Baltimore loses a goodwill ambassador
A pit bull who helped show Baltimore the breed’s good side, inspired a blog and turned a young couple’s life around passed away at the end of last week.
Knox, only about 3, died from complications associated with a blood parasite for which he recently tested positive.
His final days, and his short but joyous life — at least since being adopted — are recounted on the blog Pittieful Love: Adventures in Fostering and Loving America’s Dog.
Knox was adopted by a young couple named Brian and Jess DeLeon in May 2010 from BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter), the same shelter Ace came from.
Upon his arrival at BARCS, he’d been given the name Oil Change, because he (and his brother, dubbed Dipstick) came to the shelter from a gas station, where they apparently were leading pretty neglected lives.
His adoption would turn that around, as well as life for Brian and Jess.
“We went from young 20-somethings who wanted to rescue a dog, to two completely devoted owners who also are now completely devoted to this breed (which we didn’t know jack about before) … We brought home a “Baltimore Mutt” (aka a pit-mix) and had no idea how much of an influence he would have on us, on the world he lives in, the streets he walks, and the people he’d meet. Not to mention the people whom he’d introduce us to.”
Knox was a regular participant in Pit Bulls on Parade, a series of weekend walks sponsored by B-more Dog, aimed at correcting public misconceptions about pit bulls. He was a friend and guide to the other fosters Brian and Jess took in, and a blood donor, as well. And he’d inspire the couple to fight for pit bulls city-wide, through their connections with B-More Dog, Mid-Atlantic Bully Buddies and BARCS.
Just before Christmas, Knox was diagnosed with the blood disorder, and, as Jess blogged, became a different dog — no longer as lively, or as willing to place his 68 pounds, at least half of that seemingly head, on your lap.
In her blog, Jess astutely reflects that, after the long fight, sometimes it’s best to let nature take its course — especially when the heroic efforts you’re making are, at their core, not for your dog but for yourself.
“It may sound horrible, but I refuse to string him along for no reason, not to mention waste thousands of dollars to keep him alive for my own personal benefit … Keeping him alive, barely…who is that serving? Certainly we love him too much to be that selfish … We love him way too much.
We extend our condolences to Jess and Brian, and encourage them to keep focusing not on the loss, or the void, but on the substantial contribution Knox made, and the joys — big and little – he provided, both to them and others.
Judging from yesterday’s Pittieful Love blog post, that’s exactly what they’re doing:
“You, sneaky boy, were wild. WILD. But you loved us right away, and we loved you. We met you at first in an escort room. Small, tight space, but we weren’t intimidated by your jumping, your tail, your huge head and that awesome smile. We wanted to take you outside to the run. You were in HEAVEN. And you loved to run! But you kept coming right back to us, and sitting on our feet. The fresh air, the open space, you loved it! But you loved us too. And that was a good sign to us. We couldn’t stop smiling.”
(Photo courtesy of Pittieful Love)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, ambassador, animals, b-more dog, baltimore animal rescue & care, barcs, blood, breeds, brian deleon, death, disorder, dogs, dying, foster, goodwill, grief, jess deleon, knox, loss, memories, misconceptions, misperceptions, mutts, oil change, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pit bulls on parade, pitbull, pitbulls, pits, pittieful love, rescue, shelter, stereotyping