He Just Came Over to “Meet” Me

February 28, 2011  

By Sarah Maslanka

Photos courtesy of AlexsandraG

I had my heart set on adopting a cat, but during my search I stumbled across Blackie.

Blackie had been taken from an abusive home where they’d broken his leg as a puppy. With some skepticism I agreed to meet him. He came over to my house just to “meet” me, but brought his bed, food bowls, food, leash, collar, toys and medicine and a list of upcoming doctor’s appointments with him.

It seemed I had unknowingly adopted a pit bull.

Even though I saved Blackie from a painful and probably short life, I think I’m really the one who has been saved.

The first few weeks of were difficult because I was unprepared to care for a dog. I began to feel like maybe I had made a mistake, but after a week of coming home to a destroyed house and a crying dog, someone suggested that Blackie was probably suffering from separation anxiety.

I began crate training him and soon he calmed down and felt more comfortable when left alone. The destruction decreased.

Despite our rocky start, Blackie had become the best part of coming home. My mom, on the other hand, was not so big on the idea of me rescuing an abused pit bull.

Once I realized the benefit of the crate, I hired an animal behaviorist to evaluate his other needs and started working with him in other training areas.

Blackie began to develop into a wonderful dog, and I decided that since he was dispelling the myths I’d heard about pit bulls, I decided to learn as much as I could about them.

As a result I have become a huge pit bull advocate.

Blackie brings joy to my life. He goes in his crate when asked, he can sit, lie down, put his head down, beg on his back legs, give me his paw for a shake or high five. Needless to say, I use a lot of tricks to impress people.

I have converted everyone I know to a pit bull lover and many into pit bull advocates.

My mom, who became the resident pit bull lover in her office, now refers to Blackie as her “grandson.”

Today I write a blog called I Love a Bull, which relays truthful information about pit bulls, and I also work with local shelters to promote these dogs.

Most people don’t think of someone like me when they think “pit-bull owner” and I’m happy to put a small dent in the stereotype. I am a 24-year-old professional woman. I work at a bank and own my home. My pit bull does tricks, is micro-chipped and neutered. He eats grain-free organic food and takes more vitamins than I do! He sleeps in the bed and even dresses up for Halloween. To say he is spoiled is an understatement. I’m so glad I was open minded enough to open my heart to this dog, and even though I saved Blackie from a painful and probably short life, I think I’m really the one who has been saved.

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