A Spicy Redhead

This is the tale of a castaway…now a movie star in our eyes!  Realistic assessment, intelligent discipline, commitment to training and a huge heaping of love turned this sad story into a pampered “tail.”  Kudos to Ginger’s guardian hero!

ginger1

I always had a love for bully breeds and just dogs in general. I can say that for the majority of my life, I have grown up with dogs. About 2 years ago, I became so obsessed with owning another dog that I would be up till 2-3am on a week night looking at pictures of dogs for ADOPTION only!! I never believed in breeders considering how many days I spent at the local shelters (Chatsworth & Van Nuys). One night as I was searching the internet, I stumbled over a picture of a pit bull mixed with a french mastiff that was available for adoption. Something in my head told me that this dog is going to be mine. AND, considering my parents resistance of a dog in the house from previous experiences, I paid no attention to them. The next day I left work early and went straight to the dog pound. It took them about 30 minutes to bring her out of the cage because she was so scared to come out that they were literally dragging her out. I sat there for 1 1/2 hours just petting her and trying to comfort her. The bizarre part of the story is that there was a lady there adopting a cat and she fell in love with the dog so much that she even sat there with me to help comfort her. That was the longest 1.5 hour of my life. Just trying to leave her was very hard and I saw it in her eyes as I left.

ginger-kato-017

2 days later, I adopted her and as soon as I got home, my parents started arguing with me and they gave me a 2 week ultimatum. After week 1, they were both hooked on her. I had never asked the pound what her story was so 3 weeks went by and she had developed an ear infection. When I took her there, one of the volunteers was happy to see me there and I asked her why my dog had ended up in the pound. She told me they brought her in back in May (and I adopted her in August) and she was pregnant and they aborted all of her puppies because that was the rule at the shelter. It was then that I noticed why she was so depressed and not really acting like a dog. Furthermore, I started realizing that her previous owner used to abuse her because if I made a sudden move or if I was holding something above her head, she would duck and hide her head and her tail would tuck right under.

 

ginger-kato-023

She also had some dog aggression which wouldn’t allow me to socialize her with other dogs. This put me in an uncomfortable position because I knew everyone in the neighborhood was talking behind my back about adopting a “pit bull.”  I soon started watching The Dog Whisperer and did some of my own research to help train my dog. After about 1.5 years of ownership, I am proud to say that she is not the same dog. She still shows some signs of aggression but has become a lot better.

 

ginger-kato-019
Advertisements

The Unknown Perro

unknown-perro1

I found this handsome block-head at a recreational boating facility.  There were Latino people having a picnic at the benches near the tree but no one would claim ownership of the dog(s).  I think they were afraid I was going to complain about the breed.  She and the young labrador mix behind her looked quite well-fed and happy, though, so I am fairly certain they belonged to a responsible owner (who was likely lurking nearby wondering why this strange person was taking pictures of their dog).

At any rate, I snapped a couple of shots and made loud cooing noises to indicate that I was pro-pit bull (I guess I could also have said “Bonita Perro!” since I know that much Spanish – but the obvious never occurs to me.

unknown-perro-stretch

The Happy Rescue

Picture 18 by jason redwood.

This is the type of story that gives hope.  “Ed” was abandoned at a shop that already had several pit bulls.  This is his owner’s story:

“I did my best to ignore “Ed” at first because the last thing I needed was a dog. One day I got to work early and there he was in the corner of a concrete room so cold he didn’t want to uncurl from his position. He was about 4.5 month old, collar had started digging into his neck and he was way under wait. I gave him some food and my jacket to worm up. After that he would not leave me alone. He would follow me around the shop. Every time I stopped walking he would sit or lay on my feet. I started taking him home on the weekends until my boss was talked into letting me keep him.
I got him all his shot and fixed and started educating myself about the specific breed. We did dog classes and I continue to train him on a daily basis. He is one of the smartest dogs I have ever met but his enthusiasm and energy level creates a bit of A.D.D. for him. Also he is the highest energy level dog I have met. He is great and i would not have changed anything about adopting him if I could.
Well actually 3 weeks ago he swallowed an entire tennis ball that cost $3000 dollars to get removed. I would have changed that.”

The Purchased Pit Bull

boss-lady-13-weeks1

This little one’s owner said:

“i purchased her and you could just tell they were trying to make money i got her at 5 weeks old in the add they were asking 100 and when we got there they told me they would let her go for 80 they were just in rush to get rid of the puppies she was the last girl it was just her and three of her brothers they asked for my email so i could send them pictures of her but i havent heard from them in these hard times i going to stand by her shes my world i cant even think what it would be like if she wasnt around its nice to have someone so happy to see you when you come home after a long day i know ive only had her for 10weeks but its been the best 10 weeks”    

In general, putting a price on a living creature for your own profit carries an inherent conflict of interest.  Your needs come first and you will do what you need to do in order to make cash.  Sometimes, that means selling a puppy like the one above to someone who might use it as bait for a fight ring, or put the dog into the pit.

Fortunately, BL here was purchased by a woman who has the puppy’s best interests in mind.  Hopefully BL’s owner now knows that there are many beautiful pit bull puppies languishing in shelters who also need loving homes.

Addendum:  Note the adorable floppy ears on this baby.  Cutting a dog’s ears is no different from cutting a human being’s ears.  It is painful and it serves no beneficial purpose (except in a fight ring, where the other dog cannot grab the ears).  It also tends to give these sweet dogs a “mean” look, further damaging their already mangled public reputation.

The White Pit Bull

cody1

This is Cody.  Cody is quite upset with me in this picture because he tried to jump into the bed of the truck next to him and I would not allow him to do so.  As I stated in the earlier post, shelter dogs know there are real homes out there, with better lives.  Many of the dogs will try to climb into cars to “go home” with the shelter volunteers.

Sidney the Brindle Pit Bull Mix

sidney

I met Sidney at Bluff Park in Long Beach.  Her owner told me that she was supposed to be about the size of a Jack Russell terrier.  Guess she surprised everyone.  Sidney was hard to capture, as most dogs are (you never realize how much a dog moves until you try to photograph one) but I finally got her goofy, beautiful face in that gorgeous SoCal sunset.

The Tolerant Pit Bull

vll-puppy-bath

Pit bulls are naturally amiable dogs that have a high tolerance for the things people do to them.  This is one of the reasons ignorant and sick people take that good nature and thwart it to twist a sweet, loving dog into a fighter.  Pit bulls would rather sit in your lap or chase a tennis ball for hours than be in a fighting pit.  It is a shame to even have to make that statement but I say it because so many people erroneously believe these dogs love fighting.  Would you love having to fight someone to the death or risk being electrocuted, lynched or slammed to the ground?

(By the way, the one in this picture is just getting a bath, which he characteristically tolerated very well 🙂