Do more with your pit bull
As BullsEye Dog Rescue got off the ground, we wanted to do more with our own pit bulls. After Buffalo Sky earned her Canine Good Citizen with ease, I signed us up to become a certified pet therapy team through Delta Society.
I drove Buffalo north about an hour of Seattle every Saturday for an 8-week training class with Becky Bishop. Becky didn’t like pit bulls much. When I mentioned I volunteered with Pit Bull Project, she said, “Isn’t every pit bull a project?”
I ignored her comment, and she agreed to let us attend the first class to see how it’d go. Our classmates included: One old, fat beagle with a crooked grin. An unneutered Standard Poodle dressed for Gay Pride. A Yellow Lab like the ones you see in LL Bean catalogs. A chocolate lab. Two Golden Retrievers. And a mutt from a local shelter.
Turns out the Poodle had it out for Buffalo and went after her twice during class. Buffalo ignored him. So Becky kicked the Poodle out of class and explained, “Of all the dogs your dog could pick a fight with, the Pit Bull is not the dog to choose.”
By the time we had a few classes under our belt, Becky was a Buffalo fan. I don’t know that she ever became a pit bull fan but she was as proud as I was when we passed our Animal Assisted Therapy Dog Test. And she didn’t ding me for slathering my hands in hot dog juice. This is the photo that was taken for our team badge.
Not long after, Lorrie and I were invited to Beacon Hill Elementary to meet with 1st Graders about animal shelters. Lorrie brought Gretel, who is also a Canine Good Citizen, and she spoke with the kids about why there are animals that don’t have homes and what to do if you see a stray or injured animal. We were amazed at how many kids asked with wide, I-wanna-look-but-I’m-scared-to-touch eyes, “Is that a pit bull?” It was like we had an exotic animal on a leash from the zoo.
Not only did we do more with our own dogs, BullsEye helps owners do more positive and responsible things with their pit bulls. And at BullsEye’s Pit Bulls on Parade event this past summer, owners got to try agility courses, weight pull, and disc diving.
54 pit bulls earned their Canine Good Citizens that day. Now that’s a headline I’d love to see writ large in neon lights.