Very few dog breeds divide opinions like pit bulls. While owners and breeders alike are quick to claim that the breed is just as friendly and placid as the fluffiest lapdogs, a history of tragic stories has led many to regard them with suspicion and, in many cases, fear.
However, despite the slew of negative headlines, if you look below the surface you can find dozens of stories that prove that pitties are as much a product of their environment as any other animal. In the right hands, they can be sweet, caring, and even life-saving.Check out this pit bull pretend to "faint" in order to stop her nails being clipped:
This latter characteristic was exemplified by Swedish pittie Simba, who this week proved how sensitive and intuitive the breed can be. As Simba and his owner Mehana were walking along the street, the dog suddenly began behaving strangely. Speaking to The Dodo, Mehana recalled the amazing story:
“He stopped. He began to bark and run to the door where the neighbor lives. I pulled the leash but he refused to come. I heard a weak voice shout for help. She said, 'Please don’t go'."
When Mehana eventually managed to open the door, she found her elderly neighbor sitting on the floor after taking a fall. It soon transpired that she had in fact broken her hip, leaving her trapped, unable to move, and helpless for two days. Were it not for Simba's persistent intervention, she would have been in very serious trouble.
What made the interaction all the more remarkable was that the woman had regarded Simba with a great deal of suspicion, due to his breed:
"He always tried to greet [the neighbor], but she called him mean and looked at him with fear. She never liked him because he was a 'bad' breed."
However, according to Mehana, the woman soon revised her opinion, saying, "Thank you for hearing me". Mehana thought the neighbor was talking to him, but then she said, "No, not you - the nice doggie."
Since rescuing his neighbor, Simba has been showered with gifts and treats from other people who live in his building.
Though there will still be some naysayers, this story just goes to show that pit bulls are much more than their reputation suggests. As Mehana said:
“I know Simba is a wonderful dog, but I hope this event will make people see bully breeds differently. We, as human beings, must deserve their loyalty and love.”