This Happy Tail is courtesy of Leah Kraus, from Dewitt, NY:
“My husband Greg and I adopted Jackson when he was just 12 weeks old. To be honest, for most of my life before that, I held onto some misconceptions about pit bulls. Growing up in the suburbs, the pets around me were Labrador retrievers and beagles, bought through breeders or in pet stores. Growing up, having no exposure to the breed, I was raised with the notion that pit bulls were scary and dangerous. This was an idea I got from adults around me and stories I heard on the news.
“This all changed when my sister-in-law got a pit bull named Diesel as her family dog. As I got to know Diesel, I quickly fell in love. Diesel was one of the biggest, strongest dogs I had ever seen, and also one of the gentlest, most loving dogs I’d ever met. I began to realize that the impressions I’d had about pit bulls might be, well, just plain wrong.”
“In 2010, my siblings and our significant others started a tradition – instead of giving each other Christmas gifts, we’d give pet food and bedding to the CNY SPCA. In 2011, when we went to drop off our donations, we fell in love with a pit bull puppy, who had been dropped off at the SPCA with his six siblings. He seemed timid, and spent most of our visiting time curled up in my lap. We adopted him as soon as he was old enough to get neutered, and named him Jackson. He quickly gained confidence and energy outside of the shelter. Now, Jackson’s days are filled with all of his favorite things -long walks on the Canal, kisses, belly rubs and other doggie friends.
“Jackson has not only completed our family, but completely changed the minds of our family members, friends and neighbors. I remember the day I called to tell my mom I was considering adopting a pit bull puppy. She told me I’d be putting my future children in danger by adopting a pit. Now, she and my dad are Jackson’s #1 fans. They love to dog-sit their ‘grandpuppy’ and will tell anyone who will listen to them about how good Jackson is with his human toddler cousins. So many people who spend time with Jackson have the same reaction — “He’s a pit bull? Really? But he’s so sweet!” It goes to show you how much work still has to be done, but how one dog and one advocate can change many minds!
“I’ve gotten involved with Cuse Pit Crew because I know that, like me, there are many other kids and adults locally who have been raised with false perceptions about bully breeds. And because of this, these families are overlooking adoption as an option. I love that Cuse Pit Crew is shedding a positive light on the breed and expanding the minds of so many humans – thereby improving the lives of so, so many dogs!”