Pit Bull Dog Heroes
The Real Truth
So you’ve heard all the hype about how the pit bulls are such a vicious breed of dog. You’ve seen the stories on the news and read it on the internet, so it must be true, right? The pit bull must be a “killer” dog breed and they should all be destroyed! Are we really so naïve that we only believe the bad news and ignore the real truth?
Yes, there are some true horror stories involving the pit bull dog. Pit bulls have been adopted by the criminal element as their protectors from law enforcement and fellow criminals. These are the stories you hear more of. You know what they say...bad news travels fast. Well, I am here to share some of the good stories about the pit bull dog breed and hopefully it will help to dispel the bad reputation they have been given and you will realize that the pit bull dog is only as good or bad as their owner.
The Nanny Dog
In the early part of the 1900s the pit bull dog was referred to as “The Nanny Dog”. They were loyal, faithful and loving, especially with children. If your child had a pit bull dog as a pet, you just knew they had a loving companion that would keep them safe. At one time the pit bull was one of the most beloved dogs in both the US and England.
Back in the days of the Civil War, there was a pit bull dog named Sallie. She was the mascot for the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Sallie traveled with these soldiers through many confrontations where she would stand guard over dead or injured soldiers until someone came to take care of them. Sallie stayed with them for two years, being their loved companion and caretaker until she was killed by a bullet herself. Sallie is included in the monument erected for her infantry in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
In 1916, a group of students that were participating in a military training event were joined by a rather short legged, chunky little dog whose personality stole their hearts. They came to call him “Stubby”. He became their mascot and loved companion throughout their training. When the time came for their deployment, they feared they would have to leave Stubby behind, but when their corporal was overwhelmed by Stubbies friendliness and inundated with doggy kisses, he agreed to let the pooch come along. Stubby made his usefulness clear when he would alert the soldiers to the smell of gas. He could smell the gas long before the soldiers and would bark to let them know to put on their gas masks. Stubby was even succumbed to the gas at one time as they could not “fit” a gas mask to his face, but he recuperated and returned to join his fellow soldiers. While in France, Stubby continued to win the hearts of the people and a group of ladies so loved this dog, they hand made a coat for him to display him many medals and awards. Stubby was awarded with the honorary title of Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp. Stubby is considered to be the most decorated dog in the American Military.
More recently there is the story about Lilly. Lilly is a pit bull dog who was adopted from a shelter by a man named David. David had given Lilly to his mother, Christine, who was suffering from a medical condition and needed a good companion. Lilly quickly became the center of Christine’s world and her closest friend. Late one night, a train engineer witnessed an amazing sight. As his train was barreling towards a railway crossing in Shirley, Massachusetts, he sees a dog pulling an unconscious woman over the train tracks. It was Lilly and Christine. The engineer made every possible attempt to stop his train, but it was too late. Lilly had managed to pull Christine far enough away from the tracks to avoid injury, but Lilly was not so fortunate. The trains wheels sliced through Lilly’s right foot and broke her pelvis in several places. Severely injured, Lilly laid down next to Christine and waited for emergency services to arrive. Lilly was rushed to the Angel Medical Center in Boston, where she received emergency medical care. Lilly’s right front leg could not be repaired and it had to be amputated. She had a second surgery to repair damage to her pelvis and rear leg and has since returned home. Christine has moved in with David and together they are helping Lilly through her convalescence.
Then there is Diamond. Diamond’s owner, Darryl and his two daughters were asleep in their apartment on the night of October 24th, when Diamond started barking. Diamond continued to bark until Darryl awoke to find his apartment on fire. Darryl was able to grab his 9 year old daughter, Darahne and lower her to safety out a 2 story window, but he could not find his 16 year old daughter, Sierra. Sierra was frightened and was hiding under a mattress in her father’s bedroom. Although Darryl couldn't find her, Diamond did. Diamond climbed up on the mattress and was trying to shield Sierra from the fire. The fire fighters spotted Diamond and found Sierra. Both she and her father were hospitalized for weeks with severe burns and both had to have skin grafts, but they were all alive. As for Diamond, she also spent weeks in the pet hospital for burns and smoke inhalation, but has also recovered nicely. Diamond has received the National Hero Dog Award from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles.
I cannot conclude my article without mentioning Popcicle. Popcicle was found by a Buffalo, NY policeman when he opened the door of an abandoned freezer during a drug investigation. Inside he found a bulging black trash bag, which moved when he poked at it with his flashlight. When the trash bag was opened a undernourished hypothermic and near death pit bull puppy was discovered. Judging from his wounds it was apparent that he had been used in dog fights. He was taken to a near by animal hospital and survived his near death experience. He was then moved to a local animals shelter where an SPCA counselor took right to him and named him Popcicle. Because of his breed, Popcicle didn't have much luck in finding someone to adopt him, so the SPCA counselor took a chance. She contacted the US Customs Canine Enforcement officer. She was hoping that Popcicle could qualify for the dog training school in Front Royal, VA. Of the 500 dogs that were tested over the last three years, only 4 have succeeded. Popcicle graduated at the top of his class! In 1998, Popcicle sniffed out 3000 pounds of cocaine from a truck loaded down with pineapples at a Mexican border and was awarded the “Significant Seizure” medal for his service.
There are many, many more stories that could be told about the heroic actions of the pit bull dog. These aren't the stories that the media wants to report. Yes, the pit bull dog has become attractive to the wrong kinds of people. Many criminals and drug dealers have chosen the pit bull because of the “badass” appearance. Most of the horrendous stories you have seen or heard about the pit bull are derived from bad owners mistreating and abusing their dogs. It was almost like a fashion trend, if you were a “bad ass, tough guy”, you owned a pit bull. The people who ended up with the ferocious attack dogs, trained them to be so. You are not going to take a pit bull puppy and have an automatic “killer” dog! Before you turn your back and walk away from the pit bull breed, remember one thing. Don’t judge a dog by it’s breed, judge a dog by it’s owner!
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