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The Pits

The Pits

The Pits

I didn’t set out to rescue a pitbull-looking dog when I met Gavin or Mabel. I just happened to connect with their souls in a way that I didn’t with other dogs I met. And I was fortunate. Only twice did random people negatively judge Gavin based on his looks.

Most of the time, Gavin and I had the opposite experience as he scrunchy-faced, smiled, wiggled, and loved on anyone and everyone he encountered, even when we broke into someone’s home.

Gavin and I were vacationing in Asheville, NC, when he jumped out of the car, racing after a cute neighbor dog. My sweet boy never jumped out of the vehicle without coaxing. And I was a dog trainer. You’d think I would have called Gavin to “come.” We’d worked hard on it. Nope, I panicked and squealed as I dropped everything and chased my lovestruck dog. 

My heart raced as the rural dog ran through a dog door, and Gavin followed. It wasn’t until I spotted a third dog at the end of the hallway that I realized I’d invaded a stranger’s home and instantly wondered if the person or one of the dogs would come after me (rightfully so). Then I heard a frail voice, “Sweetie, hold on, I’m on the commode,” and I wondered if that was a code word for shotgun, so I desperately tried wrangling Gavin while he investigated and made friends with two REALLY nice, REALLY welcoming dogs. 

By the time the tiny woman came out, I was hyperventilating. I was crying so hard, and she said, “Sweetie, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I love pit bulls. They get such a bad rap.”  I was dumbfounded, not a word about the fact that I was a stranger standing in her living room with my dog. I stayed long enough to apologize profusely.

I can’t say Mabel and I have had that much drama, and I hope we never do, but I’ve recently discovered what a disgusting dirtball my sweet, good girl is. Saturday, after a morning rain, we were walking at a nearby cemetery (it’s dog friendly for leashed dogs; we keep to ourselves and only walk on the road; I don’t even park near mourners; I deeply respect other people’s loved ones).

I saw this glimmer in Mabel’s eyes and joy written all over her face as she sped up and literally belly-flopped in a rain-filled pothole. Then, another one, then another one. I thought, “Don’t drink it, doofus, you just got over giardia.” Then, I decided Mabel would get a wipe down in the car and bath when we got home, so why not let her bliss out jumping in dirty water? Seeing Mabel so happy doing something so doglike, so simple brought me such inherent joy, even though I’m a bit of a neatnick and worry wart.

Then, as we enjoyed a second walk on a perfect-dog-walking-weather day in a suburban park, I saw Mabel’s step get peppier and her grin grow wider as she nose-dived into a pile of leaves. I laughed as Mabel jumped and rolled and grumbled with glee. It wasn’t until we got in the car that I realized the leaves weren’t the main source of Mabel’s merriment. Nope, it was poop, poop tickles Mabel pink. After her giardia, we’ve practiced and succeeded in avoiding poop. Still, Mabel’s nose was sharper than my eyes, and clearly, her love of feces outweighed my praising and treating her because my sweet girl had excrement all over her left ear.

I wiped and wiped and wiped until I was sure it was gone. As I drove us home, chuckling, shaking my head at how Mabel loves gross stuff, I smelled poop again, and when she laid her head behind my right shoulder, I knew why. I missed a spot, a big one. Then, wouldn’t you know, the instant we parked, my definitely-not-delicate girl expressed her anal glands all over the cover of my backseat.

It’s a good thing Mabel loves water because I see a lot more baths in our future and a lot more car washes and detailing in mine. May your day and weekend be filled with sweet-smelling, laughable, light-hearted moments. And, if you’re a pittie lover, I’ll donate 15% of profits for every sale through the end of tomorrow to Adopt A Pit Rescue

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