Mesa Havasu January, 2015
This is now our second Christmas with Mesa, aka Josie.
It was November 2013. We had lost our Shih Tzu, SandyAgo, two years ago. I found myself driving to UPAWS. I decided we could get a cat. We had been enjoying the freedom without a dog. My half conscious thoughts were that we could still travel with a cat at home. When I got to the shelter, I saw volunteers walking 4 small white dogs. Well I was accustomed to small furry non-shedding cute creatures and went to meet them immediately. Called my husband to come from work to meet them too. He gave me a wavering okay.
When we walked into the kennel all the dogs were yapping like crazy, especially the little ones. That’s when we spotted a very quiet white dog with brown patches around her eyes. She just looked at us. Well Josie grabbed us with that look and we decided to spend time with her and the small white male dog. They brought Josie into the get-acquainted-room and she barely looked at us. She was afraid and stayed by the door. We stayed with her awhile and just sat with her. When I asked my husband if he wanted to look at the small dog, he just said no. He was smitten with this beautiful pit bull with the brown patches around her hazel eyes. We would be going from two Shih Tzus to a Pit Bull Terrier for a pet. We spent a night to sleep on this big decision and the next day we went back to UPAWS to adopt Josie.
When we got home she hopped into our bed and slept straight through for 15 hours. We actually woke her up because we were afraid she would pee in the bed. We had a rough start; she barked at everything out the front window and wandered the house much of the time. The barking got to me and I called the shelter thinking this was not going to work out. Last winter was a very cold one, so she probably did not get the exercise her youth demanded which also increased the barking. I massage out of our home and would not be able to have her barking while I worked. Someone loaned us a kennel. I cannot thank the previous owners enough for kennel training her.
When a client arrived I would just say kennel and Mesa would walk right in calm as can be and stay till I finished. After awhile Mesa got familiar with each client; she said hi (she has an easier time with the women than the men), then would go into the kennel on command and come out after a session to say goodbye. She was more comfortable and quiet in the kennel. My clients would look at her sadly going off to the kennel, but she was actually happier there.
We also decided to get her accustomed to a Dog Kennel since we do travel occasionally. So we started taking her once a week to spend the day and pick her up by 5 pm. We found out people took their dogs to the kennel for a play day. Mesa took about a month to adjust. The employees were very careful in the beginning on what dogs to put in the playground with her. Today she plays with large groups of dogs, puppies, big and little dogs. She loves her once a week play time and often doesn’t want to come home.
Mesa has really settled down in her second year. She no longer uses the kennel; she now lays down in the room next to the massage table. The clients love her. She rarely has barking fits. We found out how silly and crazy she is in the water. She loves, loves, loves snowballs and shoveling snow. She still destroys any and every toy she gets, except an industrial strength nylabone and a Kong. She lets children scrunch up her face. She gets compliments daily on her walks. Everyone wants to pet her. We enjoy her cuddling so much.
We needed her and didn’t even know it. Our understanding of pit bulls has changed and she continues to change the stereotype with everyone she meets. We want to thank the previous owners and UPAWS for taking such good care of her. We look forward to having Mesa in our family for many, many years.