Many years ago a friend gave me a puppy. He was half pitbull/half rottweiler. I was petrified at pitbulls (uneducated & ignorant) so I didn’t know what to do. He was 7 weeks old & 14 lbs already. He was gonna be big. I named him Dozer. I have had a very tumlutuous life…abusive marriage, worse divorce, addiction, rehab, jail, you name it. I am clean and sober now going on 4 years but that being said I couldn’t have done any of it or kept myself out of the gutter if it hadn’t been for my Dozer.

When he was 5 he needed a knee replacement for a torn ACL. 3 months later, another one. $9,000 & no pet insurance later my boy was doing well. We moved back from FL to NJ and he started to pack on weight. He was 123 lbs but a year after both surgeries he went to 161 lbs. I had him on an underwater treadmill everything I could think of, but he could not lose weight.

One day all the bad things you imagine happened to Dozer. I got a call from the dogwalker that I needed to leave work, Dozer couldn’t stand, was vomiting even ice cubes, drooling, foaming at the month and looked like his eyes were rolling back in his head. I rushed him over to University of Penn Vet Hospital, and within 3 hours, he was diagnosed both with “bloat” and with a bleeding tumor in his spleen that ruptured, also had tumors in his lungs so they could not operate or use anesthesia, if I did not euthanize it would grow worse and he would be in much more pain and die anyway in a few hours. As Mark said in his book, Rescuing Sprite, how do you make that decision and I have kicked myself for it over and over! But it was the right thing to do. Dozer was my life. I have a shrine to him in my house w/his big box, candles, a plant & a photo hanging on wall.

I never thought I could get another dog, but I have. She is a pitbull, I KNOW HA, BUT I LOVE THEM, she is a rescue, a former homeless dog I got from PAWS, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society & Philly ACCT, named Savannah. She is almost 2 and in perfect health. When I got her she had a vulva infection from being bred, a staph infection from an allergy to fleas and she was infested w/fleas but now she is shiny, healthy, happy, spoiled and LOVED!

— Barbara from Voorhees, NJ