The Love of a Pit bull
By Irene Palmer
The moment I laid my eyes on her I felt sympathy; she was a bony and emaciated six month old pit bull with huge beautiful brown eyes that looked like big bowls of chocolate, warm and comforting. She stared at me as if I was going to lash out at her at any moment; her beautiful white fur was accompanied by splotches of brindle and gold; it was a shame that it was encrusted with mud and dirt. She leaned up against my legs and looked up at me as if begging me to protect her. I had no means to take care of a dog, especially one that I had no knowledge on. But something in her struck me, as if I had found something special. I heard a little voice in my head telling me she had been looking for me.
I brought her home and bathed her, I remember that first bath well. I felt as if I was torturing her; every time I looked at those eyes it reminded me of what she had come from, neglect and hatred. I remember dwelling on how someone could be so cruel to an animal so sweet and pure. As I sat there scrubbing, I watched all her past running down the drain. All of the fleas, mud and feces dripping from her tattered fur to reveal a beautiful shiny white coat. I think it was at this moment I knew that I needed to keep her. She just seemed to be begging me with those warm eyes, as if she had been waiting for me to rescue her.
All she wanted to do was lay in a corner as if she just wanted to disappear into the background. It wasn’t until I had her alone did she even show me a glimmer of hope; I remember sitting about five feet away from her with my hand extended in front of me and a treat lay on my fingers. After what seemed hours of calling her name and beckoning her forth she wouldn’t budge. So I began pretending as if she didn’t even exist; out of the corner of my eye I could see her sniffing at the air, her ribs ballooning up as she tried to catch the scent of the treat I held in my hand. She twitched her nose back and forth as if she was an innocent little bunny. It took her almost forty minutes to inch up and so gently retrieve the treat from my fingers. It seemed after this she was sure of me finally, I think she knew I was her friend and that even though it had been just days since we met that I had indeed grown to love her.
Over the next few months there was a lot of training that needed to be done; I couldn’t comprehend that a puppy didn’t know how to play. I would try everything: a ball, a rope and even a stick at one point but she just wouldn’t budge. I had to train her to play, to go on walks, even to eat correctly. She was so shy of people; every time we walked I would ask strangers to stop and give her a treat. She would hide behind me, cowered over, tail between her legs and the saddest look on her face. Still to this day I wonder if these strangers ever thought that I was the one the mistreated her.
Today, she stands tall and is constantly wagging her tail. She is the most gentle dog I have ever met; she can play rough with the dogs and easy with the kittens. One of her favorite past times is playing tug of war with her fellow canine friends. She loves belly rubs and treats and even though it may take her a little bit she warms up to people and actually trusts them to treat her right. She loves all other animals and adores children; I think it’s because they are more her size. One thing has never changed though, my friends and I call it her “Sarah Mclachlin” face; she takes on the image of an abused little helpless puppy from those abused animal commercials that always plays Sarah Mclachlins’ In the Arms of Angel slowly in the background. It’s her secret master plan to get what she wants, with that face the world is hers for the taking.
Looking at her now it amazes me how far she has come; it has been nine months since I began to call her my own. I have named her Marley and she has become a bigger part of my life than I would have ever imagined. She has become my best friend; I never have to dress pretty for her or hide my emotions. She listens to me and never judges; even if I am angry at the world she is the one thing that can always make me smile. She has showed me what true unconditional love and loyalty actually means. She is my cuddle bug and I will always love her; She is my American Pitbull Terrier.
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