Shelter Me: A Pit Bull Love Story

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"Shelter Me" is the true story of Monkey, an unadoptable pit bull mix dog, told in his own words, as he goes from bait dog in a fighting ring, to working dog. “Shelter Me: A Pit Bull Love Story” is the true story of Monkey, a seven-year-old pit bull mix, told in his own words. Monkey is both protagonist and narrator. He alternates between explaining the minutiae of his daily life, and telling the story of his life, beginning with his "puppyhood" as a bait-dog in a fighting ring. Monkey has run away from the yard in which he was born, and ends up in a rescue shelter where he becomes infamous as the dog who bites everyone. Over time, Monkey learns to trust one of the kennel workers. She becomes "his" human. Even at this stage in their relationship Monkey recognizes that his human carries a sickness, an autoimmune disease that affects her both physically and mentally. After one of the shelter employees he bites is hospitalized, Monkey is quarantined for ten days and believes that his human has abandoned him. However, his world changes when she adopts him and takes him out of the shelter. Outside the shelter, Monkey experiences a sequence of new homes, as his human, struggling with her disease and unable to hold down a job, moves them from place to place.

Other / Adventure
4.9 8 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Tuesday, July 25

I’m worried about my human.

I’m a dog, and as long as we’re healthy, dogs always eat whatever is put in front of us. This is just sensible behavior. We all know that someday in doggy heaven, there will always be enough food, but until that day we eat as if the food might run out, because you never know. So watching my human eat enormous quantities of food in and of itself isn’t concerning.

Even the fact that she didn’t share the food with me isn’t so bad because my human is an alpha. She takes herself very seriously and worries too much about everything that happens. She is small but ferocious in a way that is sometimes comforting, because I have a terrible fear that lurks inside me, and sometimes I need her to be ferocious to chase away my demons, so I don’t have to be a bad dog like I was in the shelter, when my fear overwhelmed me, and I used to panic and to lose control and sink my teeth into whatever or whoever was nearest to me. When most people talk it doesn’t mean anything. The sound that comes out of most people’s mouths has less substance than a chihuahua’s incessant barking, because at least the chihuahua is expressing something (usual mindless rage and/or terror). Most people repeat endless phrases like “good doggy, can you sit?” in goofy sing song tones that don’t match the smell of their emotions at all. But my human is like a dog in that when she says something, she means it and expects me to listen and obey. She doesn’t hold back her reactions - I don’t have to wonder when she disapproves of something because she snaps at me, short, sharp and decisive just like an alpha should. She gets these qualities, which dogs recognize as positive, from her mother who is also a true alpha, and has a smell that’s beautiful and dangerous like a river.

My human is small for a person, but she is a big enough alpha to protect me from horses, even though horses are bigger than anyone has a right to be and don’t know that staring is rude. My human is big enough to protect me from most dogs, but I have seen her get bit by a few dogs while I was tied up away from her. Once I had to get between her and a German shepherd who wanted to bite her face, and it’s confusing because in our pack the way it works is that I protect her from cars and getting lost and when we are driving I protect her from the dark place inside her, and she is supposed to protect me from dogs. That’s why I followed her out of the shelter where the humans attacked me with hoses and cans full of coins and air horns when I was trying to defend myself against dogs in cages on all sides, and so I was a bad dog and I bit them. I was never safe in the shelter. For the most part my human keeps me safe, but I don’t totally trust that she can keep me safe from my bitterest rivals, Marcus and Festus. Marcus is big and ugly and his sawed-off ears say “alert, challenge” all the time, and his tiny nub of a tail always says “fear, danger” and nobody ever taught him not to stare. Festus is smaller than me but he snarls. When we first started encountering them on our daily walks it wasn’t so bad, but lately when they pass by I can’t control my breathing and I start hopping from foot to foot. But anyway, the point is that my human’s mother is a big enough alpha that I even think she could protect me from Marcus and Festus even though they are a pack, and packs are always worse than lone dogs. My human’s mother is a force of nature.

Sometimes dogs eat so much in one sitting that we make ourselves sick. But what dogs do NOT do is let that perfectly good vomit go to waste. Thus, you can see why I’m worried about my human.

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