|Badger's first day at our apartment|
|Badger's Petfinder profile picture|
"Your dog's really ugly," my mom commented after seeing Badger's Petfinder picture. "You should name him Big Head." Not only did Badger have a big head, he had a big mouth. He was actually capable of smiling, and when he was excited, all we'd see was a lolling tongue and an open mouthful of teeth. We nicknamed him "The Maw". It became apparent that Badger might have something in him other than Cocker Spaniel and Border Collie. His coat was considerably shorter than that of a Cocker Spaniel or Border Collie. His feathered tail curled upward, resembling that of a sled dog. And he was growing just a little faster than we'd anticipated. We began telling people that he was part Lab as well.
|Badger at ~8 months|
I shared my suspicions with a couple of dog-owning friends. "He could be part pitbull," one friend mused, "Just look at his little chest." Another friend reassured me that pitbulls were wonderful dogs who didn't deserve their reputation. By then, my initial fear had subsided and been replaced by speculation. What kind of cross would produce a dog that looked like Badger? What if he wasn't part pitbull, but instead he was part some other breed with a similar build, like a Boston Terrier or a Boxer? I searched terms like "Cocker Spaniel pitbull mix" and "Boston Terrier Lab mix", but the results were inconclusive.
We'd heard that a friend of a friend had had to provide DNA results for their dog to prove it wasn't a pitbull prior to renting. While our apartment complex bans several breeds, pitbulls being one of them, they had happily accepted the shelter's identification of Badger as a Cocker Spaniel/Border Collie mix. But I thought it might be a good idea to test him pre-emptively, just in case we wanted to move. A coworker recommended the Wisdom Panel DNA test, and while I was searching for reviews, I stumbled across the Two Pitties in the City blog.
|Badger at ~10 months|
Through the pitbull advocacy community, I learned invaluable advice on dog training, dog socialization, dog food, home decoration, breed bans, and even how to speak civilly to someone I disagree with. I learned that we will never take Badger to Denver because he could be killed for simply resembling a pitbull. I learned that the next city over has a law requiring pitbulls to be muzzled in public. We decided that when we move, we will look specifically for a place that is pitbull-friendly. We switched Badger to Natural Balance limited ingredient kibble topped with a scoop of canned pumpkin (he is notorious for bowel irregularity). We bought Badger a couple of new collars on Etsy. We're also attempting to train him for the Canine Good Citizen test, though I'm still working on getting Llamaentity to agree to signing up for a training class.
|So excited to meet this potential new member of the family!|
I would love nothing more than to adopt a rescued pitbull, but I know better than to (blatantly) try to circumvent the apartment's breed ban. We applied to adopt a little brown dog listed on Petfinder as a Lab/terrier mix - we'll actually be meeting her for the first time tonight. She is just over 30 lbs (unlike Badger, who weighed in at 42 lbs a month ago and is still growing), and the apartment office has already approved her. We haven't gotten around to DNA testing Badger yet, but when we do, I hope he is part pitbull, if only so I can wear the "My best friend is a pitbull" shirt (but only when the apartment manager can't see me).