Keeper Of The Beast: One Pit Bull Owners Tale

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Bowser at 8 weeks oldBowser was such a little fellow Just a babyHe was a goof ball from the start
Bowser at 8 weeks old
Bowser at 8 weeks old
Bowser was such a little fellow
Bowser was such a little fellow
Just a baby
Just a baby
He was a goof ball from the start
He was a goof ball from the start

 I have always been a dog lover. Since I can recall, I have always had a canine companion. A few years ago, I became one of the most feared people on earth, a pit bull owner. These dogs are shrouded in myths and lies. The media has painted a gory portrait of what these dogs are, and many are quick to believe it. The news is flooded with stories of pit bull attacks. These stories are often misinformed, and do not report the entire story; thus pit bulls are dragged through the mud. Most reported pit bull attacks are not even caused by a pit bull. They are often caused by breeds mistaken for pit bulls such as Boxers, Dogo Argentinos, Cane Corsos, Labradors, or simply just mutts. My first pit bull, Bowser, instilled in me a passion to become a pit bull advocate and speak out on behalf of these misunderstood creatures.

 

 In order to combat the ignorance and fear surrounding pit bulls, I had to become very knowledgeable. I learned all I could about these dogs; through articles, books, and documentaries. As I researched, I discovered the controversy surrounding these dogs was much greater than I had anticipated. I learned of their origin, of the cruelty and abuse they suffer as fighting dogs, of the ignorance and fear surrounding them, and of the love and loyalty they offer as pets. Armed with this knowledge I began writing informative articles called hubs on a web site. I also joined an online community dedicated to educating the public and uniting pit bull lovers.

The more I learned and the more I came to know Bowser, the hotter my passion burned. He was such a wonderful companion, yet so many judged him on breed alone. I began speaking out on his behalf. Every chance I got, I corrected those around me, including my boss, Steve. I can recall a time at the gas station where I worked. Steve was sitting at the round table conversing with some of the regulars. Their conversation sparked my interest when I realized he was giving false information about pit bulls. He was a typical pit bull hater and like most only knew the lies surrounding these dogs. He believed pit bulls were mindless killing machines incapable of being anything else. I jumped in to correct him and presented him with the facts I had learned. He did not acknowledge any of what I said; it simply went in one ear and out the other. His topic changed for the time being, but on several occasions I overheard him slandering the dogs I loved so dearly. Time and time again I shared the facts only to be ridiculed for standing up for these creatures

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Bowser at 9 monthsBowser loved my boyfriend Tim. He was a big Daddy's boy.He was a love bug. He was such a clown.
Bowser at 9 months
Bowser at 9 months
Bowser loved my boyfriend Tim. He was a big Daddy's boy.
Bowser loved my boyfriend Tim. He was a big Daddy's boy.
He was a love bug.
He was a love bug.
He was such a clown.
He was such a clown.

 

Bowser began to grow into a striking, powerful fellow.  My boyfriend, Tim and I enjoyed taking him for rides and walks in the park.  On countless occasions, people spotted us, stopped dead in their tracks, turned, and walked away. I remember one sunny afternoon in Millennium Park. We had been walking Bowser; he was so handsome with his sturdy build and reddish tan coat glistening in the sun. I spotted a lady walking towards us with her black lab. I intended to walk past her and go about my way. Upon seeing us a look of dread spread across her face; it was as if she had seen the devil himself. She turned and proceeded to walk back the other way. I stopped for a moment pondering my options. I could continue to walk straight, which would put us directly behind the lady, or turn right. We ended up turning right to avoid any confrontation. I also had people come up and pet Bowser telling us how pretty and sweet he was, only to have them recoil in fear when finding out he was a pit bull.  I have engaged in many conversations with others about their dogs and shared stories about mine.  Then the dreaded question arises, what kind of dog do you have? When I reply, “pit bull ,” the response is usually unpleasant.  Sometimes I am given the opportunity to share the facts about these dogs; other times I am given the cold shoulder.

When trying to move from our home in the country to the city, we were faced with a problem. Not only did we have a dog, we had a pit bull. We looked and found several pet friendly places. I knew it would not be an easy task finding someone to rent to a pit bull owner, but I remained optimistic. Thankfully, Breed Specific Legislation, BSL, laws banning or restricting pit bull ownership were not an issue. However, many land lords are prejudice against pit bull type dogs. I began calling, eager to find a place that would accept us and Bowser. The calls always ended the same; pit bulls were not allowed. Sometimes before I even got a chance to ask about Bowser I was cut off with the same statement; as long as it is not a vicious breed such as a pit bull . My frustration began to grow as time after time we were turned away. If only they would meet Bowser, then they could see what kind of dog he really was. Finally, because of ignorance and fear we had to re-home Bowser. As it turned out, this was in vain as we were unable to move, we gave him up for nothing.

 

The day Bowser met his new family was heart breaking. He was such a good dog. He had been with us since he was eight weeks old. It felt as if I was losing a part of myself. The family was really nice. They had two kids at home and were experienced pit bull owners. I knew Bowser was going to a good home. I knew he would be well taken care of, but he was my dog and I had to watch him leave with strangers. Bowser seemed to love them right away. I received e-mails and pictures from his new family which reassured me he was happy. I regret letting such a wonderful dog go. I miss him even now.

