Thursday, December 17, 2009


If you pick up a book about raising American Pit Bull Terriers, you'll probably run across the phrase, "Ambassador Dogs." It's sort of an ideal to shoot for: the best example of what a breed has to offer, and what they're supposed to be when brought up right.

When I first met Homer, that seemed a bit far from the reality of his situation. He was surly, mopey, easily startled, and didn't want to be touched. He even went so far as to shove my hand away when I went to pet him. Then he'd turn around and curl up in my lap. I wanted so much to connect with him, but he just seemed so out-of-kilter.

He seemed pretty affable toward the other dogs, though, and I thought he might be the one dog in the shelter who could keep up with Joker, a rowdy, fun-loving, athletic, and very bored dog who many of the volunteers are quite fond of. At first, it was a little tense... and then ensued a twenty-minute wrestling match of epic proportions which left both Joker and Homer panting, content, and grinning like idiots the whole way back to the kennels. It was the difference between "doggie jail" and "home."

A kennel isn't Homer's happy place, but it seems everywhere else is. He's vivacious, energetic, cuddly, attentive and gentle - and honestly, none of that is gilding the lily. Watching him roll around on the ground for tummy rubs, bound back-and-forth between Sophie and I because he couldn't decide which of us was more fun at the moment... I found myself thinking, This. This is exactly what a Pit Bull is supposed to be.

Between his sparkling personality and his velvety brindle coat, I kept thinking of Tige, the famous Pit Bull sidekick of Buster Brown. Honestly, if we had the resources and room, Homer would be sitting at home with us right now, likely thwacking an eager paw on my keyboard in an effort to help me with the blog.

It isn't often we run across a dog who'll run pell-mell across the playpen when you call, only to slam on the brakes and nuzzle or hop up and wait for you to catch his paws and snuggle him. Nor does every dog seem equally at ease romping like a maniac, then flopping down next to you for some quality hang-out time. Homer seems to be game for whatever you are, with enthusiasm and affection to spare. And I never would have guessed it, just watching him sulk all alone in his kennel.

UPDATE (12/24): Although tentatively "earmarked" for a rescue group, Homer wasn't picked up yesterday. He'll be spending Christmas in the shelter, along with Hershey and so many other dogs. At least they aren't out in the snow, foraging for whatever they can eat - but I still wish they were all somewhere warm, loving, and smelling like "home" to them.

UPDATE (12/28): Finally! Homer gets one step closer to having a home of his own - he was picked up today by a rescue group, and I couldn't be happier!

1 comment:

Amber said...

this made me smile. :)