Don’t Judge A Dog By It’s Breed

These are a few of my favorite things. To continue on with this theme, after writing about the Fall, hiking and volunteering, I am going to move on to another favorite… my American Staffordshire Terrier, Calli.

Like many people I grew up with a family dog, but let’s be honest, my parents took care of it, so truth be told I didn’t realize how much work and responsibility it was to have a dog.

I never really had that yearning to get a dog until one day I was watching TV and a commercial came on, you all know the one I’m talking about, the one where most of us turn the channel because its so sad, the one that shows the poor dogs abused and behind barbed wire or in cages. At that moment I knew I couldn’t save them all, but I could save one! So thus began my search to save one of these animals. All I knew is that I wanted a puppy and I wanted to get a dog that was the “underdog,” one that was one of the first to be put down due to stereotypes and wasn’t adopted often-a bully breed .

There are many amazing places to adopt dogs and personally I am a strong advocate for adopting from a NH shelter or rescuing dogs off of petfinder.

Puppy Mills are large scale breeding operations and they make a profit even though the dogs live most of their lives neglected in cages and do not follow responsible breeding practices. Surprising to some, many Puppy Mills are owned by the Amish as a way to make a living. Just recently Los Angeles, California banned the selling of dogs and cats that were born in the mill industry (here’s the article).

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Calli was a rescue via Kentucky. She was going to be put down due to her breed, so a rescue in Lancaster, Pennsylvania saved her. I then drove to Lancaster and picked up Callista (now Calli) and little did I know of all the time, energy, responsibility, adventure, and joys that lay ahead.

After bringing Calli home, one of the first things I did was to call my insurance agency to let them know that I had just adopted an American Staffordshire Terrier. My parents raised us to always tell the truth so I knew my insurance company would drop me, thus a search for a new agency was coming as well. There is only one agency in the state of New Hampshire that will insure me and it worked out well as they have been amazing and better than my previous agency. I find it interesting that pit bulls have a better temperament rating then many popular dogs such as labs and German Shephards yet people have such a stereotype of pit bulls. According to a temperament survey pit bulls just may be one of the best family pets out there!

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Since adopting Calli she has been a lot of work with training, socializing, exercising on a daily basis, and of course playing with her, but she has been worth every minute. She is very social and loves everyone!!! She has never met a person or dog she hasn’t enjoyed, yet I still have people that cross the street when I walk her or when I say I have an American Staffordshire Terrier they gasp, and their jaw drops.

I am an extremely busy person with work, volunteering and social engagements but Calli is always my first priority. I have found some amazing resources in my community that have helped Calli during days that I have had to work late, or weekends that I have been out of town due to bachelorette parties, bridal showers, birthday celebrations, weddings, and now baby showers.

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If you live in the Lakes Region I would 100% highly recommend without hesitation the following:

For dog training check out DoggonitNH which is out of the NH Humane Society. Kelly, the owner, is wonderful and has taught Calli and myself many wonderful and useful things. If you live in the Alton/New Durham area I would recommend Miss Behavior Dog Training and if you live in the Concord Area I would recommend No Monkey Business.

For overnight boarding or daycare I would recommend The Barn Doggie Daycare in New Durham. This daycare is run by a mother daughter team and they are with the dogs every minute of the day. You can drop your dog off to play all day and when you pick them up they had a fun day and are exhausted. They also take pictures every day of your dog playing with other dogs, and when you pick them up they give you a detailed report of how your dog was, what they did, and who they played with. They also are huge supporters of local non profits and local businesses, they are always helping someone! I cannot say enough wonderful things about them.

If you ever work a long day and just need someone to come and take your dog out or to take your dog on a small hike with other dogs I would highly recommend Marissa’s Pet Services.

And finally, if you want a safe place for your dog to play I would recommend checking out  Happy Tails Dog ParkIt is a grassroots organization raising funds to set up a safe dog park in the area.

So needless to say, I set out to save a dog and instead Calli saved me! I have learned so much from her, and for everyone out there that has the time to socialize, exercise and play with your dog and the finances for doggie toys, obedience classes, and vet visits, I would highly recommend adding one of these four legged friends to your family!

Who else do you know that is always 100% happy to see you and never talks back?