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Happy Thursday FuRRiends! I hope you have been enjoying the Furr-bulous Blog so far! Already it has been such an enjoyable experience for me to share my insights into being a pit bull advocate, so I thought I’d take a moment to introduce myself and talk a little about a weekly feature we’re kicking off that each of you can be a part of!
My name is Sophia and I am @wyatt.the.gentlegiant’s Ma. For as long as I can remember I have been a lover of animals. But it wasn’t until Wyatt came into my life that I realized the true need for advocacy, for both dog rescue and in being a voice for pit bull-type dogs. You’ll hear me use the terms “pit bull-type dogs” and “bully breeds” interchangeably because there are a handful of actual dog breeds that are most typically described as “pit bulls.” But regardless of what they’re referred to, bully breeds have the highest euthanasia rates of any other dog-type in the world. They are the most common victims of abuse, neglect and discrimination; and that has everything to do with the stigma the media has created against them. Through our own social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram, our goal is to educate the public on the true nature of these precious beings. And now through the amazing platform that Furr-bulous has given us, we hope to reach an entirely new audience. One that we hope will give each pit bull a fighting chance at the loving, forever home they deserve.
For those whom don’t know our story, Wyatt was abused as a puppy. He was rescued by Austin Animal Center at roughly four months old and in his short little life had already experienced a lifetime of pain and suffering. Teeth had been pulled from his mouth and his tail broken - just for fun. Scars lined his body like the markings on a tiger. He was a broken soul that had seen the very worst in humanity before he was even old enough to understand what that meant.
The physical scars have since faded, but the emotional ones hold steady. You see his distrust in the world from time to time when he randomly lets out warning barks to strangers we encounter on our walks. Almost as if to say, “I see you.” Or when dad comes home from work after a long day and forgets to remove his belt in private because Wyatt, to this day, is afraid of them and will flinch in fear at the sight. I can only imagine if in those moments he sees glimpses of his old life.
Thankfully Wyatt never showed signs of aggression in any form, but he didn’t come without his own set of issues. He was never reactive in the sense that I worried he would injure himself or someone else, but his distrust in everything around him - including his father and I - provided challenges I had never experienced in a dog before. But giving up on him was never an option and since then he has learned to love all animals and most humans as well; living up to his name as Wyatt the Gentle Giant.
Wyatt came to us in June of 2014 and today, he is roughly six years old. You would never know he was the same, terrified little boy we encountered back then. His confidence soars and while there are still moments that can set off his fear without warning, every sleepless night, every tear shed… every single moment that made me question if I was doing the right thing for him, has been completely worth it.
It is because we’ve put so much effort into giving this beautiful boy the secure and loving home he deserves that I know all bully breeds are worth it. Every single one has been assigned a fate they didn’t ask for. They are born with shadows cast over their every move simply because of what they look like. It is our responsibility to fight for them; to return their love and abundant loyalty by being their voices.
Long story short, this post kicks off our #FurrbulousFeatures column, where we’ll be featuring one lucky pup and their story each week. If you are someone who would like their story shared on the blog, simply post a photo on your (public) Instagram accounts and let us know in a few short sentences why you’d like to be featured. Be sure to tag #FurrbulousFeatures so we don’t miss it! If chosen, we’ll reach out to you for a quick interview, we’ll work our magic and put your story together for you! In addition, every single pup featured will automatically be entered into a monthly drawing to win a surprise gift from Furr-bulous too! Thanks for your continued support and we can’t wait to read your submissions!