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Not only is Dice awesome, but his mom, Lori, is our Idaho Cupid for the
Valentine's Donation Drive. They're collecting donations for the Humane Society of the Palouse. You can encourage folks who like Dice's story to donate to the shelter where Lori works here: Action : StubbyDog

Written by Lori Burkett:

When I first saw the white dog in the high kill shelter, he was spinning in tight circles at the shelter, drooling and panting excessively. It was 2001 and the dog was skin and bones and he was barely 25 pounds. He had wounds all over his body and scarring on his face. His cage card had a hand written note reading " owners contacted will not pick up" with a large red " PTS" (for put to sleep) and the previous day' s date written on it.

Although I love a challenge, this dog looked miserable and past the point of help. Knowing as soon as I left the shelter he would be put to sleep, we took him out in the yard to throw the ball for him and let him have some fun.

I noticed once he out of the noisy and crowded shelter, his demeanor changed. His eyes got bright and he had intense concentration on a tennis ball that he brought to me. I threw it as far as I could and went to call him back. Realizing he had no name I called the black and white dog Dice. And that was it. We walked him back into the shelter and out the

front door, loaded him into the truck and he never went to another shelter again.

Dice became instant buddies with our other young Am Staff, Jamie, and began his rehabilitation as part of our family. Dice had severe stress induced OCD and spun in tight circles, biting at his leg constantly. He had a large open wound on his leg and most likely had chewed his own tail off.

It took a few years, but Dice eventually became a fairly normal dog as he settled into life at our house. With a lot of work his OCD-induced spinning has decreased.

During the years Dice has excelled at all sporting actives, he loves trips to the beach to body surf in the big waves, hiking in the hills, underwater diving for rocks and his newest event, dock diving. At the age of 9 and only 19 inches tall Dice is jumping about 15 feet. This spring will be his first official dock diving competition and we hope to bring home the win for pit bulls in the amateur ranks.

Although he loves agility, obedience, flyball, swimming and any sort of fetch, his true passion is snuggling on the couch and being guardian when I'm home alone at night.

He is such a wonderful guardian that I had him tested with the State Patrol as a possible detection dog. However, even though he got the highest qualifying scores that the evaluator had ever seen, he was not allowed into the program.

Why? He' s a pit bull.

(note: That was almost 10 years ago and the law enforcement agency that denied Dice now accepts pit bulls into their program!)

During the past 10 years, I come to realize that I can' t imagine our house without him. He has been a " foster dog" for numerous rescue puppies during the years, and he' s done something pretty incredible in the community. Even though he was once a scrawny, tail-chasing dog, today he' s a positive pit bull ambassador. He makes debuts in the community to educate people about Am Staffs and other rescues.

Although I' m proud of him for the work he' s done for the community, there' s one detail about him that I hold especially close to my heart: Dice has helped teach my family and friends about the unconditional love these amazing dogs have to offer.

It' s amazing that a dog who came from such deplorable conditions can continue to give so much to everyone he meets.

Dice is a classic pit bull; he' s a dog that lives his entire life to please those around him. His big pit bull smile is infectious and the people whom he smiles at can' t help but to discover the pit bull when they see his big, toothy grin and wagging knobby tail.

During the years, I have been constantly reminded that rescuing pit bulls isn't easy but I have also learned that there is nothing more rewarding than being able to give others the opportunity to share in the love and companionship that pit bulls have to offer.

Dice is one of many dogs that I've rescued during the past 10 years and their collective love has inspired me to start a new local program to decrease the number of pit bulls and pit bull mixes in shelters.

As a result I started the The Palouse Pit Bull Project is a satellite program under our non-profit no-kill animal shelter. I hope to have funding to start the program this summer. With this program pit bull owners can apply for free spay/neuter, low cost obedience training as well as breed education and positive community enrichment.

That' s because in the end, all over the U.S. dogs just like Dice end up in high kill shelters and don' t have a chance. Every one of these dogs has a story. Some are emaciated, abandoned, fought and abused. But regardless of how they got there, it' s up to us to make sure each story has a happy ending.

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