Once upon a time, a little "deformed" pit bull entered my life.
In 2010 I was an animal control officer responding to a complaint about an "aggressive dog." Any animal control officer knows the majority of these types of calls result in nervous strays or neighbor disputes. Neighbor disputes escalate when it involves one of their pets. Animal control responds faster when the complaint involves the word "aggressive" and although that was the case in this particular call, I never imagined how my life would change because of it.
Upon arriving, a scared, little dog was out darting around between two houses. A woman was busy coaxing her dog into the house while two people next door yelled at her. Animal control officers wear many hats. We are mediators, counselors and teachers who are often seen as the bad guys just because people think we want to take their dogs. We don't want to take your dogs. There are enough in the shelters already. We just want you to do right by your dogs.
The argument didn't stop just because I arrived and I heatedly advised both parties that someone was going to jail if all present did not go back into their homes. Unfortunately, animal control officers also spend a lot of time waiting on people when we could be helping other animals. The woman who scooted the dog into her house told me that the dog was actually her husband's responsibility. I am always amazed how two people can live together but hold one person liable for their dog. I had to wait on the husband to get home to show me proof of ownership, proof of licensing and the opportunity to educate him about letting his dog run at large.
The complainants sat on their porch so I awkwardly struck up conversation to waste time. They told me how they rescued a pit bull puppy but had to get out of town in a hurry and needed someone to take her. Yes, that was what they said. They asked if I wanted to see her. Sure. Why not? Not like pit bull puppies who need homes aren't in abundance, right? They brought out this little white and black puppy on a leash made of twine. My jaw dropped. Her shape was nothing like I had ever seen before. The owners didn't mention her shape to me nor did I to them. Instead, I realized this pup was special and had to come home with me. I needed to protect her from euthanasia as I knew that's what would happen once the shelter vet looked at her. I started text arguing with my husband and he lost. This puppy, named Cuda, was coming home with me.