Don't Adopt A Pit Bull Unless You Want To Have Your Life Changed

Don't Adopt A Pit Bull Unless You Want To Have Your Life Changed

Every dog is special but here is the story of mine.
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In August of 2017, my girlfriend and I decided to adopt a dog. We had been together for about 2 years and we thought it was the perfect time to take a big step in our relationship and also add a furry friend to our lives. We both agreed that we wanted to adopt instead of shop because we knew there was a pup out there who had a rough time and needed a loving home. So, we went to the animal shelter and hoped for the best.

It was so hard walking through the halls of the shelter seeing cute face after cute face and not being able to adopt them all! My mind created the worst possible past for every dog I saw and anger fueled inside of me at the people who gave up on these animals and threw them away like the meant nothing. Despite my overwhelming emotions, my heart stopped when I saw her. Laying on a sad excuse for a "cot" and a ripped up rag of a blanket, she was the only dog in the entire shelter who wasn't barking and scratching at the cage to get out. She had a sign on her cage that said, "I just had surgery. I can go out and play, but please be slow and gentle." I'm guessing this signed turned a lot of people away from her. But not us. My girlfriend and I knelt down and smiled at her. We put our hands through the holes of the cage and showed her we were friendly. Although it took some time, she stood up and came to sniff our hands. As soon as she was comfortable, we took her out to the back to play and get to know her.

As soon as we got outside, she started sniffing the ground immediately and in about 30 seconds, she had used the bathroom. Most of the other dogs had used the bathroom in their cages. Right away we could tell that she had been a part of someone's home before. She was house trained. Someone had taken the time to train and raise her and then gave up on her.

As we started trying to play with her, we noticed that all she really enjoyed was being pet. She loved belly rubs and scratches behind her ears. She just wanted attention. She just wanted love. I remember looking at my girlfriend and being like, "are we really doing this?" And she said, "Yeah. Why? Are you changing your mind?" I said "No. I've already fallen in love. She's the one."

So we took her home. The shelter had given her a name since she was found with no tags or chip, but she didn't respond to it. Since she was only 2 years old, we figured we could train her to respond to a new name. He real name. He forever name: Hazel!

Hazel slept in our bed the first night. She slept for close to 10 continuous hours. We figured this was the first time she probably truly rested in a long time. The first couple of days were hard. She wouldn't eat, she slept all the time, and although she seemed comfortable, she acted like she was sad. Once she settled in, we took her to the vet.

"She's depressed." The vet was talking to us and all I could think was "I didn't know dogs could become depressed." But they do. Their symptoms are similar to humans in that they are fatigued and only want to sleep and they don't have an appetite. Along with her depression, we were told that Hazel had double chronic ear infections, was not at a healthy weight, and had many scars that needed to be monitored closely. All of these issues were caused by lack of funding at the animal shelter, malnutrition from being a stray, and negligence of her previous owner.

"Give her three months. You'll have a different dog, I promise." I wanted to believe the vet, I really did. But I had never seen a dog depressed like this. She wouldn't play with toys, barely ate, had bald patches all over her body from lack of nutrition, scratched and cried over her aching ears, and wasn't accepting of the love my girlfriend and I so desperately wanted to give her.

But slowely, she started to eat. And she ate a lot! Then she sort of figured out what a toy was. And boy oh boy did she discover her love for walks and the outdoors! Her scars started healing, her chronic ear infections were being treated, and the vitamins we were giving her started helping her hair to grow and body to become stronger.

Hazel is now at a healthy weight with no more ear infections. Her scars are healed and all her hair has grown back! She probably eats more than she should and loves treats! Balls are her favorite and she loves running outside. It seems like a miracle, but she is finally happy.

So you're probably asking, why shouldn't someone adopt a Pit Bull? Well, because your heart will be forever changed. You will realize the stereotypes about this "aggressive bread" aren't true. You will start to hate the individuals who use them for fighting or breading or those who neglect them and leave them on the street. You will fall COMPLETELY in love with them. Your life will never be the same and...you'll want to adopt every Pit Bull you see from now on.

Cover Image Credit: Ciara Gazaway

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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