deep down, he regrets this decision. Even though it was multiple fights, multiple mutilations of innocent dogs and hundreds of dirty money that he "earned", he regrets it. I believe that he wishes he could own a pit bull for all the right reasons, not the wrong. He was sorry he got caught, but I think getting caught might have caused him to think about the lives he's hurt and the animals he's killed.
Pit Bulls were originally bred to fight. But they continued to be bred mainly for their loyalty, intellengence and scientifically proven gentleness toward humans. They are a unique breed of dog, but every breed of dog is unique in its own right. I used to be a veterinary technician, and let me tell you, I'd trust a pit bull, rottie or german shepard over a chihuahua, poodle or jack russell terrier any day of the week. Pit bulls are only has good as their owners. If you are a good teacher, you have an A student; if you are a poor teacher, you have a bored troublemaker.
I have found with my own pit bull that I have to constantly be challenging him. Not so much physically, but mentally. Michael Vick took advantage of his pit bulls' trust and their loyal nature and he used them to bolster is own inadequacies. Pit bulls are fierce. Fierce lickers, fierce players, fierce farters and fierce lovers. All they want, more than anything, is to please their owners. It's not their fault they fight, because that's what their owners want. They only want it because it's what they were taught to want. Pit bulls are born innocent.
This is Peanut (middle) with his adopted brother and sister. Peanut was at the shelter I used to work at for 9 months before he was adopted. He was brought to the shelter because, get this, he licked a little kid's face. Licked. The parents freaked out and got the officials involved. Peanut was the most loving, gentle dog and did not deserve to be at the shelter. Fortunately, his forever home was waiting for him all along. Dogs like this are lost in the background only because of the breed. If we had called Peanut a lab or even a "mix", he probably would've been adopted much quicker. But we were honest to the community, and to Peanut, and stood next to him through thick and thin. The family that adopted him are truely Peanut's angels.
As the family was driving home right after signing the adoption paperwork, Peanut was riding in the backseat with the windows down, his ears flapping in the wind, his tongue hanging out, looking as content as could be as a Bob Marley song played on the radio.
His name is now Marley.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
In March of 2009, I went into work at the Adams County SPCA for a normal day. My boss at the time, Terri, came up to me and told me to follow her to what we called "dog intake", which is where all the dogs that were still on stray hold or being treated medically were held until they were available for adoption. We walked back to "dog intake" which was through a door, then through another door, into a room with a row of 4 kennels. Yes, only four. The very last kennel on the left was always dark, because it was right next to the wall. Even with the slide (doggy door) open, not much light managed to shine in. So Terri walked me back to this last, very dark kennel and told me to look inside.
I couldn't see anything.
The slide was closed and it was morning, so it was extra dark. Then she told me to go in. This dog wasn't there yesterday, so I knew it'd just come in either that night or in the morning. Any shelter worker can relate when I said to Terri, "there's no way in hell I'm going in there". She assured me that her, and her daughter, only about 14 years old, were in there last night because she was working late.
So I opened the latch of the kennel door, walked in and sat down. I looked up at Terri as if to say, "is this thing going to eat my face?" Just as I take a breath to say that exact thing to her, I feel the weight of something on my quad. I look down, and staring back at me are two deep brown, very sad eyes.
A man was driving down the road and saw this creature hobbling along the shoulder. He stopped and saw it was an injured pit bull. To reasons I will never quite understand, he picked up this stray dog, in pain, and brought him to the shelter. Our humane officer, Brandi, was called and she took him to the emergency hospital, where they took x-rays and determined he had fractures in both his hips, and suspected that, based on his injuries, he had been hit by a car. He was scheduled for emergency surgery the next morning.
Fortunately, because pit bulls are so stoic, he was putting weight on his hind-quarters, and the doctor felt no need to be so invasive, and suggested pain killers and bed-rest for 6 weeks, along with medicine for Giardia and whipworms.
So that morning, he was brought back to the shelter, where he laid there in my lap.
Bed rest for six weeks.
How was the shelter going to manage that with only 4 intake kennels, 2 of which were occupied with litters of puppies not yet old enough for adoption? I had just moved back in with my parents in preparation for my husband's deployment to Iraq. I already had 2 cats and 2 chinchillas, and they had 3 cats. How was I going to convince them to let me foster this dog (knowing they weren't dog people by any means) and nontheless, a pit bull.
Without going into detail about my conversation with my parents, they reluctantly agreed, and I brought him home just a few days later. My mom was so......uncomfortable. My dad, well, pit bulls were at the bottom of his list of dogs....even below poodles. And living right on the outskirts of a city where pit bull fighting was prevalent, my neighbors were a tad standoffish.
It was like he had been living there his whole life. He fit right in, almost as if to he knew this was where he was supposed to be. And when my husband left for Iraq, this dog was my rock. Everyone who came in contact with him just fell in love instantly. He was so gentle with our cats, he learned his knew name faster that I learned my own, and he listened. He obviously turned on the charm so that I wouldn't just foster him for 6 weeks, but adopt him in 6 weeks.
And I did.
Gunnar is amazing. He protects me, but in a way that isn't threatening. He's so very sweet to all kinds of people- kids, men, women, people of color....no one is off limits for a good old-fashioned butt-wag. He knows when I'm having a bad day because my husband is away. He feels my anxiety and fear and knows just what to say......nothing. He's just there for me. He steals my side of the bed when I get up to go to bathroom in the middle of the night, he's a giant snore-box, he goes in his crate when I simply point to it, he knows the difference between his "piggy", "moo-cow" and "monkey" squeaky toys and knows a "kitty cat" isn't one of them. He walks funny because of how his hips healed, so he has a bit of a bunny hop when he runs. (He runs like the dog from the cartoon version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas") The only thing that's really vicious about him is his gas.
All my family, friends and neighbors have completely accepted him, and have even taken it upon themselves to educate sceptical people on the breed. He represents everything good in a pit bull and I will never not have one.
I decided to write this blog not with the intentions to convert disbelievers into believers, but to just share my experiences with my own pit bull. There is so much hate towards these dogs, but yet so much to learn. Cities around me are attempting to ban pit bulls. Ban them. When I hear these attempts, I look at my own pit bull and think, I could never lose you.
If you read this blog, thank you. If you don't, thank you. Because those of you who read this blog truely have open-minds and open hearts, and I have instant respect for you. If you don't, you might be too busy, too close-minded, or maybe you just can't read. It's not my place to wonder "why". My posts will be anything from stories of my own dog, to articles, simply a poem or joke, information on the breed or maybe just pictures of these "vicious" animals.
There will never be another Gunnar. Not even close.