Dangerously Darling Dogs

Schatzi enjoys her garden

Undaunted by the banana slug (well, slightly daunted), my sister and I made our way to the local shelter the following day.

Megan inherited her dog, Schatzi, from our mother. Mom was walking her other dogs (who have since passed away) one day when she still lived near San Diego when she heard a sound coming from a Dumpster. She investigated, and found Schatzi. The dog had clearly suffered a lot of ill-treatment, and had also recently had puppies, who were nowhere to be seen*.

Mom cleaned her up as much as she could and took her to the pound, since she already had two dogs. The pound informed her that Schatzi would be killed immediately, without even trying to find her a home. Why, you ask? Because she is a pit bull terrier. A 35 pound, brindled bundle of love, but still, a pit bull terrier.

Mom now had three dogs.

She named this one “Schatzi”, which is German for “sweetheart” or “treasure”, and she is both. And as as Mom said, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Schatzi is definitely Megan’s treasure. She adores that little canine princess, and as her love for Schatzi has grown, so has her interest in Schatzi’s breed – possibly one of the most misunderstood breeds in the world. She is an ardent supporter of Bad Rap, an Oakland rescue and rehabilitation organization, and works at least one day a week to help train and socialize pit bulls at her local shelter.

This was one of those days, so I got to meet three of the PBs: Tulley, Davis, and Patch. Tulley’s baby, Echo, is deaf and is being fostered by a family who is teaching him sign language. The shelter is holding an adoption day in August, and the staff hopes that if the PBs are well-trained and friendly, they’ll find good homes.

All three were incredibly affectionate, kissing me, wagging their tails, and leaning against me and looking up at me with the heartbreaking affection only a dog can show. And I was a total stranger!

We walked the dusty, rocky roads for more than two hours. Tulley responded well to the clicker, and all the dogs did well, though their natural ebullience broke through the training from time to time.

I was sorry to see them go when it was time to return them to their kennels, but it was an honor and a privilege to work with and cuddle with these beautiful animals, even for a short time. The only reason to beware of these dogs is the serious danger of falling in love.

*Later, Mom learned that Schatzi had been seen around the neighborhood with her puppies, and the general consensus was that they had fallen prey to coyotes. Mom was astounded that not one person thought to help the dog and her babies.