My assignment on that day was to take pictures of the dogs that Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center wanted to highlight on their Facebook page. Some of these dogs had been in the shelter way too long—a few months had turned into a few years.
I had no idea whom I would photograph that day. I went to the greeting room at the shelter where there was a love seat opposite a chair. A big picture window ushered in streams of light. The room was bright and sunny—a happy room.
One of the other volunteers, Wendy, assisted me. The idea was to create a St. Patrick’s Day theme around the dogs, so I decorated with shamrock props as Wendy went for our first model.
Out of the corner of my eye, I sensed movement and turned toward the entryway. An imposing figure bounded in and I cautiously backed up.
“This is Jada. She’s a sweetie. Don’t be scared,” Wendy said.
All I could muster was, “I’m sorry, but I’m not used to pit bulls. I have doxies at home, the other end of the dog spectrum.”
“She’s a great girl, friendly with people and dogs alike. She’ll pose nicely for you.”
“Do you think she’ll wear these shamrock glasses?” I asked.
“Well, we can try,” Wendy replied.
Jada sat in front of the love seat. Despite her formidable size, she was very agreeable about posing in the glasses.
I walked over to her, extended my hand beneath her chin and let her sniff. Then I petted her. She was gentle, so I began to relax.
Jada was such an easygoing, friendly girl that she didn’t mind the sunglasses a bit. I snapped pictures while she calmly sat with eyes embracing the camera. She was the perfect model.
Jada was a deep gray color with full pit bull mouth, but something was wrong with it. Her mouth slanted to one side like someone who had experienced a stroke. I learned that, in addition to some unimaginable experiences that had befallen her at the hands of some mean-spirited people, a car had hit Jada, leaving her muscles weak on the right side of her mouth.
But she was the most awesome girl. It was amazing that she didn’t hold grudges against humans who had caused her such distress. After the photo session, I petted Jada again and promised to visit and take her for a walk.
Jada taught me something important that day. You definitely can’t judge a book by its cover.
This imposing girl proved mellow, gentle and sweet-natured.
I think I fell in love with Pit Bulls that day and I especially fell in love with Jada.
To find out more about Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center (608 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station), and maybe even adopt a pit bull, call 631-473-6333 or visit saveapetli.net.