Mom, we’re getting a puppy…a pit bull.

"Mom, we're getting a puppy...a pit bull" @lolathepitty @positively

A while back I was reading a blog post (via My Two Pitties) about the moment she told her mother that she was getting a pit bull – and I couldn't help but notice how it was so very similar to our story.

I will never forget the first time we met Lola. She was this tiny, naughty little puppy who wanted nothing to do with you holding her (and all we wanted to do was hold her). We weren't even looking for a dog (imagine that) but she basically fell into our lives and we quickly decided she couldn't leave.

We had taken one photo upon meeting her which was the photo that we began to show everyone and brag, “Guess what? We’re going to get a puppy!”.

Lola the Pitty -

I will never forget the first few reactions we had that were rather surprising. One of the first people we showed the picture to was my mother. Her reaction was not quite as warming as I expected.

“Oh, honey…a pit bull? She’s cute and everything but I could never trust a pit bull.”

I began to defend this tiny little pit bull puppy I barely knew and couldn't understand, “She’s just a dog, mom, we will take perfectly good care of her – there won't be a problem…”

She went on to say that she hopes it will all be okay, knows that we're responsible but kept reiterating the fact that, “You just never know, I don’t think I could ever fully trust one”.

I received a similar reaction from a coworker who saw the picture and said, “Oh, a pit bull, huh?”

“Yep! Isn’t she adorable?” I piped in, not even feeding into the tone behind his voice.

My dad on the other hand wasn't as concerned about us getting a pit bull, but just a dog in general.

He would make comments such as, "They're a lot of responsibility, you have to think about what you'll do with them when you're not home...".

And my dad is right, dogs are a lot of work. But totally worth it.

Quite honestly, before owning a pit bull I had no idea how many people felt so strongly and adopted stereotypes towards this breed. This “breed” that is really an umbrella term for multiple breeds of "bull" dogs. I had no idea.

My first experience with a pit bull was with a friend in high school. I thought nothing of it. She was a great dog and accompanied us while playing Nintendo. I didn't care or think twice about her breed and in fact, I had to ask him what kind of dog she was because I was so attracted to those soft, round eyes, the short coat, broad head and muscular little build.

The one thing I will tell you, as I'm sure every pit bull parent can probably reassure – I did not exactly choose advocacy. Based on the type of dog we now had, I was involved in advocating for the "pit bull",  like it or not.

Fast forward nearly three years, I have become a strong pit bull advocate. I started a blog because of our pit bull. I found an entire network of dog friends because of our pit bull. Our pit bulls (we now have two) have literally changed my life and I wouldn't change a thing. It is a constant learning process, as is life, and I plan to build my impact in advocating for these dogs.

And I’m sure some of you are curious. The relationship between my mother and our puppy (who is now almost three years old)? Priceless. Lola loves her grandma more than (just about) anyone. And the feeling – well, it’s mutual.

Have you had a similar reaction when bringing a new dog into your family? Did perceptions change over time?

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17 thoughts on “Mom, we’re getting a puppy…a pit bull.

  1. lucyricardanon

    IDK, my pit could conceivably kill me in my sleep. If I let him sleep in the bed with me he snuggles up so hard that he could shove me out of my bed and I could hit my head.

  2. Jacqueline Bedsaul Johnson

    we didn't have the same issues with our boy Ray. He was only 40 lbs, and didn't really look like what people thought a pit bull should look like. Even though he was rescued from a dog fighting ring. He recently passed away, and I knew I needed another dog, and I knew it needed to be a pit bull terrier type dog. Last week I went to pick up our new rescue. He is an American Bulldog/Pit cross and weighs in at 70lbs. When I stopped on the way home to walk him,it was like the parting of the Red Sea. If anyone has seen the video "Pit Bull Blues" that was exactly what it looked like. And he is a total mush.

  3. Aileen Miles

    We were accidental pit bull parents when we took in a stray that a friend had rescued. The vets told us Terra was a pit mix. It made me a little suspicious of her. I only knew what the media had said, that they could suddenly snap and had locking jaws and all that. It made me a little nervous when we would play fight or when she would get the zoomies and race up and down the hallway in our apartment, but I figured I could handle a 40-lb. dog no matter how freaked out she got. And I went out of my way to educate myself about pit bulls.

    Terra turned out to be the perfect dog for first time pet parents. Always polite and gentle. Super-sweet and she seemed to already know the rules. Best dog we've ever had.

