I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what I would share in this post. In the end, I realized that, while I've shared some really important information with my readers, I've never really gotten personal about my feelings on pitbulls.
I do believe I mentioned in Pitbulls 101 that I, at one point, was one of those people who believed the negative hype about pitbulls. I'd heard stories, a friend of a friend knew someone who had their face mauled, and the like. I'm sure each of you can relate your own similar story.
So because of what I'd heard, mind you, heard, I decided I didn't like pitbulls. I just knew they were dangerous, killer dogs who would turn on any person who was stupid enough to love them.
Then I started dating my husband. He is what some of you would call a "hood rat", possibly a reformed "thug". He lived in the part of Milwaukee where you would expect to find pitbulls, and dog fighting rings. And indeed, he did know people who did horrible things to their dogs, including training them to fight, and once they were ready, to participate in fights. He did, however, also know people who had pitbulls as loving pets, and through him I met Spudz.
Yes, Spudz, just like Spudz McKenzie. Spudz belonged to a couple friend of my husbands, and she was the first real pitbull I ever became acquainted with. Spudz was white, with a brown spot on her right shoulder, and she was about four years old. One of the things I remember vividly about Spudz was that she had puppies shortly after I first met her.
So one would think, a pitbull mom with brand new puppies, STAY AWAY, right? No. Complete opposite! It was almost like Spudz was thrilled to share her little miracles with the world, and with any human who showed an interest.
After Spudz had her litter, I started to try and get to know her a little better. Attempting to conquer my own personal fear of a notoriously mean breed of dog wasn't easy for me, but my husband and his friends encouraged me to try and connect with Spudz. They really wanted to show me that Spudz was a loving dog. Especially because my husband's friends had a two year old, and I was pretty darn judgemental about that. (I know, boo me later!)
So I slowly began sitting by Spudz, letting her rest her head on my lap. I would sit and just rub her belly while my husband would visit with his friends. And I quickly began to realize that Spudz was just a lover, a wonderful dog who would get that glazed look in her eye if you rubbed her in the right spot. It got to the point where I'd beg my husband to visit his friends just so I could visit with their dog.
I got to the point where I started to wonder what all the fuss was about pitbulls.
When I think back to all the negative things I thought about pitbulls, and people who would own one, I'm ashamed. And I've come to realize how easy it is for people to believe something wholeheartedly even though they have no personal knowledge on the subject. I was, after all, one of those people.
We've lost touch over the years with Spudz owners, but they, along with the loving dog they owned, helped to open my eyes about pitbulls. My husband most of all deserves credit for exposing me to a breed I had closed my mind about. He forced me to look at them as individual dogs, and dog owners, instead of a lumped together group of ferocious beasts and horrible people.
So when people ask me, Why a pitbull? Can't you get another breed of dog? I ask them, Why should I? What's wrong with a pitbull? I love pitbulls. They are loving, loyal companions, just like many other breeds of dogs.
I didn't really start to educate myself about the breed until my husband brought me home a pitbull puppy who was going to be drowned by her owner. He knew by that time I was ready to own one, and the sad story was the clincher. But I never would have been open to owning a pitbull if it hadn't been for his friends, and their dog, Spudz.