Maggie’s Story: A New Leash on Life
Thank you Leetah & Lloyd for sharing your story! Your commitment to Maggie is an inspiration to everyone. And thank you to all Pit n’ Proud supporters for making this story possible — hopefully one of many more to come!
“Hello, our names are Leetah and Lloyd and we own a beautiful female American Pit Bull Terrier named Maggie. She is 3-years-old as of right now.
We got Maggie when she was 5-months-old from a friend. She was a hyper, lovable puppy who got along with everything. She didn’t know the word stranger and she didn’t know that the world wasn’t all rainbows and happiness.
When she was around 9-months-old we got her a friend who was a little younger than her but around the same size. We asked his owner if he had any special needs and she told us no. We found out a little while later he had food aggression and attacked our baby girl. This was the first time Maggie learned that not all dogs were friendly. She did not kill him and he wasn’t hurt to badly so we called the woman back and told her that she needed to get him to a vet and the next time she tried to give him away to tell the new owners of his food aggression.
She was attacked by 3 more dogs and that was when everything changed. She became fear aggressive around dogs (except Chihuahuas) and we will admit that we did not help by not taking her out and resocializing her. It grew to the point that she was afraid of noises and would bark and growl at anything.
These were not her only problems. She would pull constantly while walking and after a year or two my wrist was really feeling this and so I stopped walking her because it hurt to much. Once our neighbor moved away Maggie also had no more children to socialize with and so she never truly understood the difference between rough and gentle play or the different things that children will do and how to react to them.
Since we didn’t go out much and we did not know how to handle our reactive dog we became reclusive and she became more of a burden then a beloved pet and family member. Once we came to Tucson it got harder since we couldn’t afford her to have her own yard like in Oklahoma, which took care of her need to run and jump, and we had children all over the place making noises and running by like crazy. We were not only afraid for them but we were also afraid for the quality of living for our dog.
While looking for a safe place to relinquish our dog we came across Pit n’ Proud and was told that they could help us put Maggie in behavior modification classes that would handle the fear and would teach all of us to be more confident. We were ecstatic and accepted.
The first Wednesday we will admit we were skeptical since we didn’t believe that Maggie would be able to get over the fear or that we would either. Boy were we proven wrong!
Seize the Leash is where we went, and after almost being late because we stink at directions, we were welcomed and our eyes opened. Maggie is a new dog because of Pit n’ Proud and Seize the Leash. She is so much calmer and confident. The barking has dropped by 95%, she doesn’t lunge at dogs anymore, and the children where we live have all met and become friends with Maggie. The leash pulling we are still working on but now my wrist doesn’t hurt since we learned how to hold the leash and she isn’t dragging me but instead just applying some pressure telling us to walk faster. Still gotta find that medium speed we can all agree on.
Maggie is like a new dog! You can see the shine of life and wonder back in her brown eyes and she is excited about everything. We go to parks now, we take walks, we enjoy life again with our beloved family member. Thank you Rachel, Jamie and Deena for giving us the gifts you have!”