My fiance and I adopted our first Pit, Petey, about a year and a half ago. We were looking for a dog with some energy for us and for our other dog Loralie (seven year old female Aussie Shep at the time). A dog to keep us all on our toes and keep her young and peppy for as long as possible!
The story of how Petey came to be in our lives is a bit crazy. I originally went to a local shelters "showing" of some of their animals at nearby Petsmart. We had seen a dog online that we were interested in, so I was bringing Loralie over to meet him and see how things went. It turned out that the dog, Zeke, was not brought out that day.
As I made my way over to the area with all the crates I immediately noticed one dog who was very quiet in his crate. Just kinda watching the action around him as other dogs went bonkers. I later learned the reason he was much more quiet wasn't lack of energy, but the fact that he was currently the dog who had been in the shelter the longest (at 10 months old about 8 were spent in the shelter). I asked to see him, and boy was he happy to be out of the crate. He and Loralie played for a bit, then I headed out to try to sell the new dog to my significant other.
She agreed to take a peek at him, and that weekend we headed directly to the shelter to visit both Petey and Zeke. After taking Petey out and letting him interact with Loralie, my fiance was a bit concerned about how "forceful" he was in playing. Loralie did not seem sure how to handle this unrelenting ball of energy in front of her. In the end, we ended up taking Zeke home because of it, but not without warnings.
Zeke had been returned before for human aggression issues. He was a six month old, as best I can tell, Doberman/Pit mix? The shelter didn't have to explain to us that that meant his odds of adoption were nearly nil. We decided to take the chance, confident we could work through the problems. Unfortunately we were wrong.
While we made very good progress on Zeke's food aggression, other issues were more worry some. He seemed to have serious depth perception problems, was extremely aggressive/dominant non-stop toward Loralie (she eventually began to hide from him), and was seemingly randomly aggressive toward people. It eventually culminated in an incident in which we were both bit, me sustaining nerve damage in my hand (which recovered after about seven months).
I put in a call to the shelter and explained the situation. This was a no kill shelter, and I was hoping I could return Zeke. After speaking with the shelter founder, it was suggested that given he had now attacked twice he should be put down. She asked if I could wait the weekend, and I told her I could not. If it would be done, it was going to be done that evening. She called a vet she knew who came back to his office. We brought him there, our injuries wrapped, and stayed with him until the end. It was a very painful experience, and we still have his leash and tags in our doggies drawer to this day.
On the way back from the vet I received a call from the founder again, and she thanked us for what we had attempted to do with Zeke. Remembering how attached I had become to Petey, she suggested that not now, but when we were ready we come by, we come and see him. No strings, just come and hang out and see where it goes. She would make sure he was waiting for us, and there would be no charge in th adoption.
About a week later I began to go to the shelter after work and on weekends to take Petey for walks and just hang out with him outside the shelter in the grass. The first pictures of him were taken on one of those visits!
Unfortunately in the two months since I'd last seen him, he had needed a rather serious surgery on his back left leg. Apparently mineral deposits had formed in one of the joints (so said the surgeon) and it needed to be cleaned out. What this meant was that for about 2 1/2 months Petey needed to be crated about 23 hours a day, and could only come out for bathroom breaks and a couple of 15 minute very
gentle walks. By the time we made the decision to bring him home, about two and a half weeks after the incident with Zeke, he was about a month into his rest/rehab.
It never seemed like work to me. We have very steep stairs leading up to our apartment, and I would have to carry him up and down anytime he needed to go out. I set up a crate at my office next to my desk and he came to work with me everyday. He became a huge hit at the office, and it was very hard to fight off all the people who always wanted to let him out to play! When it finally did come time to slowly allow him to come out more and more, folks there were incredibly helpful in the rehab process. Not only did it help him physically, but the social/mental aspects were wonderful. People constantly coming and going, and all of them always happy to stop and give him a pat on the head.
The bond that formed between Petey and I in that first month and a half can never be broken, he really is my best bud. Loralie and him get along great, and her energy level has improved dramatically since he was brought into the family. There's nothing he loves more than to just snuggle up to you on the couch, plop his head in your lap, and fall asleep. Petey has singlehandedly changed not only our perception of the Pit Bull, but all of the people at my office, and any one who comes to visit our home.
I hope this wasn't to long, but if I was going to tell the story I wanted to tell it right. Some little things were left out, but I think it captures the gist of it.