The prejudice against pit bulls runs deep. Even knowledgeable pet parents like mine are on high alert when they see one. After all, Pocket is so tiny; she could be swallowed whole like Jonah. When our neighbor's son visits his mom with his pittie, my parents avoid taking my sisters out to keep them safe. A mitigating circumstance that contributed to their decision is the number of heroin overdoses that have occurred at the neighbors. Troubled families beget troubled dogs.
My efforts to reach out to that pit bull to learn his intentions have been thwarted. He has blocked my dream visits like I am a can of Spam. I would prefer to give the big lug the benefit of the doubt; it isn't his fault people in his family have made terrible choices, but until we learn that raising a bloodthirsty pittie was not another terrible choice that they made, my parents must do everything they can to protect their tiny prancers.
I have never met a pit bull at the Bridge who wasn't kind, generous, and sweet. When I visit mortal pitties in their dreams, I am pleased to say they are gentler than many little Yorkies I have encountered.
One of my favorite pitties is sweet Baxter of the Lawson family. He is a multi-breed unit member, so he knows how to have fun with little dogs without being too rough. He has a pure heart and soul, which his mom recognized, and she devoted a large part of her heart to him.
Often when death comes calling, it leaves a card. The most dreaded one is called cancer. When death plays this card upon you, it is possible to delay the inevitable by using prayer, medical treatment, and perseverance but often, especially if you're a canine when death comes to retrieve the card, he takes you too.
I wish you all could have seen how bravely Baxter fought the insidious disease. Battling an illness is especially hard because you are rapidly losing the defenses you need to win. Baxter fought bravely and at times seemed to be gaining the upper hand, but, in the end, he had lost too much to continue the fight. His mom sent him to the Bridge and took on all the pain he had been feeling.
The crowd of dogs waiting to greet Baxter was two dozen deep. Everyone loved him and remembered when we belonged to the same site and played from morning to night. Leading the greeters was his sister Daisy, who crossed the Bridge a year ago. The double punch to the heart caused by losing both babies has nearly crippled Mama Lily, who is going to need lots of good thoughts, friendship, and wet nose snuggles to find her way out of grief’s torturous road.
Baxter has two essential jobs as an angel. The first is to help Daisy lead his mom through grief and into an acceptable new normal. The second is to work with the other pit bull angels to help change the tide of public opinion from pitties being vicious animals who are a danger to them being sweet, big-hearted, loving souls who can bring endless joy to the right person.
And maybe, if he is successful, people won’t be worried about being attacked by a dog visiting the neighbors and more concerned about being attacked by the people themselves.