Hi! My name is Willow and I am the “WonderBull”, a Pit Bull ambassador for Pit Stop Bully’s Rescue and for Pit Bulls and rescue dogs everywhere. But I didn’t get to be the WonderBull overnight – it took a lot of hard work! This is my story.
I was adopted from a rescue by my moms when I was 11 weeks old. My moms are into rescuing dogs and already had a house full of small rescue “rejects” with various medical and behavior issues. They love to educate about rescuing, spaying and neutering, and being a responsible pet owner. About a year before they adopted me, they began thinking they wanted a “big” dog and they wanted it to be a Pit Bull. But, before they brought me home, they put a lot of thought into it because they knew I would be a lot of work.
My moms knew the very first day they had me that I would be special and could help people understand my breed. Several family members and friends voiced concerns for the safety of the little dogs and for my moms when they found out they had adopted a Pit. People in the community also had a lot of misconceptions about me. At 11 weeks old, while I was sleeping in my new mommy’s arms, a lady started petting me and asked if I was Weimaraner. When she was told I was a Pit, she pulled her hand away, stepped back, and gasped.
And so, my training to become an ambassador started immediately. They gave me lots of instructions: “Sit. Look. Gentle with the babies. No bites. Good girl.” I went to obedience classes for 16 weeks. As soon as I had all my shots, I began social training, which meant joining my moms on their outings whenever possible: pet supply stores, yappy hours, dog events, basically anywhere I could meet people and dogs. Mommy also took me to doggy day care one day a week. My training and socializing is an ongoing thing with constant reinforcement: pack walks, frisbee, lots of events, dining out, and, of course, more instructions: “Toes down. Leave it. Bring it. No pulling. Good girl.”
Helping to educate people has also meant a wardrobe change! We noticed that, when I was a puppy, everyone wanted to pet me, but as I grew, people would cross the road or veer to get away from me. So my moms started dressing me up in cute clothes, like t-shirts, jean skirts, tutus, and headbands. It worked! Kids, women, and even men flocked to me! I would sit nice and give them kisses and take treats gently. Some people asked mom if I bite before they approached or would stand back in fear until they saw how gentle I am. I was educating without saying a word – some people were shocked when they found out I was a Pit Bull. The kids are best – they don’t judge me. They just come for kisses and to love on me.
In November, the same week I turned one year old, I was awarded the title of “WonderBull” by Pit Stop Bully’s Rescue. What an honor! What a responsibility!
Mom knew we needed to do something more to educate and make people aware of the kindness and gentleness of Pit Bulls. That’s when I started my Facebook page. It’s a photo journal of my activities and a place that I can share messages supporting our beliefs. I also get the chance to interact with Pit Bulls around the world, some who have been rescued from some pretty awful situations.
And I have made a difference! My moms have rescued another Pit Bull, Jade, my BFF, who was abandoned in an apartment. Our friends and family are no long afraid of me or Jade. We have befriended a Chihuahua meet-up group because we are so polite with little dogs and we hang out with them at events. I am a big hit in the kissing booths and have raised funds for various causes. Recently, my “Pinup” photo brought in a lot of donations for “Party Like a Pinup”. I am becoming a local celebrity and people recognize me at events. At last count, I had nearly 500 Facebook friends, and I get more every day.
I am an Educator.
I am a Philanthropist.
I am a Socialite.
I am an Athlete.
I am a WonderBull!