One Couple + Two Dogs = Our Waldo Bungie
Header

How owning a pittie (mix) has changed me.

June 4th, 2012 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Fostering. | Ginger Rogers | Pit Bull Pride | Turk's Takeover

In honor of Corbin’s birthday, we are participating in the Blogville Pitty Post Day today. I’ve been contemplating what I should write about for several days now, especially since we don’t currently have a foster and both Turk and I have posted about his “gotcha” story. After much reflection, I decided to write about what I’ve learned from owning a pit bull (mix).

I explained in my post about Turk’s “gotcha day” that we did not learn that Turk was most likely part pit bull until we’d had him for several years. To make a long story short, the shelter had him listed as a corgi mix, and although it became abundantly clear that he was not a corgi as he grew from a puppy to an adult, it was not until we switched vets that we were told Turk was most likely a pit bull mix. Here is “Turk the Corgi” when we first brought him home from the shelter…

As soon as the word “pit bull” was uttered by the vet, I experienced a combination of shock, dismay, and fear. My understanding of pit bulls was that they were vicious creatures who lived to fight, and only the most unsavory of humans would own one. I looked down at my sweet, goofy pooch and could not believe that he could have any semblance of a vicious pit bull in his lineage. But I decided then and there that if Turk was part pit bull, he was going to be the best pit bull imaginable. I researched the breed endlessly, worked on Turk’s manners, and started following a couple of pit bull blogs. In fact, I read every single blog post by Two Pitties in the City over the course of a week.

The more I researched about pit bulls, the more I came to realize how many of Turk’s quirks were really relatively common behaviors of the breed. Certain physical characteristics began to stand out to me. And another thing happened…I began to see pit bulls EVERYWHERE. On walks in the neighborhood, at the farmer’s market and the park. The more I researched, the more I began to hone in on every pit bull within a 5 mile radius of me. And I found a kinship with the pittie owners I encountered. Then when I started blogging about Turk, I found that a lot of people started to comment on my posts and tell me about their pitties. It was fantastic!


When I was finally able to fulfill my lifelong dream to foster dogs, it was my goal to foster pitties and spread the love and knowledge of pits that I had gained through Turk. Ginger Rogers, my first foster, helped to break down pit bull misconceptions everywhere she went with her laid back attitude, sweet pittie smiles, and of course, her fairy costumes.

I’ll admit it, I’ve had some bad experiences with people saying mean things about Turk or my past fosters, but 99% of the time, people have been very receptive to them and leave with a positive pit bull experience. Since Turk’s pittie background was revealed to us, I went from a passive pet owner to an active animal advocate – volunteering, fostering, blogging about pittie issues, and organizing structured pack walks for the KC Pittie Pack. I’ve been pleased to see my friends become pit bull advocates in their own right from their experience with Turk and my fosters. I think with any breed that is discriminated against (Rotties, Dobermans, Akitas, Pitties, etc), there is a strong community of supporters who are there for each other and want to educate the public about that breed. I am proud to be part of a great pit bull community! My life is forever changed for the better because of it.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

17 Responses

  • avatar cafall says:

    I have been lucky enough to never have met one of these “killer” pit bulls we always hear about – every single one that I’ve ever met has been well mannered and as friendly as my Goldens. I do have a funny story about a neighbor’s pit bull who jumped our 6 foot chain link fence thinking he was going to get in and harass our goats – I had to rescue him after our dwarf pygmy goat pinned him to the ground. BOL!

    Sam

  • avatar tholupka says:

    Even more amazing his how you owning a pit bull type has changed others, including me! I have gone from uncertaintity to advocate, all from blog words! Turk is a powerful dude!!!

  • Emily you watered my eyes! Thank YOU!

  • avatar Cori says:

    OMG. Baby Turk was soooooo cute…I almost forgot how adorable he was! Your advocacy has inspired my support of the breed and desire to someday have my own pittie. I have it all planned out…I want to own a pittie (or two) and then foster/work with kids in the DCYF system…and use the amazing redemptive & therapeutic power of animals with the kiddos…and maybe write a children’s book about a pittie that was discriminated against just ‘cause of the way he looks…yea, see, all planned out…thanks to you, friend :)

  • Great post, Emily! Turk clearly came into your life for a reason!

  • avatar Mayzie says:

    MayzieMom here. Awesome post, Emily. I had a very similar journey to yours. I never, ever wanted to own a pit bull-type dog but sometimes life gives you what you need, rather than what you want. I think people who have had that transformative experience of entirely changing their viewpoints 180 degrees tend to be some of the best advocates. They understand why/how others might feel the way they do because they’ve been there themselves. They’ve also gone through the educational process necessary to be able to talk intelligently about the subject.

    I count myself lucky every day that Mayzie came into my life and took me on this journey. It’s obvious you feel the same way about Turk. :-)

    Amber

    P.S. Did you add your post to the Blog Hop? Lots and lots of people need to see it. http://www.cutecorbin.blogspot.com/2012/06/pitty-post-day.html

    • avatar Emily says:

      Amber – I totally agree that you get what you NEED rather than what you (think you) want! And yes, I finally added my post to the bloghop. I was working today and totally forgot to do it until just now! Thanks for the heads up!

  • Love this post! It’s so funny how Mayzie’s mom said above, I think a lot of us were in this situation where we never expected to own a pitbull-type dog, but when we were put in this situation we not only realized how amazing they were, but we’ve become advocates. They really are just like any other dog, it’s just that we have the spotlight on us. And I never realized how much baby Turk looks like our former foster dog Bella!

  • avatar Corbin says:

    Uh, this post sounds a real lot like the one the momma wrote up for tomorrow – hehe. Just like Mayzie’s momma and Miss M’s momma… that’s why I said in my blog today… if you have reservations about a pit bull, meet one. I mean, just look at how interacting with one pit bull can change all these minds! Thank you so much for joining in! I love your post!
    -Corbin

  • Fantastic post Emily! Absolutely fantastic!

  • I know how you feel although I’m not the proud owner of a pittie mix adopting a Staffordshire bull terrier cross comes with a similar responsibility, they are one of the most popular breeds in Australia but there are many who consider them to be dangerous, unpredictable killers and they are popular with the detestable humans who participate in dog fights. It is really fantastic to see the work that you and others are doing with fostering and providing positive role models for the breed :-)

  • avatar Lauren @ Life With Desmond says:

    Hi there. Found you through Corbin, and I just wanted to say thank you for fostering pitties. I hope to be able to do the same one day. We, too, have a pittie mix, so I understand your plight. Turk is ridiculously cute, by the way.