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What we like to see -- happy ending emails, here from Susan -- !!


As we LOVEEE to get in our emails --

Dear Eric,

Your site was recommended to me by an acquaintance where I board my horse, and I am glad she told me about it. I really wanted to share my story of how a pit bull changed my life and became a huge part of our family.

Last May 2010, we lost our beloved old lady, Sitka, at thirteen years old. I was volunteering with a local rescue group when she and her sister came to us to be fostered at 2-days old. We were only supposed to keep them both for eight weeks. Needless to say, they are now 13. Sitka left behind her sister, Juneau, my 6-year-old son and 4-year old daughter, and our other rescue, Pugsley.

My husband and I agreed to downsize on dogs after we lost Sitka, but the rest of the family apparently had other plans. Sitka was my son's best bud. Pillow on the floor for tv. Brave bodyguard and unconditional giver of kisses. He was devastated. Sitka's sister was no better. Even at 13, she acts as though she is no older than 7 or eight, but she was Sitka's shadow. They had a special bond as littermates and sisters. Sitka was the anchor for Juneau. She went into a depression. Not moving around or eating. I never thought a dog would react this way.


So my husband I reluctantly agreed to start looking for a new family member. I headed off to our town shelter to see if there were any suitable dogs. We didn't want a puppy and we wanted something with a medium energy level to engage Juneau and pal around with my son.  I was directed to a golden retriever. We figured perfect “family dog.” I bring my husband down to see the dog, but before we even got to the retriever's run, my husband stops and says, “What about this one?”

When all the other shelter dogs were barking and jumping, this black and white dog was sitting politely at his gate, silent but furiously wagging his tail. I said, “No, he's a pit bull. Let's go see the retriever.” The retriever was crazy, and not the crazy that calmed down.

My husband dragged me back to the pit bull, and I reluctantly asked the volunteer about it. He'd been there 3 weeks and between 1 and 2 years old, but hadn't been temperament tested. The volunteer happened to also be the behavioralist and told us she would do it for us while we were there. He passed with flying colors. No food aggression. No people or dog aggression. My husband was in love. I was terrified.


Needless to say, he came home with us that week. And from the moment he stepped in the door, he won me over. He bonded with my son from the get-go. My son named him “Po” because he reminded him of the panda from Kung Fu Panda .  Even Juneau got over her depression (after being mildly irritated at us) and plays chase with him. 

A complete mush, he is so affectionate and a good citizen (mostly aside from an obsession with eating my daughter's stuffed animals and occasionally counter surfing if we aren't watching). He runs with the kids without chasing. They can control him easily (sometimes) – my 4-year-old gets him to sit before taking any treats so he doesn't jump up. He particularly likes to jump on the trampoline with my kids. And he alternately sleeps with my daughter and son. He's their protector from any monsters under the bed.

I consider myself lucky too, because he loves other dogs and is very submissive. He goes to the dog park every weekend and is the first one to roll over when a dominant dog gets a little too enthusiastic.  He goes to horseshows, rides in golf carts and plays with the puppies there. At our last show, some women even wanted pictures taken with him. We are going to start taking to a local agility club.


I remember the day I took Po to the park for the first time, and everyone there just stared nervously worried he was going to randomly maul someone. Now, everyone loves him and he is considered “The Mayor” of the park. He even won over Aunt Judy when we took him up to Massachusetts to visit my in-laws. She froze when she saw him for the first time, gasping “Oh my god! it is a PIT BULL.”

She couldn't believe it when he walked over and kissed her hand. By the end of the weekend, she was in love. She had us take pictures of her and Po because her family back in Florida would never believe her.


After all this babbling, what I really wanted to say how he changed my life. I was really scared because he was a pitbull.  But his temperament and your Web site (which a friend referred me to) really helped me let go of all my fear of the breed. Your site is so educational, heart-warming and helps me keep faith in all the people who help out these misunderstood dogs.

Thank  you so much! (I've attached some Po pictures with my son because I love to share them)

Well, Susan, we're humbled by your kind words, and we're thankful that you're such a good mom to so many --

-- THANK YOU!!