I work at an animal shelter in Lansing, and everyday i see pit bulls come in, and i rarely see them leave. Its a sad fact, seeing them come in so much. Before Yoda, It was always “just another pit bull”, one that has such a little chance in the shelter world. Sure, i liked pit bulls, but i had no real attachment to them.

One day in early may 2010, a 10 month old wimpy pit named Yoda came into the shelter, gangly, skinny, and scared. At the time, i did not know that this dog was going to be my best friend. It was not love at first sight, he was just not my type of dog. He was ugly, his head was way to big for his skinny body, he skulked around the shelter like he had been scolded one to many times, and he was needy. I was happy for him when i heard he had passed his behavior evaluation, it was so rare that pit bulls do, but i did not consider adopting him. I was lucky enough to walk him one Saturday afternoon, when he was in quarantine with Kennel Cough. While i had him out i noticed how even though he was shy and spooked by everything, he loved people. His wiggly goosey charm won me over, just a little, and i decided to take him home to foster him while he finished his medication.

He was a brat, to say the least. He bullied my senior beagle, he was rowdy, had a tail like a whip, obnoxious, and had almost no manners. I was inches from taking him back to the shelter an hour after getting him home, but I knew that acting like that, he would never get adopted. We spent the next week and a half power learning cool tricks and manners. By the time his medication was up, and his kennel cough cured, i was head over heals. I made a promise to him, that he would never be stuck in the kennels again, without love or someone to snuggle.

He later developed a few manageable behavior problems, he barked at the door, was too rough for other dogs, and could break out of any kind of crate, but it never made me love him any less. He was my beautiful, beautiful pit bull.

I took him with me everywhere, he ran every errand with me, went to work with me. My friends began to know him as my living shadow, and they rarely saw me without him. His charm even won over my mother, who had the typical “Pit bulls are vicious” mentality.

In mid December he was struck with a mysterious illness. My trusted vet ran every test, x rays, blood work, to try and figure out what was wrong with him. He couldn’t eat, he was in pain, but i refused to let him go. Two days after Christmas, i brought him home from the vet with lots of medication, and a hopeful outlook from my veterinarian. That day, he seemed to be feeling better, and we were so happy! After two grueling weeks, things seemed to be going good.

It was devastating, waking up very early the next morning to him having a violent seizure. He didn’t come back from it. He was only a year and half old.

I cry even now, as i write his story. He was my best friend, a one and only. Tomorrow, it will be a month and a week since he died, and i hurt just as much today as i did when i last saw him. My other dogs keep me company, and i love them, but none other will be my Yoda.

I hope in the future, i can feel that bond again with a rescue pit bull. I know that because of him, i will always keep a beautiful bully in my life. 

February 7, 2011

2 comments on “Yoda

  1. Cheryl Rice on said:

    What a beautiful story, and I’m sure a very difficult one to write. Sierra, you were blessed with goofy, fun-loving Yoda, and even more importantly, he was blessed with YOU. Without your patience and love, the ending to his story would have been just as sad, but in an entirely different way. Thank you, Sierra, for giving him your time and love. And thanks for doing the same thing for all the shelter animals, every day!

  2. Patricia Roost on said:

    oh, this makes me cry. Thank you for telling us your story. You and Yoda were a great team, meant for each other. You took such good care of him, loved him and he loved you, took good care of you. He grew into his big head — what a handsome, handsome boy. He had a happy life with you, dear Sierra. How cool is it that you do this for dogs all the time. You make their lives more beautiful.

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