Saturday, October 4, 2008

Brown eyes

Alex is an undernourished Pit Bull and he's up for adoption at Toronto Animal Services. He's the staff favorite. There's something about his enthusiasm, friendliness and goofiness that is contagious. Being a bit of a lunkhead, he loves to bang his hard noggin into doors in an attempt to help you open them. He stares into your eyes and tries to give you kisses.

As I was taking his photo outside the facility, a small crowd actually gathered to say hello to Alex. That's never happened before. People were enchanted by his big head and his big brown eyes. One guy asked me what breed he was and when I replied that Alex was a Pit Bull, the guy was visibly surprised. He said he thought Pit Bulls were a lot bigger. There's no real standard for Pit Bulls, I said. Didn't matter that the guy didn't know that Alex was a Pit. Alex kissed him anyway.

There was a courier who stopped and got off her bike and sat on the ground with Alex in her lap. She thought he was my dog but I explained the situation to her. He was found as a stray. The family who owned him was tracked down but they didn't want him anymore. The courier asked me if Alex was still a pup. No, he's 5, I said. She was surprised. He acted like a pup. His butt wiggled whenever he wagged his tail.

It's doubly hard finding good homes for Pit Bulls. Their reputation and the legal hassle of owing one tends to scare away most people who just want a loving pet and it attracts the ones who want a weapon or a fighter or a status symbol. Kids have brought in fake IDs in order to try and get a Pit Bull. People on the Do Not Adopt list will get friends to try to adopt for them.

Alex might be a tough sell but I think the people at TAS are going to look after this little guy and make sure he gets good owners.

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