ATHENA by Lindsey Rueff

When I turned 18, I was determined to do 3 things…Get a job, move out, and get a dog. One thing led to another and I was right where I wanted to be…well almost. I was out on my own but still hadn’t found that puppy I had been dreaming of. Living with roommates, there were always dogs and people in and out of the house. One day one of my roommates brought in his new dog, a huge 75 pound pit mix (Radar). We hit it off right away. Sadly Radar and his owner moved out a few months later. The day after he was gone, I knew I need to find my own pit bull. I searched on Petfinder and the first dog to show up was Athena.

I was instantly drawn to her. I printed all of her pictures, told everyone about the dog I was getting. I called Lori, told her I would like to come meet Athena, we set up an appt and off to LA I went. The second I saw Athena, I fell in love. There was this puppy with a huge head and such a tiny body (covered in mange). Lori told me about her past, and what it would take to heal her in the future. I was confident I could help turn this troubled little girl into a beautiful happy dog. Well, Lori wasn’t as sure about me as I was about Athena. Anyone who knows or has met Lori knows how much pride she takes in these animals. The love and care she holds in her heart for these animals is amazing and so refreshing.
Here I was an 18 year old girl, renting a house, wanting to take away one of her babies. Lori and I went back and forth for a couple of weeks, until I pursued her so much she finally believed I was trying to get Athena for all the right reasons. Lori then came to my house for her in-home visit. Everything went well and she left Athena with me. I was beyond thrilled to finally have my own dog, my own pit-bull.
I called my mom and told her I had adopted a pit bull, her reaction was the same as many…very scared. I still remember her words as I pulled up to her house “You adopted a pit bull? Those dogs are violent and mean, I will not allow her in my house”. I was crushed. It took a while but I finally convinced her to come meet Athena. It took no more than an hour for my mom to also fall in love with Athena. One example of many others who were once so terrified of my dog, she began to love and embrace not only Athena but the breed itself.

The weeks to follow were great. We were treating her mange and just waiting for the A-ok from the doctor to let us finally go out and explore the world together!
Ever since the day she was healed and feeling better, Athena and I have been doing everything we can do together…camping, going to the beach, play at the dog park, walk on the boardwalk, hang out by the pool, and even cuddle on rainy days! Everything is so better and more fun with a little Athena in it!

One year later my mom, the woman who wanted nothing to do with pit bulls , adopted Abigail (also from DDR), the big beautiful pit bull.

Abigail and Athena are hands down two of the best things that have ever come into our lives. They are members of the family, and our best friends. They both remain very social with all animals (cats included!)

We are both so happy we can not only love and embrace these beautiful animals, but be an example and shed some positive light about this misunderstood breed to our community.