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Written by... mom Sarah M.

Photos by The wonderful Aleksandra G. of Aleksandra G Modern Portraiture -- aleksandra g - modern portraiture | SmugMug

Blackie came to me through a set of unusual circumstances. I had my heart set on adopting a cat, but briefly entertained the idea of getting a dog. During my search for a cat I stumbled across Blackie; whom I found out, was taken from an abusive home where his previous owners had broken his leg as a puppy. With some skepticism I agreed to meet him. He was brought over to my house just to "meet" me, but brought his bed, food bowls, food, leash, collar, toys and medicine and a list of upcoming doctor's appointments with him. It seemed I had unknowingly adopted a pit bull.

The first few weeks of dog ownership were incredibly difficult because I was wildly unprepared for what it meant to care for a dog. I began to feel overwhelmed, and like maybe I had made a mistake or took on more than I could handle. After a week or so of coming home to a destroyed house and a crying dog someone suggested that Blackie may be suffering from separation anxiety. I began crate training him and soon he calmed down, felt more comfortable when left alone and the destruction drastically decreased. Despite our rocky start, filled with lots of chewed shoes (among many other items), Blackie had become the absolute best part of coming home. My mom on the other hand was not so big on the idea of me rescuing an abused pit bull.

Once I realized the immeasurable benefit of the crate, I hired an animal behaviorist to evaluate his other needs and started working with him in other training areas. He began to develop into a remarkably wonderful dog and I decided that since he was proving what I "knew" about pit bulls to be so wrong, I would learn as much as I could about the breed. As a result I have become a huge pit bull advocate and doubt if I will ever live without one. Blackie is the absolute joy in my life. Since the shoe-chew phase he has learned to go in his crate when asked, he can sit, lie down, put his head down, beg on his back legs, give me his paw for a shake or high five among many other tricks I use to impress people.

I have converted many people I know into pit-bull lovers and many of those people into pit-bull advocates of their own. My mom, who became the resident pit bull lover in her office, now refers to Blackie as her "grandson". I write a blog (www.ILoveABull.com) about pit bulls to relay truthful information about the breed to as many people as possible (and to brag about my gorgeous dog) and work with local shelters to promote the breed.

Most people don't think of someone like me when they think "pit-bull owner", and I'm happy to put a small dent in that stereotype. I am a 24 year old professional woman; I work at a bank and own my home. My pit bull does tricks, is micro-chipped and neutered. He eats grain-free organic food and takes more vitamins than I do! He sleeps in the bed and even dresses up for Halloween. To say he is spoiled is an understatement. I'm so glad I was open minded enough to open my heart to this dog and this breed and even though I saved Blackie from a painful and probably short life, I think I'm really the one who has been saved.

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