A New Year, A New Family Member
The holidays brought a special gift to us this year – a new family member. His name is Boon and he is an american bulldog mix; we adopted him from the Humane Society of Central Arizona. Sadly, he had been living at the shelter since April 2011 when his family dropped him off there because they were moving to a place where they couldn’t have dogs.
Those of you who know me know that this kind of story, where a dog or cat (or any family pet) just isn’t that important or valued, drives me crazy. If you’re thinking about getting a pet, ask yourself this question: What’s more important to me? My pet or where I live? If your answer is “where I live” then don’t get a pet. But I digress.
Our new guy, Boon, tough though he may look, is a huge marshmallow. So far it seems his two favorite things are napping on one of the big, comfy dogs beds and napping on your lap. Or at least partially on your lap because he is a big boy.
Now for those of you who are looking at his photo and thinking, “oh my God she adopted a pit bull and they’re all going to be ripped to shreds in their sleep” I say please, please take a moment to do some research. Yes, the american bulldog is a “pit bull type” of dog that falls under the (unfair) breed bans that some cities have enacted. But the fact of the matter is, it is the people that make dogs vicious, not the breed. I’ve met a few chihuahuas in my day that would rather bite me than let me pet them. And if you abuse a sweet little cocker spaniel or a big golden retriever or a spunky jack russell terrier, you could very easily end up with a mean, troubled dog. What about all those news stories about pit bulls attacking? I have two thoughts about that. One, stories about a cocker spaniel biting someone aren’t that interesting. And two, people that want mean dogs are going to pick from the more powerful dog breeds and then make them that way. Pit bulls fall into this category as do doberman pinschers, rottweilers, german shepards, etc.
If you want to investigate for yourself, and I hope you will before deciding that all pit bull type dogs should be put down, here are a few links to get you started. This site (which is one of the top results when I googled the breeds; I don’t know the site myself) will take you to unbiased dog breed information where you can read about the american bulldog, the pit bull terrier or any other breed.
Another bit of information of note is that all but one of the dogs that had been trained fighters or bait dogs at Michael Vick’s kennels have been retrained and are now living as pets with loving families. You can read about them at the Best Friends website.
It was this unfair bias toward pit bull type dogs that kept Boon languishing in the shelter for close to a year. People were afraid of him because of what they’d heard about pit bulls. But he is nothing but sweetness and he seems so happy to have finally found a forever home with us and we feel so lucky to have found him. We named him Boon because, well, it fits him. Plus “boon” means “something to be thankful for; blessing; benefit” and we feel that way about him.
“Please, no more photos.”
If you or your family are looking for a new dog, please consider adopting from a shelter. There are so many wonderful animals waiting for homes or missing out and being put down because no one comes for them. Pit bull discussion aside, Boon is already house trained, he knows basic commands, he has no problems with Maggie and Shea (our other two dogs) and he’s a snuggler. And there are many, many dogs just like him at shelters everywhere. If you need help finding one, just let me know.
How about you? Have you rescued an animal? And what about pit bulls – are you afraid of them?
UPDATE Nov 2017: I'm adding an additional link to a useful article on the 50 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the World. Hopefully it will help folks in search of a new furry family member. And please adopt from your local animal shelter or rescue group. Even full-bred pups need rescuing (though mutts are the best, in my humble opinion). :)