Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Short Story

Despite having complete control to do so, 365 days a year, once a year I give myself permission to post something that has not been approved by Mr. Shorty Rossi. That day would be his birthday - February 10.

The way I came to be introduced to Mr. Rossi and his show, Pit Boss, was through a deaf Pit Bull named Ciera.  You see, I've rescued a few dogs in my lifetime - nearly 600 to be more precise - and Ciera was one of those.  She found herself dumped in a shelter I frequented and I was told that she was "very pregnant and deaf" and dumped by her owners.  I took her out of that shelter on a fostering contract straight to my vet where it was determined that she had a "massive uterine infection" - there were no puppies and she was near death requiring emergency surgery to save her life.  Her rescue was sponsored by Pinups for Pitbulls and she became their cover girl for the 2009 Pinups for Pitbulls Calendar.

Ciera was ultimately adopted and her adoptive mom posted a status in early 2010 stating "Ciera is going to be on Pit Boss tonight"... I asked "what the hell is Pit Boss?" then tuned in to watch an episode during which I spent the next half hour yelling at the television screen.  I had spent many years rescuing dogs (from four pound Miniature Pinschers to 140 pound Fila Brasileiro) with many, many Pit Bulls in between.  All I could think was, "who the hell IS this guy? And where did he come from?" So I added him as a friend on Facebook to watch, learn, see what he was all about.

He posted a status asking for help writing a business plan to which  I responded, offering my help and advice.  He called me the next day and we spent an hour on the phone; we became fast friends with a comfort that we both felt instantly.  As I do with all people I have first business meetings with, I Googled him, to discover that he was a felon. When we scheduled our first meeting I asked him "Shall I bring a body guard?"  To which he sent his first of hundreds of responses that simply said "LOL!"

It's been three years now and I am not only blessed to work with someone who I respect and admire, but someone, who in all the years I've personally been involved in rescue, has made such a huge impact on the breed I have come to adore; I couldn't imagine not being part of Shorty's.  A man who takes this platform that I have never before seen receive such attention in all my years of rescue. He has made the word "pit bull" a name that crosses the lips of families in their living rooms. He is changing minds and changing lives.  A man that is hard working, passionate, compassionate and driven that inspires me to work harder. The man who didn't fire me when I refused to be on his show. The man who lets me do what I love, behind the scenes, exactly where I like to be.  A man who treats me, and my children, like family. A man, whose show, despite having raised dozens of pit bull puppies in my own home over the past ten years, who inspires my children now to exclaim enthusiastically "I want to own a Pit Bull!" (rolls eyes and SMH)

On the anniversary of his birth, I give myself the leeway to post the only post that I do each year that involves me simply saying THANK YOU. On the anniversary of his birth, I take a moment to pause and think of all the things that have transpired since that first meeting three years ago.  Things I won't share here but are beyond anyone's wildest dreams... a little shift in the course our lives were taking.

On the anniversary of his birth I want you to know that this man, who many call Pit Boss, is genuine, sincere, giving and kind; the man you see on TV is real, yes, yes he is.  He swears, he smokes, he drinks (too much at times). The Shorty Rossi I know is very kind, generous, loving and committed to his friends, his dogs and his cause beyond anyone's imagination.

Happy 44th Birthday Mr. Rossi.

~Julie for Shorty's

A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are today.” ~A. Lincoln