Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Star Pupil & Ambassador for his breed

When adopting an American Pit Bull Terrier from any rescue organization they’ll be the first to say and put in print “make sure your dog is an “Ambassador” for the breed.  When we adopted Sasha we had no clue what that meant, all we knew was we had a dog and not just any dog but a Pit Bull! Many family and friends weren’t happy with our choice of breed however, it’s our life and Sasha was going to be an “Ambassador” for her breed (whatever that meant).  As family and friends met Sasha their defenses surely came down.  Then the light came on and we finally understood what the rescue had meant.  Sasha stunned us and all she encountered with her smile and loving demeanor.  What a joy it was when our neighbors would stop us as we walked Sasha some even allowing her to come in their yard to play with their children! Not only was Sasha a local celebrity but, an “Ambassador” for her breed.  Many of our neighbors never encountered or interacted with a pit bull and only knew what they heard and seen through the media.  Here this white, stocky, female dog who smiled while her backside wagged so hard she could barely stand in one place was changing the mindset and perception of this bully breed.

Then came a 5-month old hyper, mischievous, reddish brown and white male pit bull mix. Clearly our family, friends and neighbors figured we had lost our minds.  The community was accepting of one pit bull however; were we pushing it by adding another pit bull let alone a male?  Having a clear understanding of what an “Ambassador” for the breed meant, we let Krush’s mannerisms speak for themselves.  Krush was no Sasha by any stretch of the imagination, he was younger, hyper, had little to no regard for personal space, a nipper and he was jealous. How in the world could this pit bull be an “Ambassador”? He appeared to be the menace that the media screams about.   We enrolled Krush in puppy training when he was 6 months and who knew....there was an “Ambassador” in him.  Krush was the calmest, most respectful, confident, obedient, food driven PIT BULL in the class! As the training went on, Krush continued to improve and be the star pupil of the class.  The majority of the dogs in the class were German Shepherds and they were whiny, lacked confidence, and darn right annoying (before folks get their panties in a bunch we love German Shepherds, had one growing up best darn dog ever, Love you Tobi).  When they would whine, Krush would look at us as if to say what’s wrong with them. Krush became the instructor’s favorite (we’re taught to try not to favor a dog or breed) dog to use for demonstrations.  You can only imagine the smile on our faces.  What solidified Krush as a true “Ambassador” was at the end of the class when many of the other owners came up to us to say how impressed they were with Krush and his behavior and how they wish their dog was as obedient as he was.  Many of them never interacted with a pit bull nor had any desire to because of what they “heard” from the media.  Krush smashed their negative perception and changed their minds about pit bulls.  What impressed everyone even more was when they met him, Krush must’ve known they wanted to touch his handsome self because he would stick his head out of the window to allow them to pet him.  That day we cried and our jaws hurt from smiling so much. In the parking lot Krush was a true “Ambassador” and celebrity like his big sister.  Clients from the other classes would stay around for a chance to met the “magnificent” pit bull named Krush!   Krush showed why he’s a true “Ambassador” in every sense of the word.

We’re in the final stages of our training certification. During this phase we have to bring a dog that we’ve worked with (our own or another) to see if we’ve been practicing our techniques as well as get assistance on the nagging things that keep our pups from being all they can be.  Again Krush is called upon and he doesn’t miss a beat.  As usual he’s the only pit bull and the looks on the faces of the clients are priceless.  Krush walked in like any other dog and began to  sniff around.  Most of the dogs were off leash which helps them socialize.  Krush didn’t have an opportunity to roam free but he was respectful and enjoyed smelling all of the new butts he was meeting. Class started shortly after we got there and Krush shined as bright as the northern star.  The energy in the room was high however, Krush remained calm. There were a few instances where he whimpered because he wanted to play however, after receiving guidance from us, all was well.  Krush knew all of the cues including hand signals so he laid down watching the other dogs and their handlers learn.  Again the instructor/mentor was impressed with Krush so she had to acknowledge him, which was another proud moment for us.  Finally we know and have a true understanding what rescue organizations mean when they say “be an Ambassador for the breed” we have two “Ambassadors” for this bully breed....Thanks Sasha & Krush!

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