A Best Friend

August 20, 2012  

After a troubled past, this pit bull becomes a best friend, protector and family darling

By Meg Sullivan

Almost exactly a year ago, I decided that I was fed up with my Yorkie being clingy and that he needed a friend. I looked at my town’s animal shelter, and the moment I saw Zoey’s picture, I knew she was my doggie soulmate. It wasn’t until I visited her the next day that I saw the scars covering her left side from possibly being used as a bait dog and the do-it-yourself clip job on her ears. Even though I was looking for a smaller dog, I knew that Zoey was coming home with me. But the final decision was up to my Yorkie, Teddy O’Bear, and after some serious standoffish consideration, he promptly did a superman leap right on to Zoey’s face, and they have been playing ever since.

I didn’t tell my parents that I had adopted a dog, let alone a pit bull, until she was in the back seat of my car, and we were driving home. When I did make the calls, my parents were worried about my safety being the owner of a pit. Needless to say, it barely took any time at all for Zoey to become the golden girl of my family. Sometimes I think my mom loves her more than she loves me and always asks how “her girl” is doing whenever we talk on the phone. My dad calls Zoey “a dad’s best friend with a daughter who lives 300 miles away.” He recently decided it was OK for me to meet an Internet date if I took Zoey along to be my “chaperone.” Even my grandma, who was convinced that Zoey would turn on me one day, now has a special place in her heart for our girl.

Two weeks after I brought Zoey home, I was taking her and Teddy out for a walk at about 11 in the morning in my neighborhood. As we were walking down the sidewalk we passed a man that made me nervous (I thought I was just being overdramatic, so I walked past him despite my unease). Just as we were walking by, the man came up behind me to attack. Zoey turned her head and growled, promptly making the man back off with his hands raised. She didn’t attack him, just growled and that was it. We quickly walked away with Zoey looking over her shoulder to make sure that he was staying back. I’m not sure what that man was planning to do, but I know without a doubt that Zoey saved me from serious harm that day with everyone coming out unscathed.

A year later, I’ve come to realize that while I love all my animals, past and present, Zoey has a special place in my heart. This past year has been a hard one for me, and Zoey has been by my side the whole time … visiting my grandpa in the hospice, going for late night runs to get over a bad day, facing a possible eviction due to her breed, dealing with an 8-week-old kitten who bullies her every chance he gets, being accidentally let out of the backyard and being accused of an attack when she was just sniffing a neighbor’s feet, following my grandma around the house on our visits, being shunned out of the dog park, sitting on the landlord’s feet when coming to the unspoken agreement if Zoey would be considered a “terrier mix” on the rental agreement so we could stay in the house, falling asleep while sitting over me as I catch a quick nap in the middle of the night on a road trip back home to say goodbye to my ailing grandfather, staying in the backyard as Teddy (once again) digs his way out and takes himself for afternoon walks around the neighborhood, and sitting nicely while being clobbered by a horde of children right after receiving a harsh remark from a stranger.

Zoey is the best friend to many of us … Teddy O’Bear, Malibu the kitten, my mom, my dad, and especially me. One of my greatest concerns is her being the victim of breed discrimination and the harsh outcome of that victimization. I just wish everyone could see the way that Zoey’s tail never stops wagging, and her face never stops smiling. Until then, I keep her safe at home, hogging my bed and playing in covers.

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19 Responses to “A Best Friend”
  1. ReneeMKeller says:

    Beautiful family, the pictures are great!!  So glad Zoey found a good home and changed the minds of many!!!

  2. barbaraleeanderson07090 says:

    Meg, what a beautiful story of love and perseverance.  You and Zoey have changed the mindset of 3 people.  Imagine the numbers of pittie converts if every pittie parent could do that?  Keep showing your precious Zoey to the world and letting them know she is not to be feared…….unless, of course, someone means to do you harm.  My Diva also went crazy when a stranger come up to the car at night, sensing that my daughter (who was driving alone with Diva) was uneasy about the approaching stranger.  God has blessed you with Zoey and Zoey with you.

    • StubbyDog says:

      barbaraleeanderson07090 So true Barbara, it only takes one pit bull to change someone’s mind. And we are glad Diva was there for your daughter too.

  3. matchan says:

    I love your story. A ‘terrier mix’…hahaha. I have a ‘boxer mix’ here in my house. There’s no BSL where I live, in fact it’s very dog friendly and puts the onus on the owner for a dogs behaviour. But, I’m being super careful. My pittie mix, Cassie is a wonderful gentle dog.

  4. mansbstfrend says:

    wonderful story of lov, u will find she will protect u with her life…wata sweet ending 4 her harsh beginning…kiss..kiss..zoey…lov u baby..

  5. mansbstfrend says:

    isnt she just beautiful….

  6. NikkiKeating says:

    Such a fantastic story.

  7. AWESOME story and awesome is Zoey! Love prevails over ignorance all the time.  Thank God Zoey was there to protect you from that creep. Zoey & Teddy O’Bear are the cutest!

    • StubbyDog says:

      theprettychic We agree, Zoey has found the perfect home for her and will continue to protect Meg if she ever needs it again.

  8. KellyNefstead says:

    Zoey looks just like my Alma and things you say are so similar. I get so deflated with how many people dislike pit types because of media hype so it warms my heart to hear of another dog lover taking a pit into their life  (and out of a shelter) and their life being all the better for it! Meg you are awesome and ZOEY is just as lucky to have you as you are to have her!

  9. Hi Meg, What a wonderful story of rescue and love and devotion. I wish everyone could understand that this breed is the best ever. She is so beautiful, In the photos where she looks brindle ( She’s blue though, right? ) she looks a lot like my boy Zeke.So comforting to hear how she moved in and warned the would be attacker to go elsewhere to do his evil.Lovely little family you have there, Thanks for sharing.~Deborah

  10. avegas72 says:

    As always, I have tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing.I love her doggie smile…reminds me of my girl. ; )

  11. willowwonderbull1 says:

    Thank you for sharing! It is so beautiful to see the Pits with their tiny tenacious furry siblings.  Thank you for believing in Zoey and giving her a chance at life….going against the grain, and showing everyone one around you how special these dogs can be.

  12. DianeDavies says:

    Thank you so much for giving Zoey a chance!  (And bless your landlord, who was willing to call her a “terrier mix” so you could keep her!)  Dogs do seem to know if someone intends harm – I had two different dogs (Boxer and Lab/Pointer) both very docile, become ferocious when someone tried to break into my home, or a suspicious person passed by my car while I was at the ATM machine.  I now own a rescued Pit-x who is “all of the above” and is on her way to becoming the best dog I have ever owned – and that is saying a LOT (I’ve had some GREAT dogs)!  BTW – those scars on Zoey’s back look similar to marks I have seen on other dogs from acid burns… No matter how she was harmed, it is evident that Zoey suffered a lot in her former life, and still she comes back ready to love people.  To me, APBT stands for AMAZING Pit Bull Terrier!

  13. Gileni says:

    When we all people learn not to blame the breed but the deed they are the most loving giving dogs you will ever find but you don’t own them they will own you forever and ever