In my stories about dogs, my red Pit Bull Helen takes the cake. Here's how all my Pit Bull stuff got started and why I love Pit Bull rescue groups.
Joey asked if I could keep a red Pit Bull for a friend of his for four months. Her name was Helen and she was eleven months old. He assured me she was sweet and I agreed to do it, since, after all, it was only for four months. It wasn’t like I was going to keep a Pit Bull. Besides if I didn't take her, who would?
He dropped her off one evening on his way to work. My 12 and 14-year-old sons had friends over and my 7-year-old daughter was trying to get everyone’s attention so it was a madhouse.
Helen was good with everyone and we were really looking forward to this long visit.
While I was petting this sweet dog, I noticed her leather collar seemed really tight so I loosened it a notch, following the two-finger rule.
When it was potty time I hooked on the leash and out the door we
went. Me and the red Pit Bull. Half way down the driveway, Helen slipped out of the collar and disappeared into the dark woods.
My jaw dropped. My stomach came up into my throat. Holy crap, what was I going to do? My boyfriend Joey would have a fit, the owner would have a fit, and what if she got hit by a car or something?
I ran into the house and in about 30 seconds I had four boys combing the woods in the dark, calling, and looking for Helen while my daughter and I first walked the edge of the woods and then got into the car to look for her.
A half hour passed and we hadn’t found her. I called Joey and he left work to help us look. We looked for hours and didn’t find her. I was upset, he was mad, the kids were sad. This was crazy. This is when I learned... Pit Bulls are escape artists
Early the next morning, I drove the neighborhood again. I knocked on doors to see if anyone had seen a red Pit Bull. I drove bigger and bigger circles looking for her. I stopped in at the fire station on the other side of the woods from us and they said she had been just standing in the middle of the street an hour before I came looking for her. We had been so close to finding our lost dog.
We drove some more but couldn’t find her. Then I realized my first fear as a Pit Bull owner. (See, I was attached already) If someone found her, would they kill her because she was a Pit? My boyfriend and I started calling shelters and the pound. Someone gave us the number of a Pit Bull rescue place and I called.
The pleasant woman on the other end of the phone said, “Can you describe what your dog looks like?”
“Good lord,” I said, “I only had her for two hours before I lost her. Let’s see, she’s a red Pit Bull with a red nose, white socks, and she has a thin off center white blaze and the very tip of her tail is white.”
“Yes,” she said. “We have her.”
“That’s wonderful! Can I come get her right now?”
“No, I'm sorry. You see, I had no room for her so someone picked her up and took her to another rescue center about an hour away. You’ll have to call and make arrangements with the person there.”
I hung up the phone incredulous. In roughly 16 hours I had lost a red Pit Bull. A Good Samaritan had found her while driving a block away from my home, put my dog in her car and driven her to a rescue shelter probably 20 miles away. That shelter was full so someone else picked up my dog and drove her another 30 or 40 miles away to give her a safe haven. Bless them.
By the time we coordinated the pickup around everyone’s work schedule, it was late the following day that Joey and I drove the 40 miles to get Helen back.
We rubbed, scratched, hugged and kissed Helen and thanked the woman profusely for all her help. This woman had also driven over 20 miles to meet us. All this, for the love of Pit Bulls.
Once we were on our way home, it dawned on me, I hadn't thought to give Helen's rescuer any money for gas or food. I felt like an idiot.
About 30 minutes into our drive my guilt was temporarily forgotten as a horrible stench drifted up to the front seat from the back of my old Volvo wagon.
Helen was having diarrhea... everywhere. Then I remembered a lesson learned long ago... When you abruptly change a dog's diet, it makes them sick. Really sick.
Still, once we were home I was excited to enjoy my time with Helen. And you know what? It didn't take long to wonder what the heck I'd gotten myself into.
Next, read how my formerly abused dog, Helen turned into...Hellion.