In December 2014 I was home after 3 years working 75 or 90 or 105 hours a week a my retail management job.
One Saturday I went to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Durango Facility .
To find a Pitbull.
If I could not find the Pitbull I was looking for that was missing from a neighbors yard I was going to bring my own Pitbull home.
Why a Pitbull ? Because of the need. For strictly no other reason that 80% of dogs in shelters nationally are Pitbulls. Because there are so many of them. Backyard breeders are rampant. They are 6% of all the breeds in this country.
I can not deny the Pitbulls most likely are the number one breed that is abandoned , abused , exploited, starved , injured, beaten breed of dog we find on our streets, in our homes and in our shelters.
So more of them need homes.
I invited my friend’s 8 year old daughter Chloe to come with me to pick one out with me.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control is one of the highest kill shelters in the United States.
We brought Penny with us to make sure she got along with any dog I wanted to adopt.
I found the exact Pitbull I was looking for and she curled up like a puppy in Chloe’s lap on the way home.
That evening Chloe’s Aunt was getting married.
I left the 2 girls, Penny and Zena in the spare room to go to the wedding.
We were gone about 4 hours.
Went I went into the spare bedroom to greet the girls Zena had dug up the carpet in from of the door and Penny was hiding under the bed.
I sat down on the the bed and Zena put her front paws on my thighs and scootched up and gave me a hug. She literally reached out and gave me a hug.
The next morning I took the dogs to a dog park. There are 2 enclosures there, 1 for large dogs and 1 for small. That day there were a few large dogs but no one was is the small dog side so I went in there.
A few little dogs came in and all was good until one little dog snapped at her and she went off and aggressively tried to attack it.
Fortunately the little dog was too quick for her to latch on.
The consensus of all parties, the little dog”s owner and witnesses; including a man claiming to be a dog behaviorist, was that the little dog started trouble and that the Pitbull “was not an agressive dog by nature”.
Everyone agreed it was ok for me to let the Pitbull, Zena, loose again.
A few minutes later someone came in with 4 little dogs. Zena made a beeline and cut one of the little dogs out of the pack and tried to attack it.
At that point I decided to get her out of there.
I figured it was an isolate incident. That maybe some previous owner had taught her to attack small yappy dogs.
Once home she settled down watching out the back window from the den. Penny was across the room in front of the dining room sliders.
Penny started barking about someone going by outside and Zena suddenly just “snapped” and made a beeline for Penny and grabed her around the throat.
I went to grab my phone and missed and went flying sideways over on the chair I was sitting on.
I was on my knees crawling towards the dogs knowing my only shot was to pry the jaw open and hope the Pit did not turn on me.
I was not going to watch my dog die.
As I screamed call 911 to my friend who was witnessing this I was able to corner the dogs in the kitchen, straddle Zena and pry her jaw open.
I got Penny out of the way into the bathroom and checked her for injuries. Fortunately there were none.
I left Penny in the bathroom and picked up my chair, sitting down to catch my breath. ‘
The Pitbull curled up by my feet and looked up at me.
I swear that Pitbull had tears in her eyes. In that moment she understood the trajedy of her life.
I knew I was going to have to call Halo, the rescue I ended up adopting her from who has a contract with MCCACC to take some of their overflow . Halo has a contract with the county to take some of their over flow. They are located at the Durango Facility.
I knew they were going to tell me to bring her back and that there was no other choice.
It was documented that she would need a single dog, adult only home with a yard.
I was required to sign off on euthanasia.
I sat on the floor with her and rocked her and hugged her goodbye.
My heart was broken in a million pieces.
About 3 weeks later a local friend posted on facebook an old Bull Mastiff and a female red nose Pitbull that had been wandering down the street in his neighborhood across the street from my neighborhood.
He would not be able to keep them due to a 40 size limit for dogs at his apartment complex. He was going to bring them to a relative out of town who had a yard for them until he could find an owner or a home.
I said no no , bring them here for 48 hours. They must have escaped from their yard. Their owner is probably at work and doesn’t even know they are gone yet. Let’s just keep them in the area for 48 hours.
I made flyers and out them out around where he found them and we both posted updates on facebook.
That was a Friday around 11:30 am . I agreed to foster them for 48 hours and of we did not find their owner he could them take them out of town.
The Pitbull had the cat pinned on the desk and it could not get by the dog. I had to lift the cat over my head as the Pitbull leaped for the car and came like a hairs width away from taking my arm off. (BTW Zena went bonkers about the cats too and the cats hid the second either dog had come into the house.)
Once the cat was safely back in hiding in the bedroom things were Ok. The Bull Mastiff was stretched out on his back,belly up snoozing away. The Pitbull was curled up next to him and Penny was curled up on the couch throughout Saturday afternoon.
About 9pm I took the 3 dogs for a ride to the dogpark.
The Pitbull nudged open the gate with her nose like she had been there before .
The dogs got some exercise and rhen gathered with me by the park bench . The Pitbull began to head butt Penny .
I reasoned “Oh she is just playing.”
I got home and the Bull Mastiff stretched out on his back. The Pitbull curled up next to he companion . But this time Penny preferred to hide under my desk by my feet.
I was working on my computet, dogs all asleep when I stood up to go get a glass of water.
The dogs woke up and Penny jumped up to follow me and got underfoot. I stepped on her toe and she yelped.
The Pitbull suddenly just “snapped” and headed straight for Pennys throat. I went flying over my chair again and my phone went flying. This time I was alone.
The Pitbull dragged Penny across the house. Fortunately they ended up it the kitchen so I was able to corner them.
Here we go again ! I am not going to watch my dog die.
I finally pried the jaw open. It was more difficult this time. This was a younger, stronger dog. Each time I got a little leverage she would reclamp on harder.
I finally was able to separate the jaw without the Pitbull turning on me and got Penny in the bathroom again. This time there was blood everywhere. I found a quarter size tear in the skin covering Penny’s throat. It was superficial. I was lucky.
At the Vet we shaved the area and found the tear was more like the size of 3 quarters and an additional puncture wound.
I slapped myself. I should have known. It is in their DNA. I just know it now. How stupid could I have been ? Yes I should have known. No wonder I have been inately afraid of any Pitbull whose path I have ever crossed including these 2 I speak off.
I will not be going for strike 3.
Please comment below if you have had a similar experience.