How did I get into this breed? Long story....
I never had a dog growing up, we had cats, and though both of my parents loved dogs, they both worked full time and barely had time for me, let alone a dog. Between the ages of 11-15 I worked after school, weekends, and school breaks at our local animal shelter. When the movie The Incredible Journey came out, I fell in love with Chance (portrayed by an American Bulldog.) While at the shelter a litter of pied puppies came in, and while I was not aware of what breed they were, I fell in love with one in particular that I named Colby. I just knew somehow that he would grow up to look a bit like Chance. Funny, because I was only marginally aware of what a pit bull was, had never heard of an American bulldog at all, and had no clue about blood lines.
I begged my parents to let me adopt Colby and they gave in, telling me that as soon as I got back from summer camp we could get him so that I could be there to train him. The shelter agreed to hold hem for me until I got back, but when I got back they told me that he had been adopted. I suspect now that Colby was, in fact, a pit bull, and the shelter, having a no adopt policy on pits, was just protecting my feelings by telling me he had been adopted.
Years later, at 15 I visited family in Okeechobee who run a cattle ranch. I eneded up tagging along on a hog hunt and rode in a swamp buggy with a big ugly pit named Joe. Joe had already been hogging all day and had caught 3 hogs by the time I met him. He had a few gashes and was incredibly dirty, but he was so sweet and gentle with me and my 5 yr old cousin that I again fell in love.
I did not watch the news much at that age, and was still only marginally aware of what a pit bull was and was not entirely aware that Joe was, in fact, a pit bull.
A couple years after that I met another pit Named Tighe (classic!). Tighe was a red nose female owned by the brother of my boyfriend at the time. It was at this time that I became fully cognizant of what a pit bull was. Tighe was super smart, and super athletic, as well as super sweet and funny. Now is when I started paying attention to the news coverage of "vicous pit bulls" and I became slightly confused, as everything I heard on TV seemed to be the exact opposite of what I saw in real life.
A year later I moved to upstate New York into a shack on the side of a mountain. I was working at a nearby PetCo and decided that it was time for me to get my own dog. I wanted a dog that would make me feel safe, and I never did really like little dogs, and since I had a natural attraction to bullies, I decided to find a pit bull. I bought a couple of books from my store and learned the truth about this breed.
My first pit bull was a pup I named Ivan. He was a backyard bred pup whose litter was advertised at my store. Funny thing, when I first brought him home, I was somewhat cautios of him for a few days...still somewhat affected by media stigma. But he soon won me over with his clownish ways.
After moving back to Florida, Ivan was 10 mos old when my cat had kittens. While Ivan was great with my adult cats, I was a bit apprehensive about the new kittens, so I kept the bedroom door closed so that Ivan could not get to the kittens in the closet.
Imagine my apprehension when I came home from work one day and Ivan didn't meet me at the door and I found the bedroom door open. I slowly approached the closet...terrified that I would find mangled kitten corpses strewn about...what should I find but Ivan curled up in the closet with all five kittens snuggled against his belly and momma cat lounging on top of him!
From that day on momma cat had it easy. All she had to do was pop in occasionally and feed her brood. Ivan kept them warm and cleaned up after them. I had to drag him away for walks, and feed him in the closet. Two of the kittens developed euye infections, and I would put them in a basket and take them to the living room to medicate them. Ivan followed us, and stood gaurd next to the basket, growling at my other cat when he would get to close.
I have many more stories about Ivan, but sadly he never made it to his 2nd birthday. My parents were watching him while I was out of town (not that his demise was their fault). He was outside on a cable runner while my parents were out shopping. Something apparently got him all worked up and in his excitement, the cable attached to his collar twisted and tied itself shorter and shorter until Ivan eventually hung himself. NEVER TRUST A CABLE RUNNER!
Since then I have caught a bad case of "pit bull fever" and have read every book I can get my hands on, spoken to many other enthusiasts and have owned or met dozens of pit bulls.
I tried my hand briefly at breeding, but once I became aware of the differences between BYBs and professional breeders I gave that up until I have the knowledge and resources to actually add something to the breed besides more dogs.
Currently I have no dogs at all due to a monitary crisis. I have an 11 month old child and just gave birth to another, have been out of work for several months, and our roomates ditched us so we have been evicted from our apartment wich we can not hope to afford. UNfortunately for us (boo hoo!) my boyfriend (and father of my children) and I were forced to seperate after the eviction. Me and the kids are staying with my parents (who don't like my boyfriend) and he is staying with friends (where babies are quite unwelcome.) Being that we don't have enough cash to get another apartment, we are trying to buy a camper to live in on his dad's property until I can find daycare and a job and we can save up some money to put a downpayment on a house or at least a doublewide. Enough about me and my problems...Let's get back to the dogs!
P.S.- I just happen to love animals of all sorts and am a self-educated animal expert if I do say so myself. I have worked only in animal related jobs from pet stores, kennels, and a world renowned reptile farm (The Gourmet Rodent), as well as volunteered for shelters, wildlife rescues, and private collecters where I have worked with everything from monkeys, cougars, lemurs, and coatis, to alligators and all manner of venemous and non venemous reptiles. I am now determined that my next job be working with horses or other farm animals as this is the only realm that I have not explored yet.
Some on this forum may already know me, and I hope the rest of you will come to know me as well. I love discussions and friendly, intellegent debates and hope to have many with the folks on this forum.
P.P.S.- even though I have already posted in this section, I still can't post elswhere... Why not?