I’ve always believed in second chances, but becoming immersed in the world of pit bulls made me see just how important those chances are. It’s one of many very important life lessons I have learned from these dogs.
I first saw the need for second chances when I heard about dogs rescued from fighting. I never understood why people wanted those dogs destroyed immediately as soon as they were no longer needed for evidence. Pit bulls are resilient, and they don’t hold grudges. It’s not their fault that a human chose to exploit them, so why do they have to die? Why is it so hard for some people to see why these dogs need a second chance? Yes, some of them will be unable to live with other dogs, but I follow enough pitties on social media to know that it is an obstacle that is easily overcome.
The second time I saw the need for second chances, was when I started volunteering at various shelters. Two of the shelters I have volunteered at have a work program with local jails. Inmates come to the shelter to work. I’ve seen how some people react to being around inmates. They look at them as nothing more than criminals. I saw something different. I saw people who were trying to turn their life around. People who were deserving of a second chance.
I’ll never forget this one time when I was volunteering and playing with a pit bull. He was so interested in me and the tennis ball I was throwing for him until an inmate walked by. He was so excited to see this man, who was his assigned care giver. This inmate was able to tell me the dog’s whole background story and how far he had come. The pittie I was playing with had been abused. Left outside to starve. He was skin and bones when he entered the shelter. The dog I met that day, did not match that description. The one-on-one attention he was able to get turned him into a different dog, an adoptable dog.
Second chances are important. A rescue decided that Misha was worthy of a second chance even though she had been abused and had special needs. We opened our hearts and home to Misha to give her the best second chance possible, and she has thrived because of it. I can’t imagine my life without my second chance dog. Or Bella. (I had to mention Bella. I feel bad if I mention one and not the other.)