Becoming a Hero

June 4, 2012  

Pasha hasn’t won any awards just yet, but this recently adopted pit bull is well on her way to superstardom as a Canine Good Citizen and therapy dog

By Amanda Hamilton

I have to admit, after the initial joy of realizing Pasha had won StubbyDog’s Timeline Superstar Contest, I had a moment of worry. I read the stories of the other five winners and had that feeling inside that maybe we weren’t worthy of that distinction. Don’t get me wrong, Pasha is one of the best examples of a well-rounded and calm dog of any breed there is, period. However, it only took reading about Fiona, the rescued, blind dog with a seeing-eye pal; or Peaches, the 2012 American Pit Bull Mascot; and Juno and Addie, both 2012 StubbyDog Superheros for me to feel that maybe one of these other dogs deserved the honor. After all, we had recently rescued Pasha a few months back and were still in the process of learning about her.

I went over and over in my head what exactly I wanted to write – nothing seemed to fit. That was until I scrolled down my Facebook page to see an urgent post for a 9-year-old pit bull that was dropped off by her owners for skin tags. The owners thought it was cancer and brought her into the shelter. That’s when it occurred to me. Despite being a different circumstance, this was Pasha’s story. Pasha’s tale is one of second chances and, quite frankly, of luck.

We all know that a pit bull-type dog has a very low chance of getting out of a shelter – add in an older age, and their chances dwindle even more. That was Pasha, an American Staffordshire Terrier who found herself without a family at 6 years old. As the story goes, her owner had passed away, and the children brought her into a high-kill shelter. Enter Project Rescue Chicago and Pasha’s lucky day. One look at Pasha, and this wonderful rescue snatched her up realizing that this was one gem of a dog. They couldn’t have been more right.

Pasha is the poster child of an older, well-behaved, people-, child- and dog-friendly girl who ended up in an unfortunate situation. My daughter adores her and showers her with attention, all of which Pasha loves. Our other dog, a Chocolate Labrador named Triston, finds time to snuggle with her, almost reminiscent of a long, lost friend. But most of all, she is slowly chipping away at the disastrous “vicious” label an American Staffordshire Terrier receives by showing off her wonderful manners and cheerful disposition. Pasha has entered our lives and has become not only a wonderful breed ambassador but also an ambassador for an older shelter dog. She is a permanent fixture, one that does not go unnoticed, on our walks at our local off leash trails, the Naperville Riverwalk and all around our neighborhood.

I am so proud of Pasha. I cherish the daily comments I get about her calm demeanor and how she, alone, has influenced others people’s reactions to this breed; she makes it easy to prove how obviously false the negative connotations about this breed are.

We are preparing for the Canine Good Citizen assessment in July, but our sights are set on a therapy dog program. Pasha has a way of nesting her head in your lap in just about any position possible. It doesn’t matter who you are or why you have entered our home, within a few minutes you can expect to have Pasha calmly laying by your side, head in your lap, like she had been waiting for you all day. I can only imagine the benefits of this kind of dog in a hospital or school setting.

So, although she has not yet won any awards or been deemed a dog hero, she has started to melt hearts and give a face and a name to those dogs in the shelter system who are just desperate for a home. She’s changed our lives in the short time we’ve had her, and we feel like we are in a wonderful position of sharing the prequel to the extraordinary life of Pasha! If it wasn’t for Project Rescue Chicago, I’m not sure Pasha would have ever gotten out – and wouldn’t have that been the greatest shame of all.

« « When Did You First Fall in Love with Pit Bulls? | Hero Pit Bull Shot in Head While Saving Owners » »


13 Responses to “Becoming a Hero”
  1. Wonderful feel good story to start the work week!

  2. JeneenBurns says:

    I love older dogs. I am dog and cat rich right now with three dogs and tree cats but as they die of natural old age, then off to the shelter or rescue organization I will go to get a nice dog or cat that is the one less liking to get adopted. Old dogs and cats are great pets and an older Pit Bull tops the list.  

  3. Pasha is so regal! Best of luck on the journey to therapy dog. I’m sure she’ll be wonderful. 🙂 

  4. Matt.S says:

    This story needs to told. I’m giving serious consideration to the possibility of volunteering to take in/provide hospice care for ill and older dogs in their twilight.

    • StubbyDog says:

       @Matt.S Thanks Matt, we hope you do decide to do that, older dogs need loving homes so much. Keep us posted.

      • Matt.S says:

         @StubbyDog  I agree. My mom & I have discussed it and we both believe that there is a need. Older dogs deserve love too.

    • Jill Fletcher says:

       Matt, that is an incredible idea!  I’ve never owned a pit, but absoutely love and respect the breed.  I wish more people out there thought like you do!

    • Judithg says:

       @Matt.S That is awesome Matt.  I honor your commitment to the seniors you may help in the future.  

  5. MinaYindra says:

    Pasha is just as wonderful as every other Pit in the contest so you hardly need to feel insecure. That’s the beauty of these dogs- they are each wonderfully unique yet have the same great characteristics in common. Pasha, as an older Pit, is particularly blessed to have found a loving family like you. Addie thinks Pasha is every bit as much of a SuperHero as she is!!! 🙂