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Ozark & Amy giving kisses!
Breed-American Pit Bull Terrier
Hello again. My name is Ozark and many of you may have heard of me
already. You see, not only have I been asked to tell my story three times
now (while I have been here at the rescue for the last 8 months), but
I have also become a bit of celebrity in my area. In fact, at a recent
event, I was approached by a photographer from The Charlotte Observer,
who proceeded to take countless photos of me in my Official Egg Hunt
Ambassador uniform. And true to her word, my picture was in Easter
Sunday's paper. Thanks Suzanne! ; ) I find it funny, but I have actually
overheard kids say "hey look Mom, there's that dog that we saw last
weekend at ________!" Goes to show just how much I have been getting
around lately, but unfortunately, it also goes to show just how hard I have
been trying to find the right family who loves me enough to actually
take me home, yet here I sit.
No one really understands how it is that I have been at this rescue so
long, or why the right family has not come along, or why people keep
passing me up for other dogs. I will qualify this by adding "for My
Biggest Fan", but I am absolutely, without question, the best trained dog
in the entire facility. I have done so many cool things and had so many
great experiences, I am very very very reliable. My Biggest Fan not
only works with me multiple times every week on my manners and skills at
the rescue, but she also attended training classes with a professional
trainer with me. At the end of those classes, the trainer was in
tears, crying about how unfair it was that no one had taken me home yet.
She said I was one of her all-time favorites, and that I was one of the
smartest, most hard-working dogs she had ever seen. Again, it has a
lot to do with how much I love My Biggest Fan, but I promise, if I find
my Forever Family and they work with me, I will do everything I can for
them too. My Biggest Fan also took me on a fieldtrip to meet her
favorite dog trainer in the world, and that very very very knowledgeable
lady had the same opinion of me. That I would walk through fire for
someone I love, that I will learn anything you ask as long as you explain it
well, and that I will stay with you until the bitter end. She also
thinks I should go live with someone who will look into getting me my
Therapy Dog title and take me to visit sick, sad and lonely people in the
hospital. I think I would be really good at that. I know all about
being sad and lonely sometimes.
I think the first thing that you need to know about me is that I LOVE
LOVE LOVE people. All sizes of people. People, period. This year the
rescue attended two very crowded, very wild, Easter egg hunts with,
literally, multiple THOUSANDS of people. Like one event had at least
EIGHT thousand people. They had to choose the most friendly, reliable,
brave dogs at the rescue, and I was their first choice. Out of all the
dogs of all the breeds, they knew they could count on ME! And I am so
glad they picked me! I visited with kids for HOURS and I had a blast!
They hugged me and kissed me and gave me treats. They counted my teeth
and my toenails. The traded bunny ears with me and played with the
Easter eggs on my collar. They rubbed my belly and pulled my tail. They
felt all the scars on my ears from where the mean people cut off my
ears with scissors. They looked at the cuts I have on my tail that I get
from, ironically, being so happy all the time and wagging my tail too
much. And when I got tired from all this attention, I laid down flat on
my side and slept like a log, in the middle of huge crowds of people,
with kids checking to see if I was really asleep and then using me as a
pillow when they laid down on top of me.
The really good part about these public appearances I make is how I am
able to help other dogs meet their Forever Families, and sometimes even
help the humans. Several people spent so much time playing with me
that they took a card, filled out an application and adopted a dog from my
rescue....another dog, always another dog. Never me. It seems lots
of people are afraid of me because of what I look like, or rumors they
have heard about my breed. They totally disregard all the great things
they have seen with their own eyes during the time they spent with me.
And then there are some people who have wanted me, but for the wrong
reasons. Again, because of what I look like and how "tough" they think
it will make them look, or because of what mean things they think they
can make me do because of my breed. Boy am I lucky I have the people
at the rescue to watch out for me!!
I mentioned I have helped people out too. You see I met several people
who were afraid of dogs, had some bad experiences personally with
dogs, but they saw how trustworthy I am, and I helped them get over their
fears a little bit. At one event, a little girl's mom told My Biggest
Fan that her daughter was terrified of dogs after her brother and father
were attacked by a neighbor's dog. Her mom couldn't believe it when
she looked over and saw the girl squatting in front of me, kissing my
nose. Apparently, ever since the attack, she would run in the house or
jump into a car anytime she saw a dog. But I guess when she watched me
with the other kids, she saw how safe she would be as my friend and
she came to meet me. I am so glad she did! She stayed with me for a
long time, and it made her mom really really happy to see.
You probably need to know that I am just about 2 years old now, and
have lived at the rescue for the last eight months. The rescue took me in
from a high-kill shelter after being HOUNDED by the police officer who
worked at the shelter....he called so many times begging the rescue to
make space for "one of the kindest, coolest dogs that has ever come
through here" and telling the rescue folks that he "can't bear the
thought of putting this guy down....he is one special dog". Man, am I glad
he was persistent and that these guys made a space for me even though
they were jam-packed-full! Phew! You also need to know that I know a
LOT of obedience and am very well behaved, FOR A PERSON WHO IS A VERY
CONFIDENT DOG HANDLER. I am never mean or bad, but if you aren't good at
dog-handling, you will get to spend you day pretending to be a dogsled
while I pretend to be a Husky. And you will spend you day being
ignored by me. I am not what they call a "starter dog" nor am I for a person
who is not used to a very confident, independent thinker of a dog.
Some people call dogs like me stubborn, or bull-headed, but My Biggest
Fan calls me an "independent thinker"...I like that. So if you know
stuff the way My Biggest Fan knows stuff, I will gleefully do anything you
ask---even so, the rescue will still want knowledgeable to sign up with
a bully-breed friendly trainer to have them help us bond as a team.
It's all about GENTLE but firm, and consistent....and lots of time for
exercise and activity. I can also tell you that all of my medical care
is up to date, and I have been neutered and have a microchip. I am
heartworm negative and take preventative medicine every month, as all dogs
My Biggest Fan thinks my ideal home should be a one-dog home, though a
very calm, very unpossessive dog in the family would not be
automatically ruled out. I get pretty excited when I see cats, and since I
haven't lived in a home with cats during my "formative period" it is probably
safer to say that a cat brother or sister would be a big risk.
Actually, as far as anyone knows, I have nvere ever lived in a home, so my
Forever Family will need to know about crate training. I am very happy
to go in a crate when I need to travel in the SUV or dry after a bath or
things like that, so crate training should be cake!
I sure would love it if you came to see me sometime. Company is always
welcome. If you think you might like to make a space for me in your
family, please visit the rescue's website to fill out an application.
If you don't think I am the dog for you, maybe you'd like one of my
neighbors. I'd be really happy to see them get a home. To be honest, I
am getting all-too-used-to being passed over, so I won' be surprised
if you choose someone else. But if you have a few extra minutes after
you pick another dog, maybe you cold stop by my place and rub my belly?
I really love it when people rub my belly. The only thing I think
I'd love more is if someone rubbed my belly while I laid on the floor in
my new Forever Home.
If you are interested in adopting Ozark or any of our other wonderful
dogs, please visit to fill out an
application. If you are not able to adopt at this time, but would like
to help the dogs in other ways, please see the "ways you can help"
page on our site.