    We're on our second pit mix, Tally, even more petite at 35 lbs., and she is the cuddliest dog we've ever had.

  4. raynne storm

    I had the same reaction as the Mother in this story. My oldest son adopted a Pit Bull and I was scared to death. That dog completely changed my mind about the breed.He was the best dog, my 2 grand kids grew up with them too. I never worried about anything happening to them. I adopted my pit bull mix 11 years ago and I will adopt another after he leaves us.

  5. denise

    I just moved into my new house and was immediately canceled from my homeowners insurance policy, due to having a American Staffordshire Terrier.

  6. yellowdogdemocrat

    I watched a video several days ago and this grandmother took the 'ice bucket challenge' from her grandchildren. Her husband was filming it. After they dumped the bucket over her head she was sitting there wiping the water off her head and a pit bull came out of nowhere and clamped down on her left cheek and jaw. Her husband rushed in and got the dog to let go but serious damage was done to her face. Actually she was lucky the dog didn't shake its head from side to side like pit bulls are known to do or the damage would have been far worse. Of course, the children were screaming and crying. I had never seen anything like it. The woman did nothing to warrant such a vicious attack. Her husband took the dog to the vet and had it euthanized.

    I have two 6 year old pit bulls myself so I have nothing to do with the anti-pit bull people like, but this was really disturbing to me. No reason was given in the video why the dog attacked. I don't think they knew why. I don't think I'll ever forget that video.

  7. yellowdogdemocrat

    What happened to the post I put up??? Censorship I call it. I won't be posting on a Stillwell site any more that's FOR SURE.

  8. JML19

    Look into Progressive. They underwrite for every breed with increased rates for "high risk" breeds.

  9. raisin

    It's not just pitts that shake their heads - all dogs can do that. My field spaniel/lab does that, my friends beagle and german shepard/golden do that.

  10. Lisbeth Hoxer

    We have an American Staffordshire Terrier, same, same but different 😉 and he is almost 9 years old now and everybody LOVES him, and everybody is saying that there is no evil in him, BUT in Denmark 13 species and abandoned and pit bulls, American Staffordshire Terrier and American bulldogs are some of them. Ours are legal because he's so old. The rule came in 2010... And he's born in 2007. But If puppies are born now, they will be put down 🙁 but when we told our family that kind of dog he was everybody was like WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY? and where young people I was about 24 years and my husband a little older, and we never had a dog before, but we put all our time and love into making a loving, sweet dog and we never ever regrets it... We had and still have cats (14 years old) to and they LOVE each other and the dog is far more afraid of the cat then vice versa. Now we are parents to of 2 girls age 4 and 7 years and they love the dog and he loves them to a lot 🙂 im totally in love with my dog <3

  11. Jenny H

    I still total fail to understand why people insist of identifying any dog as a Pit Bull Terrier, ULESS it was bred from parents who actually WERE used in the dog fight pits. Or is registered wit whatever Authority recognises the "Pit Bull Terrier". And even then why not just say that the parents fought in the pits, but this one never will? So why not simply call it an American ?? Terrier/Bull Terrier/Farm Dog??

  12. Jenny H

    IF she had not wanted to be attacked by her own dog, why did she sit o the ground and empty a bucket of water over her head??? Or at least remove the dog before she did it. Stupid!
    I am always careful with my own dogs (Not Bull Breeds) and am sure to desensitise them to strange and new things. It is simply NOT fair on the dog to frighten it. Though my German Shepherds would probably just bark up a storm, the Kelpie would wet himself, and the Speagle would run away and hide and I'd have to work all over again to get her to trust me.

  13. Jenny H

    Was that the post I answered?? Talking of unsafe dogs -- I have four children and they grew up with dogs. Between them they have five dog bite scars -- from Australian Terriers, Norfolk Terriers and Dachshunds. And bite that didn't scar from a Corgi. They were probably lucky that Jack Russell Terriers were pretty well unknown here at the time they were kids. Not ONE bite from our Cattle Dog/Cattle Dog mix/German Shepherds/Kelpies/KelpieXLab/Miniature Poodle.

  14. Jenny H

    I decided that with two or more German Shepherds on the property I didn't need insurance 🙂 we DO however padlock out gate open we are not home -- because we have had trouble in the past with people coming in, then running away when the dogs come around and leaving the gate open!!

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