pit bulls

Princess, the Pit Bull, Labrador Retriever therapy dog (part 2)



“I got Princess and started training her for my mother.

In December of 2013, after having Princess only four days, my mother passed away.

I kept Princess and moved back east in April or May of 2014.

It was really hard at first when I moved to NYC.

My landlord said I couldn’t keep her, so I had to get a medical note saying that she had become my service dog to deal with the trauma from my mother’s passing.

We were separated for two years during this process.”

Princess, the Pit Bull, Labrador Retriever mix therapy dog (part 1)



“My mom wanted a dog, so a friend came over and we looked on Pet Finder, the ASPCA and other rescue sites, but the process was too long.

They didn’t make it easy.

They wanted to interview me and check out my home.

So, I put flyers out around my apartment complex in Georgia and one person responded.

He said, his dog had puppies and if I wanted one he would bring two for me to meet from a litter his dog just had, and I could choose the one that I wanted.

He brought Princess’s sisters, but they didn’t work out.

They didn’t want to walk and they were hard to train.

I tried to house break both of them, but neither would walk and I ended up dragging them.

I called up the original owner and asked him to take them back because it wasn’t working out.

He told me he had the runt of the litter and she was the last remaining puppy.

That was Princess.”


Tucker, the Frenchie that chose his family (part 2)


“That was 3 years ago November.

Unfortunately, a very bad thing happened was Tucker was 6 months old.

He had’t been neutered yet and we were just walking on a Sunday night and he was attacked by an unneutered adult pit bull.

The pit had Tucker’s head in his mouth and he was bitten on his ear and jaw bone.

I rushed him to Blue Pearl (the animal hospital), it was only 1 block away.

We were lucky that the injuries weren’t as severe as they could have been.

A lot of people in the neighborhood  had heard about the incident and one of my neighbors found the owner of the pit and demanded his pone number.”

Batman, the fated dog (part 1)

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“I had a dog who got run over by a car and I was devastated about it.

I just thought the best way to get over that loss was to get another dog.

I looked at an online rescue agency called Mustard Sandwich and I saw Batman’s photo.

I wanted to get a dog and name him Batman.

Batman and his brothers were listed online and they were all named after cities except for Batman, who was already called “Batman.”

I thought; this is my fate.

I also thought, this is MY Batman.

I applied for him online.

I was moving from New York to Florida and picked him up on the drive down.

When I first saw him, he was only 2 pounds, his ears were all floppy and he was the cutest thing.”

Nikki & Winston (he said, part 2)


“I had Nikki 2 years and she was queen bee of the house and then the dynamic of the house changed.

I met my girlfriend and Nikki fell in love with her, then I fell in love with her.

And then we got Winston and the family unit became complete (for now).

Winston was an impulse love at first sight dog.  And then he turned out to be a huge pain in the ass.

The first year of his life was difficult.

He was sick with pneumonia.  He was indoors for 5 months, so that stunted our ability to socialize him for a while.

At first Nikki didn’t know what to do with puppy Winston.  She looked at me as if to say, what did you do?

The first year, Nikki was intent on being an only child.

Eventually Winston wore her down and now they are the best of friends.

The best thing is having them both together.  It’s rewarding watching them complement each other.  Nikki has made Winston more affectionate and Winston has made Nikki more playful.

The worst thing is that we travel a lot and there is nothing worse than walking into an empty house.”

Nikki & Winston (he said, part 1)


“I always had a dog growing up and then once I got to college I kept telling my friends I was going to get a dog.

6 years went by and I still didn’t have a dog.

I landed my first good paying job and my best friend said, why don’t you have a dog.

2 weeks later I got Nikki.

I knew I wanted to adopt and I knew I wanted a pit bull because there are so many of them that need a home.

I went on Petfinder (which is like online dating).

She had a great profile photo and first person story.  So, we went on a first date, which was a walk in Central Park.

She was standoffish because she had a really tough start.

She was found pregnant, roaming the streets of the Bronx and taken to a kill shelter.

They gave her an abortion and she was going to be put down that week.

A foster family rescued her, but couldn’t keep so she bounced around 3 or 4 homes before I got her.

