I skipped the part about taking the checks out of the envelopes and reading the many handwritten notes that accompany them. Now don't get me wrong, it feels great when those two or three or four or five hundred dollar checks arrive, and even startling when we get in the rare several thousand dollar matching grant check like we did recently from Petal Berkey. But then there is the stack of eight checks averaging about $20 - the ones with the notes that say they wish they could help out more. I imagine the young person working the low wage job who just wants to help make sure her dog has a strong advocate in this crazy era of breed bans. The handwriting sometimes gives clue that it is an elderly person who is donating their scarce resources as a way of protecting their dog's kind. Or the check is from the person who lost their job a while back, but wanted to honor their recently passed pit bull terrier.
Those little checks are the ones that get me, you know, right in the throat. My eyes start blinking a lot for some reason and then I have to get up and get a drink of water. The pit bull seems to belong to everyone now, but I am reminded that the APBT has always been the common person's dog, just like his predecessor the Staffy Bull in England - common perhaps, but like our dogs, never richer in heart. - Tim