Riley, Westland, MI

Hi, I’m Riley, a white American Bulldog/Pit! I’m a big and happy guy, but I wasn’t always this happy.

Not so long ago, I was sick, skinny and scared. My owner didn’t want to waste the money for the vet on me. So he brought me outside and he raised his gun at me. My life would’ve ended right then if a man who was driving through the neighborhood didn’t see what was going on and stopped to talk to my owner. This man’s name is Randy and he told my owner, “Fine, I’ll take him off your hands.” He took me home and I was safe for the first time in my life.

The next day on the way home from work, Randy’s employee, Rick, met me. Over the next few days he started to bond with me. I knew the sound of his truck and ran circles when I would come to work and when he came back to the yard on his way home.

I was staying in Randy’s yard with his 2 dogs, a Chihuahua and a Jack Russell terrier. Because I was such a big dog compared to these two guys, there were issues where I would hurt them by stepping on them or running over them because they were so small.

Randy eventually told Rick to take me home with him. Rick went home and asked his girlfriend, Christine. She was concerned as she had not met me and wondered, “Would he like women? Would my allergies be an issue? What if he just doesn’t like me?”

So she went to meet me for the first time. Needless to say my dorky American Bulldog/Pibble smile got to her immediately. They brought me home that night and we’ve been a family ever since!!

They found that I sick because I had never been wormed. I had 4 types of worms according to the vet. Several doses of meds later, a good bath and one surgery to neuter me, and was good as new!! I was 52 pounds when they brought me home. At my last checkup, I’m a whopping 80 lbs!

My parents could tell that I was abused. They have no actual knowledge as they don’t know my full history, but I was skittish when you would raise your voice to correct me and shied away from hands and things that were thrown at first (balls toys and even treats). Physically I was painfully thin with no muscle mass and my coat was awful. My nails were in desperate need of trimming although my teeth, thankfully, were in good condition.

I had a lot of separation anxiety and we definitely had our growing pains with chewing issues, although anyone with a bully breed knows that’s just what we do. My parents never had special training for me although my mom had thought for some time I would benefit from it. Once we went past my house training and the chewing issues, I settled in to a routine and my mom said I became a very sweet part of our family. Sure at times they ask, “Why do we have a dog?” when they would find the trash can contents dragged across the living room floor (oops!), but they love me all the same. They say it’s just as with a toddler, there’s a learning curve for me as well as them.

But my parents always felt I needed a fur kid to play with as I’m so hyper. My mom compares me to a Jack Russell Terrier in a Pit Bull body. If I was the Energizer bunny in disguise, she wouldn’t be surprised in the least! My parents often wondered if there’s such a thing as doggie Valium?!?  :-)

Then my parents brought me fur friends to play with: Porkchop & Bella!! I’m so happy I have other doggies to play with! We all love to play tag in the backyard. One of us will pick up a ball or toy and run around the yard at full speed with the other two chasing.

I love to hide behind the pine trees and then charge across the yard when no one’s looking. We actually have a strip of grass missing from running our “circuit.” My mom thinks there are times my feet never touch the ground! Bella is the fastest and can overtake me easily (ugh!) and Porkchop is the slowest (haha!). He’s sneaky though; he likes to lie in the grass and just wait for his turn to pounce like a lion stalking prey!

Porkchop and I love to play tug of war with our ropes and Dad’s old blue jeans (Mom cuts the legs off and tie knots in them and she says they’re much more durable than most dog toys.) I LOVE knots and will work for hours to undo one. My mom thinks I’m taking after her — a little OCD maybe? :-)

We all sleep together cuddled up on the couch. Most mornings my parents find someone sleeping with our head on someone else’s legs, tummy or side. Bella’s favorite position is full out on her back snoring away. When Bella has a bad dream, Porkchop and I will quickly go to her side to comfort and soothe. Bella and I do the same thing when Porkchop has a bad dream. Bella and Porkchop seem to have quite a lot of bad dreams. My mom says she can only imagine what they might be and hope that someday, those nightmares will become happy dreams of chasing squirrels and tennis balls.

To my mom, I’m an innocent, silly, goofy soul. I answer to “Riley” as well as “Dork” since my parents very lovingly call me that quite often. My mom says I’m the annoying little kid who bugs you to play and play and play and play, but then I’m also the sweet baby who lay beside her and licks her to say thank you for rubbing my belly or giving me cookies.

She says I’m so goofy you just have to love me!

Parent: Christine & Rick

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