Taylor Rogers I adopted a pitbull/lab from our local shelter many years ago. She was skinny, with large teats that showed she’d recently had a litter of puppies. Nobody knows what happened to her pups. A man brought her in, with raffia tied so tightly around her neck that it cut off the hair growth. The man told the shelter she was aggressive, although she showed no signs of this.

The pound surmised she was a ‘breeder’ for puppies to use in dog fighting. She may have turned on her owner from being abused and then taken to the pound. This was only an assumption, we didn’t really know her history.

When I first saw her, she was in a kennel with a much older beagle hound. We took both of them to the outside area and she ran around, happy she was in the fresh air. I’d call her, “Come here, girl!”, and she’d run up to me and get loves. I was hooked! She’d been in the shelter for a month, and nobody even remotely had any interest in her. She was on the docket to be euthanized the next week.

“Not if I can help it.” I told the dog attendant.

I adopted her the next day and brought her home. She was afraid to get into the car, I had to pick her up and put her on the seat. I named her Mali.

Mali was the most lovable, loyal, family dog I’ve ever had. She loved to cuddle. She loved kids and would roll around on the floor with toddlers, acting like a little dog mama, putting her paws around them and licking their head.

She was the best watchdog, with a ferocious all bark, no bite, persona. I didn’t have to worry, I knew she’d protect me if I ever came to trouble (which never happened). Everyone loved Mali. Only strangers would make mention of her being a pit bull. Everyone who knew her, loved her.

You’re right about the dogs in shelters only wanting to be loved. I’m not a ‘dog expert’, but I’ve had dogs my entire life. Dogs act in response to the way they are treated. Most people think dogs should act like people, and don’t know about dogs or how to care for them properly, including their mentality and why they behave the way they do. Most dogs are aggressive because they are highly anxious and scared. People make dogs this way by the way they treat them, even if it’s unknowingly.

Pit bulls have a bad rap because people have used them, training them for dog fights. It breaks my heart that they have this reputation.

I’m so glad you gave your sweet pit bull a loving home. If people understood how loving, family-oriented, and faithful pit bulls really are, they wouldn’t be so harsh to judge.

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Advocate for Women / Editor of The Virago

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