I have always tried to help champion pit bull type dogs. From friends who have them, to rescues that save them, to campaigns that fight injustices surrounding them. I sort of assumed I would eventually have a pit bull type dog. Melvin and Jake had their own BSL in place that no dogs of any type could come into our home. Or cats. Or bunnies. You get it. Jake was determined to keep that BSL going after Melvin died.
When it came time to add a dog to a home where no other dogs were, having a blank slate was so strange. I could bring any dog in. Any breed. Any personality. Any size or gender. There were only a few things on my NO list. I didn’t want a special needs dog at that point. A dog with needs like Jake would have felt more like a fill in. I wasn’t ready to nurture like that again, I was still reaching for Jake. I also did not, and still do not, want a yellow lab.
During that time, I met all the dogs, all the breeds. I just wanted the right dog for me.
Every dog I met, I had a breakdown over. If you recall, Jake died and on top of losing him, the house was empty. I wanted a dog to solve one of those issue because both of those issues together was just too much.
Then I saw Doug.
Doug brought life back to this home. He was crazy, and spastic, and did I mention how crazy he was? I was not sure what his breed was, he was definitely a mix. When I got him DNA tested, I hoped he’d come back part pit something. But a part of me also worried about that. Not because of myths or stories not based in fact, but mostly because at the time, he was not well-behaved and if he was a pit, we were going to have to work extra hard, harder than other dogs would have to. That excited me and pissed me off at the same time. I’m Doug’s mom and even I was looking at him with extra expectations. I then realized that I in fact, expected no less or more of him than I did of Melvin or Jake. The issue was likely going to be, that others would expect more from Doug. Others are not the boss of us. My goal for Doug is the same as my goal for all my dogs, to give him the best life he can have.
His DNA came back 65% Am Staff and 25% English Bulldog.
Knowing his DNA changed one thing and one thing only. I was so proud to be his mom. I would be his voice, always.
Most people who see Doug come toward him and say is he an English Bulldog? I first say, he’s Doug. I usually wait until he is wiggling and wagging around them and making them laugh before I say oh so proudly: actually, he’s mostly Am Staff with a little English Bulldog mixed in.
Some stop petting him. Their loss. Others dive in even more with a what an awesome mix to have! Those people are our tribe.
When people ask worriedly about his past, I tell him that Doug and I live in the present. Since the day we met, he has only known love. He is quite literally, powered by joy.
He is love and joy and Am Staff and bionic and always hungry and always happy and always zooming. He is Doug.
He is all mine. Haters beware, momma is the one you need to worry about.
The only thing I require of Doug, is to live his best life. Check, check.