Adoption World & Rescue Report – Stories of Adoption 1.23.12
Living the Life of Ralphie
By Guest Blogger: Jessica Marks
It’s raining and Ralph wants out.
I have to leash him and walk him around the yard because he’s become a fan of digging under our fence to go look for playmates. He’s a bit of a goof and thinks everyone needs slobbery doggy kisses. When he’s done licking us, he likes to find new faces to slobber on.
I grab an umbrella and say a quick prayer that it opens.
He’s a good dog, sitting in front of the door before it opens. It’s his favorite trick and he knows he’ll get a “good boy” from it. He lives for hearing “good boy”.
Umbrella open, we walk out.
He looks up, confused by the bright red thing over me. He walks closer and realizes the stuff from the sky isn’t getting him. So he sits. He sits under my umbrella and looks up at me again, as close to smiling as a dog can get. He’s pleased with himself.
Here’s the catch.
He’s a Pitt Bull. You know…those mean evil dogs that harm people for no reason? Yep, he’s one of those.
I didn’t rescue him exactly. I was at an open-air flea market last year and saw a cage of dogs. It’s pretty common at this flea market; so I didn’t think much of it. Then I realized they were Pitt Bull pups.
I had been reading a lot about the breed and wanted to see a puppy up close. I had read that they are loyal family dogs; they love praise, affection, and being snuggled. I also read they are misunderstood, and the “bad dog” of the past few years.
I walked to the crate that held Ralph and his littermates; and worked my way through others that wanted to see and buy them. His littermates were blue, gorgeous blue Pitts…then I saw him. He was tiny, in the back of the crate and decidedly not blue. He wasn’t a true color at all, but an odd blend of many. The woman, who owned the pups handed him to me, called him her baby and said he was the runt and sick with a heart murmur….and that she had named him Ralph.
I held him in my arms and brought him to my face. He looked at me, and then licked my nose. I was in love. I already had three dogs at the time, and he was going to be big I imagined.
I was about to put him back when a group of 5 teenagers came over…I looked and realized that Ralph was the only puppy left. The teens wanted him they said, for protection. Images of this puppy tied out to a tree crossed my mind. I had read about what goes into training Pitts for fighting.
I told the woman I was taking Ralph. I couldn’t let him go to live that life. I knew a little about the breed, Ralph and I could figure out the rest as we went.
One couch, half a chair, and a year later, Ralph is a member of our family.
- He has the sweetest nature of all my dogs.
- Sure he plays hard, he’s a big dog.
- He needs to chew (yeah, I found that out after the couch incident).
- Yes he will bark at anyone on our porch, it’s his job folks.
He thinks he’s a lap dog, regardless of his real size. He’s afraid of the sound of plastic shopping bags, the dark, and sometimes our Cavalier when she gives him a warning growl.
He’s 75 pounds of baby and the best breed of dog I’ve ever owned.
Adoption Feature – *Sophia*
My New Lease On Life
Guest Blogger: Crystal L. Fiorito
Being a single mother of three children definately has its challenges; but the most difficult challenge for me was the loneliness. I became accustomed to the busy day to day work. Each morning myfeet would hit the ground running. Mornings were hectic while the evenings were chaotic, and to be honest I hardly noticed. I was powered by adrenaline and my mind, body and soul were all accustomed.
Oh, but dear reader it was the weekends that I didn’t have my children that created such an abyss of loneliness. My children are away on alternating weekends from Friday night into Sunday night. I admit that during a particularly stressful week, I would count the days until my alone time. However, once the children left I would immediately get into a funk.
This funk went on for years. I couldn’t sleep at night because the house was too still. Every little noise made me wonder if someone was in the house; if I had a mouse, or if something such as a raccoon was in my attic. At night I could not sleep – but during the day I would do nothing but sleep. When Sunday came I would try to pull myself together; but I would be too anxious about the children coming home.
All three of my children had been begging me for a dog. I was uncertain because a dog is like having another child. I wasn’t sure if I could handle the added responsibility. Months went by and my children kept begging while I kept saying “Well, will see.” One day my children visited a website called Pet Finder and they saw our Sophia. In her profile picture she was looking at the camera with such sad lonely eyes, but they also had a glimmer of hope.
She is a Pitt Bull Terrier, an older girl with a lovely red coat with grey hairs around her sweet face. She was wearing a handkerchief that said “Adopt Me!”
“Mommy, look at her. She is so pretty” said my daughter.
“Mommy, her name is Sophia. She sort of looks like a Sophia” said my youngest.
“Mom, let’s just go and see her. You never know” said my oldest.
That night after putting the kids to bed I kept thinking about her. I was thinking about her age and her breed. Being a middle-aged divorced single mother I knew what it is like to have a few negative labels; and I also know what it is like to feel unwanted and alone. I felt an immediate connection to her. I wanted to save her but mostly I wanted her to save me. I really needed her.
The next day we visited her at the shelter and we learned all about her unfortunate history. She was found underweight and abandoned. Her teeth were purposely shaved down and she had many scars along her face, neck and ears.
As the shelter worker talked to us Sophia seemed to have a smile on her face, love in her heart and a very serious wag to her tail. I watched this gentle survivor curl up into a ball on Jacobs lap while all three kids looked at me with big begging eyes.
Since having Sophia my life has changed drastically. I no longer feel alone when the children are away and the house is never silent and still. She makes me get up and move because of her daily walks and playfulness. Her silliness keeps me laughing and her unpredictable ways keep me on my toes.
She gave me a new lease on life and she completely changed my attitude about everything……
AdoptedMomToChazzTheDog Blog wishes to thank Sophia & her family for being our very first feature adoption story. You all did great! We wish you many more years of good times, good treats, doggie cuddles, and the wonderful bond there is between you & your dog. ..