**This is the third and final post in my three part series: Pit Bulls. This series outlines our journey towards getting our official "family dog", a pit bull.** V worked the night shift. Luke and I fell asleep on the couch while watching Golden Girls reruns. It was a Wednesday night.
I was content having a single dog household. I knew that getting a second dog with our schedules would be... Tricky. Although V mentioned getting a puppy a few times, I naturally assumed the novelty would wear off and he would switch his laser focus to another subject in time.
V walked in at 5am. To be clear, that's 5am meaning 5:00 in the morning. He startled me awake with an announcement.
I found a puppy. A pitbull. We're going to get her. She's in North Carolina. If we leave now we can get there by 8am.
This had to be some kind of dream. It didn't make any sense. What was he talking about? Wasn't this a bit sudden? What's the rush anyway, couldn't we at least talk about this some more and get her maybe over the weekend?
We can't wait, there's no time. Her owner is a breeder. The neighbor called animal control because there was a litter of newborn puppies in the yard and they were being kept away from their mother. The owner would come out to the yard and spray the puppies with a garden hose and that was supposed to be their drinking water. Animal control took all the puppies but one, since the neighbor asked to keep her. Now they don't think it's feasible to keep her so they're re-homing her. She's 6 weeks old and who knows how long she's been away from her mother. She needs us. We gotta get her. Now.
You've got to be kidding me. Okay you can put your violins away now, you win.
I got dressed, got Luke taken care of for the morning, then we headed for North Carolina.
Hey, babe? Do you think you can drive? I really think I need to catch some z's, I'm exhausted.
You've got to be kidding me. I thought you put the violins away??
So I headed to North Carolina while V headed to dreamland in the passenger seat. After what seemed like an eternity of driving, the GPS rang out with the "You have arrived" alert. I turned to V.
What I thought was:
I'm staying in the car. Go get your dog so we can get the hell out of here. I'm tired, dammit!
What I said was:
We're here babe. I'll wait here while you get her.
He came back with a ziploc bag of dog food, some papers showing some vaccination records, and the tiniest ball of dog that I had ever seen. Her little body curled up in his palm was enough to melt any heart. I started getting excited because I knew that Luke would enjoy having a friend.
We named her Ella.
She was a very rambunctious pup. She got into everything. The pantry was her personal food storage space-- everything in there was fair game. Dry rice or beans, potatoes, lemongrass, she wasn't picky. She chewed through shoes, she chewed clear through the drywall in two places, then somehow got into my makeup.
Though, in V's eyes, she could do no harm, I was quickly losing patience. That's when I delivered my ultimatum: either she goes to training, or she goes.
So she went to training... And graduated!
She got us through some tough times. She was there when we were losing Luke. She stayed by his side during his final days and I think it brought him peace, but it also set my mind at ease since I knew he wasn't alone in the end...
**Fast forward to today**
She has been Mimi's best friend since day one. It's strange to see such a large dog be so gentle, but she is. I was worried about "bringing home baby" to a dog in the house, but she instinctively took on the role of guardian and protector.
The two are now inseparable. Mimi's a bit older now, but she still loves vegging out on the rug-- just a girl and her dog.
Mimi has learned how to be loving, caring, and compassionate much more quickly (I think) than if she didn't have her dog by her side.
Our pit bull has been so important to our family, in fact, our pit bull is family. We have faced housing discrimination because of her, but no housing situation is worth giving her up. It's so unfortunate that breed discrimination exists today. Dogs are so much more than "labels".
If people could put their pitch forks down and take the time to learn more about the breed, they might actually learn that pit bulls can enrich lives...