A young girl meets a shelter dog and falls in love, changing her family’s view of pit bulls forever
By Cheryl Westfall (Reprinted from StubbyDog.org)
My children, Jesse and Dillon (girls), worked at the animal shelter in San Luis Obispo since they were 12 years old. (They are now 18 and off to college.) One day my little 12-year-old daughter called and told me that there was the best dog in the world at the shelter, and she wanted us to come and see this dog. I asked her what kind of dog it was, and she casually said it was a pit bull. Most of me at the time believed it was just the people who owned pit bulls and mistreated them that made the news, but there was a little part of me that was a skeptical and might have believed pit bulls were bad dogs.
We went down to see the dog, and the people who worked there said, “Watch this.” They put one dog after another in the kennel with her, and all she wanted to do was play. We got the dog, of course, because she was wonderful. She gets along with our other dogs perfectly and is as sweet as can be.
About two weeks later I got a college assignment to write a research paper on whatever I wanted. I looked around and saw beautiful Daisy sitting there and decided right then that I was going to write the research paper about her and all other pit bulls.
I did many nights of research and actually had to try to find situations where they were accused of causing harm to people. It was hard to find that information, especially when they were not mistreated. I did find that they have a higher than average passing rate from the American Temperament Test Society and are great pets and service/therapy dogs in libraries, hospitals and convalescent homes. I also learned all about Sgt. Stubby; he was a big part of my paper. I learned about how this pit bull was a military mascot, won metal after metal, was invited to the White House twice and many other facts.
I also learned that the media is ridiculous in the way it tries to terrify everyone about something every night, but they really try to stick it to pit bulls all the time. For example, one of the gentlemen I researched had gotten attacked by a dog, a Lab. He called the local newspaper and reported the attack. They asked him if it was a pit bull, and he said “No.” They wanted nothing to do with the story. This really irritated the gentlemen, so he called a different paper and said he had been attacked by a pit bull, and in no time there were eight different news agencies at his house. Unbelievable.
Needless to say, no matter what my Daisy went through before we got her, she is my all-time favorite dog. Daisy is 9 now (she was 3 when we got her and had just had puppies). She was abandoned on the streets. I believe that the reason I say she is my favorite dog is because she has broken all stereotypes I have ever had about pit bulls. Anyone who comes to my house gets to see who wonderful she is, and it helps them with their stereotypes. I have four dogs now: two Labs (one is a guide dog puppy I am raising), one is a German Shorthaired Pointer, and then there is wonderful Daisy.
My husband Chris plays fantasy football, and the first year Michael Vick came back to football Chris got him on his team and benched him. He would not let him play and he would not trade him for anything – a small but grand gesture.
PS – I got an A on that paper.