Skyler, Winston-Salem, NC
HI, my name is Skyler and I am an American Pit Bull Terrier. My life so far has been quite the journey but before I get ahead of myself, let me take you back to the beginning…
My story began on February 2007. It was a Sunday and I was in a car with a man and my two other siblings. I wasn’t quite sure where we were going but the next thing I knew, we were being thrown out of the car!
From what I could tell, we were at some kind of construction site. My one sister and I began to run from the scary man. I heard a lady calling us to come over to her.
Once the bad man realized he had been seen throwing us out he freaked out. He started scrambling trying to grab us and put us back in the car. My one sister and I were just too fast for him and we ran straight to the lady. She picked us up and placed us in her car and said this was no place for puppies to be. (Sadly my third sibling wasn’t fast enough and the man snatched him up and put him back in the car and took off. :-()
The nice lady started calling around to vets in the area since I looked like I needed some medical attention — I couldn’t open one of my eyes. She finally called a place that said they would take care of us and hold us until we found foster homes.
Once we got to the vet the nice lady handed us over. She said she hoped she had done the right thing and wished us great lives and waved goodbye.
Once the vet looked over us, he determined that I had something called entropian and would need several surgeries to fix my eye since I was so young; he guessed about 10 weeks. I didn’t know it yet but my Mommy worked at the vet and fell in love with me within moments of seeing me. She was determined she would take me home and get me the surgeries I needed. One of Mommy’s best friends who also worked at the vet took my sister and named her Sassy.
So my life began…
Mommy took me home that night and introduced me to her other 2 pit bulls — Starr and Paris — to make sure they approved of me too. I passed with flying colors and was part of the family in no time. 🙂
Shortly after I came home, Mommy fixed me up and got my first eye surgery done so I could see. Within weeks Mommy was able to teach me several basic commands and realized I was one smart puppy! She enrolled me in puppy kindergarten and once done with that, I moved all the way to advanced training by the time I was still only 6 months old.
At 10 months old Mommy and I took the CGC test and passed with flying colors! I was the most docile, loving, obedient puppy Mommy had ever met. She knew I was destined to be a therapy dog, and so the training began.
A few days after my first birthday Mommy and I took our therapy dog test and began our observations. Within 4 weeks I was an official therapy dog and R.E.A.D. dog. Mommy and I visited hospitals, mental health facilities, and elementary schools every week.
When I was about 1½, Mommy started getting worried about my sleeping 90% of the day. She also noticed sometimes it was getting harder and harder to wake me. I started having lots of bizarre and very scary symptoms that were definitely not normal. So to the vet I went for a series of tests. Eventually it became apparent I was going to need to make a trip to the specialist.
Before we had a chance to get an appointment I got very sick and ended up in the E.R. It was terrifying and they told Mommy they weren’t sure if I was going to pull through.
But of course being the strong dog I am, I came through OK.
So came the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease and the regimen of pills. After a scary couple months, I pulled through fine. For now, I am doing good and feel pretty healthy most days.
I am continuing on with my therapy work and Mommy and I have developed such a close relationship now she just knows when I am getting tired and we go home to rest. I have been doing so good lately I’m even off most of my pills.
Since then I have been very busy doing positive pit bull advocacy with Pit Sisters in Jacksonville, FL, and I have been quite the world traveler. Because of my health, Mommy rarely leaves me behind and I can’t complain — I have been all the way from Oregon to Maine and back to Florida; I have even been lucky enough to go play in Central Park in NYC! I’m out doing pet therapy all over the USA and I couldn’t be happier.
A little over a year ago my sister Sassy’s Mommy moved to Colorado and due to BSL laws, she was unable to take Sassy with her. So guess what!?! My sister and I are together! Yep, I gave Mommy my best sad eyes and we have added her to the clan! 🙂
My sister and I are best friends and so much alike Mommy couldn’t bear to see us separated.
Thank you so much for reading my story. Who knows maybe one day I could meet you. I do events all over the East Coast and just might come to a town near you!
If you’d like to keep following in my journey, come on over to my Facebook at Skyler the Therapy Dog. You never know what exciting new adventures I may be up to. 🙂