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  Roxy the Friendly Pit Bull  

This page serves to illustrate the many good sides of Pit Bulls:

Roxy, Jewel of the Mountain

Yesterday we decided to climb Mt. Bierstadt, one of many Colorado 14-ers. The hike started on Guanella Pass where we parked our truck and adored the view, with the peak ahead of us... surrounded by an endless beauty of majestic mountains and meadows. As we started the ascend with our three younger dogs, many others did the same... and we encountered tons of outdoor enthusiasts with dogs along the trail, as it was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning.
Just below the summit, we decided to stop and eat our lunch. It was then when I noticed a gorgeous pitbull strolling down the mountain, off leash, in a steady stride... along the trail yet alone, not in a group or with anyone. It surprised me as there were many other Fidos around, and I thought how curious... my gaze followed this dog until he was out of sight. Our lunch tasted great in this serene setting and we took a well deserved break. My thoughts wandered away from the dog and I took in the beauty of the surrounding. Just then, I noticed the same dog strutting back up the mountain... curiously and swiftly, only stopping to sniff an occasional hiker with his dog, to greet them and wag it's tail, then to continue on the journey up the steep mountainside. I watched this dog and stood up and climbed up to go check it out. I called out to her and she turned and shyly approached me. It was the same gorgeous pitbull, turned out to be a female, with a pink harness strapped on her back, and two tags on her collar. Yes, she was extremely friendly, came right up to me and wagged her tail to greet me. I was relieved she was not afraid of me, as I realized she was lost or abandoned.
Whilst checking her tags, a few commented walking by, that they had seen her earlier... others just sent a glance our way to check us out - walking by with their dogs who either grawled, yanked on their leashes or ignored their owners' calls to go back to them. The pitbull girl sat down next to me, ignoring all this commotion with the most calmest disposition which was rather remarkable. I tried to figure out what to do next, as I knew in that moment that I will not abandon this girl on the mountain, nor look the other way as many others have done, as I saw her earlier in the day. I decided to climb back down and take her along. Just then two young men crossed our path and offered a string and help to walk her down along with our three other dogs.
Yes, my dogs were acting out when this sweet girl just walked down the mountain with us, as if she had known me for a long time. We encountered many hikers with dogs... most of them being the mutt you don't want near you, either growling, pulling on the leash or coming at you in attack mode. Not this girl. She was the most calmest and sweetest dog on the trail. I was blown away with her disposition. Wow, I just met Wonderdog. What a beauty, what a character and great nature she possessed ! I started to think I wish this was my dog. Contemplating my next steps in this "rescue".. we approached the rivercrossing, when a young man came jogging down the trail behind us. It turned out to be the owner, who just left the peak after the 6 mile hike and the 3000 feet elevation gain to jog back down in a haste to find his dog. Boy was I happy to see this guy ! Turned out his dog "Roxy", the sweet, calm, friendly and amazing beauty of a dog took off up there somewhere... as she noticed a Boxer mix boy... apparently this stunning boy distracted sweet Roxy so much that she forgot all about her hike with her owner and just followed the Boxer dog. And boy was it a goodlooking one at that... we saw him hike down just as we celebrated her little "reunion"... with her owner.
Wagging tails, heads on close to sniff each other, Roxy and her Boxer friend eagerly visited with each other again.
Well the Boxer boyfriend had to go home and out came the treat bag and waterbowl, which the owner of Roxy held out in front of her... I was so thrilled that they found each other again and told him the amazing nature of her's and how she just walked by all those dogs in a most peaceful manner. Her curious and loving character stood out, she was the ONLY dog that I noticed with such a disposition, unleashed at first, while lost, completely indifferent towards other dogs and friendly to everyone who crossed her path.
It was a very amazing experience. Roxy is one special dog, who is lucky to go on outings such as these...
with her loving owner, who was just as relieved as I was, that she was found. What was so cute about this story, is that not one other dog interested her.. just this gorgeous Boxer dude and we all got a chuckle out of it... Roxy... go on hiking, but watch out for those good looking Boxers... A happy ending of a beautiful day, when I learned again, how very special these dogs are, Pitbulls... America's Dog... Roxy truly represents what an amazing breed they are, friendly as can be, tail-wagging at everyone... humans and dogs.. curious, intelligent and calm...
Now when I go hiking, I will always remember this sweet Pitbull girl, that made my day very special.
Attached is a picture of Roxy and me, which her owner took after we got back down the mountain.
Monika Courtney
ph roxy and monika mt, buerstadt co 20090719.jpg
                 Roxy and Monika, Mt. Bierstadt, CO July 19, 2009                                                                                 

I sincerely hope that as a veterinarian and the proud owner of a well behaved American Pit Bull Terrier (see attached photo), my experience in the area of dog behavior will help you to understand why banning a breed of dog cannot be justified. By stereotyping a breed of dog as “dangerous”, lawmakers mistakenly oversimplify the problem of dog aggression, and innocent dogs, like Bruce, get caught in the ensuing legal crossfire. When responsible dog owners are forced to use all reasonable measures to stop government from killing their beloved dog — something is seriously wrong as you have witnessed by the International outcry for Ireland to return Bruce to his heartbroken family.    

In the hopes that lawmakers will study reliable and factual information on this subject, an excellent five year study was published in the Cincinnati Law Review in 1982, vol. 53, which specifically considered both Rottweilers and "Pit Bulls" and concluded in part that: 

·    The statistics did not support the assertion that any one breed was dangerous. 

·    When legislation is focused on the type of dog, it fails because it is unenforceable, confusing, and costly. 

·  Focusing legislation on dogs that are "vicious" distracts attention from the real problem, which is irresponsible dog ownership. 

In light of this and numerous other studies I have read (available on request), I urge you to pursue legislation that would render owners liable for the actions of their pets. It is not the automobile that kills innocent people; it is the irresponsible driver of that vehicle. Seek to punish the actions of negligent dog owners and remove dogs at risk. 

To be useful, legislation must be effective, enforceable, economical, and reasonably fair. Any form of legislative discrimination would fail in all of these areas, punish responsible dog owning citizens, and worst of all will not protect the public from dog attacks. Please remember that any dog can bite and seriously injure people, regardless of its breed. 

Only with the proper training and socialization can we ensure that all dogs will be welcomed neighbors in society. This is the responsibility and duty of every dog owner, and those who fail this task are the ones who put the public at risk. To be responsible legislators, you must make laws that apply to people, not dogs.  

Respectfully yours, 

Dr. Paula Terifaj, DVM

Brea, California USA

                                       ph dr terifaj and pit bull 20090726.png

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