Special therapy dog breaks stereotypes for pit bull terrier type dogs wherever she goes.
Whenever she appears in public, Burris adorns Cricket with colorful “clown” collars which always seem to get attention and precipitate a conversation. It’s a chance to educate another person about the plight of these dogs. It’s with that in mind that Burris started The Positive Pit Bull, an organization that focuses on training, education, and socialization with the goal of keeping more pit bulls from entering the shelter system. "We're working hard to change minds about this most deserving breed, says Burris. "A breed once called "America's Dog" because of their loyalty and devotion to the family, is now the most highly euthanized dog breed across the country....it's insane! Very sad and so unnecessary!"
While most patients invite Cricket eagerly to their side, some are a bit hesitant to have Cricket come up to them for therapy. Burris doesn’t force the issue. She simply asks if they would wave and say “Hi, Cricket!” When they oblige, Cricket always responds with a big smile, tail wag, and she lifts her paw and WAVES BACK! Burris says, "It's amazing to actually SEE someone's mind change...and it is quite palpable...someone's face, just after experiencing Cricket's infectious enthusiasm or sweet, calm demeanor during a therapy visit, upon hearing she is actually a pit bull, goes from pure joy to quizzical, confused, as if they are thinking....But I thought pit bulls were vicious!" If nothing else, that’s one more person who just might look at pit bulls in a new light.
Cricket doesn’t stop with therapy work at nursing homes and children’s book circles. The lively two-year-old is always on the go. Soon she’ll be representing pit bulls in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure cancer walk. Cricket is part of The Positive Pit Bull's awareness campaign called Pits4Ta-Tas, a bully-loving group that will walk to raise money for the Komen cause and enlighten the public about the negative stereotypes that plague pit bulls.
For more information about Cricket, Paige Burris or The Positive Pit Bull, visit: http://www.thepositivecanine.com/, http://www.thepositivepitbull.com/,
and become a fan of The Positive Pit Bull on Facebook! You can find out how to start a PITS4Ta-Tas team in your own city!
How you can help:
Paige Burris is part of the Community Training Partners program from Best Friends, check this group for more information: Community Training Partners.
- Donate to the Pit Bulls: Saving America's dog campaign, click here.
- Become a fan of Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dog campaign to learn more about the plight of the pit bull terrier and how you can help.
Article by: Ken Passarella, Best Friends Network volunteer writer