Catherine wanted to adopt a pit bull for the longest time. Her husband Jon…not so much. Knowing Catherine it was just a matter of time, a little pleading, and a whole lot of pushing. Jon’s skepticism was not at all unusual, for two reasons – one, there is often uncertainty if you have never owned a pit bull before and secondly, he was really hoping they would someday soon have a baby. Perhaps he was the more realistic and practical one because he knew a new baby would already be a huge adjustment. But Catherine…not so much. 🙂
One afternoon with the pretext of just checking it out, Catherine visited Fulton county animal control. I know several people personally, including moi, who have done this same thing. Not to discourage others from going and “checking it out” for themselves, but we each left with a pet, or after tossing and turning and losing sleep for a day or two, returned to adopt one of the faces whose memory continued to pierce our hearts. As far as Catherine’s visit – same thing. She met a few pit bulls and when she left hours later after spending time with them, her days and nights were haunted with their faces and the knowledge that some of them only had days left before being euthanized. After much discussion with Jon and continued fret and loss of sleep Catherine got her pittie. The fretting? That was about deciding which one to save. THAT was difficult and heartbreaking. After much agonizing, she chose Olive – the smaller, skittish, scared one – and one that had only days left. After a few weeks of settling in (and deciding these people were for real) it was obvious that Olive was a perfect fit for this family, who at that time consisted of two humans and 2 large, also rescued, senior basset hounds, Ike and Stella – all in a 1,000 sq ft loft.
Exactly one year after adopting Olive, Audrey Mae was born. Though they had been trying for some time, it seemed to have happened at the exact time that it should have. For a solid year, Olive was allowed time to be babied and fawned over and made to feel safe, loved, and wanted – something we wish all shelter pets could experience. By the time little Audrey came along, Olive was assured of her permanence in this family and her fear of once again being abandoned was gone. Even with all the doting and pampering over a newborn, Olive still was given her fair share of attention and continued to go to the dog park every day like before. Nothing ever really changed for her as far as the amount of love she received or her daily routine – except it was now she and Jon that spent the majority of time together and they were both okay with that. Olive welcomed Audrey. She nearly licked the skin off her in fact. Pitties are natural born face-lickers. Yes, like all dogs who are abused, pit bulls can be biters but that is not a born instinct as much as a learned survival behavior. Time and time again we have witnessed a profound difference the tincture of time, love, and positive attention can bring about in a once aggressive dog, especially pit bulls. Thankfuly Olive never exhibited aggression with Catherine or Jon, or any other people for that matter. She is pictured above with Catherine graduating with gold stars from her training class, which was only a couple weeks after being adopted. Catherine got a huge thumbs-up from the trainer.
An awesome little family, who btw are still in their space-limited loft, but gladly a house with a yard is fast on the horizon. Who knows, maybe another new family member is in their not too far off future, because knowing Catherine. . .