Lollie’s friends and fans offer a lot of questions and suggestions like “you seem so happy together, don’t you think you should just adopt her?” And I admit, this seems very logical. Especially when her silly little booty is snuggled up to my hip as I type, she snores softly at my side, and she occasionally stirs—not enough to entirely wake up, but enough for her eyes to flutter and for her tongue to give my pant leg a few heartfelt licks. As much as we are going to miss this sweet girl when she goes, there are a few key reasons that she won’t be our foreverdog.
1. Every pit bull we adopt out is a pit bull that won’t be euthanized in a shelter. I read recently that more than half of dogs euthanized in shelters due to overcrowding are pit bulls, and yet pit bulls comprise only about five percent of the U.S. dog population. Sure, some sweethearts like Lollie would have been adopted from the shelter anyway, but many wouldn’t. Many fabulous potential dog owners wouldn’t look twice at Lollie in the shelter—scratches on her face, yellowed from the time she spent in a dumpster before her rescue, pacing and jumping from nerves and boredom. Some of those dog owners might be overwhelmed by a shelter and choose to buy a dog from a breeder instead, or they might adopt one out of a foster home—a calmer, more controlled environment. People who would never think to adopt a pit bull see us with Lollie—a non-controversial, professional, young duo—and can suddenly picture her in their life, too. These are the connections we can help people make while we continue to foster dogs. But if we keep Lollie, our foster days are over and we won’t be saving any dogs from euthanasia.
2. Every pit bull we adopt out will cultivate at least one dedicated pit bull advocate. If it’s true what some advocates say, that most people who are scared of pit bulls are just people who have never met one in person, then it must follow that most people who are not dedicated pit bull advocates are just people who have never owned one. Welcome one of these sweets into your home and into your heart, and you will have no choice but to fall, like so many others have. When I met my own wonderdog Chick, I was not looking for a pit bull. I wasn’t even looking for a dog. I tell people that I didn’t pick him—he picked me. And before I realized what was happening to me, Chick quickly converted me into an advocate for the breed group. And between the often unfairly negative public image, the large number of dogs that fall into (or are created by) the wrong hands, and the overwhelming population of pits in shelters, this breed group could use more responsible, loving advocates in its corner. I have no doubt that the lucky family who adopts Lollie will quickly fall not just for her, but for her brothers and sisters, too.
3. In the end, Chick is king. Apparently Lollie’s ample natural charms are more effective on people (in fact on every person she meets) than they are on her dear foster brother Chick. Over the few months Lollie has been living with us the two wonderdogs have come to an agreement in which they mutually tolerate and respect each other, but they are not best friends. If we were ever to adopt a second dog, we would want the new dog and Chick to be best buds. Fortunately or unfortunately, these two lovelies just don’t have the chemistry to be BFF, and that’s that. After all, we all know who is boss around here.
For more info on adopting Lollie, contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com or 301-520-7123.
All understandable and smart reasons! Coming from someone whose dogs aren’t BFFs, I couldn’t agree with you more. They tolerate each other and get along 99.7% of the time, but there will never be any snuggling.
Flash & Ollie
I completely understand why you aren’t adopting her yourself. I think it’s easy to see a foster dog in a great home and wonder why the family doesn’t just adopt the dog forever, but foster homes are hard to come by and when one is lost, that means many dogs don’t make it out of the shelter. A foster home can be the lifeline for numerous dogs waiting to make it out.
The statistic that I’ve always heard is that only 1 in 600 pit bulls makes it out of a shelter. I think it’s a horribly sad number, and it’s even worse to think that there are people who continue to irresponsibly breed pit bulls. T and I have been discussing fostering again and I think it’s only a matter of time before we take in another dog. Unfortunately for us, having such a senior dog in Molly, we have to be very careful about how we go about it.
And I know this isn’t Chick’s blog so we don’t see him often, but man is he cute! He’s definitely a trooper for tolerating Lollie in his house this whole time 🙂
I have heard that statistic too, though I am a little skeptical. 1 in 600 seems like it couldn’t possibly be true. Who knows, though. I understand about the senior dog issue. Mr. Chick is about 7 and he still acts like a spring chicken, but I’m sure there will come a day when he is unwilling to tolerate hyperactive teenage dogs with limited house manners. Already, we have decided not to foster pits younger than 2 because they are so crazy when they’re young. As for not seeing much of Mr Chick– I have a feeling you will be seeing more of him during the gap between Lollie and our next foster (will probably be at least a few weeks). He is very dashing, very charming, and a perfect gentleman– not to mention a willing and skilled photo model. Can’t wait to share more of him with you 🙂
I think the statistic is skewed by the shelters that don’t even put pits up for adoption. A number of counties in the area (at least in VA) only let pits be pulled by rescue groups and don’t allow “normal people” to adopt them directly. Whatever the exact numbers are, they’re sad 😦
Looking forward to reading more about Chick! He looks like a cool little dude 🙂
Look how wide her chest is next to Chick!
