We were walking through the pet area of Smiley’s Flea market when my eyes locked with hers. They were the color of a clear amber and full of warmth. I tugged on Jose’s arm and asked if we could go see her. Jose warned that we could not take her home. I assured him that all I wanted to do was pet her. He knew it was a lie. Still he walked over with me to check her out.
There were people surrounding her. They were taking pictures of her to text to others before walking away. The guy was selling her and two others for eighty dollars. We explained quickly that we were not looking to buy her. I just felt drawn to her. I just felt a need to give her a hug. I guess she was drawn to me too. As soon as I started petting her, she licked my face. I wanted to take her home. She was so loving. She was so sweet.
The guy was watching us. He offered to give her to us for free if we promised to give her a good home. Jose told him we were just looking. A part of me wanted to grab her up immediately but I was a little scared. See she was a pit bull.
I had heard stories about pit bulls. Stories like how they turned on their owners. I heard that they were only bred for dogfights. I had also heard stories about how they had even bit off the faces of babies. Since Jose and I both had children, I was afraid that bringing her home would put the whole family at risk.
So why did my heart hurt when we walked away from her? Jose and I walked around Smiley’s some more. Every time we came out to of one of those long stalls, I could see the pet area. I could see her standing on top of the tables being paraded for the next possible buyer. Someone who I did not think could love her as much as Jose and I could. Someone who would might use her in shameful ways.
I am not proud of my actions. I acted like a spoiled brat. I pouted. I used puppy dog eyes. Finally, Jose gave in and said we could bring her home. I hurried back to the pet area before Jose could change his mind and told the guy we would take her.
Jose laid down the ground rules. They were very reasonable. If she bit anybody or attacked the cats we had then she would have to go. I agreed but something told me that we would not have that problem with her. We named her Sophie and brought her back to Americus with us.
I am not going to say it was easy. Sophie was 21 weeks old and teething. No one had house trained her. In spite, the guy’s reassurance we found out later on down the line that she had not been to a vet. We worked through all those issues. She got in trouble when she chewed on the walls or doors. When she had an accident on the floor, she was corrected.
We had only had her for a few months when she got sick. She was pooping blood and did not show any interest in her food. Not one vet would even look at her. We just knew she was going to die and it broke our hearts.
Jose and I took turns staying up with Sophie. We forced fed her water and broth. We cleaned up her messes. Then at night, we took turns lying down with her. Three days later Sophie was back to her old self and the bond between the three of us was even stronger than before.
Sophie is proof that all the myths about pit bulls are just myths. Sophie does not have a cruel bone in her body. She has the mindset of a ninety-pound puppy. Sophie has thrived living in the country. She loves playing fetch and at the end of a long day, she loves nothing more than to lie at our feet.
I am glad that I followed my heart the day we brought her home with us. My skin crawls every time I think of what kind of life she could have had if she hadn’t of come home with us. When they are treated with love and respect pit bulls are as gentle as any other dog. Sophie is living proof of this fact. She isn’t just a dog she is part of our family.