Saturday, April 4, 2009
Yet One More Pit Bull Story
I live in Texas, and at my county's Animal Shelter, pit bulls (and other bully breeds) often make it into the Adoption Room. This is a good thing, I think.
Right now, I am an advocate for JoJo, a fawn male pit bull. Jojo has been in the A.R. since January 30, 2009. This is a long time for a dog to endure the chaos of a county-run facility.
JoJo eats his kibble one bit at a time (a bad trait in the chaos of the Shelter). He is a climber, so he has to be in a kennel with chain link fencing over the top so he can’t escape. He is quick and determined. I didn’t realize he did this until tonight. Twice I found him calmly standing, at the door to the Adoption Room with the same expectant, hopeful look on his face that I see with my dogs: “We can go now?”
I take JoJo to off-sites adoption events. JoJo’s an eye-catching dog, but people either tell me pit bull horror stories about pit bulls or say, "What a beautiful dog," and move on to get all lovey-dovey with the lab-mix puppies. Soft, floppy puppies always win out over an adult dog with heart and brains.
So I keep JoJo on leash next to me, while I talk to potential adopters. I feed him canned food and treats, and clean him with moist wipes until he shudders with pleasure. I let him do what I never let the big dogs do—I let him put his forequarters in my lap so he can push his head under my chin and lick my neck. I want him to know that he deserves better.
The Shelter staff workers are rooting for JoJo, too—the kennel cleaner told me this morning, “Find this dog a home!” and the vet tech said, “We’ve got to get him out of here before he wears himself to death climbing out of the kennel.” I’m doing my best.
I've taken JoJo out so many times that he knows me. He whines as he lashes his long, lean tail and shakes his whole butt when he sees me. He mopes, head pinned against my knees and stalls, planting his paws when I have to put him back in the kennel in the evening.
At this time, I can’t foster JoJo, so I’m scrambling to find someone who can—I’ve gotten names, and handed out his kennel number, but so far, I’ve not made the right connection. He deserves a home, but I’m not sure he deserves the three months he’s spent in the Shelter.
This is just another pit bull story, but JoJo deserves better.