Looking back on things, I feel that I have changed minds just by doing one simple thing: bringing Gus home. Gus was not the first pit bull that I brought home, but he is the first one that I made a permanent resident. It was a little thing that I put little to no thought into, but it had a larger impact than I ever expected.
My grandmother is terrified of dogs, all dogs. I don’t want to single out dogs, though. She’s also afraid of birds, snakes, mice, horses, cows… all animals, really. I once saw her stay in her house during a cookout because there was a squirrel in the adjoining yard. Needless to say, she has been less than enthused by my love of dogs (horses, pigs, cows, mice… all animals, really). When I brought home a pit bull, though, that one took the cake. She was horrified. She vowed to never come to my house again. She called my mother and complained that I had “that dog” in the house with my daughter and that something needed to be done about it. Mind you, when I brought him home, he was 2 days old and resembled a potato. But, still, she was so upset by it.
My mother made a big deal about it as well. Not so much in the same way, she wasn’t upset or frightened, but she would tell her friends “My daughter brought home a pit bull” with a nervous laugh. She wasn’t so nervous about the dog as much as public opinion.
In time, my mother realized that her friends don’t really care what kind of dog I have. My grandmother has realized that Gus is just like any other dog I’ve had, a loving family member. More importantly, a cousin of mine adopted a pit bull a few years back and no one said a word about it. And, as I’ve added more pit bull dogs to my family, no one has even blinked.
Has this act of adopting a pit bull changed the world? Absolutely not. But, did it change the way that my grandmother and mother view them. This is also not super exciting, but I’ve learned from speaking to others, my story is not the only one like this. In fact, this story is rather common. So, slowly but surely, pit bulls are changing minds everywhere just by being dogs and beloved family members.