|Driving home from the SPCA, Louie was nothing but smiles and kisses in the car!|
She is a loving and adorable 6 month-old pit bull mix that Mike and I adopted from the SPCA earlier this month. While roaming the aisles of the kennel, we were confronted with a seemingly endless number of adorable dogs begging us to take them home with their puppy dog eyes and enthusiastic tail wags. When we came to Louie's cell (she was known as Tiki back then), we couldn't resist this overwhelmingly sweet-natured girl who was simply dying to meet with anyone that passed her by. She was trying to lick our hands beneath the kennel door and getting herself all worked up while we stood by reading her info. We just couldn't resist her charm!
|Louie is pretty good in the car although she insisted on occupying the front seat on our first solo hike together!|
There's plenty of debate over the safety of owning pit bulls, and the SPCA does a great job of properly and thoroughly informing potential pit owners about the breed while dispelling the myths that give these wonderful companions a bad name. I won't regale you with all I learned from the literature that we had to take home, but I would like to do my small part to help reverse the negativity felt towards pits. First of all, they were bred and raised to fight other dogs, not humans. They were actually originally selected to be fighting dogs because of how well they interacted with, listened, and responded to humans. This made for good training and deep trust between owners and their dogs. Most of the attacks you hear about today involving pit bulls and humans are a result of the cruel and malicious environments in which many of these dogs grow up. It has become a cultural cycle of sorts. Pits are known for the negative traits that are fostered in them because of the way they are raised to fight. People with an interest in dog fighting are then drawn to them, raise them to be fighters, and further perpetuate the stereotype and the danger. Plenty of other people in the market for a pet shy away from these dogs since they are deemed undesirable, leaving a vast excess of pits in need of homes. In this way, there are plenty of people who really want, love, and care about dogs but are unlikely to take home a pit, and these dogs become pets to inexperienced, cruel, and/or poorly intentioned owners.
Louie is the sweetest dog I have ever met, and I've met quite a few as a dog-walker, -sitter, and -owner. She attacks myself and Mike with love from time to time, but has shown no aggressive tendencies towards any humans, dogs, or other animals we have encountered. By giving her plenty of training, attention, positive reinforcement, and exposure to people, animals, and situations of all sorts, we are ensuring that she will be a friendly, well-adjusted, and reliable companion animal.
|It's been pretty difficult to get a still shot of this energetic little girl.|
In just a few short weeks, we can already see that Louie is just that and will only prove to be more so in the future. We continually find ourselves remarking over how wonderful of a puppy she is, beyond all of our hopes and expectations. The only time we've ever heard her bark is in her sleep. She's quiet and cooperative when we kennel train her, playful when we're energetic, and calm when she sees us settled down. Louie is, in every negative respect, simply a puppy learning her way into doghood. Besides a tendency to bite during these puppy teething days and a few potty-training accidents, she has been a true joy to own! When we brought her home, Louie had a case of kennel cough and a scar that required medication - she actually even took one of the pills straight out of my hand without any cheese, peanut butter, or other such concealing food item! Mike and I brag about her constantly, but we just can't help but find ourselves pleasantly surprised by her Louie's excellent behavior and kind nature again and again!
|While fighting a fever and a case of kennel cough, Louie was a little more tired than usual. Thankfully we got her through it with some medication and a bunch of rest!|
All of the workers to whom we spoke at the SPCA were pit owners with nothing but wonderful things to say about the breed. Each and every one of them told us that they would never get another breed of dog again. These are probably especially loving dog-owners if their lives' work is with the SPCA, but that is what it all comes down to: the environment in which a dog is raised. True, pit bulls do have an instinct to finish a fight with which nearly all other breeds are not born. But pits are no more or less likely to instigate fights than a dog of any other breed. As long as pit owners are well informed and conscientious, the situation should never arise in which his or her dog is engaged in a fight and is able to act on that finishing instinct. Providing a dog with a loving home, positive training, requisite exercise, and adequate exposure to all sorts of experiences and living beings is essential to raising any breed of puppy into a wonderful, well-behaved, friendly adult dog. And that's the end of my diatribe on the pit bull. Thank you for sticking with me!
Here are just a few more shots from a week of good, fresh, almost-summer eating!
|A scrumptious rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, all ready for some good eating!|
|Garden-fresh herbs brighten up weeknight dinners like nothing else.|
|A most beautiful avocado! Perfect for adorning egg sandwiches!|
And I'll end this post with a sweet little cover of "Do You Believe in Magic" performed by The Format. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this song on the end of a Format mix CD I had made and it became an instant repeat. Perfect for sunny day driving with the windows down, this is a great song for this time of year!