Tank, Stillwater, NJ

Hi! My name is Sherman Tank Barrise but you can call me Tank! I’m a shelter dog who made it out of hell! I am wise beyond my young years (thereby quite qualified to give advice) and I am quite handsome. :-)

Here’s my story: My parents had lost their Neapolitan Mastiff in May of 2011. They still had their Chihuahua and African Grey Parrot and was not looking to add to the family. But after a short time, they felt a definite void. That was it — they were going to wait for the right dog to come along. My mom believes that you should not go looking for a dog; the right one will enter your life. They were in PetSmart in late June and it killed my mom to see my dad bending down to pet a pit bull and tell the owner how his boy just passed. My mom has always thought of pits of being such handsome dogs.

The next morning, due to unplanned circumstances, she found herself on the computer at 4 am! (That never happens!) She saw a cross-post by Indigo Wheeled Terrier Jones for Urgent Part 2. My Mommy never heard of them before. She started to look at the pics and she saw this happy-go-lucky looking chocolate brown fella with the greatest smile in the Manhattan shelter. The post said “Good with men, women, children and other dogs. To be killed today!!” That was me and my clock is ticking. Fast.

My mom thought, “He doesn’t have to die, that’s ridiculous, I’ll take him!’ She was waiting for the ‘right’ dog but this boy had no time to wait!! She posted that she would take me and the wheels were in motion. By 6am, a good person put my mom in contact with Zani’s Furry Friends Pet Rescue who said they will try to get me off “The List.” At 8am, Zani’s contacted my mom and said it’s a go. Well, my mom lives in Northern New Jersey (2.5 hours away) so Zani’s said that they would arrange transport and she should have me by Wednesday.

My mom wanted me now. But then she thought, “What am I doing?? I never met this dog! It is a pit bull from the streets of NY!!” Anxiety set in. It turned out that my dad was not working that day and reminded her that if it is meant to be, it will all work out. My mom thought, “OK.” Zani’s called and said if they take the ride in that day, they will not only be saving my life but the life of another because of the kennel space.

Anxiety left quick and excitement set in!! My parents were on their way!! They met the great lady from Zani’s and went to the shelter. It was so dingy and dirty. That was just the small waiting room. So much for first impressions. It was hell and they knew it. After a while, out comes little ole me. I just made a beeline for the door. I wanted out of there!! My parents walked me and I hopped into the car. I just sat in the middle of the back seat straight up and didn’t move!! I was so quiet!! I knew the best view of the city shelter was in the rear view mirror!!

It wasn’t until two hours later when they entered the country — cow and horse country — that I moved over to the back window and started sniffing the air. When we got home, they brought Tiki, the rescue Chihuahua, out. I sniffed her, then ignored her and sniffed the grass. I then went on a ‘pack’ walk which was great! (My sniffer was in seventh heaven!! :-)) We entered the home, and because I was such a gentleman, I entered last. I did not go where I was not invited. I was so well-behaved!

My parents say I’m a dog angel who came to live with them. They tell me I’m perfect. “Just perfect.” (I love the way that sounds!) They were also blown away by how smart I am — did I tell you they call me a doggie genius?! :-)

My parents name me Tank because my grandfather, a WWII vet (so proud of him!), said that I look like a Tank and it was the Sherman Tank that won the ground war in WWII. I loved the name and so did my parents! If the Sherman Tank won that war then maybe I can help win the war against BSL!!

And I’m big protector: On a recent walk, a bear approached my mom and I, and I put myself between the bear and my mom! I never met a bear before but my instincts told me just what to do!! I stood still, with my chest out and just remained very quiet. I was protecting my mom! That bear kept walking into the woods and my mom was so proud of me. She told everyone, “That’s my Tank!” On a later walk that morning, we went to the spot where the bear was and I sniffed around like crazy, found just the right spot and then proceeded to mark it!! (I figured that would tell the bear a thing or two!! :)) My parents are so proud of me!

My parents say they’re still pinching themselves because we both saved each other! My mom says I opened her eyes to the unpleasant side of the dog world and turned her passion to trying to do something about it. Together, we hope to dispel stereotypes and help anyway we can! We already convinced one woman to spay her Shih Tzu and turned another person to a shelter instead of a backyard breeder for her dog! (They are now a very happy couple!)

My mom believes shelter dogs and pit bulls are not broken. They are whole — whole hearts waiting to love. My mom always tell people how wonderful I am! She says I’m so intelligent, loving, and most of all, just wants to please!! I get along great with Tiki and Killer, the cat! The best part is that I get to cuddle next to my Mommy and Daddy on the pillows at night and they each have one of their arms over me. I’m a perfect fit, a perfect breed, a total love!

Well, that’s my story. Tank-you for reading!! XO

Oh, and don’t forget to be my friend and follow my adventure on Facebook!

Parents: Bob & Ena

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