staffordshire terriers

Princess, the Pit Bull, Labrador Retriever mix therapy dog (part 3)

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“My brother kept Princess in Coney Island for me.

I got to visit her anytime I wanted, so I was there every other day.

I waited until I got the paperwork so my landlord couldn’t make a legal complaint.

She’s been with my husband and me for three months and it’s been a Godsend.

Princess has brought a better sense of communication to my marriage.

We discuss how we take care of her.

He takes care of the finances and I do the rest.

When I walk in my apartment at the end of the day, my stress doesn’t matter.

As long as I’ve got Princess, life is good.”

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

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“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)

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“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.”

 

Olive, the Bassett Hound, Staffordshire Terrier mix (part 2)

“Before the dogs were transported up to New York the rescue group posted a video of Olive and her sister Katy.

When they got here, my son said, we should visit Olive first.

He had a gut feeling.

We visited her and her foster family in Brooklyn and that was it.

She was three or four months old and was so friendly that we said, we’ve got to get this dog.

She is a year now.

The hardest thing for me was house training her.

It takes patience.

I thought it would take a couple of weeks, but it took a few months.

She pee’d on the rug for a few months.

We had to learn her body rhythms.

It finally paid off.”

Olive, the Bassett Hound, Staffordshire Terrier mix (part 3)

“We go upstate for the weekends and watching her run free and explore and swim is a joy.

The family spends more time outside since having Olive, and we talk to strangers on the street.

That can be good and bad.

One day in the cold rain in November, I was walking Olive and a stranger told me, you should die, for just being outside.

She thought I was abusing Olive, when I was just taking her outside to go to the bathroom.

At first I wondered if I was doing the wrong thing, but then I realized that I was simply being a responsible caring dog owner.

We were both in the cold rain.

It’s like having a kid; you close your eyes and just do it.”

Nikki & Winston (he said, part 2)

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“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)

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“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 2)

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“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)

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“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.”