Kenya’s Second Chance

October 31, 2012  

An elderbull in her last days at the shelter gets a second chance, stars in a beauty blog and finds a forever home

By Sayoko Murase

On April 4, 2012, an email popped up in my inbox asking if anyone could foster a sweet, senior pit bull. I looked at the photos. What I saw was a gray face, sad eyes and floppy ears, one up and one down. She had lost her home when her owners were evicted, and now she found herself in a high kill shelter where the odds were stacked against her. There was little chance that such an elderly dog would be adopted, considering younger dogs were being put to sleep by the dozen. In a few days she would become yet another pit bull that was euthanized at Animal Care and Control in New York City. So I responded to the email and a few days later, I found myself face to face with the smallest pit bull I had ever seen. At just 38 pounds, she was a true “pocket pit.” She was just as the volunteer at AC&C had described, “a well mannered and gracious older dog with a salt and pepper suit.” Her shelter name was Glenda, and we later named her Kenya.

For the first few weeks Kenya was in rough shape. During her time at the shelter, she had caught a miserable case of kennel cough and was found shivering in her cage when the rescue organization, Ready for Rescue came for her. Once she has was home, she was still shaking with a severe hacking cough. The only remedy was chicken soup and a lot of love. Her back legs were a little wobbly, perhaps a sign that she hadn’t been getting much exercise in her former life. Since I was just recovering from hip replacement surgery, we were both getting back on our feet. As the weather got warmer, we started taking longer walks in the park, each of us getting stronger every day.

Meanwhile, I had started a fashion blog called On Air Glamour. When the idea for the blog came to mind, my goal was to feature pit bulls among the fashion and the beauty tips, in hopes that it would dispel the misconceptions associated with these wonderful dogs. Perhaps we could change a few minds and convince people that the overwhelming number of pit bulls in shelters deserved a second chance. Kenya has certainly done her part in being an excellent pit bull ambassador. While out on photo shoots or walks in the parks, we’re often approached by young children who ask if they can say “Hello.” The answer is always yes, and Kenya is always ready with a tail wag and her gentle disposition. As the unlikely star of the blog, she has many fans, who are delighted to see a rescued senior pit bull in the spotlight. Her transformation has been remarkable. She has gone from being a sad, whimpering dog to one who confidently poses for photos and walks around the park like she owns it.

As I write this, Kenya is getting ready to embark on a new journey. She has found a forever home, and I have no doubt that she will make her new family very happy. Right now she is sleeping by my side, tucked under the covers with her head resting on a pillow. I will cherish these moments and look back on these photos often. It’s tough to let go of these precious furbabies after you have loved them as your own. Kenya will definitely take a piece of my heart with her. She is a special soul who deserved a second chance. I hope our story inspires others to help a pit bull like Kenya.

As we say goodbye, my thoughts turn to the lyrics of a song called “My Wish” by Rascal Flats:
“My wish for you is that this life becomes all that want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you.”

This is my wish for my sweet Kenya.

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6 Responses to “Kenya’s Second Chance”
  1. laurieburton says:

    Wow this made me cry! Amazing story and wonderful pictures. What a lucky girl she was to have found you to help her on her journey.

    • StubbyDog says:

      @laurieburton We know Laurie, such a touching story. And Sayoko has informed us that she is in touch with Kenya’s family and she is doing great and is incredibly spoiled!

    • klp2b8 says:

      @laurieburton Same here.

  2. Judithg says:

    I am so moved by this story. You are a wonderful person; thank you for all you do.

  3. ReneeMKeller says:

    Wow whew.  It takes a big heart to foster.  Beautiful, thank you for all that you have done for Kenya.  I am crying because she finally found her forever home and also because she is leaving you.  “My Wish” by Rascal Flats is a perfect way to sum it all up.  Bless you.

    • StubbyDog says:

      @ReneeMKeller Yeah…we got choked up with that song too. Sayoko is in touch with the family that adopted Kenya, so we are sure that’s comforting to her.