Scary Pitbulls or something more beautiful?

Our dog Boo was loudly whining at me to take her out to pee. Sitting in my PJ’s this evening at 7:40pm after a 24 hour battle with the flu, I was not too happy to take her out in my PJ’s to do her business, but no one else was home. So I threw on my 11 year old's flip flops which were the only shoes I could find by the front door (yes I have small feet) and went to find her purple leash. I took her out. As she was peeing on the small patch of grass in front of our house, along a busy street, I could see an Iraqi woman walking towards me with her arms full of groceries. We live in a diverse neighborhood with many Iraqi refugees. She took one look at my dog and ducked into the bus stop three doors down from where I was standing. She set her groceries down on the bench and casually looked my way to see if the dog was still there. As soon as I walked into my front porch, and closed the front gate behind me, with my dog safely away from the sidewalk out front, she grabbed her groceries and continued her walk. She passed by our front door as soon as my dog was back in the house.

Boo our Pitbull Mix 

For some reason most women, especially the Chaldean and Mexican women in my urban neighborhood are always afraid of my dog. Once they see her, they cross to the other side of the street, shield their children, or turn and walk the other direction. Sometimes they cower and hide at the bus stop. If I am walking her and an adult African american man or Hispanic man happens to be walking by, they are much more fun... usually saying something like, “bad ass dog...” or “man I love your dog.” Once a few black men stopped their car and yelled out the car window “nice dog” as they made their way through the stoplight near my house. Why is this? She is a pitbull. Or at least part pitbull. The unwanted, controversial, and unfairly judged pitbull mix of a dog.

Maybe I am a sucker for the underdog, for the ones no one else has hope for. So yes, we have a slobbery dog who is a pitbull mix. Our friends all gasped in horror as our pitbull ran around with our then 1 year old toddler and 4 year old preschooler. At the time, almost 7 years ago, I was oblivious to the fact she was a pitbull mix. To me she was simply a 1 year old dog we were adopting from a preschool family. We adopted her from a family who could no longer keep her after moving into a “no dogs allowed” rental home. I was on the lookout for a canine addition to our home. When friends and church family came to our home, they immediately pointed out the potential danger we were inviting into our lives, by adopting this controversial dog.

All this controversy and stereotype of a dog who has been nothing more than a peaceful and loving addition to our home for almost 8 years now. This sweet beautiful dog has me thinking about brokenness. About our tendency to focus on the broken, the dead and ugly, instead of looking through the Jesus lens of hope. When we look at pitbulls, or teenagers, or students or the people around us, do we focus on brokenness and sin, or get excited for the potential of living into a more beautiful and hopeful reality? A better story than the ones expected or told about us?

How often in life are we paralyzed by fear instead of hope? Scared of the unknown. Scared of new possibilities. We can lean into the stereotypes or sad stories which perpetuate false perceptions of who we may be inclined to be, or shake it off and choose to live a better life. No longer stuck in an endless cycle of fear and brokenness. We can step forward in hope, lean into new beginnings, and a fresh start in a new family with a new perception of who we are. We can let brokenness define our boundaries and force us to hide in bus stops while life passes by, or walk boldly forward into a new reality. I choose hope. I choose the pitbull. I vote for the underdog.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) 
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

for more info about Positive Pitbulls...look here 


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