Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Harry!

Pit Bull Pride - Day #19

"Harry is an American Staffordshire Terrier who is 1 ½ years old weighing in at a muscular 64 pounds. He may be muscle on the outside, but he is a big mush pot on the inside. 

Harry was actually brought to my attention by Marthina McClay, the president of Our Pack Rescue, Inc. My sister, Joyce, introduced us to Marthina when she and her husband, Jason adopted their Pitbull mix, Betsy from Our Pack Rescue. We let Marthina know we were looking for a puppy to grow up with our kids.  We liked all the things that Our Pack stands for and we decided that when the right dog came around we hoped we would be able to adopt through them. Months after talking to Marthina, she posted a picture of Harry at 10 weeks old on her Facebook page and said he needed a home or a foster ASAP because the family that adopted him could not keep him. As soon as I saw his picture I knew he was the one meant for our family. My husband was away on business and I wouldn’t make the decision without him so I sent him the photo and told him all that I knew about him. I just knew in my heart that this was the puppy we wanted.

When the day came that we could meet the puppy, my kids, Charlotte and Matthew, had picked a name for him…… Harry.  As soon as we saw him, it was love at first sight for us all, and the name Harry just fit him perfectly. We loved him immediately and that feeling has only grown stronger with every day that passes.

Harry’s absolute favorite thing in the world is playing with Jolly Balls. The hard plastic balls are so strong and durable and he loves playing with them in the backyard. He is so silly when he plays. His normal, deep, protective bark turns into a high pitched bark that sounds like he is a monkey. We know he is super happy when he makes his monkey sounds and maneuvers the ball between the kid’s play structure as well as around our table and chairs on our deck.  He makes his own obstacle course and has a blast!

One of Harry’s crazy quirks is that he takes things and hides them (especially things he knows he should not have!) in his “fort” a crawl space within my children’s play structure. This usually occurs when I am on the phone or with the kids and not giving him my attention. He is just like a child!
Harry absolutely loves his teeth brushed. I started this when he was a 12 week old puppy so he would get used to hands in his mouth. I wanted him to have clean teeth, but I also wanted him to learn to use a soft mouth for us as well as for the vet. Recently, I bought him a new tooth brush and left it in its package on the table with my purse. That night when my husband and I  went to brush our teeth we could not find our tube of tooth paste and figured one of the kids borrowed it, so we grabbed a new tube to use. The next morning when I went to take Harry out to go Potty, I found his brand new tooth brush out of the packaging and already “used” as well as the missing tube of toothpaste in his “fort”. The tooth paste was surprisingly not chewed up, just a couple of bite marks in the tube. The funny thing is, he has only used Vanilla flavored dog toothpaste. Why he stole our minty fresh flavored one is beyond me. They are not even kept in the same room!  We love that he loves good hygiene and it shows with his shiny bright, white smile!

Harry also taught himself how to open our French doors to go outside. He hits the handle with his paws and pushes it open. He also taught himself to come in as well. He grabs onto the handle, pushes it down and pulls it toward him and lets himself inside the house.  Now if he would only learn to shut the door behind him this self taught trick would be perfect!

When Harry was a puppy we took him to puppy socials to meet other dogs, big, small, young and old, Harry loves them all. He is in the Our Pack training classes on Sundays where he gets to see a lot of his puppy social friends as well as his cousin, Betsy and learns proper manners on leash.  He and I are also part of a pit bull accepting, dog hiking group called Hike-A-Bull, which actually allows all breeds and respects the differences and needs of each individual dog. He loves going on walks with this group  as well as making new friends be they 2 or 4 legged. Once being with Harry, everyone falls in love with him!

Together, Harry and my family are changing  views by educating people about pit bulls and their loving nature. When they get to know Harry. They learn that he is a lover, not a fighter, and he is a companion and friend, not just a pet. All Harry wants is love. We are blessed to be the ones to spoil Harry with hugs and kisses everyday and get that loved returned twofold! He completes our family and we love him with all our hearts!

Harry is super special to us all. He is such a love and a snuggle bug, he cannot get close enough to us. He can either be found on the couch snuggled next to or on top of one of us or snuggled in our bed with us. He has the best personality, always happy. In fact  one of his many nicknames is “HAPPY HARRY” because he is always smiling which in turn makes us smile. My kids consider him their baby brother and my husband and I love him as if he were our third child. Life has been so wonderful since he has been in it. We have made many friends (both K9 and human) because of Harry. 

My sister, Joyce, Betsy’s mom, surprised me at Christmas last year with a painting from The Pet Studio of Harry. Stephanie captured Harry perfectly in his portrait! We get so many compliments from people who see it and it always makes me smile when I pass it. I know that I will treasure it forever."

Jennifer, Harry’s Mom

Stephanie Conrad
The Pet Studio | Owner | Artist

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