Super Addie

July 2, 2012  

Meet Addie the pit bull, one of StubbyDog’s Facebook Timeline Superstar Contest winners


By Mina Yindra
(This was originally posted on Dec. 26, 2011, when Addie was a StubbyDog Calendar winner)

My husband and I have always had a houseful of dogs, but we saw them progressively age, and we had lost a cherished companion to illness each year until we had an empty home. After the heartbreak of losing four dogs in four years, he was opposed to ever getting another dog, but I knew my life couldn’t be complete without at least two in my home. It’s been my experience that dogs need the companionship of each other as well as that of their humans – which also provides a convenient excuse for me to add more than one to our “herd”!

We knew about Best Friends Animal Society because I had sent them donations over the years, amazed that such a place existed, a perfect fit for my philosophy of animal care and rights. Once the show “Dogtown” hit television, many people were exposed to this incredible sanctuary, with my husband becoming as addicted to the stories of the animals and the mission of Best Friends as I was. We saw the stories of all the dogs and other animals society labeled as “hopeless,” where Best Friends rescued them and kept these animals for life – or until someone gave them a forever home. It was touching that a place existed that would take animals no one else wanted and guarantee them a happy home forever, even if they couldn’t find one with a family. My husband progressively melted, and we decided that we should get our next two dogs from Best Friends.

When I started going through the listings of available dogs, one thing stood out: There were more Staffordshire Terriers and pit bulls than any other breeds in the sanctuary, considerably more. I had never even heard of a Staffordshire Terrier and found out they were basically the same as an American Pit Bull Terrier, which explained a lot. I knew Best Friends had taken in many of the Michael Vick dogs, and I also knew they were very devoted to educating the public about these dogs and showing people how awesome they could be as pets. All I knew about pit bulls was what I had heard: that they were prone to being vicious and that they attacked people and animals in the streets and in their homes. Of course, I never believe what anyone says about a breed of dog, as they are as individual as people.

I started to research pit bulls and discovered that they can be wonderful, fun and loyal companions with a lot of intelligence and energy. Most of all, I felt sorry for any animal who was crucified by the media and public misconceptions before they even have a chance at life. I looked at Best Friends adoption profiles more and more, but the two reasons that were excluding pit bulls for us were size and my mother’s raging fear of them. We had moved into an attachment to her house when my father died, so she could stay in her home, and we found that she believed that any pit bull would somehow turn on her and devour her if we weren’t there to control it. She was literally scared to death of them.

Our living area had also changed from a rural one of hundreds of acres for our dogs to explore to a one-acre plot in an urbanized area outside of Washington, D.C. While the yard was beautiful and my husband was all for taking our new dogs jogging and to dog parks, etc., we were afraid any pit bull would be so cramped in our house that they wouldn’t be able to turn around.

Along Came Addie

Our concerns went out the window when we saw Addie, known as Adventure at the time. She was one of a litter of nine puppies that had been abandoned on a highway in Los Angeles, and a wonderful woman had taken them to Best Friends after she had scooped them up.

Not only was she the most beautiful puppy we had ever seen, but we saw a film clip of the litter, and Addie was the one who showed the most spunk in the group, always out front and into everything.

Our hearts were captured at once, but our adoption counselor at Best Friends suggested we consider other adult dogs because we had no way of knowing how big she would get or what her ultimate temperament would be around other dogs – as they tell everyone about any puppies they are adopting with multiple dogs. It didn’t matter. We held her on the spot, and we told them we would be coming within the next month to get her. For my mother, we showed her the adorable puppy photo and kept emphasizing that she was an English Staffordshire Terrier, as they actually described her, and avoided any mention of pit bull altogether. While she remained suspicious because “she looks like a pit bull,” she finally agreed. How could such an adorable puppy be vicious? We continued to educate ourselves on pit bulls and became more and more convinced that we wanted not just Addie but another as well.

And Then There Were Two

Well, as they say, the best laid plans … as Best Friends will tell you, the dog will adopt you, not the other way around. We spent a week and a half there, meeting all the various dogs we had looked at, and then I went into a run with the neurologically impaired dogs one day. A little guy snuck out from the corner and ran over to me, putting his paws around my neck and stood up to hug me. My heart melted.

I told my husband about him outside. Meanwhile, the dog stood up against the fencing door of the run and just stared at my husband as if to say how desperately he wanted to be taken out. My husband also fell in love with him. Peter Pan – an odd mixture of Chihuahua and Fox Terrier. He had had distemper as a puppy and had a constant head spasm, along with an almost crippling shyness at times. We couldn’t believe they were going to allow us to take Peter and Addie together! After all, a pit bull with this little handicapped dog? Surely he would be stomped into the ground, even if just during play.

The adoption counselor met with others in the department, and they decided to let them stay together on overnights with us. Peter and Addie were wonderful together! They played and raced around, so happy to be together and to be loved by people of their own at the same time. The decision was made.

