I have a Pit bull-Boxer named Lola. She just turned four in October 2017. She is still as innocent and as happy as she was before she was even fully grown. She loves to stick by my side all the time. When I'm sitting on the couch, she's curled up right next to me snoring, or she's flopped with her head on my lap. When it's bed time, she's either snuggled on my mom's bed or on my bed. She loves to lay very close too! When we go outside in the backyard, she loves to either run laps around the garage, or chase her toy when it's thrown for her. She'll even swing her toys around and throw them herself sometimes! On walks, she's extremely curious and loves to smell everything and gets excited when she sees other dogs or people or anything. Lola loves people, she even gets excited when she has to take trips to the vet. While waiting in the little room, she's always very wiggly and talkative. She sits like a good girl, but still gets fidgety and has problems sitting still when the vet comes in to see her.
She doesn't get wiggly or talkative because she's not trained. She knows how to sit, lay down, stay, come, and more. She's a very good dog. Her only fault is she's very loving. Her excitability sometimes takes over and it's something she's constantly working on. If she meets someone new, she will get very excited and possibly try to jump on them. This is only because she wants to meet people as fast as possible. She loves to give kisses as well.
Normally, this would only be slightly concerning to people. A lot of people are able to see the gleam of excited in her eyes or that big puppy smile of hers, and realize she's only excited to see them. That's not always the case, however. This is because Lola is a pit bull. Normally, I would italicize or capitalize that word, I chose not to because that is the message I am trying to send with this story. That word should not define who my dog is in any way other than simply explaining what part of her breed is. People don't just say pit bull to describe a breed though.
People have turned the word pit bull into a dirty word. This word is painfully attached to the bad stereotype given to it by humans. Pit bulls have muscular bodies and strong faces. Because of this, they have been bred to be fighting dogs. This is something that has unfortunately been happening for quite some time. The thing is, these dogs that are bred to fight, they didn't choose that life. They were born or bought into something that they did not ask for. People turn them into these creatures they once were not, and they do it simply for bragging rights, to make money. They do it for their own greed-based reasons.
Now, because of those terrible decisions of those people, all pit bulls have been given a terrible reputation. People assume that because a dog is a pit bull that it's going to attack. They don't even need to see a dog's face, the dog could have the happiest expression, but if it's a pit bull, it has to be avoided. People will cross the street just because someone is walking their pit bull. The reputation these dog fighting stories are giving this breed is causing these innocent dogs to be abandoned and mistreated. All for something they had nothing to do with.
Lola had a very interesting start to her life, and I believe she is very lucky to be where she is today, and I am very lucky to have her. When I was helping my step-sister to find a dog of her own to adopt, I came across Lola on a Craigslist advertisement, who was only seven months old at the time. Her owners at the time were very caring and nice, they just simply did not have the time to dedicate to her that she needed. What makes me think she had an interesting puppyhood is that her name when I got her was Bristol, and I learned that they only called her that because it rhymed with her original name: Pistol. I don't know much more about her past than that. When I got her she had had a skin condition on her face that was being worsened by mistreatment. I imagine she had dealt with much worse things which her original owners too. I believe she had originally been born to be a fighting dog, or at least a guard dog or something, hence that terrible original name.
I'm very thankful that for whatever reason she found herself with different owners, and eventually with me. Even though I was speaking positively for pit bulls before, it is Lola's story that makes me fight for fair treatment of these dogs as hard as I do. Even though she has such an interesting past, she is still as loving of a dog as possible. She's never had any issues with anyone, she can't even stand up to the cats that live in our house, though sometimes she likes to act like she's one of them, even though she's slightly bigger!
Lola's story is just one of the many reasons why these beautiful pit bulls, of all kinds, deserve to be given a chance. Please do not assume that just because a dog looks a certain way, that they will act a certain way. It is very unfair to so many happy and loving dogs out there that could be a very perfect addition to people, and to families. I just ask that if you are aware of how great these dogs can be, keep spreading awareness. If you are nervous about these dogs, and unsure, please just do some more research. There are some great shows and stories about pit bulls and the struggle against the stereotype. I recommend you look into these stories, as they can be very informative. Also, maybe just take a second look at that dog you avoided just because it's a pit bull. You'll probably be surprised! Of course, always ask before approaching any dog, as dogs can still have anxiety, just like humans. Just like humans, all dogs have their own personalities, and I believe we owe it to them to acknowledge that by giving them a chance!