|My dog, Riley|
My son's name is Riley, an American Pit Bull Terrier. Obviously, he's a rescue dog, and of course, he's awesome.
I also have a crew of amazing Pit Bull babies at Lucky Dog Rescue. They are each loving, fun, and special. If you're looking to adopt a dog, my Pit Bulls are incredible... and so are the millions of wonderful Pit Bulls waiting in animal shelters across the country. You should adopt one.
I'm ridiculously proud of each of my babies, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. But I won't lie to you... Life is different when you're a Pit Bull Mom. Not because of the dogs... but because of the people who hate them.
When I take one of my rescue dogs, like a Lab or a Hound mix, out for a walk, everyone in the area wants to meet them: "What a cute dog! What's her name? She's so sweet!" Car rides result in lots of smiles and waves. Trips to the vet are filled with attention and praise from the other clients. For those dogs... outings are special, fun, and exciting.
But when I take one of my Pit Bulls anywhere... it's a much different story. On walks, others will intentionally and rudely cross the street to avoid any contact. Many of them will nervously jog until they get past us. In the car, other drivers glare and point. At the vet, clients cling to their children and quickly head for the door.
When I'm out with my Pit Bulls, I'm forced to endure rude comments, open criticism, and sheer ignorance. I've been questioned many times, I've been debated in public areas, and I've been made to feel like a criminal... simply because I love these amazing dogs. True story... and it sucks.
Here are a couple of basic examples: One day, a woman stopped me on my walk, as my angel Riley was smiling and prancing along, and she said: "You've got some kind of nerve walking that Pit Bull around this neighborhood. There are children here, for Christ's sake."
Another woman at the vet's office once said: "How dare you bring a Pit Bull to the vet's office?"
Hmmm... well.... let me think. I guess I did that... mostly because... it's a VET'S OFFICE... you know... for pets and junk. It appears that you brought a rat here. Oh wait... sorry. That's a dog. My mistake.
Like I said, life is different as a Pit Bull Mom. Some people will judge you. Others will berate you. A lot of people will hate your child... and they'll hate you for having them.
It's painful... when people hate your baby... this innocent little soul who has done nothing to deserve the judgment. It's heartbreaking... to watch your dog joyfully approach a stranger for attention... then to see that stranger talk down to them in disgust or walk away in fear. It's sickening... to think of what these dogs have been through in their lives... and to know that the forgiveness and love flowing from their hearts isn't enough to make them amazing to others.
Hearing all of this... it may sound like it's not worth it to become a Pit Bull Mom. Well, in truth, it's beyond worth it.
Honestly... if it wasn't worth it, why would I do it? Would I really put my reputation... my life... on the line for a vicious, killer dog?? Would I really use every breath I have to save them... if it wasn't worth it??
Throughout my life, I've known every breed of dog there is to know, as well as thousands of different mixes. And when I adopt a dog, I've chosen the Pit Bull. That should tell you something. Why would I choose the most "aggressive" breed for my own personal dog?? Seriously... ask yourself... what do I have to gain by fighting for a "vicious" breed?
If the stories about them were actually true, and they were simply going to prove me wrong... then not only would I lose every ounce of credibility I have... but I'd also be putting myself in immense danger on a daily basis. WHY would I ever do that???
I subject myself to the scrutiny and judgment... because their love is worth it. Healing the pain in their hearts is worth it. Presenting the truth is worth it. The amazingness they bring into my life far outweighs any criticism I could ever receive. These dogs are loyal. They're intelligent. They're fun. And they're awesome.
Being a Pit Bull Mom is different. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it. Anyone can be a dog mom. But it takes a really special mom... to be a Pit Bull Mom.
By Ashley Owen Hill