One dog was a day away from being put down when she got a second chance. The dog took that second chance and revealed the champion hidden inside her.
Two days before Christmas, Stitch was about to never see another holiday. Habitat for Paws foster mom Millie Sawyer, who has been saving dogs for more than 30 years, saw Stitch and offered her a second chance. Stitch was one day away from being euthanized.
“We got her at the very last minute,” Sawyer told WFAA.
With her life spared, now it was time to find a permanent home.
Many families rejected Stitch because of her breed. After Stitch was turned away from three homes, she finally found a new owner in Kaitlyn Johnson.
The American Staffordshire Terrier descends from crosses between Bulldogs and Terriers, according to Vet Street. Despite the dog’s formidable muscular appearance, the American Staffordshire Terrier is meant to be a dog who loves and accepts people. In the hands of loving owners and given the right amount of socialization, training, and love, it can be a docile, affectionate family dog.
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Pit bulls, and any dog deemed to look like one despite not having any pit-bull DNA, are the most prevalent in shelters (pdf). Dogs labeled as “pit bulls” spend more than three times longer in a shelter than similar-looking dogs not deemed pit bulls, reports the Washington Post. Many are among the 670,000 dogs euthanized each year, according to the ASPCA.
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While many people rejected Stitch, Johnson saw a lot of potential.
The Introduction to Fly Ball
Johnson introduced Stitch to the sport of fly ball. The sport involves dogs running through a short course after a tennis ball. The dog with the fastest finishing time wins.
“Two months in she runs a 4:35,” Johnson told WFAA.
That’s fast for a novice dog.
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由 Stitch the Super Staffy 发布于 2018年7月11日周三
“We want her to learn to run fast and flat,” Pam Martin of Top Dog Obedience Training told WFAA.
Fly ball began in the late 1960s when a group of dog trainers in Southern California created a scent discrimination hurdle racing event and put someone at the finish line to throw tennis balls to the dogs when they ran across, according to Flyball.org. It didn’t take long for the group to decide on a tennis ball-launching apparatus, and the first fly ball box was born. The sport grew. After a few small tournaments were held in conjunction with dog shows, the first ever fly ball tournament was held in 1983.
Stitch learned fast. Soon, she was so good at it that Johnson started entering her in competitions. The results? Astounding.
Becoming a Record-Setting Champion
The surprise came when Stitch ran a record time of 4.117 seconds, the fastest time for the Staffordshire class.
“I turn around and my whole team at that point is screaming,” Johnson said.
Stitch and Johnson continue to compete and excel in fly ball competitions. It’s an inspiring turnaround for a dog that was nearly put down. All along, Stitch had this amazing ability that no one knew about. It took the right owner to come along and see her potential.
“Every time I set a goal for her she just leaps over it,” Johnson told WFAA.