Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Fairy Dogmother' to a Pit Bull

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Fairy Dogmother' to a Pit Bull

Article excerpt

I secretly disdain dogs because they're overly enthusiastic when it comes to humans. They love anyone and everyone. No standards! No selectivity! At least, that's what I used to think - before I rescued a pit bull in the park.

There's an oasis of old-growth forest in my city, a small but deep valley of ancient cedars. As I hiked the trails one day, I heard something crashing through the undergrowth and dashing along the creek.

A couple of women came along the trail behind me and asked, "Are you looking for your dog? There's one loose down by the creek."

"Who me?" I replied. "I don't even like dogs." That stopped the conversation.

As I continued with my hike, the noise abated and I forgot about the loose dog. I finally looped back toward the park entrance and decided to go down to the creek.

Just as I arrived, a big brindled pit bull scrambled up the bank, dragging his leash behind him. I stopped in my tracks and waited for a person to follow him. But no one did.

I wasn't sure what to do next. The dog had the distinctive jaws of the breed, and he was huge (he turned out to be a pit bull/Akita mix). In other words, he was a large fighting dog, squared off against someone who disdains dogs.

The moment stretched out, and I started talking to him softly, but firmly: "What are you doing here all by yourself, huh? Where's your person?" He cocked his head and listened. "Hey, you're all covered with water and dirt. Are you the dog who's been racing around? What's going to happen to you?"

The familiar chill of responsibility crept over me. Uh-oh! I didn't really want to get involved. So I turned on my heel and walked up the staircase to the parking lot, leaving the dog behind.

About halfway up, I felt a furry breeze against my legs. The dog was now ahead of me, waiting at the top of the staircase.

He followed me to my car. In the parking lot, a couple complimented me on "my" dog. I explained that he was lost, and they seemed so distressed that I said I would call the animal shelter to come get him. …

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