Sunday, October 20, 2013

U.S. love for pit bulls, bigger than you thought

Banfield Pet Hospitals - the largest veterinary clinic chain in the world - wants us to know that the popularity of dogs described as pit bulls has increased by 47% in the last ten years in this country. (Source) They tell us that pit bulls now rank within the top ten preferred breeds in the U.S and are the third most popular dog in California (Check your state: Source) VetStreet's data agrees, but puts pit bulls as the second most popular dog in CA. (Source

Click map to open full size.

We're not surprised. We know Americans love their pit bulls. Love, love, LOVE them. The stories and photos that flow into our inbox reflecting affection for these animals are non-stop. We get so many that they almost seem common place anymore, but this one gave me a good sized lump in my throat. What tugs at the heart more than a self-described 'fat cop' who melts into a puddle after receiving a life threatening diagnosis for his beloved pooch? Marc's big love for his girl Lilly represents everything we know to be true about the recent decade's new found love affair with the blockheads. Please send Lilly some warm thoughts for good health and spare some for her worried dog dad, too!

"The Beautiful Blue you see here is "Aloha Lilly" on FB - She Rescued me almost 5 years ago now. I grew up with many breeds and then ended up in Law Enforcement where my exposure to .... "unfriendly" Pits prevailed. I was always the "Fat Cop Trying to outrun a Pit - Film at 11 on the local news." Lilly now ("Sade" in the County Shelter) was dropped late one night in their "Safe Drop", I've pretty much put together she was raised from a pup by a US Marine living on base. He dropped her 3 nights after the "Hard Date" of NO Pits, Rotts or Wolf Breeds allowed on base - obviously he tried and tried to find someone to take her but alas with all the rental restrictions and no options he reportedly said "Goodbye" for 45 minutes.... as he drove off she tried to follow and was taken to ground by a Shepherd.

I cannot tell you how many times she's "Rescued me" in return. I have become a very outspoken Ambassador for the Breed.  Lilly is with me constantly - consequently she is exposed to outright Hatred on a weekly basis and I've grown VERY intolerant of "Aggressive Ignorance". Lilly and most Pits properly raised and socialized (and many others who are just dying to have an opportunity) are the most Sensitive K-9's I have EVER experienced in my 51 years. If I so much as LOOK at Lilly with Disapproval.... she will Pout for 10 minutes! I did not get her with any intention of being a working dog for me... that came later and at the urging from a friend who coached / trained in Utah. 
While driving home Christmas Eve Lilly came up on the box between the seats in HER 1 Ton Dodge Megacab. I was Loving on her when I felt a Lump under her jaw for the first time. I called her vet that moment. Long story short.... we sorta botched that. She'd ALWAYS been so healthy and other than the lump - nothing seemed wrong. He was out of town until New Years Eve and he saw her that afternoon.... again we decided it was a minor "Viral" infection. Two and a half weeks later.... it had exploded in size and gotten lumpy overnight.... my heart crashed! I raced her up for what HE (her Vet) said would be "just blood tests to start" but when he felt it...... I saw the color drain from his face. The next day - GREAT News! Blood work PERFECT! That was a Friday so Biopsy results would follow Monday or Tuesday "But if it were ANYTHING too serious - SOMETHING would have been off in her lab results". WE CELEBRATED Big Time! The next day - Saturday, (His sons 13th Birthday) my cellphone rang at 6:14pm - again my heart sank before I answered - when I did HE Couldn't really speak. (I've known him since he was in diapers.... I babysat him) and NOW he's telling me she has Lymphoma - a LOT of it! He'd spent 3 1/2 hours during his sons Birthday searching for something to give me hope. 

So much for the "Short Story" but she was Diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma and has successfully completed the CHOP Protocol. She was ruled "In Remission" but the 3rd treatment. The Biggest Challenge her Medical Team had was .... ME! Her Vet would tell me... "She doing GREAT" except she could drop 15lbs, but "YOU'RE a Mess!! Suck it up man - you're so afraid of losing her that it's going to be HARD on her".... and he was right.

Today she's in "Aftercare" and doing good, I'm doing better. Just LOTS of Stress and now the "Fallout" from diverting ALL Funds to her Treatment and NOT paying other Bills has come home to Roost as they say.... but I'd do it again if necessary!!" - Thanks again! Aloha Marc.

No, thank you Marc. We got such a boost your story today and plan to be some of your biggest fans on Lilly's facebook page.


Anonymous said...

This story of Lily was quite a roller coaster of emotions.I can understand why he would be a bit of a wreck.Most times when a dog is rescued the dog and the guardian end up rescuing each other.Seems this stands true here also.Marc if you're reading this you and Lily will be in my prayers and to you both God speed.

Rachel said...

What a beautiful story - thank you so much for sharing! My thoughts are with you for Lily to heal up. I will be thinking of you both. Thank you again!

steve said...

I hadn't realized their popularity was growing. I hadn't seen that many lately.