Waking up with my Pit Bull

I awoke this morning to the smell of Fritos.  You know, dog feet.

Right next to my face were two back paws, hind legs resting in the crook of my arm.  That deep Pit chest was pressed against my side, and I felt a front leg draped across my knee.  Her anvil-like, velvet head was resting against my shin, and I could hear her faintly snoring.

Good, lovely, morning 🙂



We went in for a Pug and came out with a Pit Bull

Meet the newest addition to our family – the fabulous Miss Phoebe! Phoebes is a 4-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix, also known as a Pit Bull mix. We adopted her from our local SPCA back in July. Hard to believe it’s been over three months already! It’s a funny story how we happened upon Phoebes. I had some free time AND energy on a Friday evening (already this is odd), so of course browsing pics of the babies at the animal shelter was at the top of my list. As Ken walked in the door from work I pounced with the iPad squealing “look at Nana! isn’t she cute? let’s go see Nana!” Nana was a full-figured pug who, if memory serves, had been rescued from a puppy mill. We had talked about getting a dog someday, but no solid plans had been set.
Sweet Baby Chubs was so handsome
Snugglin’ with his Teddy
Sweet Baby Chubs was exactly that – my baby – for 17 years, and when he passed away I was devastated and swore it would be a ‘long time’ before I could think about another pet. Well, turns out eight months is a ‘long time.’ So we talked some more about whether we were ready. Determined that Little Pug Nana was meant for us, I convinced Ken that now was the time. So off we went Saturday morning to the SPCA. Yay!
When we got there I had to see the kitties first. All of the kitties. Maybe 7 rooms of kitties. We started with the kittens. So sweet! I could have snuggled all day. Then the adult kitties. My weakness. I think about how nobody adopts the adults and they’ll be in the shelter forever and they’ll never be loved like they should be and on and on and on. But Chubs was irreplaceable, so we moved on. We finally made it to the dogs and puppies. Cuteness everywhere! We saw Nana and I said “hmph.” Not sure why, just no connection. We checked out every dog there and it was “meh” at every turn. We decided it was a good first visit, a scouting day, and headed out to lunch. On our way out, we saw in the lobby the sweetest, most beautiful dog sitting so nicely with one of the volunteers. We went over to say hi and give her a pat. Ken squatted down to her level and she very slowly and gently put her paws up on his shoulders and licked his face and head. The hook was set. When she let him loose, I reached down to pet her, and she sat next to me and leaned in against my legs. She reeled us in. We hadn’t planned on a dog that size (we later learned she is 52 pounds of pure love & snuggle), so we peeled ourselves away and off we went to lunch.
We couldn’t stop talking about the beautiful dog in the lobby. Finally, Ken suggested I look her up on the SPCA website to get her story. And so I did. I couldn’t tell how long, but Bianca (that was her name then) had been with the SPCA for a long time. She was considered by the staff and volunteers to be sweet, and she was deaf. She had me at deaf. How could we not adopt this special needs dog? Clearly she needed us. Neither of us had owned a dog for 20 years. Neither of us had any experience with a Pit Bull (not since I was 6 years old anyway). And certainly neither of us had any experience with deaf animals. So clearly she needed us. Haha! I was nearly in tears for this dog and what might happen to her should she fall into the wrong hands. Ken was on board. So away we went straight back to the shelter…only to find there was already an adoption application pending. What?! But she needed us! I was sure of it!
The folks at the shelter were unbelievably kind and helpful. They convinced us to complete the application anyway and do the interview just in case the first application fell through. The folks who were trying to adopt our baby (right out from under us) already had a dog, and although Bianca loves people, she is selective with dogs. They were scheduled the next day to introduce their dog to Bianca and have a little doggie mixer. Guess who stalked all over that? I had nothing better going on that day anyway.
Love the pink around her nose. So cute!
Long story short, things didn’t go so well at the puppy mixer, and we got the call the next day that Bianca (later to be known as Phoebe) was ours if we were still interested. We were ecstatic! We picked her up Wednesday evening and met with her foster Mom, Liz, who not only handed our 52 pound baby to us, but also a bag of toys, dog food, a list of directions on how to care for her and continue her training, and a box of American Sign Language flash cards. This woman was an angel sent from heaven. I think she had glowing beams of light emanating from around her. No? Ok, but the most commonly uttered phrase in our home over the past three months has been “Liz said…” We may have eventually figured things out on our own, but who knows when. Liz cautioned us that it might be a couple of weeks before Phohebes would be comfortable in our home. It was literally 30 minutes and she was on her back in the middle of the living room wiggling from side to side to get a good scratch. Then she was on the couch snuggling with Ken. She was home. And so were we 🙂