Out of nowhere, he showed me a picture of this tiny little spit-fire of a dog. She weighed about 30 pounds, was almost a year old, and was an American Pit Bull Terrier. I'll be honest, at first glance, I thought she looked kind of like a gremlin. She had a HUGE head, great big brown eyes, and a mouth full of teeth. But there was something special about her. We decided to meet.
|See the resemblance?|
I was a nervous wreck. I was afraid, that because of her energy level, and his tendency to have only-child syndrome (that's my toy, and that's my toy, and that's my toy, etc.), they would clash. But I was so wrong. She immediately recognized his alpha-male tendencies, and she let him continue to be top dog.
But she didn't bow down to him either. They played so great together, and Gumbo actually marked her as "his" territory (he peed on her, how sweet, right?). It was true love.
As well as they got along in neutral territory, many dogs act and react differently when one of them has a home-field advantage. We decided to set up a home visit.
They did great. Eudie was submissive to Gumbo on his home turf, but she wouldn't let him bully her, which was a huge relief.
The home visit went so well, that we planned a spend-the-night, and Eudie has been with us ever since.
This is the part where I get honest with you:
The thing that stuck out most to me about Eudie's adoption process was that after our first meeting with her, Ashley (her foster mom) told us to go home and sleep on it. She said if we decided we loved her, that was great. But if we decided she wasn't for us, that was even better.
That one little part of our conversation made me feel so much better about the entire situation. If she wasn't the dog for us, she was better off staying in foster care until "her" people came along, and we shouldn't feel guilty about not wanting her. I was so nervous about not wanting to hurt Ashley's feelings, that even if I didn't want Eudie, I wouldn't have been able to tell her (I would have made Matt do it). Ashley made it absolutely clear that she may not be the dog for us, and that's OK.
You knew this part was coming:
As it turns out, she clicked, she was the dog for us, and we did want her.
Matt knew it immediately. I had a few reservations, and because I love her so much now, that is hard for me to admit.
I thought Gumbo would tire of her, I thought, because I loved Gumbo so much, I wouldn't be able to love her, too. I thought about all of those long nights when Gumbo was so sick with Demodectic Mange, and how his tummy was so upset from the mange treatment, and about how I scrubbed doggy diarrhea out of the carpet at 3am on several occasions. I thought about how I called my sister at 11pm one night because I was at my wit's end, and she comforted me by saying "I hear human children are much worse." (I'm sure she's right.) And I thought about how I didn't know if I was willing to do that all over again.
But then I thought about how I never thought I would bond with Gumbo, and how close we are now. How he truly is my dog, and would move mountains to protect me and make me happy. I thought about how I can't imagine my life without him. And if Gumbo and I can bond (it took a while, trust me), then surely I can bond with Eudie, too.
After the first home-visit, I realized I was starting to become attached. After the spend-the-night, I couldn't imagine not having her in our family.
She is absolutely full of personality. She gives me a hug everyday when I come home from work. I mean she literally, stretches her little body up and tries to climb me, so I just kneel down and scoop her up, put her on my hip like a toddler, and hug her back. She hasn't mastered the art of kisses yet, like her brother, but she will lick you to death if you let her. When she gets sleepy, she wants to be in your lap, and she rubs her eyes with the back of her paws, just like a baby. She is the ultimate snuggle buddy. And most importantly she makes us happy.
And that's how she got her name:
So there you go, that's Eudie's story. And even just writing about her has made me happy.
There's one more thing I'd like to mention:
Before I let you dive into the most adorable pics of our sweet Eudie, there is just one thing I would like to address.
More now than ever, I am aware of the stereotypes associated with Pit Bulls. When we adopted Gumbo, we didn't know he was part Pit Bull, until our vet confirmed that he was definitely "something mixed with a whole lot of Pit." And, to be honest with you, we were somewhat anti-Pit Bull before we discovered what an amazing dog Gumbo was.
In fact, before we adopted Gumbo, Matt told me he didn't care what kind of dog we got, as long as it wasn't a Chow Chow or a Pit Bull. (I happen to love Chows, but that's another story.) So, when I discovered Gumbo's lineage, I wasn't too excited about what Matt would think when he figured it out too.
But, we soon started to realize that Gumbo was everything we could ever want in a dog. He is athletic, playful, protective, loyal, devastatingly handsome, and loves us with great intensity (OK, so maybe he loves the cookies we give him with great intensity, but you get the point.)
I slowly started advocating more and more for this breed that is so misrepresented, so misunderstood, and so often shunned by those who only believe what the media tells them.
One of my favorite things to do is to take Eudie (who is full-blooded) to the pet store. She is so approachable, people stop us to scratch her ears, or give her a treat, and then they're shocked when they realize their hearts have just been melted by a Pit Bull.
And yes, its true. Pit Bulls have been known to bite. But if you look at the statistics, you have a greater chance of being bitten by a Golden Retriever than a Pit Bull. Don't believe me? Look up the ATTS Temperament test statistics. Pit Bulls ranked higher than any other dog, at 86%. The next highest score was the Golden Retriever, with 84%.
Now, I probably know some of the questions you want to ask, so I'll go ahead and answer them.
Q. Have Eudie or Gumbo ever shown aggression towards people?
A. The answer here is both yes and no. Gumbo and Eudie are very protective of their territory (i.e. our house and yard). If someone they do not know approaches me, Matt, or our territory with ill-intent, Gumbo and Eudie send very clear signals that that person needs to cease and desist. But if you've been introduced to them, the only thing you need to worry about is being pestered to death for kisses, cookies, or gravy bones.
Q. How are Gumbo and Eudie with children?
A. Wonderful! They both love kids. And we always supervise them with kids, as any dog owner (not just Pit Bull owner) should do.
Q. Have you ever been bitten?
A. Yes. Matt and I have both been bitten, but not by Eudie or Gumbo. Matt was bitten by a Chow Chow and I was bitten by a Cocker Spaniel. He's hell bent on never having a Chow and I'm hell bent on never having a Cocker Spaniel. But neither one of us is on a mission to ruin the reputation of either breed.
Q. Aren't you afraid of their "locking jaws?"
A. No, because that is just a myth. Pit Bulls do not have locking jaws. What they do have is great determination. And if Gumbo or Eudie has a firm grip on a bone/toy/ball, its almost impossible to get it away from them, not because their jaws are "locked," but because they don't want to give it up!
I hope that de-bunks some of the myths you have about our babies.
Now you can admire the preciousness that is Eudie Grace Flynt:
|She's just so tired!|
|More nap time!|
|Princess Eudie and I.|
|Doing a perimeter check with her brother.|
|There's nothing like sleeping in while Mom gets ready for work!|
|Eudie loves giving her Nana sugar!|