The bully that changed my life.
(San Francisco CA USA)
looking at birds
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Hi I'm Aaron I live in San Francisco with my adopted bully Brenda. I used to be a homeless drug addict who was in and out of jail with no hope and no regard for my future. After 15 years of this I got tired of going in and out of jail and the possibility of dying on the streets.
When I got sober in 2007, I got a job and a place to live and felt like something was missing and it was time to get my life in order. After my first year off of drugs and alcohol I decided I needed to work on myself a lot more, mainly my interactions with people.
Ive never been able to have a solid relationship with a woman because I was always scared to show any type of intimacy or emotion, and I could never bond with my male friends due to trust issues and being comfortable in my own skin.
I don't quite recall when it was but a thought came into my head, maybe if I get a pet, I can learn to be OK with showing emotions. I decided I was going to adopt a Rottweiler they're big and goofy and a great dog.
I was online at a place my friend worked at, looking for a Rotti to adopt/rescue as far as a 3 hour drive outside the City. I lost track of time and after about 4 hours of my search all I could find was a 16 year old female who was on her last legs, I knew I couldn't deal with getting her, becoming attached and then having her pass away a year later, so I finished up what I was doing and started my walk home.
I was really bummed out and feeling drained when I got a call from a friend of mine.
"Hey what are you doing?"
*exasperated* Ohhh nothing just walking home.
"Are you OK? You don't sound like your doing well."
Yeah I'm fine just had a long day.
"OK well hey you got a minute?"
Yeah whats up?
"Well look I got this dog I'm trying to find a home for, she's really sweet and really friendly but my sisters boyfriend can't take care of her and we're trying to find her a good home and well I thought, you know, maybe you or one of your friends might be able to get her a good stable home."
Talk about a God moment. I was at a loss... the next thing to come out of my mouth was "Oh well I'll take her what kind of dog is she?"
"She's a runt Mastiff"
A runt Mastiff I thought. That's about the size of a Rotti.
"OK I'll do it when can I get her?"
"How about tomorrow I'll drive down to the city and bring her to you"
Great, I said.
It took 5 days for her to bring Brenda. The night I met her for the first time I was in for a surprise, this was no Mastiff, it was a medium sized bully who looked like she was going to die of malnutrition.
I'd like to share with you that all my life I have had a stigma about bully breeds. Where I grew up Ghetto Gangsters and White Supremacists had Pit Bulls as a status symbol to show how tough they were, I would always say how I hated Pits and that they're sensationalized by low lifes and criminals and that I hate the breed, boy was I wrong.
This poor dog looked so sad and so scared that my heart just broke right there. The poor dogs neck was one big black scab with
a rusty choke chain tied to another equally scarey looking rusty jagged chain. Her rump was also one big black scab,she had the worst case of ear mites in both ears, her ribs were more than exposed, she was emaciated and her fur, patchy and rough to the touch, looked like it was covered in a pale tan dust.
She was so nice to me but shy, she had a look of worry on her face. My friend explained to me that her sisters boy friend got Brenda when she was 14 weeks or so and that he thought of himself as a street thug and needed the pit bull for his image. He spent about 6 months with her and then slowly began to lose interest. He went back to using crystal meth and left her outside chained to a tree. He walked her less and less until finally he just delved into his drug use and didn't have time for her.
My friend and her mom took turns taking care of her, until there own lives became so full that they needed to find a solution.
The final decision was made, when her original owner went to jail for drug possession, he said I can't put that poor dog through this any more, Brenda needs a new home.
To be honest I didn't think she was going to last long but I felt so overwhelmed with pity for her that I took her home. She came with a bag of dog food and an old tennis shoe.
I quickly got online and began looking up everything and anything I could on Pit Bulls, I bought books and magazines, I read and asked questions, its amazing how many people who you would least expect (like the police for example) love this breed of dog.
I got a book on dog psychology and took her to a positive reinforcement obedience class and talked to a few vets. One who is 83 years old loves her. We have no clue what she is, she looks like an Alano Espanol, but she could be a Boxer Pit Mix for all we know, let's just say she's a beautiful dog.
He told me what to feed her gave me some ear drops and shampoo and said the best thing you can do is love her, she'll come around. He looked at her teeth and found out she is around 2 (3 1/2 now), and told me to have her meet a lot of people.
Today Brenda is a completely different dog. She is a shadow of her former self. Shes got amazing muscularity, her fur is a beautiful dark brindle red, she's shiny and bright eyed and always ready to play.
She rides on the bus, has a service tag and is so mellow you never know shes there (unless she's sleeping and snoring).
She has many people who love and spoil her, and I have learned that is OK to talk like a child to her and give her hugs, kisses and praise in public. She helps me open conversations with other people and when I smile its real because I feel loved.
She has some separation issues but even if I'm gone 5 minutes she's so happy to see me when I return. She sleeps under my legs at night or with her head in my lap during the day. And Grandma got her a nice neon pink color so nobody calls her boy.
She the best thing that's ever happened to me, she gives me hope and a reason to do better. She helps me when I feel insecure or unsure. She helps me when I feel anxiety or when I feel blue, shes Brenda the best dog ever.