Hello! My name is Kirstyn Northrop Cobb and I have been given the wonderful opportunity by Petfinder, to blog about being a Pit Bull mom. So, this is my introduction piece. Let me tell you a bit about myself: I have a husband and daughter and I work in animal welfare. I currently have five dogs, a horse and a tortoise. Now, let me tell you a bit about how I got to where I am.
For years, I worked in the veterinary environment. At one point, a two-day-old Pit Bull was brought into the hospital where I was working. He had suffered some trauma and the man whose dog had the puppies asked that he be put down. I looked at this little dog, who more resembled a potato than a dog at his young age, and requested that he just sign over the dog, as the trauma could be repaired and I was just not comfortable putting him down. My plan was to repair the trauma and then adopt out the little dog. So, after he was all fixed up, I went about bottle feeding him and getting him ready for a home.
At the time, I had two Shepherd/Elkhound mixes, who I still have and refer to as “Shelkhounds”. As I have had Shepherds or Shepherd mixes for quite some time, I was used to people crossing the street when they saw me. The majority of the dogs that I have cared for have always been on the larger size and I know that some people are intimidated by that. So, when I decided to take in a Pit Bull dog, I didn’t think much about it. After all, I have worked with animals long enough to view all dogs as individuals, but I was warned by some that a degree of discrimination would come along with it. I blew it off, as, again, I had faced discrimination before. So, I raised the little guy, now named Gus, and when he was about eight-weeks-old, my husband decided that he could not part with the little potato who had grown into a dog.
Around that time, I was faced with the discrimination that I had been warned about. It was a cool December evening and Gus was finally old enough to go on a walk with the big dogs. I crocheted him a little red sweater and a matching hat, got him all ready and took him on his first “big dog” walk. We hadn’t even gotten to the end of the street when a woman on her front porch asked “Is that a Pit Bull?”. I said “yes” and she said that she did not want me or my dog in her neighborhood. I felt that this was very harsh, especially considering that my little dog in his sweater looked more like a raspberry than a dog and he was just a baby at that!!! But, where that woman’s goal may have been to run us off, what she really did was create an advocate. My dog and I were going to prove her wrong about us.
Since then, I have added two more dogs to the family; a Cane Corso mix and another Pit Bull. I have gone into rescue and advocacy full time. My little potato turned raspberry turned dog has grown up. He is not the world’s greatest dog, as I had hoped. Nope, he is a bed hog, he snores, he begs for food, he counter surfs… Nope, not the world’s greatest dog at all. But, he has done some great things. He has spent some time as a blood donor dog, saving the lives of other dogs. He is my only dog who swims or will go on a kayak with me. But, most importantly, he has changed minds. He is showing the world that he is just a dog, and that’s all that I need him to do.