Ika the Educator

September 3, 2012  

This elderbull has made it her mission to help change perceptions

As told to Peggy Mullins

Hello, my name is Ika. I am a 12-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier. I was rescued from a dog fighting facility and now live with my people-parents in Virginia.

My mom saw me and wanted to adopt me. But, my dad was hesitant to get a pit bull. Being a fair person, he did a lot of research on my breed. He talked to pit bull owners, went on the Web and found all kinds of articles, and even talked to several vets about my breed. He came to the conclusion many people do when they get a little education. Dogs of my breed are devoted family members who, if treated with love and kindness, are the warmest and gentlest of dogs. So, I got a home and have made my mom and dad very happy.

I have made a difference in an elderly man’s life too. A neighbor of ours was terrified of me because I am a pit bull. He had heard all kinds of bad things on the news and was of the opinion all dogs like me are vicious. He was very lonely because his wife had died several years earlier. Although he was afraid of me, he visited with my folks often. I am always a gentleman and never jump on people or bark at them. I sit quietly next to them. I am even a good listener. Over time, our neighbor became relaxed when I was around. Soon he was petting me and rubbing my head. He came to like me very much. He asked questions about me and also went on the Internet in search of information about my breed. After eight months of knowing me he decided what his empty life needed was a dog just like me. He adopted a pit bull puppy (Candy) from a local rescue. Candy and I play when she and her owner visit. Now he has a wonderful companion and is no longer lonely.

I like to dress up in all kinds of outfits. I love people, especially children. They seem to love me too because every time I meet a child they hug me and scratch my floppy ears, which is my favorite pastime. I return the favor with a wide smile and a tail that wags so fast it goes in circles.

I like to put on an outfit and go for a walk in town with my folks. Many people stop to comment about how cute I look and discuss dogs in general with my mom and dad. Some people, however, are afraid of me because of my breed. Over the years, I have met people in town who shy away from me but change their minds when they see several kids piled on top of me laughing. I even get a small pet from some of them. Soon they are asking my parents about me. My folks, especially my dad, are always quick to educate people about how great I am and how great my breed is. I love changing people’s minds and gaining new friends.

I have two best friends at home. One is a miniature horse named Rascal. In my younger years, at Christmas time, my mom would put sleigh bells around Rascal’s neck, antlers on his head and hook him up to his miniature cart. Then she put a red, green and white bandanna around my neck, and a cloth Christmas tree on my head that lit up and played jingle bells. She dressed as Santa. We participated in holiday parades all over Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Rudolph, accompanied by his pit bull, pulling Santa in a cart was always the hit of the parade. It was very cool.
My other best friend is Marble the cat. She waits every morning by the back door for me to come out so she can rub against my legs and purr loudly. We sleep together on the deck.

My mom (Peggy Mullins) has written a book about me that will be released this summer. It is entitled: “Everybody Loves Ika: One Woman’s Memoir of Her Dog, an American Pit Bull Terrier.” The book travels through my life from its beginning and tells my story of how I have helped educate so many people about my breed. My mom says my breed is the best and, unfortunately, the most misunderstood. Some of the proceeds from the book will be donated to StubbyDog and pit bull rescue leagues.

It has been great fun visiting with you. I must go now. Two neighborhood kids have come over to play. Oh boy! They have brought a ball.

Much doggie love, Ika

You can follow Ika on Facebook and Twitter and check out her blog.

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10 Responses to “Ika the Educator”
  1. Matt.S says:

    Great job, Ika! go have some well earned fun with the kiddos and their ball!

  2. GracesMama says:

    I love to see older dogs get their furever homes <3

  3. Stories such as this one provide hope, that one day this wonderful breed will be treated with respect and reverence as they once were.  Thank you for being an inspiration to all.  Ika is an AWESOME ambassador!

  4. ReneeMKeller says:

    Great story!!!  You are one super elderbull!!!  I think the best part of the story, for me, is that you changed all kinds of mind, but especially your neighbor!!  In return, he saved a pitbull!!!!  xoxoxo

  5. Pupperiffic says:

    What a magical girl.  She reminds me of our elderbull, The Bean, whom we lost a few weeks ago at 13.  You go, Ika!!!