Pit Bulls and Perception

  • Sep, 14 , 17
  • Merle Overholser

We took care of a neighbor's 2 yr old female Pit Bull for the entire day. Roxie has that hard-to-read look of a Pit Bull but she is the most gentle, loving, dog one will meet. I have very little experience with Pit Bulls and can't reflect on some Pit Bull behavior but Roxie proves they can be truly wonderful dogs.                                                         So.........our neighbor says  "Well,  she's never really stayed with anyone all day without me"   Uh.........ok.  I'm thinking  "I sure hope this works out" .  Our friend leaves.   We have Roxie's toys and her blanket and chew bone.........and we start nervously playing with everything.  Now we have been to Roxie's house for get-togethers .....so she knows us.......but Mama "has left the building"; so we're playin.      I start with her 4 ft snake like pull-toy.  She leaps up in the air and grabs it about a foot from my hand.  Yikes.  But it makes noise all along it's length and she drops back down it's length making it squeal different sounds........she knows what she's doing.      Then I get a ball from the closet dog toy bin and toss it down the hall and it's Game On!  She comes roaring back and stops just an inch from my belly,  spins around and drops to the floor and rolls over on her back and paws at the ball in her mouth with her front feet.  We give her a couple of " settle" commands and she..........settles right down.  She is still a young pup.......but is obviously pretty well trained and responds to us.  So the wife and I retreat to the coach and make the mistake of draping her blanket over our laps with two or three feet between us.  Roxie jumps between us and  lays her head on my lap for a second or two,  then flops on her side as I pat her ribs a little , then she goes belly-up and allows us to rub her chest, rub her head and pull her ears........she just begs for attention.  I reach down for the pull-toy and she just lays on her back and paws at the toy with all fours as I tease her with it from above.    Eventually I wound up reaching into her mouth and pulled at the ball she would not surrender and she knew exactly where my fingers were.  Pit Bulls have tremendous jaw muscles and yet as the afternoon wore on the game was to try and pull the ball out of her mouth and she knew exactly how to work the ball around in her mouth and not bite my fingers.  I was amazed at how quickly she adapted to us .....even though she went to the windows and door a few times looking for Mom.                                   So we went for a couple walks.  She was like hanging on to a freight train.  She minded a couple commands very well.......including " Stay"  when she slipped out of her choker chain and bolted a few feet into the grass along our forest road searching for a scent.  But she stopped immediately upon command and I re-collared her easily.  Another neighbor came around the corner with her poodle, Hey Jude, that I have pictures of on Facebook and Roxie came to attention for just a few seconds and then paid no attention to Hey Jude as Sue and I chatted for a minute or so.  Roxie just wanted to get on down the road and get some more scents as she lives two miles from our end of the community and was having a ball walking new territory.  She is just a great loveable dog.                                                                                                 Apparently there are thousands of un-rescued Pit Bulls in shelters all over the country.  People are not willing to rescue and learn the breed because of the few Pits that have created sad situations.  I fell in love with Roxie in just one day.  I have a new found eagerness to learn more about Pit Bulls which honestly I have somewhat shunned over the years as so many other dog lovers have also.  Roxie shows me the breed should be treated with more ...........balance.  I'm looking forward to taking care of her again........at every opportunity.