Happy Tail: Pit Bull fills their hearts

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Harper's eyes won her a home.

Harper’s eyes won her a home.

Harper’s first brief adoption went seriously wrong. She was mistreated by her owners, returned to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), then was taken in by Delaware SPCA. In her first two years, most of her life had been spent in a cage. But then things began to look up for the Pit Bull.

Claire and Mark Birney had been surfing Petfinder, looking for a dog to adopt, when they came across Harper’s photo.

“I went to the SPCA the next day to see if she was a proper fit for our family,” Claire says. “If I wasn’t in love before, I was then. There was this sweet little Pit bull in her cage with her head cocked and her eyes bright. Her tail was going 100 miles per second. As soon as our eyes met, I knew I would be leaving with her that day.”

Perhaps because of her early life, Harper needs a lot of love and likes to be held tightly. “When she’s in bed, she always has to be completely covered by the blankets or she can’t sleep,” Claire says.

But she also has a nurturing nature. When one of the family’s chinchillas escaped, he got behind the television and couldn’t get out. Harper came to his rescue, picked him up as if he were a puppy, took him onto the bed and cuddled him. She also gets along well with both of their other dogs, who don’t particularly like each other.

Through the trials of her early life, Harper remained not only resilient but loving. “She is the happiest, friendliest dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” Claire says.

Harper, she says, has united them with the piece of their hearts they never knew were missing.