Two years ago my boyfriend and I went to our local humane society looking for a small dog to join our family. We had a dog in mind after looking on the humane society website. Once we got there we learned that Slinky, the dog we came to adopt, had been quarantined because he accidently scratched an older lady. Upset about not being able to see Slinky, we walked around a bit to see the others dogs.
From the corner of our eyes we saw this 40-pound Brindle dog just leaning her body weight against the fence, tail going a mile a minute. We walked over to take a look at her. The dog was named Vinnie Girl, after Vincent van Gogh. She was a Brindle–Pit Bull–Lab mix and was 2 years old.
Now we never had anything against Pit Bulls, just never thought about getting one because of how difficult it is to find housing with an “aggressive” dog. We took her out and played with her, and it was love at first sight. That’s when one of the shelter employees shared her story: Vinnie Girl was pulled from a high-kill shelter. She was pregnant and abused, her ears were cropped with kitchen scissors, and she had cigarette burns on her body and cuts on her face.
Right after she was saved, she had nine beautiful puppies and all of them were adopted as she waited and waited for her turn. Vinnie Girl was adopted and had a house for a few months. She then came back to the shelter as a stray and sat there for nine long months before we got her.
Vinnie came home with us, and she was instantly loved. At first she was very shy and timid, but slowly warmed up to us and her true personality came out. We learned what real pit bulls are: strong, loving, forgiving. Vinnie was all of those things and more. Vinnie did more for us than anyone. We had rough patches in our relationship, and the thing that held us together was Vinnie Girl. When things would get bad we would look at her, remember what she went through, and we knew we could make it just like she did.
A few months in we decided to add to our family and got two kittens, and Vinnie Girl took to them like a mother. She would lick them, cuddle them and even allowed them to try to nurse from her. We had never seen this amazing side of her before. The kittens grew up, and Vinnie did too. They loved each other, but we saw Vinnie being left out of all the fun, and we decided to bring a puppy into our lives.
We now have a 10-week-old Border Collie mix, and Vinnie Girl couldn’t be any happier! She loves him and mothers him just like her puppies. I think it’s safe to say we didn’t rescue Vinnie Girl, she rescued us. Without her our lives would never have gotten to where we are now. She has become a breed ambassador and given me a love and passion for saving animals that I never knew was possible.
This article first appeared on StubbyDog.org