Valid points, and I know the feeling. We fostered 5 dogs before we ‘failed’. Some of them would have been great additions, but they weren’t the ONE. And, like you say, now that we did keep one, we’re too full to foster. Good foster homes are a rarity, and the breed can’t afford to loose just one!
As for the 1 in 600, I’d believe it. I know of a shelter here that could fill up every 24 hours, and that is mostly pit bulls and their mixes. And our rates are low compared to the States. 😦
All points are so true. Speaking as a failed Foster parent I had never thought of it as you so eloquently put into words. When we fail, that is one less foster to help the pits and there are so few of us. I’ve got a SUPER SWEET little black Pittie named Missy that I was beginning to waiver about wanting her to be adopted. I’m rethinking that now and will began a search in earnest again as I do want to continue helping by fostering. Thank you for the wonderful post.
I too am excited to see more of the very Handsome Chick, he reminds me of my Mom’s sweet Pittie girl Paige, their expessions are very similar. She is a cancer survivor who lost her front right leg to the terrible disease. What a angel she is………..well enough about my dog family I can talk about them for hours!! lol
Chick’s loving nature, Lollie’s transformation, and this blog have all succeeded in transforming my impressions of pit bulls as a breed. Job well done!
Thanks for de-lurking Paul! I know how you feel about dogs, so this is a big compliment coming from you 🙂
I agree, all very valid points! I had always been terrified of fostering because I just KNEW that I would be a failure at it, and I think foster homes are hard to come by because many people feel the same way I did. Now, we absolutely love our foster pittie Steve but there’s no way we can keep him long-term because he doesn’t get along with our cats… however, this experience has given me the confidence to try fostering other dogs (particularly those hard-to-adopt pit bulls) in the future!
That last picture is so cute!
We’re a foster failure! We took in Darwin and 3 of her sisters and brother and ended up keeping Darwin!
don’t get me wrong, there’s a very good chance we will be a foster failure somewhere down the road . . . just not the first time!
I never thought about these added benefits to fostering a dog, beyond buying them more time and getting them out of the shelter. It really is such a wonderful thing to do! My brother and his wife have fostered dogs (also pits) and the last one was adopted to one of her coworkers, who likely would not have adopted a pit if he’d just gone to a shelter. A happy end to the story! Also, their own two dogs (one is a pit mix) are truly best buds, and it is the most endearing thing in the world to behold. I can completely understand why a lack of this bond between Chick and Lollie would be a deal breaker.
Those are some really super great reasons for not adopting Lollie yourself. My mom said before she adopted me, she didn’t know anything (real) about pit bulls and she is most definitely now on the pit bull bandwagon. I am sure Lollie’s forever family (whoever they might be) will get on the wagon with us, too! (And please be sure they know they have to start their own bloggie for her so we can keep up with what she’s doing.)
Wiggles & Wags,
The small dog rescue we volunteer with has a sign on the wall that says “A forever home can change one dog’s little world, but foster homes can change the world for all little dogs”. Often, our foster homes are often when pups go to learn to be adoptable – they usually come through the door with questionable manners, bad habits and a pawful of baggage, not the kind of dog most people want to take home. The time they spend with their fosters can change them from a badly beahved, scared pup that no one can really see as a part of their family to a sweet, loving out-going pup who people want to adopt. We completely understand why you wouldn’t adopt Lollie.
I love the photo of Chick!
So well written! I never understood fostering before because I couldn’t understand how people would put themselves in a situation where they would have a dog, they would end up loving, just to have to give it up. Then I saw an interview on Animal Planet where a foster dad explained that he knew if he kept his foster, that he would have only saved the one life, vs. the hundreds of lives he’s been able to save thus far. I love everything you say about pit bull advocates.; it’s been the exact same thing for us!
Those are all very good reasons, none so good as the last. Naturally, Chick has to take priority. If we ever get a second dog, Shiva will be the biggest part of our decision. I want them to be best pals, siblings, dogs who will love and play with each other. It’s not fair to Shiva to bring in a new dog she can’t enjoy as much as we do. I really admire you for thinking of Chick, despite all the love I know you have for Lollie. It’s why you are such awesome dog owners.
Did you have any luck with the potential adopters on the weekend? I was wishing you the best!
Well said. We were foster failures – we hadn’t even brought her home yet when I realized we couldn’t let her go. On the other hand, Téa was exactly the right second dog for us. We love her; Toni loves her; she put a little balance into our family that we didn’t even know we needed. I was really disappointed to figure out that we can’t be a three dog house, even if it’s just to foster. But we will again someday down the line – I feel like it’s the very least we can do for Toni and Téa’s extended pit bull family. In the meantime, I hop on every opportunity to help out the breed and the organizations who include them in their work.
Very well said 🙂 We love the last picture!
I love this post and hope we too can contribute our time and love to a foster pittie, any advice on convincing a husband :). I particularly love the last picture of sweet Lollie, her and Molly remind me so much of each other!