Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Three-Legged Pit Bull Got in My Car

The fenced in area.

Those were words I never thought I’d say, but on a hot summer’s afternoon 4 or 5 years ago, it happened.

A quick intro to Hopi the Pit Bull

My neighbor was vacationing out West when he adopted this pit bull, Hopi. I think he said they found her on an Indian reservation. How she lost part of her back leg, I don’t know and never asked. It can’t be a happy story. I think she was a “below the knee” amputee. Even though my neighbor was on a cross-country motorcycle trip, Hopi rode on his bike back to North Carolina. That must have been quite a sight!

Back to the Story

When I first saw her, I immediately went to DEFCON 2. My old fears of dogs came rushing back to me. Even worse, I had to worry about Andy’s safety. Luckily for me and Andy, Hopi was a sweet girl. She absolutely loved Andy. She wanted to be his girlfriend so much. Andy couldn’t have cared less about her. He tolerated her but he wasn’t thrilled to have her around whenever their paths crossed. Andy would be stand-offish while Hopi would be visibly excited and cried trying to get to Andy. It was cute and endearing watching a dog that much in love with another.

One day, Hopi’s owner asked if his dog was bothering me at my place. Confused, I said no. I asked him why he wanted to know. He said almost every day, instead of turning right to go outside, Hopi would turn left and run to my door and start crying. She knew Andy lived there and was trying to visit him. That kind of cuteness almost made me want to squeeze her. I asked him if Andy ever heard her and barked. He didn’t. Hopi would sit outside my door and whimper. Her owner had to coax her away almost every time.

On that summer day, Hopi and Piggy were at the north end of the building. The north end is fenced-in but there is a small gap by the side for a small dog to squeeze through. Hopi did just that. While Hopi absconded, I was putting Andy in the car to go bye-bye. I could hear high pitched whining and looked across the parking lot. Hopi was making a bee-line right towards us. I couldn’t believe how fast she could move. She could really scoot! Before I could push Andy in and close the door, Hopi jumped into the backseat with Andy. She made it to her man and had him at last! Andy was nonplussed. Other than looking at her with a bewildered expression, Andy didn’t do anything. Hopi was crying in jubilation and rolled on her back for me to pet her. By that time, her owner was at my car to retrieve Hopi. He apologized and brought Hopi back to the fence.

I had never petted a pit bull before that day. I thought since she was a female, she may not have the tone and muscularity a male does. I was wrong. Petting her was like petting a rock covered in a blanket. She was solid—all muscle. And for a moment in time, she was in my car. Before that day, I would never have bet on a pit bull getting in my car, let alone a three-legged one, but one did.

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