This odd couple would be coming home with us, and we couldn’t have been happier.

Breed Ambassadors

As we have learned since, Addie is the sweetest and most affectionate dog we have ever had in our lives. She fits into our household quite nicely, even with the limited room because she is there to sleep and hug while indoors, not to run agility courses (OK, she does sometimes race through and create a small amount of chaos as if she were a crazed agility contestant but who’s counting?)! She goes to the dog park and daycare, and has made lots of friends, both dog and human. She is a particular favorite at the vet’s office, where everyone comments on how beautiful she is and, when clients find out she is a pit bull, they are usually amazed. Pit bulls can only be short, with cropped ears, and are vicious monsters, right?

She has been a wonderful ambassador for the breed with everyone she meets. We have also seen the ugly side of people when it comes to pit bulls, watching people pull their children and dogs away when we are walking her, having people say they would never consider a dog like that because they are too vicious and unpredictable, and even having a dog warden single her out at a dog park and threaten her, when she was doing absolutely nothing, all because of his prejudice against pit bulls. These behaviors continue to motivate my husband and I to educate everyone and anyone we meet about what wonderful dogs they are and how they need homes so desperately.

We joined a pit bull rescue group in D.C., and we have taken these dogs to adoption events and tried to help out at a no-kill shelter there, as well as volunteering at another local no-kill shelter and attempting to do child education. While we want each and every pit bull to get a home, we also want everyone to know about their wonderful characteristics so they can get the right home that meets their needs for exercise when they are young (heck, sometimes even old!) and acknowledges that, like all dogs, some pit bulls simply can’t tolerate the competition or presence in the home of other animals.

A common misconception is that an adopter’s children could be in danger. We point out the pit bull’s history as the “nanny dogs” in our not-so-distant past, as well as the normal need for everyone to be educated about children and dogs so they can safely become loving family members. We are thrilled to see more and more people adopting these dogs and, even the ones who can’t, expressing the knowledge that they aren’t the monsters portrayed in the media. This is why we love StubbyDog and think it provides such a valuable service to the public and to pit bulls. Who else takes the effort and time to get all this information and wonderful media out there?

Happy Endings

As for Addie and Peter? Well, Peter turned out to be an older dog than originally thought, and he decided that playing with Addie, who eventually reached 69-plus pounds, was too much for him. They do occasionally wrestle in the living room, and Peter tends to launch himself at Addie’s face and hang on to the loose skin folds of her face with his four teeth. For such a supposedly vicious dog, Addie lets him do it and then comes over to one of us and appears to have her feelings hurt, needing a lot of lovin’.

The 2012 StubbyDog Superhero Calendar picture and the 2012 Timeline Superstar Contest photo were taken by an incredible professional photographer in northern Virginia, Jeanne Taylor Photography of jtpetpics.com. She managed to catch our superhero Addie in the midst of one of her rare outdoor play sessions with Peter, her arch kung-fu kicking nemesis. As you can see, even being kicked in the eyeball elicits nothing more than a smile! I’d like to say that this is the superhero in her but, in fact, it’s just the lovely, natural pit bull that she is.

Sweet to a fault, brilliant and the most wonderful companion we could ask for (OK, maybe not when she hits us in a bear hug after she’s been running in the mud!), Addie is truly what pit bulls are all about and what StubbyDog tries to show people every day. Between the waggle-butt, the zoomies, the rocket-launches into trees and over deck railings, the way she races around her baby pool with her head under the water while blowing bubbles, we never, ever stop smiling and laughing. We will also always have a pit bull in our lives – after all, who can argue with perfection?

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Comments

8 Responses to “Super Addie”
  1. Matt.S says:

    Love it! Addie is super! A beautiful girl with a beautiful spirit! Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Matt.S says:

    Addie’s “kung fu kicking nemesis” is cute too.

  3. MinaYindra says:

    Make that 70.3 pounds- she may never stop growing! lol. Thanks for the great Timeline and story Stubby Dog- and, as usual, thanks for ALL you do for the Pibbles! 🙂

  4. VKelly says:

    I love the last line. Perfection indeed. I’m so happy that Addie’s family has joined the ranks of breed ambassador. They are doing an excellent job of it.

  5. avegas72 says:

    She looks so much like my Kyah girl. Kyah is very sensative too and seems to get her feelings hurt just as easy.
    Very sweet story!

  6. pitbullsrock says:

    I ditto everything in this article. The description of Addie reminds me of my Inca Dinka Doo. The pictures are great! Those pics remind me so much of Inca when she was a pup. Ah….

  7. VKelly says:

    I
    love the last line. Perfection indeed. I’m so happy that Addie’s family has
    joined the ranks of breed ambassador. They are doing an excellent job of it.

  8. jabby19 says:

    Lovely Story and what a pretty girl, how is your Mum with her now? I bet she is over the moon and got over her fear, these dogs deserve only the best and I love my two dearly, Buster and Sacha (Staffordshire Bull Terriers, UK)