Dexter, Sun Valley, CA

Hi! I’m Dexter The Pibble and this is my story.

I found myself in a cage at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter when I was just 2 months old. I was picked up as a stray with my furmama and siblings and we were all very sick with Parvovirus and malnourished. Sadly, soon my furmama and most of my siblings passed to the rainbow bridge — they were very weak and didn’t have strength to fight the Parvo. Me and my sister were the only two survivors but they separated us and I was alone for a month in the shelter, in a cold cage with cement floors.

I saw Humans pass by the cages and dogs being taken away from the cages. Some were put back in the cage and some never returned, and I wanted to be one of those that never returned. I had ambition and determination. But they never took me out of the cage, and I heard the Humans said they were going to “put me down” if I did survive…

One day this young couple came in and was looking through the cages. I tried my best to look as cute as possible! I wiggled and wiggled and put my paws on the cage to get their attention…The girl finally came over to see me. I was so excited I could barely stand up straight on the slippery floor.

She called the young man over to see me and they both smiled as they pet me through the holes of the cage. They left to talk to the man that fed us every day and the man had told them I was very sick and had Parvo. The couple didn’t seem to care although the man insisted there were “other healthy puppies to pick from” because I wasn’t going to last long and I was going to be “put down” soon. 🙁

The girl insisted she wanted me so the young man asked what they could do for me. The man said that they would have to wait two weeks to see if I would manage to pull through the Parvo. They couldn’t take me out of the cage due to the virus being lethal in most cases and extremely contagious. He said he would call them…

So I waited… and waited… Two weeks had gone by and the couple didn’t come. I lost hope. I thought they were “the ones.”

The very next day, the couple came back! And boy was I excited to see them! The girl questioned the man as to why he didn’t call them and the man apologized, saying he “forgot”. They took me out of my cage and put me in the patio they had outside for me to interact with the couple. I ran around like there was no tomorrow!

I fell quite a lot at that time. I ran towards the girl and fell, that’s when the girl noticed that I had a couple of scars on the side of my face — one under my chin — and two random and round scars on both my back legs. They didn’t think much of my falling, they thought it was because I was so weak and malnourished still.

As I got to their house and they let me roam freely, my back legs would act up and I would get frustrated because I couldn’t run or walk like other dogs could. Sometimes I would just drag my back legs. The couple got worried and brought me to a vet where they did X-Rays and other tests on me. My bones are terrific so it wasn’t that. My blood work came out good too, so the girl told the vet that I had Parvo when I was younger and the vet said, “That would be why then.”

I had lingering problems from the virus and the vet said that I would never be able to walk normal nor would be able to run much (I couldn’t run more than a Chihuahua at the time). And “around 5 years, he will need a wheel chair,” was the vets words. My new parents refused to believe him and went to other vets who also said the same, including one of them said jumping was out of the question as I would never be able to do it.

My Humans never gave up on me. Then, after 3 months of surviving Parvo and the vets saying what they did, I got Distemper. 🙁 But this time, I wasn’t alone in a cold cage with cement floors and left to fight it off for myself. I had my Humans now who helped me overcome it.

Nowadays, I’ve proven everybody wrong! 🙂 I run, I walk, I jump… I do everything other dogs can do.

I love my life and I love all my friends and furiends in it. I love everybody! Big dogs, small dogs, children, adults… you name it! I learned the very hard way that not everybody loves me back though. I’ve been bit 13 different times! Yup, you read that right. Thirteen different times I’ve been attacked due to owners not being responsible with their dogs. And despite what the media and mean people say, I NEVER fought back, EVER. Not even one growl back. I guess I really suck at being a Pit Bull. BOL!

I am healthy and despite the lingering problems I had (partial paralysis in my hind legs due to the Parvo), I have achieved my CGC and Advanced CGC, I know every command and trick you can think of, and I have a “bombproof” temperament — I always stay calm and responsive to my Humans, no matter what happens! I also do sports like Dock Diving and Agility — my legs won’t stop me from having fun!

My Humans say that one of my greatest gifts, aside of having a contagious smile, is the comfort I provide dogs who are struggling with aggression or insecurity issues. My demeanor soothes their anxiety and helps them become more confident with other dogs. My Humans are dog trainers through an amazing organization, LARPBO – Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners, and I go to classes where I can help these dogs and show their Humans how their dogs can become with the proper training and socialization.

We also go to events where I can show off all of my tricks and obedience. I even help kids (and adults) to not be afraid of Pit Bulls at events and educate them and their parents. I love to show off by the way. BOL!

My Humans learned a valuable lesson: No matter what, never give up on yourself or an animal. Nobody thought that sickly little falling down puppy would survive, let alone doing all these amazing things to help other dogs and Humans. Right? 🙂

Lots of love, licks and hugs,
Dexter The Pibble

Parent: Mariana