Holy Moly!

March 16, 2011  

How Trinity changed our lives

By Alison Ward

We had just returned from a Labor Day weekend trip to Greenville, NC. As we were unpacking, a neighbor cried out, “Who does that dog belong to?” as we watched a pit bull barreling toward us in a full out run.

“Holy [expletive]!” I thought and braced for her to attack. After all, that’s what pit bulls were supposed to do, right? But the attack never came.

Instead, I was stunned to find this pit bull, who was just skin and bones, running up to us because she was begging for attention. She wasn’t menacing, she just wanted affection.

As the day wore on, I watched her running back and forth between our house and the two neighbors’ houses, playing with the kids.

We learned that she had belonged to a family one street behind us. That family had moved and abandoned her in mid-August.

Someone called animal control, and when they arrived to pick her up, we were told that unless someone came by to claim her in the next five days, she would be put down since, where we live, there is a law that says pit bulls can’t be adopted. But if a family member came and picked her up she could be released into our care.

My family and one of the neighbors debated heavily on who would adopt her. No one wanted to see her killed.

Eventually, my husband and I adopted her. We named her Trinity since she was our third dog. We learned that she had belonged to a family one street behind us. That family had moved and abandoned her in mid-August.

Trinity was so loving and patient with the dogs and kids. My children, 3-year-old Drew and Jordan, 13 months, spent lots of time with her and she demonstrated love and protection toward them.

The big surprise

Soon we noticed Trinity’s belly was swelling. I called the vet and set up an appointment, and while waiting at the vet’s office, I notice her belly moving.

“She’s pregnant!” I cried out to my husband. The vet confirmed, indeed she was and there were between four to six puppies. They were going to arrive in around two weeks.

The news was surprising, but it got worse; Trinity had heart worms, too. We agreed to treatment after the puppies were born and weaned. The local shelter wanted us to take Trinity back and have her spayed regardless of the fact she was about to give birth. As a mother myself, I could not justify doing that to her.

But, oh did Trinity have another surprise in store for us. There weren’t six little puppies. There were nine.

The night after the puppies were born, we had 13 people come over to see the puppies. I was so proud of Trinity. Even as a new mom, she wasn’t aggressive toward people at all. They were strangers to her, but they were our friends and she welcomed them all with lots of kisses and tail wags.

The new little momma was also fond of letting little Drew sit in the box with her and her puppies. He would often follow me to the garage and sit with them while I cleaned the box.

After a few weeks, we found homes for all of the puppies except for one we’d decided to keep her and whom we named Morgan Rose.

So in the end one dog completely changed our perceptions and our lives.

We also weren’t sure if Trinity was going to survive the heartworm treatment, and we knew Drew was so fond of her. During treatment, no matter what we tried, we could not get Trinity to gain any weight. We cooked hamburger and mixed it in her food. We would add rice in. We did the puppy food. Nothing worked.

On Jan. 2, 2009, I went to let her out to take a walk and found she had died in her sleep.

I sat by her and cried.

In her name: Trinity’s Hope

Never has a dog affected me so deeply. To this day, I can’t talk about her without crying. I didn’t know that I’d grieve so deeply over the loss of this pit bull – after all, we’d only had her for such a small amount of time, but she made such a huge impression on me. She touched my family deeply.

We learned that it just takes one dog like Trinity to give hope to others. And that’s become our family’s motto.

Even though we still miss Trinity – that same dog that we were once terrified was going to attack us at any moment and soon won our hearts and changed our perceptions of the breed completely – Morgan’s sister, Peanut, lives two houses over and they get together for play dates.

One of Trinity’s puppies is now living in Pennsylvania and loves the snow. Another died from Parvo, and another was poisoned by a “pit hater.” The last sister lives with another friend one county over.

But that one dog, who gave us so many more to love, caused us to start Trinity’s Hope. We work with our local shelter, bringing pit bulls to our home to play with our two pit bulls, Morgan and Dozer, and our other two dogs.

So in the end one dog completely changed our perceptions and our lives. She made us go from “Holy [expletive]” when we see a stray pit bull to “Holy moly, we can help.”

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4 Responses to “Holy Moly!”
  1. Lyndsey says:

    I love this. I’m glad there are people like her in this world <3

  2. Shawn says:

    They do touch our lives so deeply. What a beautiful story. Thank you.