Her last foster home was with a pit bull activist who helped her socialize and become more at ease.”

Nikki & Winston (she said, part 3)


“The best moments have been seeing them get close and become best friends.

Nikki is a different dog since getting Winston.  She is more nurturing and social.

Winston is a friendly Shiba She has taught Nikki to play with and trust other dogs.

Winston was a difficult puppy because he couldn’t go outside for months due to his pneumonia.  He wasn’t well enough to get his shots.

He was a vengeful puppy.  He would look us in the eyes and pee on the floor in front of us.

They get into the trash together.

They are partners.

We love them and they are our fur-babies.”

Nikki & Winston (she said part 2)


“We weren’t planning on buying another dog for a myriad of reasons.

We already had a dog, we were living in a temporary space and we don’t support puppy mills.  Also, we hadn’t been together long.

We knew nothing about Winston’s breed (Shiba Inu) but the moment I made eye contact with him it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.  I can’t find the words to describe the feelings, except that I felt like I’d met a soulmate.

Getting Winston from a pet store also shifted my point of view about dog buying.

Prior to Winston, I had been staunchly anti-buying from a pet shop, but I realized that once a dog leaves a puppy mill it still needs a home.

It’s a big decision.

Also, Winston was dying of pneumonia when we got him.  The vet said he was 2 days away from death.

I still recommend adopting before shopping, but I learned a lot about puppy mills, pet stores and when you meet a dog that is meant to be yours, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.”

Nikki & Winston (she said part 1)


“My boyfriend had Nikki, a terrier mix, before we met.

Shortly after we started dating he got a job and was working long hours, so I was at home with Nikki most of the time.  I started taking her with me wherever I went.   I felt bad that she would have been home alone a lot.

I had never had a dog of my own and I fell in love with her.

My parents got a dog the year before I left for college but I had always wanted one.  I’d been obsessed with dogs since I was tiny.

Getting a dog was always on my Christmas list.

Nikki is a rescue and kind of a nervous dog.

My boyfriend, and I are passionate about adopting/rescuing dogs as opposed to shopping at a pet store.

We were living in a temporary apartment while we were looking for a new place.  Getting another dog was not on the table–we already had one, but one day when we were picking up her food at this pet store, I made eye contact with this puppy and I ended up leaving the store with him in my arms.”

Riley, the great rescue


“I was living by myself when I was 15 and my parents didn’t want me to be alone.

I was having trouble in the city so I moved up to the weekend house and went to school up there.

I wanted to rescue a Pit Bull from the city and bring it upstate to live with me.

Me, my mom and my dad went to the ASPCA to look for a pit.  We each picked a different dog.

My family had a Maltese named Buddy and so we had to test which of the three potential dogs got along with Buddy.

My mom’s choice was the first to go.  He was an 80 lb., deaf, white pit named Freedom.  Freedom tried to play with Buddy but Buddy growled at him.  Freedom didn’t stop trying to play  because he was deaf and didn’t hear Buddy’s warning, so the ASPCA trainers said that was a failure.

Next was my dad’s choice.  He growled at Buddy.  That was a failure, too.

Fawn, whose name I changed to Riley, was a success.  Riley was on the leash and went running up to Buddy as fast as he could to play with him.  Buddy latched onto Riley’s nose. After Buddy released Riley’s nose, Riley tried to run as far away from Buddy as possible, hiding behind one of the ASPCA trainers.  The trainers then announced that Riley was a success because he let Buddy be the alpha.

When Riley got upstate he blended in well.  He spent most of his time swimming in the pool.

I lived with him by myself for 3 or 4 years so he is my best friend.

Now that I work in the city, he stays with friends a lot and I don’t get to see him that often.

I thought about giving him up, because I only saw him 2 days a week.  I felt like I was being unfair to Riley.  A friend was taking care of him, but he wasn’t getting a lot of exercise.  He put on 20 lbs.

I called a couple of friends to see if they wanted a dog because Riley needed a home where someone would take better care of him.

I was afraid he was going to die.

My parents convinced me not to give him up.

I go upstate more often and  have someone helping me take great care of him.”