Lazarus, Garner, NC

Hi! My name is Lazarus and this is my story.

I used to be Buddie and my life was horrible. I was chained in the backyard with a barrel for shelter. For the first 3 years of my life, I was neglected, abused and used for backyard breeding by my previous owner. The neighbors tried for a couple years to get animal control to confiscate all of us dogs and finally they did. My previous owner was arrested for animal cruelty, possession and selling drugs.

What should have been the break of my life turned out to be another nightmare. I ended up in the Wake County Animal Center which is a government shelter — last year they killed 52.6% of the animals that came through their doors —  and they are not pit bull-friendly. The neighbors went several times a week to visit me, gave me treats and kept in contact with the shelter director so I would not be put down. But after a scuffle with another dog, I was put in solitary, again marked for death.

To the shelter, I was “just another black pit bull” but to the neighbors, I was worthy and deserving of a happy, healthy life and they worked tirelessly to keep me alive until a foster came along. The neighbors even hired a trainer to come in once a week to work with me and recruited Fugee’s Rescue to pull me if a foster could be found. I’m so glad there are nice humans in the world like the neighbors who fought hard for me to get a chance at life.

That’s when my foster parents came into the picture. They recently had to put to sleep their 13-year-old dog and their hearts were broken. They were approached three times to foster a certain dog at the shelter but they were still so heartbroken. Then the situation became dire for me so they agreed to foster me, heartbroken or not. On Feb. 10, 2011, three and a half months after I ended up at the shelter, I got out and went home to my foster family.

I came to them a dog broken in spirit and heart with a badly scarred little soul. I was so shut down, so scared of everything and had heartworms. I needed my foster parents but little did they know that they needed me just as much. They fell head over tails for me and made him our baby forever! My foster parents decided to adopt me on July 12, 2011 — which happens to be my Mommy’s father’s birthday (it seems like everything was meant to be, as the day I came home as a foster was my Mommy’s mom’s birthday!). It all happened by accident but my Mommy says it could not have been more fitting!

Most people don’t know the back story of their adopted/rescue dog, however my parents know my whole story thanks to my former neighbors. (I’m so thankful for them!!) It took months of intensive loving care to polish me (or according to my Mommy, “a little lump of coal”) into the bright and shiny diamond I am today. My Mommy says I always had a spark of curiosity that gave me the courage to keep trying at life, keep learning the little things I never knew, like how to lick peanut butter off her finger, how to counter surf, how to go up and down stairs, how to scratch my blankets around to make a cozy bed… Each of these was a huge milestone in my life and my Mommy and Daddy cheered every single one of them.

I’m becoming a “regular dog” with a very special heart which thrills my parents beyond belief. I like to play with other dogs, I have great manners and skills, I’ve walked in two parades and am working on my CGC. My parents say I make them  look good and they are so proud to call me their own.

My parents say I humble them with my resilience, my spark of curiosity that never, ever went away even in the darkest of hours and months and years I had before I came home to them. They say I made them better people and they in turn are spending their lives trying to repay me by helping me be the best possible dog and pit bull ambassador I can be.

By the way, I keep surpassing my parents’ expectations and they keep helping me reach for the stars! I am so lucky there are many people who believed in me, from my former neighbors to my parents! Look at how happy we all are at our reunion! 🙂

Thank you for reading my story!

Parent: Chris & Shannon