"The Pit Bull Life": A Q&A With the Authors

Changing Minds

Q. Have you owned pit bulls yourselves? What have their personalities been like, and what was your experience like as an owner?

Franklin: Yes! My first dog that I adopted on my own was a pit bull mix named Carla Lou. She is the reason that Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. (Franklin's non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about pit bull-type dogs and rallying against breed bans) exists. She was often described as a "Little Buddha" because she had very loving eyes and a way of looking at you that melted your worries away. She lived to be 18 years old after beating cancer and Lyme disease. She was tenacious in her desire to live fully and she taught me that I can be like her or at the very least, I should try!

Baxter Bean is my 11-year-old foster failure. He is an incredibly snuggly 65-pound pit bull mix from Trenton, NJ. His back is covered in scars from abuse he suffered when he was less than 5 months old. I fostered him and he stole my heart. Baxter Bean lives with his sister, Zoe (16), who is a Harrier mix. I've had plenty of people make assumptions about Baxter Bean but his scars usually elicit kindness from people and a need to understand how and why anyone could have hurt him.

Lombardi: No, although you'd be surprised how often little kids have asked me if my Pugs were miniature pit bulls or pit bull puppies. You might also be surprised that they always say this like it's a good thing. Like any other prejudice, breed prejudice needs to be taught, and it's our hope that fewer and fewer people are teaching it to their children every day.

*While dog breed names are typically capitalized on Vetstreet, in this case, the term "pit bull" is not being used as a breed name, but rather a generic term used to describe a type of dog and is therefore not capitalized.

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