Animal Farm Foundation, in upstate New York, takes pit bull dogs from shelters and trains them to be service dogs.
In June of 2009 I was introduced to the world of pit bulls. My mom was driving to work and saw a huge black and white pit bull sitting on the side of the road. We already had four family dogs between the two of us, so she passed by hoping someone else would stop for the dog.
Rocco has been going to the library for two years. Because he is a very mellow, sweet dog he is great for the reading program. Rocco sits very patiently and listens to the children read. He has had several children who were afraid of dogs read to him because of his calm manner. There were children who would specifically ask to read to Rocco.
Sweetpea started to be a big help to my husband the first day we brought her home. I called my husband’s Veteran Affairs psychologist and told him I wanted to make Sweetpea a service dog for him. The doctor agreed and sent me a letter stating that she was now a service dog.
We met Juliet in December 2008, after our pit bull Tiki passed away. We donated her cancer medication to The Pet Rescue Center, and they asked if we would like to foster Juliet. She had been living at The Pet Rescue Center for nine months and had not found a home. Less than a month later, we were failed foster parents.
As an inherently romantic society, many of us love talking about how we were “born to” do something. “I was born to run.” “He was born a gifted writer.” “I was born to be a teacher.” In reality, the only things we were born to do are eat, sleep, breathe and be social.
I thought it would be a good idea to get Walter certified as a therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International for two reasons: 1) He thrives on attention, so I knew it would be good for him to be in situations where he would get just that; 2) Probably most important, I feel that Walter can be an ambassador for his breed and, in the long run, help save lives.
Growing up with animals, I have had to say goodbye before, and in the past the decision on whether it’s time is often the hardest part – the idea of playing God and making that call is an impossible one. But in the case of Omega, her downward spiral was so fast and severe, I wanted to put her out of her misery as soon as possible. The decision was clear.
I adopted Ellie on Sept. 12, 2006. Although I grew up with dogs, I wasn’t planning on getting one. On that day, I had signed a lease for a small one-bedroom apartment in a dog-friendly complex in Boulder, Colo.