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Dog of the Day
Today's Dog of the Day
Lola the Pit bull Terrier, the Dog of the Day
Name: Lola
Age: Four and a half years old
Gender: Female Breed: Pit bull Terrier
Home: Shingle Springs, California, USA
   Let me begin Lola's story and the journey she has taken me on by saying I never would have imagined myself as a pit bull owner. All I knew about pit bulls was what I heard in the news and it was mostly bad. Several years ago, after I retired from work, I began volunteering at the local animal shelter. That was when I learned what pit bulls really are, sweet, affectionate, loving, loyal and goofy dogs. Not at all the evil dogs they have been portrayed to be.

     Fast forward a few years and a skinny stray was brought into the shelter. She had been picked up as a stray twice before and this time her owner didn't come to get her. She wasn't particularly pretty or flashy looking with her big head and all her ribs showing but there was just something about her. She didn't bark or jump like most of the other dogs but just laid in her kennel and wagged her tail as people walked by. The morning she was to be spayed so she could go up for adoption, the shelter staff came in to find her with four puppies. So off she went to a foster home for a couple months. When she was finally available for adoption I took her home, even though I already had two Basset Hounds and wasn't looking for another dog. I got negative reactions from most of my neighbors and my husband to some extent (he didn't want a third dog).

     Thus started our journey to prove to everyone that pit bulls are good dogs. Within a week we were taking obedience classes and then classes to prepare for the Canine Good Citizen test. After earning her CGC, what was next? Lola showed me what our next goal would be. We often visited an elderly neighbor who was chair bound and wasn't afraid of Lola (she probably didn't realize Lola was a pit bull). Lola would just sit next to her and occasionally lick her hands as she was being petted which seemed to bring great joy to the woman. Therapy dog! That was what she was meant to do. I took her to a trainer to assess her temperament and aptitude for therapy work and she easily passed. After a little more obedience work we took the test and became a registered therapy dog team.

     Anxious to get started with our new career we applied at a place that I knew was in need of therapy teams. But they had rules. Absolutely no pit bulls! That made me even more determined to change the prejudices people have towards pit bulls.

     Fast forward a couple years and we have just renewed our therapy registration (must retest every two years with our organization) and Lola is a very busy working girl. She visits a high school special education class once a week as well as a library reading program once a week. She regularly visits a nursing home where the residents and staff love her. The nursing staff even sent her a get well basket when she had surgery for a torn ACL. She has attended stress reduction events at both high school and college before finals. She represented hero dogs at a local Petco store for their fundraiser recently. She also worked in a kissing booth (she's very good at that) at a fundraiser for a local dog rescue. She loves her work and everybody she meets, kids, old people and everyone in between. When she gets a bath and I put her vest on she is all business to get to the car. She ignores the other two dogs and my husband as she proudly struts past them.

     Lola is definitely doing what she was meant to do and being a great ambassador for her breed. She's come a long way from being a three-time stray at the shelter to being a wonderful therapy dog. She has become my best friend and the most wonderful dog I have ever owned. Was it fate that the day she was picked up as a stray happened to be my birthday? I wonder.

Lola the Pit bull Terrier, the Dog of the Day Lola the Pit bull Terrier, the Dog of the Day Lola the Pit bull Terrier, the Dog of the Day Lola the Pit bull Terrier, the Dog of the Day Lola the Pit bull Terrier, the Dog of the Day

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