Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Meet Kaylee

This little girl is about as goofy as they come and the smallest dog we've had in our house since fostering puppies. She desperately wants to play with our dogs and is anxious to give us kisses as often as possible. Sadly, she has kennel cough, so she also sounds a bit like a Canada Goose honking.

I've gone back and forth on some clever way to introduce you to Kaylee- but I think just the real story is fine. I was volunteering at an elementary school in need (that will be another post, someday) in one of the poorer areas of Atlanta. And not really the safest. Based on research I've since done, with 100 being the US national average, this area has a total crime risk of 224, murder risk of 350 and robbery risk of 315. The kids need support.

As I left the school, I saw a little dog dart across the road, following a car, trying desperately to jump in the window of the vehicle. My heart sank- I just couldn't drive away. I spoke with the woman driving the car and after a brief exchange, she asked if I'd find the dog a home. I said I'd try.

The dog was scared of me, but friendly towards to the woman, so she helped me get her up into my car. I took the dog to the vet, made sure she wasn't currently feeding puppies, got her vetted, and on the advice of my vet, took her to the animal shelter (in Atlanta, lost dogs should be taken to the shelter to give their legal owners 7 days to claim them. I thank the folks at the Fulton County Animal Shelter... I could never do what they do each day.).

I signed as her "last contact" (i.e., call me before you put her to sleep) and began to look for rescue groups that would allow her into the program. I finally found one and a week later, freed her from the pound (where she got kennel cough despite her shots!).

So we're now fostering a 2ish (I think she's more like 1) recently spayed little girl. While we'll never know what her first year(s) were like, she seems extremely grateful to us.

Unfortunately for Kaylee, her breed (or at least one of the breeds that she has in her) is misunderstood by people throughout not just Atlanta, but the whole United States (and probably world). You see, Kaylee is part Pit Bull (which is not actually a breed, but rather a description of several types of breeds). And honestly, I knew that when I picked her up. And I wanted to make sure that she never learned (or saw again) abuse either from an owner, dogfighting, whatever.

So this Southern Housewife, with the amazing support from her husband, went from fostering Golden Retrievers to a Pittie mix.

I admit that I'm hesitant to mention at all what she is- for I know all the stereotypes. Kaylee, however, does not. But I think that's how we can add value. I can teach this little girl all the right doggie behaviors, use positive reinforcement, and have her be a great advocate for her breed- with Kaylee just being Kaylee. Yep, there are some "bad Pit Bulls" out there. And there are "bad" labs, or "bad" dobermans, and even "bad" Goldens. Some has to do with how they were raised. Some, just bad breeding. But it's amazing what great training can do in many circumstances. (check out the happier endings of some of Vick's dogs at Best Friends Animal Society. The videos will move you to happy tears!)

Kaylee is available for adoption through Rescue Me! Animal Project. Oh- and have to share some previous Pittie owners (you'd be in good company)- Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, President Teddy Roosevelt, and President Woodrow Wilson. For more information on some of terrier breeds, visit Pit Bull Rescue Central.

And one final clarification. I mention where I got Kaylee because I was admittedly uneasy there and full of my own stereotypes (thinking Kaylee could be used for bait). But there are plenty of folks living in lower-income housing who love their pets and take great care of them. And there are plenty of upper-income people who do NOT take care of their pets, despite their vast resources. A few days later, I saw a dog running through our neighborhood without a collar, clearly un-neutered, and looking to be a pit mix. I tried to pick him up too (I know, I know) but he was too skiddish.



  1. She is precious. Such a great thing when people take in dogs. I just love them. They melt my heart.

  2. You are one awesome lady! What a kind heart you have. Kaylee is one cute pup! Hope your having a great day! = )

  3. You and what you are doing are so amazing! The thought of her trying to jump back into her owner's car just kills me. You are so right about the pitbull stereotype. I visited the local pound a while back and it was full of pitbulls. So sad. Kaylee looks like a sweetheart and I hope she finds a good home. In the meantime, she's lucky to have you.

  4. What a cutie! You have such a big heart...it's always so reassuring to know there are people like you out there!

  5. Kaylee is beyond perfection! I adore little pitties and think they have been given such a bad rap! You are an amazing soul, and I applaud your love for animals and goodness. thank you!

    By the way, do you have a Bad Rap chapter in ATL? There is one in Oakland here. Great source for finding homes for pits.

  6. Thank you for rescuing this dog so she may have a chance with a good family! I agree that there are bad dogs from pitts down to poodles. Bad dogs are bad dogs-some just have more powerful bites. Trust me, I'd take a few pitts I've me in my day over some of the bichons and shih tzus my mutt and I encounter on our walks.

    Kaylee is lucky to have you. Great post

  7. Hi Kaylee! What a sweetie. And you are so sweet to take her in.

  8. I have to admit, I wasn't a fan of these types of doggies...until I saw Kaylee!! I think you make some great points about the bad rep.

  9. Emmie, she is lovely. Hope she finds a fabulous home like what you are offering. I do agree, positive reinforcement and a lovely environment is the best way to go. Kellie x

  10. This post almost made me cry. Your work with dogs is to be commended! She looks very sweet, I hope she finds a good home soon. Our dog is a rescue and I recommend to everyone to get a rescue when looking for a dog. Keep us updated!

  11. Thanks for saving a sweet dog. You're absolutely right about pit bulls. She's very lucky to have run into you!

  12. What a sweet little face. Well bless you for taking her in and I hope she finds a forever home. My nephew and his gf have a pb mix and she
    is great even with their children around. I think a lot of these poor dogs get a bad rep
    because people don't take the time to train them or take proper care of them.

  13. Seriously you are a saint! I cant not believe how selfless you are by doing this, I just had tears in my eyes at the sight of this dog following a car not knowing whats going on and why nobody wants her :(

    I hope that someone out there wants to give a home to this cutie. If my BF was not allergic I would drive down there right this second and pick her up.

  14. This dog is so sweet and adorably cute!! They do get a bad stereo type rap.... I say bad owner not bad dog! I have a few friends who own pit mix dogs and they are truly loving pups.

    hope you find a home for her real soon:) keep us posted.


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