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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

This is my story of what happened after I adopted a pitbull, and how my bully defied the stereotype against pitbulls.

On January 21st, I got something that I was dreaming of for a very long time — originally, I was supposed to get a bichon-poodle mix from a random person I found on Facebook. That plan kind of fell through. I really wanted a dog to improve my mental health, and I couldn’t wait anymore, so I decided to get a dog to be my emotional support animal. I went with my friends to the Alachua County Humane Society and looked at all the dogs they had. The first one that really caught my eye was a black bulldog-looking one named Lil Momma that I immediately thought was “fun-sized.” 

To see what her personality really was, we took her to one of the yards they had and played with her. Just interacting with her made me fall in love with her, and I knew that she was the one. I took her home, and I wanted to give her a fresh start with a new name. Since her coat was black, I wanted to give her a badass/hipster name. At first it was Carbon because of charcoal and carbon fibers and so on, but it didn’t stick. Then I settled on Banshee, which is a wailing woman of death in mythology, because ironically, she never barks.

Before I got her, my mom told me not to get a pitbull, but I didn’t really care because I think pitbulls are the cutest things ever. She told me this because of the stigma against pitbulls, that they’re all aggressive and will attack you. Banshee, on paper, is a bulldog mix, but that’s for safety reasons. A lot of the times shelters will put mix if a dog looks like a pit bull because the stigma against them causes people to not adopt them. Some residences even ban pitbulls from living there. It’s sad because they’re the sweetest creatures ever; my sweet Banshee is a notable example.

To be completely honest, I was the slightest bit worried about bringing a pitbull home, especially after a Virginia woman was mauled to death by her two pitbulls in December. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to train her and would fear her most of the time. I was very wrong.

Banshee was a bit protective at first, which is expected because it was a new home and I was new to her. However, it was really nice that she already knew how to sit and come from her foster home. Before Christmas and after being picked up by the humane society in October, she was in a foster home because she just gave birth to a litter of puppies (who were in the same foster home as well). It was actually her third litter of puppies she’s had. There her owner taught her commands and housebroke her! I was so lucky to adopt an already housebroken dog because sometimes rescues aren’t housebroken. Even on the first night, she was already trying to cuddle me, and I discovered her habit of lifting up people’s hands and arms if they’re down so that it ends up on top of her head with her snout. She is very loving towards new people and not growling at anyone that approached her. The first night proved that I had made a great decision.

As time went on, Banshee proved the pit bull stereotype wrong. Sure, she might’ve had a few accidents due to anxiety, but that’s okay. She would cuddle my legs when I would come home, come comfort me whenever I cried, and would paw you if you stopped petting her. Banshee proved to be the sweetest creature that I have ever encountered. However, she did get scared at times and I had no idea why. Sometimes it was because of the sound of an engine. Sometimes for no reason. Except, I did have a hint based on the scar on her head and her two missing canines. Banshee’s past was revealed to me when I found her foster on Facebook and it explained to my why she gets scared.

Her foster actually knew her past owner because they lived near each other. Apparently, Banshee was owned by a mechanic’s son and lived near a junkyard. The owner would beat Banshee as a punishment whenever she did something wrong. He also neglected her and didn’t get the standard treatments that dogs have to get like heartworm prevention, vaccines, a spaying in Banshee’s case, and probably didn’t groom her as well, telling by the way her coat was dull. Right before I adopted her, she finally got rid of her heartworms after treatment! I don’t know why someone would abuse someone as sweet as my Banshee.

Banshee did nip at me a few times when I picked her up, but it was a defense mechanism because she was sore from jumping on my beds too many times. Pit bulls are some of the sweetest dogs out there, and among the most athletic. But because so many people decided to use them in illegal fighting rings, they are feared in the public eye. They’re even considered to be the most abused breed in the world, according to PETA. The stereotype against pit bulls wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for bad owners. There’s an old adage relevant to this – there’s no such thing as bad dogs, just bad owners. Banshee is the best thing to ever happen to me, and I wish that more people got pit bulls and get the same joy I got from getting her. I mean look at her! How could you not be happy with that goofball!

Sophia is a self-proclaimed potato on the TAMU campus. She is a third-year Materials Science and Engineering Ph.D. student that loves being in Her Campus. She loves it so much that she continued being a member into grad school. This is her second year writing with HC TAMU, but wrote for HC UFL from Fall 2017 - Spring 2020 when she was an undergrad at the University of Florida. Sophia loves writing about social justice topics, science, and loves showcasing her dog, Banshee (ig: @BansheeTheBeauty). Follow her on insta, twitter, and snapchat @divasophia97.