It has been almost a year since we said goodbye to Bowser. We now have a gorgeous nine month old black and white American Pit Bull Terrier named Koopa. Koopa is a wonderful dog, he reminds me of Bowser. I cannot help but think of him. Losing him inspires me to keep fighting against BSL. These dogs were once the most popular family dogs in America. I dream of a future where they will again be known as America’s dog. I still face scrutiny for owning and loving these so called monsters. My pit bulls have shown me nothing but loyalty, devotion, dedication, and above all unconditional love. Despite my love for Koopa he can never take Bowser’s place. Bowser is the reason I am a pit bull advocate. He sparked my fire for these demonized creatures.

Bowser will never be Forgotten! Bowser sparked my Pit Bull passion and now Koopa continues to fule it.
Bowser will never be Forgotten! Bowser sparked my Pit Bull passion and now Koopa continues to fule it.

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Comments 8 comments

Carrie DeSha profile image

Carrie DeSha 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Great article; these dogs need all the positive attention they can get! Koopa looks JUST LIKE my Roxy! Great photos of these little angels :)


No_Clue profile image

No_Clue 5 years ago

Wonderful hub! I had a friend who had a pit bull named Kaos, that she had as a pup. He was such a sweet, loving, loyal dog and her bond with him was incredible. Excellent job!


jon 5 years ago

i am realy happy


mercedes torres 5 years ago

Thank you for all this info. So sorry about Bowser. I am sure you will miss Bowser always. I adopted a male German Sheppard from the humane society and used to get bad reactions from people while walking him. He was mostly black, very built, male 125 pound boy. To be honest with you no one ever walked near me and the dog and very few people came to visit us while we had him. Kobe was a great and loving dog. My daughter who first met him when she was 6 months old would take naps on the dog and when he was lying down she would ride him. I put up a sign on my house tired of the way people looked at me that said "the dog is nice but the cat bites. beware of the cat." When I first met Kobe the lady was very hessitant because I brought the baby with me. I remember telling her the dog must like the baby if we are to get along. When I saw Kobe I knew very few people would give him a chance because he was soooo big and muscular and his color made him look mean. Well, we all got nothing but unconditional love, kisses from him. He suffered from very bad colitis and had multiple surgeries. His tale and bud would get sooo sore that on several occasions the vet had to anesthesize to clean the area. I would lift his tail daily and had to use special creams on very sensitive spots. Never, ever was I in fear that I would be biten. He would cry from the pain and when I would cry cause I saw his suffering he would lick my tears away and lay his head on my lap. I am saying these things because I do understand what you mean about "the look people give" without ever knowing the dog. Yes, I have been biten by many cats but never did my german sheppard ever show his teeth to me or anyone else. I imagine it must be even worst for owners of pit bulls. Every animal needs to be given a chance and judged accordingly on what they have done and not some other. I am hispanic. Would it be right to judge me because of other hispanic's actions. Yet that is what has happened to this beautiful breed and I hate it.


Eternal Evolution profile image

Eternal Evolution 5 years ago from kentucky Author

@ mercedes torres, thank you for your kind words and for sharing your story. It was very touching. It really is sad when people judge a dog by breed alone. My boy Bowser was a great dog and we truly do miss him. Koopa is also a sweet boy who is nothing but joy and love but the evil glares and discrimination still continue.


Chris Kross profile image

Chris Kross 4 years ago from Dallas, TX

Great article! Those are two beautiful dogs too. I especially like Bowser's forward-flipped ears. It's sad that you had to give him up.

I know the feeling of dealing with ignorance. I can recall one particular instance, when Demo (my pit) was still adolescent.

A friend of mine met him. She was all over him. He was trying not to get too excited, but licked her on the face a few times. She was kneeling right in front of him.

She said, "He's gorgeous. What kind of dog is he?" I said, "He's an American Pit Bull Terrier." You should have seen the look on her face.

Her eyes got so big. She immediately changed her attitude. She went from embracing him to holding him away at the farthest distance her arms could reach - like at that moment Demo was going to change from that loving, friendly dog that she had just met into a killer.

I just rolled my eyes and called Demo to me. Demo loves meeting new people, so he didn't understand. Now, I would try to educate, but that was one of my first experiences of discimination with him.


DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

Nice article. That picture of him growling, like any normal puppy, is the type that the anti-Pit people use to try and spread fear!


Vanilda 21 months ago

. but when did it become gutily before proven innocent? i totally agree, the dogs didn't mean to do what they did, they did it to get love they thought that if they did this maybe they can get some love (i'm talking about the dog fight dogs.) when did it ever, EVER! become okay to kill a dog because it was a pit bull? you know a long time ago the pit bull was thought of to be the best dog any one could have? but then some day after a person decided that the pit bull wasn't a good dog that the dog was horrible! and ever since the breed has been put on the death list? if pit bulls never existed, you know we'd all be saying that a dog like the rottwelier was horrible and needed to be put down like some are saying about pit bulls for once people GIVE THE PIT BULLS A CHANCE AT LOVE AND TO PROVE THAT THEY CAN LIVE A LIFE LIKE THE GOLDEN RETIVER OR THE YELLOW LAB HAS!

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