Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy New Year!

Less than a week after my last post, I found myself quitting a job I liked very much for various reasons....but life called for me to be home regularly and that's where I am.

Right before Thanksgiving I found this little doggie wandering my mom's neighborhood in fairly poor shape. The neighbors had been putting food and water out for her, and thinking she must be nursing a litter of puppies they hesitated to call animal control. She came up to me when I got out of my pickup and leaned into me, and when I knelt down to comfort her, her need for relief was palpable. Just feeling her weight against me put a lump in my throat. When I came back outside after visiting with my mom and stepdad, she was waiting for me, and I didn't disappoint her... I "felt her up" and found no milk in her teats (I've cared for a LOT of dogs in my life....this was no biggie--not for me, anyway; maybe for her LOL) so I put her in the front seat of my truck and brought her home.

My mom and I had had a bit of a discussion about the Dixie Chicks, whom she likes very much and I could not care much less for. Yes...I'm one of those who quit listening to them when they made their famous remark about our president while performing in a foreign country. Yes... they were exercising their freedom of speech, but I felt it was irresponsible speech and I would have been just as upset if they'd been speaking of a president I do not like.

In any case, my mom was pretty upset so I decided to call the dog Dixie. Simply because I got her at mom's and my mom likes the Dixie Chicks. And I like my mom.

My husband was very upset (not about the Dixie Chicks--he agrees with my mom about them--), but because I brought yet another dog into our lives. It did not help that we quickly discovered Dixie can easily climb a 6-foot fence, which scares the living SHIT out of anyone on the other side of it. Like neighbors, people waiting at the bus stop beside our house, or PEOPLE AT THE SCHOOL across the street from our house. She is, after all, a pit bull. People are naturally afraid of the breed, especially around their kids. A few years back, I myself made one of my kids quit playing in one of our neighbors' yards because they had 2 pit bulls. For her, jumping the fence and exploring is just social...she's like, "What's over there? Sounds like playing. I'll just hop over and see." The other day she did it because Paul took Nicky out for a walk and she wanted to go, too.

I started out buying a Sporn anti-jump harness. It attached originally from chest across the belly, but because of her slopey back it would slide down and she'd just walk out of it. It's not safe to leave her in something she could jump and get hung up on. So I added the strap across the back that holds the leg loops up. I have made at least a dozen adjustments to accommodate for her body shape and movements.

Notice how completely at home she seems. My intention was never to keep her. I thought it would be fairly easy to find a rescue to take her in and find an adoptive home for her. But nobody I contacted even bothered to get back to me. So guess what? She adopted us. I'm still waiting for a call back from a local program to get her spayed. And micro-chipped. And shots. And OMG how she SMELLS!! I put her in the shower with me and scrub her down good, which helps for about 3 days. Thank heaven she's pretty complacent. She won't willingly go into the shower but she doesn't try to get out, just stands there until it's all over. She's SUCH a good dog. She's far better behaved than our Danes or Holly, the Chihuahua I adopted from a rescue 2 years ago.

I'm so thankful to the show "Pit Bulls and Parolees" on Animal Planet on for giving me about a year's insight into these misrepresented animals. I was able to approach with compassion and some knowledge rather than blind fear. Dixie's thankful too...

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