After I wrote about Rocky and Athena, I wanted to do a follow-up, because there are always two sides to every story. Twelve years ago my son texted me a picture of his new puppy and the only reaction I had was, “Please tell me that’s not a pit bull.”
Many of us have the misconception that pit bulls are bad and that is not entirely true. All dogs, like all people, have their own personalities, dispositions, and demeanors. For centuries, society has stereotyped different dog breeds, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and now Pit Bulls as being aggressive and unpredictable.
So let me introduce you to my son’s pit bull. When I talked to him on the phone after he sent me the photo, he told me her name was Sandi, “With an “I”, he said. Meeting Sandi for the first time, I found her to be sweet, shy, and a bit timid. She had the biggest smile and when she wagged her tail, her whole body wiggled. My son lived two hours away but I made it a point to get together at least once a month so Sandi could get to know my dogs and me and we could get to know her. My Duggy simply adored her and the first time Sandi came to our house, my Mitzy let her know who was boss. Mitzy would plant herself right at the point where the hallway ends and the living room begins and would bark just one time. Sandi would back up, go through the kitchen and lay on the dining room floor. Sandi had great respect for Mitzy and her boundaries, but she also feared her. Which was funny because Sandi would grow to be 3-4 times the size of Mitzy. However, Sandi did figure out how to get around Mitzy so that she could lay on the couch. I had an L-shaped sectional couch and Sandi would climb over the arm of the couch on one end, walk along the cushions until she could lay next to me.
When my son would have to work out of town, he’d bring Sandi and Sketch to come stay with us. Sketch is his other dog. We call him “the Butler.” He has these long back legs and just the way he walks is hilarious. Sketch is a small dog with floppy ears and a curled tail. They would come into the kitchen and demand the homemade doggy cookies. One time I didn’t have them baked when they arrived so they barricaded me in the kitchen until I got them made. They loved coming to grandma’s house because here they were spoiled rotten.
There is probably only one time that they didn’t want to come stay at grandmas. I can hear them now, “We don’t want to go stay at Grandma’s. She makes us eat our vegetables, and we have to sleep on the couch,” and horrors of horrors, “last time she gave us a bath!”
Giving Sketch a bath is a breeze but Sandi…I got her into the bathroom easy enough but getting her in the tub was a different matter. I straddled her and lifted the front half. Getting her front paws on the edge of the tub, I lifted the back half only to have her front paws drop back down onto the floor. I gave up after three tries and took her, the shampoo, and the towel out back, and using the garden hose, she got her bath. Thankfully, for her it was a nice warm sunny day here in California
As Mitzy grew older, she began to lose her hearing and eyesight and had a little bit of dementia. Mitzy had a certain path she would walk in the house when she wanted dinner. One day Sandi was sleeping on the dining room floor when Mitzy began walking. When Mitzy got to Sandi, I am guessing she thought it was a speedbump, Mitzy climbed up across Sandi’s belly. Front legs on one side back legs on the other Sandi slowly stood up letting Mitzy’s back legs drop down on the other side and Mitzy continued on her way. It was a funny sight to see and even though Sandi was startled, she stayed calm.
My Mitzy was a mama’s girl and she passed away peacefully here at home in July 2019. She was sixteen years old.
Sandi was a grandma’s girl and she followed Mitzy over the rainbow bridge 10 months and 10 days later in May 2020. Sandi was ten years old.
I miss Mitzy and Sandi very much.
There is so much more I could tell you. Like you cannot judge a book by its cover. Sandi was a big sweetheart. She didn’t have an aggressive bone in her body and she loved everyone she met. I took her to the vet once and I was nervous of how she would react, but she was the perfect patient and everyone at the vets loved her. At home, she was the only one that would wag her tail and smile at the mailman while the rest of the dogs would run from one end of the fence to the other barking their fool heads off. In fact, you hardly ever heard Sandi bark.
Mitzy was a Spaniel/ Dachshund mix. And she was a tough one. One time I was out walking Mitzy and Duggy and a woman walked up to me. Pointing at Mitzy she said, “I’ll bet she’s the friendly one and he’s the mean one.” Nope, quite the opposite, Duggy who is a Chihuahua mix loves everyone and Mitzy only loved me. If you woke her up she would snap at you and even nipped my dad (among others) when he tried to pet her.
The one thing they all had in common was how scared they were of the loud fireworks on the 4th of July. You ever have four dogs try to set on your lap at the same time?
To wrap it up, after the Rocky incident I am hesitant to approach any dog. Big or small, they all can bite. But thanks to Sandi, I no longer judge a dog by their breed.
When I started writing this a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across an article and video of another pit bull who didn’t want to go home with mom but wanted to stay at grandma’s. Find it here, https://pethelpful.com/pet-news/pit-bill-leaving-grandmas
Well that’s all for now.
Hugs till next time