I believe every dog has, and needs, a best friend. For some, it’s a favorite stuffed animal, the dog’s owner, or even a pig. For my Pit Bull, Axle, it’s a cat. I’ve always been a believer that “everybody needs somebody.” We tried the second dog route, but it never seemed to work out, for one reason or another. We also tried play dates, but those were also a bust. When my husband got me our cat, Toby, for Christmas last year, I hoped that they could at least be civil. What I got was beyond that, a friendship that blossomed from simple curiosity to an inseparable pair.
Lately, I read in the news where a child was left to play alone with several Pit Bulls. The child was killed. The comments ranged from sympathetic to a few crying out for the slaughter of all Pit Bulls. Many of the latter backed their statements up with popular Pit Bull myths, like that they have “locking jaws” and only know how to “grab and shake until the prey stops moving.” I told one such person that I should inform Axle of these stereotypes, as we have had him for four years and he has yet to even master the game of tug-of-war. They didn’t find my response humorous.
I think other advocates and myself have proven time and time again that Pit Bulls aren’t the Loch Ness Monster of the land. Instead, they are the stars of dock diving, amazing disc dogs, weight-pulling champions, life-saving heroes, and, yes, best friends to cats. For all the hype, for all of the sensationalist media stories, Pit Bulls prove time and time again that they are just like any other dog — man’s best friend with a big, soft heart.
I don’t feel the need to try to force my dog to be a therapy dog, to play nice at dog parks (we don’t go), or to be lie-on-his-back-rub-the-belly friendly with every stranger he sees. Those can all be very scary situations for any dog, and mine doesn’t happen to like them. No, instead, our advocacy is just being, well, ordinary. Our ordinary means playing with a flirt pole, walks through the neighborhood, and lots of snuggling with the cat, Toby.
Does your dog have a unique best friend? Tell us about it in the comments!
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About Meghan Lodge:: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.