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My Life Is The Pits

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Tasha Stevens, 1080 KRLD Tasha Stevens
  My love affair with radio began the first time I heard Queen on the...
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Wait a minute. I got that backwards. It should read, “The Pits Are My Life”.

When I say Pits, I mean American Pit Bull Terriers. Now wait a minute…before you recoil in horror and hit that click back arrow, hear me out. I, too, once held the belief that that this breed was bad news for all involved…and as anyone who knows Tash’ can tell you, once Tash’ has an opinion, Tash’ does not change that opinion barring an act of God. Well, the act of God in my life came in the form of an abused pit bull named Max. The scars in the pictures to follow tell a story all their own, but I will fill in the areas of how this beautiful boy forever changed the way I looked at these dogs…and eventually, other people. The thing I learned was that no matter what people say or what labels they try to place on others (including dogs)…no two are exactly alike…no two react in the same manner…no two have the exact same story…and they all deserve a chance without being pre-judged. Below is how my lesson began.

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Max!

Max was my introduction to the American Pit Bull Terrier. He was picked up by animal control in Louisiana’s Livingston Parish (like our counties) after a dog fighter was arrested. Max and all the other dogs confiscated that day were being held until the trial. There was no question as to what would happen after the trial. Livingston Parish had a strict policy of putting down Pit Bulls. Period.

Max was different. He had already been picked up several times after breaking free from the hell that he faced each day. Max was used as a “Bait Dog”. Bait dogs are the older, weaker dogs that are used to train the “fighting” dogs.

A friend in radio worked with animal control adoptions and she knew Max should be given a chance at life in a loving home, so one day, she showed up at my then boyfriend’s door with Max. The boyfriend had no experience with dogs and I had no experience with pitties so the situation was a learning experience for all of us. There was a barn type shed in the backyard with a wooden floor, so we decided to place Max’s bed made out of towels there. We figured he would like it…but we had no idea because he never made a sound. He never wagged his tail. He never did much of anything at all. We figured he could not bark because the other dogs had practically ripped out his throat. When the dogs were confiscated, Max was in bad shape…but the wonderful vet at animal control performed surgery on Max…something they never did…especially for pitties.

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More Max

Days passed and we saw Max dragging his towels out into the grass in the yard. We then realized that Max never had grass before; His previous life consisted of being chained up on hard dirt. One day, the boyfriend told me that Max kept rolling over onto his back whenever he went into the backyard. I had to tell him that it was the ultimate display of love. Max was choosing the most submissive pose a dog can make…on his back with his underside exposed. In a way, I think Max was also exposing his heart. Later on, he did it to get comfortable.;)

Little by little, all three of us learned something. We learned that Max could bark…albeit a quirky sound after all the throat surgery…and he could wag his tail and be a playful puppy. Most importantly, we learned that Pit Bulls are not the savages the media makes them out to be. Max endured more pain and cruelty than one can imagine, yet he NEVER and I mean NEVER growled or showed any form of aggression to anyone…in our family or otherwise. Max learned from us that not all humans are savages.  He also learned that even though we would tell him that he could not get on the couch when one of us was napping on it…he could ease up, paw by paw, and slowly stretch out beside us without our waking up. I miss that so much. Max lying beside you meant you never needed a blanket. lol He was so warm.

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Tasha & Max

Max passed away after developing a neurological disorder. When he died, I made a promise to him and myself that I would spend the rest of my life doing everything in my power to change the false perceptions of the Pit Bull breed and to find as many homes for these dogs as possible. After Max, I adopted my Peabody Brown from Fort Worth Animal Control when he was 8 weeks old.

A man breeding pittie pups brought him in with a broken leg. He wanted to put Peabody to sleep since he would not be able to sell him. Peabody, now 90 pounds, is a big baby boy. There is not a mean bone in his body.

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Peabody

While doing a talk show in New Orleans, a police officer brought me my next pittie…a sweet one year old girl who was on a 3 foot leash outside a crack house in the 9th ward. She had no food or water or shelter or bedding.

Leroux was a bag of bones when I got her.

She eventually gained weight and felt at home…

I named her Leroux (lah-roo’) because she had a brown mask over one eye which reminded me of the Phantom of the Opera. Upon researching it, I found that the author’s name was Leroux. How cool is that?!

I am often torn when trying to place pitties . It is my experience that those who make the best owners are the very ones who are not “looking” for a pit bull. There is a huge segment of our population that is drawn to this breed for the wrong reasons and it sickens me to my core.  If you are hesitant, know that I have been where you are and I know exactly what you are thinking and feeling.  Should you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at tasha.stevens@cbsradio.com. Being a pittie owner for so many years, I can offer many tips on these loveable lap dogs. Yes. They love sitting in laps. And yes, they really can smile.:)

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Leroux

I now ask you to consider giving this sweet boy a home.

Doug is being fostered by the sister of one of my co-workers and due to the fact that they are selling their home and moving, they need to find him a forever home. What makes this so cool is that my coworker and I have discussed pitties in the past and she was not really a fan due to the stories she had heard on the news through the years. She actually brought that up when she asked me to help her find Doug a home, saying that he is the sweetest dog ever and gets along perfectly both with kids and other pets. Hearing an admitted “not that keen on the breed” person praise that very breed is more proof of this dog’s sweetness.

Doug is a 1 year old, male, neutered Pit found in the middle of a busy intersection. He was very scared and shy at first, but now is very playful, loving and snuggly. He is very handsome and has beautiful green eyes. He loves kids, other dogs, cats….pretty much everyone. He prefers to be inside, but loves to play outside with kids and other animals. He is crate trained, knows how to sit and shake and is up to date on all his shots. He loves to chase his tail endlessly and tries to mimic the humans by sitting in office chairs in front of the computer. He loves to snuggle and chase his ball. He’s such a very sweet boy! The only issue with him is his love of dish towels :) He grabs them off the counter and chews on them.

Doug is already neutered, housetrained, up to date with shots, good with kids, good with dogs, and good with cats. Click here to see Doug’s adoption page.

Remember for each foster adopted out, another one can be rescued from the shelter!

Adoption Fee- $125.00 for dogs

Vouchers for the state required spay and neuters as well as micro chipping, a wellness check (at PCVH location only), rabies vaccinations, HW testing (as needed) and any vaccinations due at the time of the spay/neuter are included in the adoption fee. Voucher Services provided Parker County Vet Hospital and T-CAP (Texas Coalition for Animal Protection).

Contact This Rescue Group…

Rescue Group: West Side Animal League

Pet ID #: 8016752

Phone: (817) 565-8222

Let ‘em know you saw “Doug” on Adopt-a-Pet.com!

E-mail: westsideanimals@gmail.com

Let ‘em know you saw “Doug” on Adopt-a-Pet.com!

Website: http://www.westsideanimalleague.org/

Address: PO BOX 150673

White Settlement, TX  76108

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