Big Mama Jubilee

February 16, 2011  

Abandoned dog now has many jobs – and prizes

By Amy Willey

When my friend Nancy stopped her car in a city near Albany, New York, to help a stray pit bull, I never suspected that five months later I would adopt that same beautiful white and brown dog.

Nancy turned the stray dog over to the local animal control officer, and the dog, who was soon named Big Mama Jubilee, was taken to a shelter where she would live for several months. While Jubilee was waited for a home, Nancy visited her several times a week.

Right from the beginning, Jubilee let me know that she was an eager student and a quick learner.

Like so many city and county shelters, this one was short on space, and the day came when an administrator directed the kennel staff to euthanize Jubilee so they could make room for incoming dogs. Instead, one of the staff members called Nancy to let her know that she needed to come pick Jubilee up right away. Nancy left work and hurried to the shelter to move Jubilee to a private boarding facility.

That’s when I agreed to adopt her.

Jubilee was an easy addition to our family. She and Frankie (my 3-year-old pit bull mix) hit it off as best buddies. During the past two years they’ve become inseparable. They play tug games, chase each other around the yard and wrestle, and when they are done they nap together in a pit bull pile.

Jubilee and Poppy (my 12-year-old pit bull mix) get along well, too, but Poppy is a little too old for all those fun and games.

Right from the beginning, Jubilee let me know that she was an eager student and a quick learner. We enrolled in a few local classes and began training together to polish up her basic skills. Jubilee soon earned her Canine Good Citizen certificate, and not long after that she and I passed the test to become a Registered Delta Society Pet Partner Therapy Dog Team.

We talked with the local library and were able to start a Paws-to-Read program for young readers in town. Jubilee visits the library often to listen to them as they read out loud.

We’ve also visited a shelter for women and children. And we’ve been to the local after-school program to make a presentation about safe ways to interact with dogs and healthy activities for kids and dogs to do together. Jubilee, her story of survival, and her repertoire of tricks are a huge hit at these events. She’s affectionate, gentle, dynamic, soft and silly all at once, and she absolutely thrives on meeting and interacting with kids.

I work at a summer camp for inner-city and low-income teens primarily from Boston, New York City and Newark. Jubilee, Frankie and Poppy all come out to the camp with me. Each of the dogs gets to spend time with the teenage campers – hanging out, performing tricks, catching Frisbees, chasing balls and, most importantly, giving the kids the opportunity to just be with, and live alongside, pit bulls.

Jubilee has also been working hard on her Frisbee skills. Last fall, we entered our first disc competition and Jubilee earned herself a first place in Novice Freestyle and second place in Novice Distance and Accuracy.

Jubilee began as a stray, a throw-away dog, a dog viewed as disposable, simply taking up space, and too hard to adopt. But she also had angels – the people who were willing to step in and change her life for the better, and I appreciate those people everyday.

Jubilee is a happy soul who brings smiles to the faces of everyone she meets, and she works everyday to help change the world, one heart and one mind at a time.

« « Two Adults, Two Dogs, No Kids: A Family | The Ruby in Our Hearts » »


5 Responses to “Big Mama Jubilee”
  1. RebeccaStanger says:

    <3 What a beautiful story–started out so heartbreaking and turned into a story of love and redemption! Thank you to Big Mama’s original rescuer, and thank you to her adopter! She’s a beautiful dog!

  2. StubbyDog says:

    @RebeccaStanger She is an incredible dog, we love Big Mama Jubilee and you said it perfectly, ‘a story of love and redemption.’ Thanks for your comments.

  3. MariaAurigemaQuiroz says:

    Fabulous, I laughed so hard at the bedroom scene.

  4. Cherie Kohler says:

    This warmed my heart – My Roxy dog is a happy, loving spirit that has enriched my life in so many different ways!! She loves everyone and I am happier every day she’s been with me. The tilt of her head and goofy grin puts an instant smile on everyone she meets. I cannot remember what life was like before the sound of her nails clicking across the floor and her tail wagging in a crazy circle of greeting; or before the sound of her snores made me giggle, no matter how many times I’ve heard them. I am so lucky we found each other! I have asked myself over and over Who saved Who?


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  1. […] Best Friends Animal Society co- founder Michael tells us that Jubilee is a pit bull mix who was rescued from the streets of Albany and taken to the local shelter by a fine woman named Nancy.  When she got no adoption offers, Jubilee was going to be killed in order to make room for newcomers.  Nancy came back and rescued Jubilee once again, then told pittiable friend Amy Willey about her.   Needless to say, Big Mama Jubilee is now Jubilee Willey!  More photos and stuff at […]