Posts Tagged ‘Pitbull Terrier’

Book Review: As Bright as the Sun

March 20, 2013 13 comments

As Bright as the SunJust before Christmas, a friend recommended a book to me. Being a sucker for a good book, I immediately checked it out on Amazon. It didn’t take much for me to know that I needed to add it to my Christmas list. I am so glad I did.

The book is called “As Bright as the Sun” by Cynthia Schlichting, and is about a strong but vulnerable victim of the dog fighting world, Bella.

I can hardly explain some of the emotions I felt as Cynthia wove the tale of Bella’s life, as told from her perspective. Some of the details are true and some of them are based on Cynthia’s imaginings of what happened to Bella prior to coming to live with them. It works. I found myself smiling at times and crying at others as I followed Bella on her treacherous journey. If Cynthia wanted to place the reader in Bella’s shoes, then she did a good job.

The book starts out with Bella as a puppy and follows her as she is kidnapped from her loving family and forced into the dark, cruel and sick world of dog fighting. For years, Bella is used and abused by her captors. She is bred over and over again for her puppies – all forced into the dog fighting ring, and she is also forced to fight. It was during her last fight (more of an assassination than a fight) that Bella faces her worst moment. She is tossed into a ring with a fighting dog with her legs tied together, unable to defend herself. Her captors intended for her to die there. Instead, she survived. So they tossed her into a roadside ditch – pregnant, bleeding, skin and ears ripped up, she lay there in that ditch all but giving up on life until a good samaritan comes along and saves her. A guardian angel was looking over Bella that day and the days to come.

By all odds, Bella ends up at the now infamous Chesterfield County Animal Shelter, where employees shot and killed 22 of their dogs and buried them in a landfill. Thank goodness she was pulled by a rescue before she could suffer that fate. The rescue cares for Bella’s wounded body and soul and shares her story on Facebook, where it is passed on by many.

It is there that Cynthia and her husband, Brian, read Bella’s story and decide they are the ones to give her a new home. What follows is their, and Bella’s, journey to bring her home (to Minnesota) and to give her a chance at a new life. She meets her new doggie siblings, Foster and Jane, and learns what being a dog really is when you live in a home where people love you.

It’s a powerful story and one worth reading

If I had but one wish it would have been that Cynthia had shared more about Bella’s life after she was rescued. For those of us with dogs who have suffered a horrible beginning in life, we want to know how she, and her husband, Brian, helped Bella to assimilate into her new world. But, I think I know why Cynthia chose to focus more of her time and attention on Bella’s story. It’s because Bella’s story is not just a story about Bella, it’s a story about every fighting dog still living in that world. It’s the story of those who try to help these dogs and what really happens in that cruel sadistic world that some consider a sport. If you didn’t know much about dog fighting before, you will after reading Bella’s story. You can even follow the work Cynthia continues to do to bring attention to this issue on her Facebook page.

Reading Bella’s story opened my eyes even more to the horrible world Bella lived in for so many years. She is a symbol for those who have come before her, and all those who will, no doubt, come after her. If you get a chance, I would encourage you to read her story. It’s one worth reading.

What’s Your State’s Most Popular Dog Breed?

March 28, 2012 8 comments

Labrador Retrievers seem to be the most popular breed throughout the United States.

Yesterday, I came across an interesting report by Kristen Seymour over at Vet Street. The headline caught my attention almost immediately “Top Dogs Across America: 10 Most Popular Breeds by State.” Who wouldn’t be interested to find out which breeds are most popular in their state? Not me!

I decided to take a stab at guessing what the most popular breeds were first. Most of my guesses were based on some of my old doggie clients and some of our most popular friends at the dog park, but would I be right?

Here were my guesses:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Golden Retriever (My most popular and plentiful doggie clients.)
3. Labradoodle (I see them everywhere here.)
4. Yorkshire Terrier
5. German Shepherd
6. Alaskan Husky (We do live in Minnesota after all!)
7. Poodle
8. Pitbull Terrier (You wouldn’t think that an unpopular and much maligned breed would be on my list, but I think Minnesota may be a bit more progressive than most other states when it comes to pitbulls.)
9. Beagle
10. German Shorthair Pointer

(P.S. I would have chosen Mutt if I could have done so. It’s by far the most common type of dog I see everywhere in Minnesota.)

So how close was I? Check it out.

1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd Dog
3. Chihuahua
4. Golden Retriever
5. Shih Tzu
6. Yorkshire Terrier
7. American Pit Bull Terrier
8. Boxer
9. Australian Shepherd
10. English Springer Spaniel

Oh well. Five out of ten isn’t bad. Is it?

So what breed was most popular in your state?
What surprised you most about your state’s Top 10 Popular Breeds list?

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