Tag: Pit bull

A Far Better Life for this dog!

A wonderful new life for this Pit Bull.

There are countless tales of dogs, for a variety of reasons, getting a leg up, it you pardon the pun!

The Pit Bull breed is a very intelligent dog and yet their reputation often gets in the way. From Pit Bulls being used in dog fights some time ago. B’rrr!

But when the Pit Bull is given a chance to better himself they don’t need a second chance at all!

Take this story of a Pit Bull being adopted by some firemen.


Dog Left Behind By Her Family Hangs Out With Firefighters All Day Now

As soon as she walked into the firehouse, her tail was wagging, and she was licking and greeting everybody.”

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

Published on 2/22/2017

The people who used to own Ashley hardly fed her, rarely took her outside and, in the end, they simply abandoned her.

Thankfully, Erica Mahnken, cofounder of No More Pain Rescue, and her fiance Michael Favor, rescued the 1-year-old pit bull in January of 2017.

Erica Mahnken, Ashley shortly after being rescued

“We got a phone call from somebody that there was a couple living in an abandoned house. They had no heat or electricity, and they had a dog there,” Mahnken told The Dodo shortly after the rescue.

When a snowstorm hit, the couple apparently left. “I guess they went to find somewhere warm to stay, and they had left the dog behind,” Mahnken said. “So as soon as we got the phone call, we ran and got her.”

Favor made Mahnken stay in the car while he ventured inside to find the dog. He’d later tell Mahnken how bad it was. “There was no electricity in the house — it was freezing,” Mahnken said. “No food, no water for her. The house was a disaster. The windows were broken, and there was feces all over the place.”


But Ashley was unharmed, and she looked like the most joyful dog when Favor walked her out.

“She came running down, super happy,” Mahnken said. “She jumped straight into my car.”

Ashley was thin and malnourished. “All you saw were her ribs — she was so skinny. And the vet later said she was 25 pounds underweight.”

They also noticed that Ashley had cigarette burns on the top of her head.


Since No More Pain Rescue doesn’t have a physical shelter, Mahnken and Favor needed to get Ashley straight into a foster home. They had friends in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), and knew there used to be a dog at the Fort Pitt station. So Mahnken and Favor asked if the firefighters would hold onto Ashley until they found her a proper home.

Ashley seemed just fine with this arrangement.


“As soon as she walked into the firehouse, her tail was wagging, and she was licking and greeting everybody,” Mahnken said. “She was super happy. From where she came from, you wouldn’t really expect that. You would think that she’d be a little skittish, but she wasn’t at all.”


Not all that surprisingly, the firefighting team called Mahnken a few days later, asking to keep Ashley.


“They said, ‘We’re going to adopt her. We just love her so much. She is at home here,'” Mahnken said. “So I was thrilled. And as soon as I walked her in there, I knew that that’s where she belonged.”


Ashley now lives at the firehouse full-time.


“She’s constantly on the go – she goes on smaller runs with them, she goes on the fire truck with them,” Mahnken said. “They walk her about 30 times a day. They bring her on the roof to play. She’s constantly in the kitchen watching them eat. She has endless supplies of treats. She has the life over there.”


Ashley even has her seat in the fire truck, according to Mahnken.


“I’m so glad we got her into a home that will show her nothing but love, and not make her into the pit bull that people love to hate so quickly,” Mahnken said. “It was an unbelievable feeling to know that that’s where she belonged.”

Four years later, Ashley is still loving her life at the firehouse — and the fire fighters love her.


Just another example of what good loving people can do for a dog and the dog’s obvious pleasure at being loved.


In praise of Pit Bull dogs.

A guest post by Noella Schink.

Not so long ago, this email was received by me:

Possible Guest Post?


My name is Noella and I am a writer and dog enthusiast from Portland, Maine. I am reaching out to you in hopes of contributing to Learning from Dogs as a guest blogger. I have an original, unpublished piece about Top Five Reasons to Pet a Pitbull Today, that I think would fit nicely with the current offering of blog topics you post. I would also be open to writing you a new piece,  if there’s a specific topic you’d like covered.

Please let me know if you’d be interested in having a look at my piece and hopefully fitting it into your editorial calendar.

I hope to hear back from you soon!



Now to be honest, this type of writing offer is not that rare but almost without exception is connected to some form of commercial organisation seeking to advance their profile. My responses are ‘not interested’!  Initially, that was my first impression of this email from Noella.   But in reply to my query along that vein, Noella sent me this:


You’re right, there will be revenue earned from dog friendly businesses that want to get involved and have ads featured on Harry’s Picks. As you can see, presently we have one dog bakery featured. The idea is to keep the website running and give back to the canine community. We are not affiliated with any brand or company.

Thank you,


Thus on that basis I was happy to go ahead with the guest post.  Influenced in great part by the gorgeous temperament of our Casey, a Pit Bull that we adopted February, 2012 when we were still living in Payson, Arizona.  Casey, as he was named, had been living in the Humane Centre for nearly a year with no-one taking a liking to him, and his days as a rescue dog were running out.

Jean loved Casey from first sight and in due course brought him home.  He quickly settled into the most wonderful, caring and gregarious dog one could imagine.  He continues to be a happy, warm dog with all of us here in Oregon.

Casey doing what dogs do so well – picking up a scent.
Casey doing what dogs do so well – picking up scents of his new home. (28th February, 2012)

So with all that, let me turn to Noella’s guest post.


Top 5 Reasons To Love a Pittie

Sweet Addie.

This is Addie. She is my best friend. She is a Pit Bull mix and the sweetest dog I have ever known. I really didn’t know much about Pit Bulls when I adopted her. I hadn’t been spoiled by tales of their viciousness and I had not yet been brought into the fold by a devotee. So I had to learn fast!

Everything I know about Pit Bulls now has been through her or inspired by her.

Here are the top 5 things I love about Addie and Pit Bulls:

5) They are incredibly strong and athletic. They come in pretty small packages but they are dynamos. Addie can jump five feet straight up in the air from standing still. It’s awe inspiring to watch.

4) You will always be missed! They fuss when you come home. I’m sure lots of dogs do this, but I’ve noticed it in a lot of pitties. They whine and wiggle and snort in the most adorable way. They love people and are always ecstatic to see you. I’m lucky to get a raised eyebrow from my hound dog.

3) They love to play. Pitties are a very determined breed. They will play until you are completely worn out and they will be fully engaged and inquisitive the entire time.

2) THEY LOVE PEOPLE. In my experience Pit Bulls are the most affectionate breed. They are snuggle monsters and will use their gigantic noggins to nose their way into your personal space whether you are seeking their attention or not.

1) THEY NEED THE LOVE. Sadly Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes makeup 30%-40% of shelter intakes nationwide and that number goes up in urban areas (interesting article on the subject here). Pit Bulls are misunderstood and often times fall into the hands of the wrong people. They need good owners that have the love and patience to provide them solid training and safe homes.

Noella Schink, writes from Portland, Maine, where she lives and plays with her 3-year-old pit bull mix, Addie, 8-year old shih-tzu, Brutus, and 2-year old hound, Lula. For great tips and reviews about dog friendly businesses around the country, she recommends Harry’s Picks, a new online community for dog lovers.