|"Down with the kids, and the kids down with her"|
In the imagination of negative fantasy, the Pit Bull Terrier is a hell-bound creature of pure destruction. A negative villain who trundles through life with a driven desire to harm, every last member of the breed is loaded in hateful characteristics of violence and aggression, making them a creature which should be kept far away from anything living and vulnerable; much like a ring-less grenade, ready to explode at any second.
In the real world, however, these notions couldn’t be further from the truth; we just happen to live in a world where sections of our media thrive on the culture of fear – serving their ambitions, yet separating everyone else in the process. Turning our heads away from propaganda, there is perhaps no better example in proving the true passive nature of a Pit Bull, than in the form of one of its most beloved members, Elle; therapy dog, colouring book inspiration, global ambassador, American Humane Hero Dog Award winner 2013, and – amongst attributes far too long to list, and possibly one of her most important, contented, happy member of a loving family. She is a canine altruist who - in her own words, continues to 'paw it forward' on a daily basis; opening the eyes of many, to the wonderful nature of Pit Bulls worldwide.
Born in the winter of 2007, Elle was taken in by an animal friendly family in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Like all wide-eyed and eager puppies, Elle was at times boisterous, yet remained consistently calm around children and the elderly; already displaying a sensitivity to those less able to protect themselves. One morning - now a proud, beautiful lady dog, and stemming from a chance conversation with an elderly neighbour during walkies – in which Elle remained placid and attentive, it became apparent to her family Elle had the potential to develop into a professional therapy dog; a trait usually associated with Golden Retrievers and Labradors – not the perceived ‘vicious terrors’ known as the Pit Bull.
|"Golden Girl, with a Golden Girl"|
After three successful months of obedience classes, Elle eventually passed all her badges with flying colours, and was now a fully-fledged qualified therapy dog. Eager to serve her public to the best of her abilities, she instantly began visiting retirement homes and boys and girls clubs; giving children the comfort of experiencing the true loving nature of Pit Bulls, and the elderly time with an animal which sees nothing but the beat of a heart, and not the lines on a face.Eventually, Elle’s mother took her to the local library; creating therapy dog reading programme “Tail Wagging Tales”, a storytelling group in which children read to Elle as she sits with the youngsters; as eager as they are ,yet just as obedient. As well as this, Elle also took the time to visit her local police station; in order to remind officers - who had grown accustomed to seeing abused members of her breed, how it is not the animal who is vicious, but the irresponsible owner - as well as provide much needed compassionate comfort to the hard working boys and girls in blue. As time and reputation moved forward, Elle had earned such love and respect, she found herself voted the official mascot of Halifax County in North Carolina, by the town's board of boys and girls; a well-deserved position, by a selfless girl with a huge heart.
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