Athena Wows Them on the National Mall

March 7, 2011  

By Mark Wooderson Lontok

When my ex-wife and I met Athena at the Fauquier County SPCA in April 2007, she’d been found wandering in the area three months earlier and had been at the shelter ever since. The staff told us she was feeling more and more stressed and just not very happy there, and her weight had fallen from about 50 pounds to 34.

As soon as we met her, it was so easy as she responded to us well. She was very loving from the beginning. We had to take her home at once!

Athena is a very athletic dog. She loves to play fetch with either a tennis ball or Frisbee. She can jump about six feet to catch a ball. She loves the beach, either swimming in the ocean or literally crashing into waves. She is not professionally trained but knows all basic commands.

At home, she loves her teddy bear and my other dogs Hektor the Chiweenie and Atrimiss the Presa Canario. While I’m at work, she babysits the other dogs for me. They keep each other company and are always playing in my yard. Oddly, her favorite treats are broccoli and my hats.

Athena is a great ambassador for all pit bulls. She loves all humans and all other dogs – and cats, too. She watched over seven kittens I found in 2008. She slept with them and licked and cleaned them. She was so sweet to them that once they were all adopted, it seemed that she was sad for a couple of weeks. She stayed in the same area where the kittens had been, and slept there, too.

I often walk her in Old Town Alexandria. Local businesses see her and know her and always say hello when we walk by. But at times, people see us and try to walk as far as they can on the other side of the sidewalk. When this happens, we continue to walk past politely just to show how sweet and well behaved she is.

I also take her to the National Mall to play fetch, and we often attract a crowd. People always watch in awe because of her focus on playing fetch and her listening skills when I give her commands. She is a great ambassador in this way as people see how well she interacts with me and how great she is with everyone.

All in all, she is the greatest dog I have ever had. Her sweet eyes are always staring back at me as if asking, “What would you like me to do to make you happy?” She doesn’t have to do much. She makes my family, friends and me happy by just having her as the best pit bull EVER.

Photos courtesy of AlexsandraG

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