In June 2007, a woman named Ruby Pulley was attacked by two pit bulls in East Baltimore. The dogs were owned by a teenager who bred them for sale; neighbors thought he might fight them, though no one wanted to go on the record saying so. An animal control officer wisely confiscated his other dogs, including a puppy whose ears had been cropped down to nubs. This is all public record: The Sun covered the incident and the dog-fighting culture that directly led to it.
We don't know what happened to the other dogs, but the puppy was taken in by Recycled Love and spent her first year of life with a devoted foster family. They trained her, cared for her, and encouraged her to be the good dog she naturally was. They named her Lucy. When she was a year old, she came home with us forever.
Before we adopted her, we learned all about Lucy's background: Clearly, she'd been mistreated and her parents had likely been fought. The deck was stacked against her, as it is against so many other dogs, but she deserved a chance. Then we learned what it would mean for us: People would look suspiciously at the large black pit bull with crudely cropped ears. They'd judge her. They'd judge us. They have, and it's been worth it.
We were saddened to read Dan Rodricks' recent column because it was so blatantly untrue ("Pit bulls: Own them at your risk," May 1). Pit bulls are just dogs, with all of the risks and rewards of any other type or breed. Lucy doesn't know she's a pit bull or that the Court of Appeals decided she's dangerous, but she's spent the last five years proving them wrong anyway. She's eager to please and is gentle with kids. She learns new behaviors easily and will do anything for a treat. The only thing she loves more than curling up in bed with us is meeting new people and lavishing them with kisses. Her entire body wiggles in pleasure when her favorite places are scratched — and yes, that includes her nubby little ears, a mark of the nightmarish beginning that she's overcome. She wants to be your friend.
And so we ask: If our Lucy, who survived one of the roughest starts possible, can bounce back to become a sweet, friendly dog who routinely changes people's minds about pit bulls, why shouldn't the rest of them have that chance?
Shannon and Jim Davis, Glen Burnie