January 28, 2013  

The adoption of a pit bull from a local shelter led a young couple to animal rescue and advocacy

By Courtney Beckerink

When my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to adopt a dog, we did not decide in advance on a certain breed. We both agreed that we’d like to go to our local shelter in Erie, PA and find the dog that best suited our lifestyles and personalities. We checked out the photos of the adoptable dogs online and went down to the shelter to meet some of them. When we walked in, it was very loud with barking and excited dogs, but there was one dog that didn’t make a peep. He caught our eyes instantly as we walked up and down the row of pens. We kept returning to his pen because he was excited, but quiet. After three more visits to the shelter to ensure he was the dog we wanted to adopt, Remus (formerly Vegas) came home that week.

That was September 3rd, 2011, and since then Remus has changed our lives for the better. He was a handful at first, struggling with abandonment issues when we would leave for work, manners when he met new people, and the leash when we would take him for walks. We quickly learned first-hand the struggles of all pit bull type dog owners, being hung up on while looking for apartments to rent, the stares we got walking down the street, and the classic “You adopted a pit bull?!” when we expressed his breed. This led us both to our passion for animal rescue and educating others about pit bull type dogs. Remus and the pair of us have come very far since that day in the shelter. We have since gotten involved with StubbyDog and Animal Rescue Transports as volunteers, and Remus recently earned his Canine Good Citizen certification through the AKC. We are now training him to be a registered Therapy Dog.

Yes, we have fewer shoes, less-than-perfect furniture, and there always seem to be muddy paw-prints on the floor, but we wouldn’t change any of that for the world. Remus still believes he is a 70 pound lap dog and that every blanket in the house is his. However, he now waits patiently for treats, doesn’t bombard the pizza-delivery man with kisses, and walks easily on a leash. We’ve been through the ups and the downs but we couldn’t have asked for a better dog to join our life, and we are thankful he is home waiting with his goofy grin every time we walk through the door.

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