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Duchess the American Pitbull Terrier, the Dog of the Day
Name: Duchess
Age: Five years old
Gender: Female Breed: American Pitbull Terrier
Home: Virginia, USA
 
   I'd like to introduce to you a rescued American pitbull terrier named Duchess ...

     Duchess came into my life over four years ago as a rescue through a local group called Augusta Dog Adoptions, with whom I'd been active for several years, bringing in scared and skinny dogs who would often quake when offered treats or a jump on the couch. Over time I'd come to prefer pitbulls to any other breed: they were often the most traumatized, the most neglected, the most incarcerated. And the most euthanized.

     As a lifelong hunter, I'd grown up with an understanding mostly of retrievers, hounds and birddogs, but my first experiences w/ pitbulls - and I'd never even known a terrier of any kind - convinced me that this breed was unique in its devotion, territoriality, loyalty, love of all kinds of people, aggression toward other (unknown) dogs, and an absolute refusal to be obsequious to anyone at all. These dogs are the real deal. They love to cuddle, they love kids and company, but they are and will ever be their own breed. Pibbles never cower (except under the most violently criminal circumstances), and their devotion to those they specifically love, as is the case generally w/ all dogs but in my experience most especially w/ terriers, is deeply inspiring.

     About five years ago I directed a short documentary about our local dog rescue (available here); pitbulls and hounds are the two types of dogs most often euthanized, in the latter's case because some people are widely ignorant of pitbulls and ascribe to them vicious traits which are almost always pure fiction. The only "vicious" pitbulls, as with all dogs, are those who have been traumatized and terrorized to the point where they desperately lash out at people purely from fear of further abuse.

     The Duchess of Sears Hill is not only the Director of Security for our property; she's also an accomplished actress, having played the character of Crab in The Two Gentlemen of Verona at our American Shakespeare Center, appearing onstage five times so far to thunderous applause.

     All of which makes one think of the enormous potential for life and love that neglected and abused dogs can offer us if we only can take them to heart, to give them a real chance at life, and to realize that while we're the origin of their problems, we can also be the solution.

Duchess the American Pitbull Terrier, the Dog of the Day

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