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Dakota Sheppard
I got Jack my last year of college (just a little over a year ago). I had been sitting on the internet for months researching the type of dog that would be best suited for my personality. I wanted a dog that would be GREAT with other dogs and children, i wanted a dog that would be active and smart, I wanted a dog that would be protective of me, but most of all I wanted a dog that would always want to be by my side and be my loyal best friend. So naturally I decided that a border collie would be best (now thinking back that probably would not have been a very good match). Thankfully my roommate at the time instructed me to, just go look. She told me I would never find a connection with a dog over the internet and boy was she right.
One Saturday morning I turned to my sister and said, "Want to go look at dogs with me?" She agreed and we were off to Petsmart, where local rescue groups are able to set up their booths and present their dogs to (hopefully) future pet owners. I walked right up to the rescue group that was set up outside of the store and a woman came up to me and said, "Just so you know these are all Pitbulls, so if you are living in an apartment now or in the future you may run into some problems with your landlord." Well, the apartment thing was a red flag for me (my first brush with future breed discrimination policies) and my sister very loudly expressed her concern with the fact that they were Pitbulls, "You don't want a pitbull." At which point I instructed her that she needed to be a little quieter, but couldn't help but silently agree with her. Unfortunately I was just as ignorant as the next person and even with all of my months of research, I knew nothing about any type of bully breed. My knowledge of pitbulls was fed to me by the media, they were scary, mean dogs that commonly attacked people, especially children!
So, we continued on inside and after a few minutes of looking I decided that I didn't have a connection after all and was ready to go home. Then my sister exclaimed, "PUPPIES!" We walked across the store to a pen of sleeping puppies. They were all different colors and I pointed to a black and white one and said, "Do you know if that one is a boy?" The man replied, "I dunno turn him over!" So I picked him up and sure enough he was a boy. I held him in my arms and began to tear up. I turned to my sister and said, "this is him, he's the one!" I wasn't even concerned with what breed he was at that point. All those months of research leading up to this moment and poof none of it mattered any more.
I named him Jack. He is perfect, his birthday is even the day after mine! He's GREAT with other dogs and children, he's super active (sometimes a little bit lazy, but so am I) and very smart (he's learned every trick in the book), he's protective of me, but most of all he's always by my side and he's my BEST friend! He's also a lot of other things that I didn't previously have on my list, he's always making me laugh, he's a bed hog (and I love it), he's also a very loud snorer and it's adorable, he loves his toys and is a great fly catcher, he makes friends with everyone, and I mean everyone, and last but definitely not least he's a PITBULL (still not sure what kind exactly because he's a mix). Now we've been working on educating people a little bit at a time. My immediate family was the first. My mom became the biggest supporter after she watched the pitbull documentary on Netflix. First, she would avoid telling people his breed at all costs, now she is a proud pitbull Grandma, never missing an opportunity to tell people he's a pitbull. Jack has changed the minds of so many people in my community and he's taught them a lot about the wrongful stigma associated with his breed. One day I hope to be able to have a pitbull rescue and rehabilitation group of my own, but until then I want to do whatever I can to help make it a better world for this wonderful breed!
It's safe to say that my pit has not only changed my present mindset, but has also changed my future hopes and dreams.
Last update on May 8, 2:27 am by Dakota Sheppard.