Hi! My name’s Bodie and I was just 3 months old when my previous owner dumped me on the street in southern California.
My ears had just been cropped and I still had the stitches with a big plastic cone on my head. Can you imagine anyone dumping a 3-month-old puppy out on the street with a huge plastic cone on his head? How was I supposed to see or navigate?
That’s how I was found by Rancho Cucamunga Animal Services.
My ears had stitches but the tape was partially torn off. Fortunately, infection had not set in yet. There are no ragged or uneven edges so the staff at the shelter believed there was a vet involved at some point. Besides that, I was in good condition overall — no mange, injuries or malnutrition, just an upper respiratory infection Rancho treated with antibiotics.
I was a lucky pit bull to end up in a municipal shelter that gave pit bulls a chance instead of just euthanizing us. After spending 6 weeks at the shelter, the shelter became overcrowded. Rancho holds about 150 dogs and at that time, they were close to 200 with half being pit bull/pit bull mixes. So they they sent out an SOS to rescue groups.
The volunteers asked Saving Paws of Washington, a rescue group based in Tacoma, WA, that they work with, if they could take me. Saving Paws is a foster-home based rescue that uses Petfinder.com to list their available animals and to find foster homes. Tanya at Saving Paws had arranged the transport van to pull dogs and bring them to western Washington over the Thanksgiving weekend but needed homes for them (foster or forever) once they arrived.
Meanwhile, there was a woman who has a habit of browsing Petfinder. She admits it was like an addiction. Then one day she saw “Boyd.” That was my name at the shelter. It had to be one of the most unflattering pictures of me; It was my intake picture and it was just a huge cone with a face in it.
She read the description from Saving Paws about my known history and that the rescue had transportation ready to bring me up north if someone would be willing to foster or give me a forever home by Thanksgiving weekend. She couldn’t stop thinking about me.
She checked my listing several times a day for the two and a half weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. She kept telling herself, “Someone will come forward, someone will want him and get him out of the shelter.” But no one did.
The Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, she woke up and checked my listing…and I was still there. She thought, “Damn.” She has dogs all her life but never a bully. So she started a fast and furious research of the breed — temperament, exercise and space needs, etc. Then she told herself, “Yeah, I can do this. I can foster him. Work on leash manners, house-breaking, socializing until his forever home is found.”
She even sent an urgent e-mail to her sister asking her to basically talk her out of this. Her sister was no help… She was told, “You’ve raised puppies, you know what you’re getting into. Give the little guy a chance!”
So, before leaving for work she sent Tanya an e-mail offering “Boyd” a temporary home. It was a close call, but she offered to foster me the day before Thanksgiving so I made it onto the transport van.
That Sunday, she drove down to Tacoma, about a 2-1/2 hour drive, and met the transport van at a truck stop along with all the other foster families. I made my first appearance by jumping out of my crate on the van and doing a ‘face plant’ in the parking lot. I stood up, looked at her and started trembling. She told me that she pretty much lost her heart to me right then.
Even though this was just supposed to be a foster, after two weeks Mom realized how special I was, fell in love and adopted me (…well, just look at my face. Wouldn’t you fall in love with me, too?).
I’m now 11 months old and a well-behaved obedience school graduate!
Because I came from 70 degree California weather to 20 – 30 degree Washington winter, I pretty much lived in my sweater until it warmed up a bit.
Life is so good now! I even have a standing playdate every Saturday with my aunt’s boys, Riley and Tip. The one in the picture with me is Riley, my BDFF — best doggy friend forever!
Oh by the way, I’m just now getting comfortable with letting my Mom touch my ears. They are extremely sensitive. My Mom just don’t understand how people could do this to a pup.
My Mom shares this poem with me because for her it absolutely, perfectly sums up how people should all care for the animals in their lives:
“Here in this house…I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch. No matter what I look like I will be considered beautiful and be valued. Never to be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too unruly, or not cute enough. My life is a responsibility, not an afterthought. I will learn that humans can almost, sometimes, be as kind and as fair as dogs.
Here in the house…..I will belong. I will be home.”
And I agree because now I know I belong. I am home.
~Bodie aka The B-man