Hi all! My name is Everest. My story is a very common story for a bully breed dog.
Whoever had me as a puppy made a conscious decision to not care for me, starving me. I was picked up by animal control and taken to the county shelter. I was frightened, cold, dirty, emaciated and so very hungry but I never stopped wagging my tail.
In the afternoon this lady came in and she had the sweetest voice as she knelt at my cage. I could tell she was upset by the look in her eyes. She noticed that I had the biggest bony head in comparison to my starving little body, but that’s not what caught her attention. She said I had the most soulful brown eyes and my spirit for life just filled the air. She told me it would be alright and she left, but she promised to be back. And she did!
She took care of me while I was in the shelter. She came everyday bringing me scrambled eggs and filling my food bowl. She would take me out and play with me (oh, I loved seeing her!). She would let me out of my kennel while she was caring for the puppies in the puppy room and I would lay on the bed playing with toys she brought me.
One day they took me away and I was terrified that I would never see her again. I was taken to be neutered as I was being readied for an adoption event. When I returned, she was there. She never planned on adopting me but she realized she could not separate herself from me. So she became my Momma!
She never judged a dog based on breed so I was just an individual to her. I’m just her “Bubba”! It wasn’t until we started going out in public that she felt the pain and anger of breed discrimination and hate. We would go in stores and hear horrible comments from total strangers, things like “that’s a killer dog” or they would walk on the opposite side.
This just broke my Momma’s heart and angered her that folks would judge a sweet loving dog like me, a dog that would openly love them. She decided then that I would make a difference.
We attended obedience classes and after 6 long weeks of training daily, I took my AKC Canine Good Citizen test and passed! I also became a registered Therapy Dog. Momma and I joined the Pit Bull Awareness Coalition (PBAC) as breed ambassadors and quickly began work.
We are on the performance drill team with the PBAC. We perform routines for demonstrations, parades and events to show folks how great us dogs are and that we can work together. Oh, and I LOVE to perform!!
My Momma & Daddy are so proud that I am the first ever pit bull type dog to be in a school reading program in Hertford County, NC — the very county that abused and starved me. We are in our 3rd year with the Riverbarkers Therapy Dog Reading Program at Riverview Elementary School; we go twice a month to assist at-risk and beginner readers. We also visit special needs children and work with autistic children. I love visiting all my friends!
During my visits, I encourage them to practice their reading skills so they will be ready at the next visit. They’d beg to read to me and they’ll tell you I’m their dog!
I’m also teaching them compassion and safety around dogs. Most of them have chained dogs and they’ll tell you they can’t touch their dogs, so for many I am their first positive interaction with a dog. I can show them what a companion dog is through my behavior and love. They love all over me without fear; they know they can because of who I am.
After each class visit I perform for my friends. They call me the circus dog while I perform my many tricks and stunts. Oh they just can’t get enough! They will ask, “Can he do one more, please?”
I also have my own reading program, Discover Tails Therapy Dog Reading Program, in our county. We meet every Wednesday evening at the public library for any kid wanting to practice reading. We also attend special reading events at our local elementary school in Gatesville.
My Momma thought it was important for me to give back to my own community. I’m helping to foster empathy for animals with the local children. Our county has hundreds of chained dogs living horrible lives and if working with me saves a dog, then we are successful.
Another thing my Momma and I are doing is improving our animal shelter. It is a kill shelter so we are lobbying with the county commissioners for changes to our vague animal ordinances and lack of enforcement in hopes of becoming a humane county for animals and especially dogs like me.
I am a breed ambassador every minute of every day. I show through my actions that I am faithful, loving, intelligent and goofy. My Momma said I am truly an amazing soul and is definitely her doggie soul mate.
She is so proud of me. I have overcome many obstacles to be who I am. I am a true rag to riches story. Not bad for a dog no one wanted!
Thanks for reading my story! And don’t forget to drop by my facebook page, Everest Out of a Pit!