In honor of National Pitbull Awareness day tomorrow, I wanted to share a few precious pittie encounters I had this past week.
Last Sunday, I was at the World Forestry Center's Doggie Palooza event representing NoPo Paws. While I saw many pugs, chihuahua's and other adorable little dogs, it was the few and far in between pitties that stole my heart. Just cause I love them so much, I made a point of stepping out from behind my table, oohing and aahing over them and asking if it was OK if I gave them some love. In true pittie fashion, every single one of them gave me kisses once I got down on the floor and gave them a few pets. This is why I love this breed so much! No other breed there gave me kisses as willingly and enthusiastically as those few pitties. I think it also meant something to their owners that I was so enthusiastic about their dogs and showed the entire crowd how wonderfully friendly and cuddly they are through my interactions with them. My favorite was a little pocket pittie with front bowed legs (like a bull dog) and a beautiful silver coat. As soon as I crouched down, it was raining kisses and then she flopped on to her back, wiggling and squealing kind of like a pig while I gave her a quick belly rub. Not wanting to get her too excited, I kept it short & sweet but it was the highlight of my day. Unfortunately, my camera was dead so I was unable to get pics. :(
My other pittie encounter this week came close to home. We have a house at the end of our block. This house has a dog that is always outside. The dog always barks when we pass on our walks. It is a big black dog and that's all I've ever known about him. I always use his house as a training opportunity for curbing leash reactivity. One morning earlier this week, Hurley and I were doing our thing, walking past while I stopped him, had him look at me and gave him some treats. This particular morning, I failed to notice that the gate to this dog's yard was slightly ajar and as he barked and we started to walk on, he came out and down the steps. Having had these types of encounters before, I quickly walked on turning back to see if he was following.
There he was - a beautiful black tripod elderbull. As much as I wanted to turn around and receive some of those famous pittie kisses, I also knew that it was smarter to walk on and not put Hurley at risk. He barks ferociously but it's always more of an alert non-aggressive bark. Still, it was smarter not to take my chances. As we continued down the sidewalk and I continued looking back, he lifted his leg on his tree to let Hurley know whose property we had just passed and once he was sufficiently satisfied that we were on his way, he was back in his yard doing his thing. After Hurley & I got home, I returned to safely latch his gate and he stayed on his comfy bed on his porch, offered me a bark and settled down.
While I have been followed by loose dogs that aggressively bark at my dogs (who in turn just as aggressively bark back), this pittie was not one of those dogs. He had no intention of doing us any harm; he just wanted to let us know it was his yard and make sure we were moving on quickly enough. He knew his spot was on that bed on his porch and he had no desire to wander the neighborhood. I love knowing there is such a cool dog just down the street and while I will continue to use that house as a training opportunity on our walks, I do so with a smile and a warmth in my heart for the tripod elderbull who lives there.