Over the decades, the pit bull breed has gone in and out of fashion. Nicknamed "the nanny dog" through the early 1900s, they have garnered a bad rap of late. That said, it always helps to have a popular friend.
On Sunday at Best Friends Pet care in Norwalk, a dozen BBR dogs got to meet potential adoptors, and guests had their dogs photographed by the talented Geoffrey Tischman. BBR vice president Heidi Lueders and her fleet of voluteers shepherded the dogs, coordinated a raffle and sold BBR logo gear.
Each BBR dog had a unique story not always suitable for the faint of heart, though hearts were won over. In fact, the event was originally scheduled before Valentine's Day, but snowstorm Nemo pushed it back a week.
Lucky "Seven" and Sweet "Mama"
"Seven," who is being fostered by Brittany Clahane of Norwalk, has recovered beautifully from two broken legs after presumably being hit by a car. BBR took Seven in and nursed her back to health. Clahane says Seven gets along with her other dog, also a pit mix, and has adjusted nicely to family life.
Along with her pit bull, Clahane recently relocated to Norwalk from a town near Jersey City, New Jersey. Clahane described how strangers would approach her. "They'd say, 'She's beautiful, could we set her up with ours and breed them?' Ewww," she said. "You know they probably wanted to sell them [the puppies] into dog fighting."
Elaborating on her transition to Fairfield County, Clahane said that although she senses more awareness of the breed here, it is tough to find a landlord who will rent to a tenant with a pit bull, much less two or three.
For Clahane, fostering Seven is a compromise since she is not in a position to adopt a second dog. "If you can find a landlord who will rent to you with a pit bull, I recommend getting it in writing in your lease, in case they change their minds. Landlords in multi-family homes are more likely to have an open mind," she said. "They don't want the liability. It's a matter of information and education."
Across the room from Seven was Mama, profiled recently in BBR's Patch blog. Estimated to be one- or two-years old, Mama also won over many hearts and minds. Previously used as a bait dog for dog fighting, Mama was bred repeatedly. BBR volunteer Anthony Zinicola, said that these days Mama is sweet and friendly, and just wants to sit in someone's lap.
Frat Boy, Fred
And then there was young Fred, whose his foster mom, OPIN volunteer Isabel Morales, described as a frat boy. "His personality trait is that he just doesn't get stressed. Whatever comes, comes." According to Morales, whose group OPIN is affiliated with Stamford Animal Control, Fred enjoys being part of her frat of two beagles, a chow chow, a shepherd mix and another pit bull.
Rocksis and Jax
One crate over from Fred was "Rocksis," approximately five, who was pulled by Lueders from a shelter in Manhattan along with four other dogs in dire straits. Rocksis, who is super calm, would be an ideal match for someone who wants a couch potato and an eager lap dog. Rocksis' best trick is giving a new friend a kiss, doing a pirouette and sitting down in their lap.
And then there was "Jax," an American Bulldog, pit-mix, who bears no signs of the neglect in his past. Left behind by owners who moved away, Jax was found at the end of a chain attached to a backyard doghouse when BBR arrived. Jax had been left behind with nothing but with a bowl of green water. Today he is neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and ready for adoption.
Superman aka "Drake," wears his cape under his pajamas
Dapper in his Valentine heart pajama top was Drake, pulled by BBR from a high-kill shelter in Manhattan. BBR's Chris Antolini has fostered Drake in her home for the past year and reports that in addition to enjoying his recliner, Drake has a secret. "We call him Superman because he really can fly." Factoring in Drake's stubby shape, one needs to witness this feat to believe it.
Anyone interested in learning about adopting or fostering a dog from BBR should email firstname.lastname@example.org Bully Breed Rescue can be found on Facebook or at their website, bullybreedrescueinc.org