We chose Alexis to represent Out of the Pits because she exemplifies the miracle that can occur when someone reaches out to save one of the many doomed Pit Bulls whose cages line the walls of local pounds and shelters.
Cydney Cross had been called to the shelter after police brought in 30 Pit Bulls from a drug raid. The shelter was already filled to capacity, and all would be destroyed unless spoken for quickly– there was just no way to save every one. In a distant corner, one small bedraggled female caught Cyd’s eye. She wasn’t much to look at–just a waif– thin, filthy, and covered with open wounds. Some of the other dogs were in better condition, less frightened– more promising. Yet, there was something different about this quiet presence facing the back wall– only occasionally casting a glance over her shoulder toward the stranger.
Seriously abused, her wounds revealed that she had been used for fighting. She was exceedingly thin, encrusted with dirt, crawling with fleas. Still, Cydney felt herself strangely drawn to the quiet little dog and found herself driving home at the end of the day with the dog, that she had already named Alexis, on the seat beside her.
“We were just starting to rescue Pit Bulls,” she says, “I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I thought I might foster her until we could find a home. Then, she crawled over and put her head in my lap. When I saw the trust in her eyes, I knew that she belonged to me.”
After nursing her to health, Cydney began Alexis’ basic obedience and agility training. Gradually, the dog’s confidence increased. Within a year she had passed her “Canine Good Citizenship” and “Therapy Dog International” tests. Her natural warmth and welcome presence was soon felt in nursing homes, hospitals and at Out of the Pits awareness clinics. In 1999, Alexis became the star performer and children’s favorite at elementary and secondary school workshops.
Alexis made dozens of appearances on TV, was featured in many national publications. Today, her efforts on behalf of Pit Bulls everywhere serve as testimony to the indomitable spirit and people-loving nature of this remarkable breed.
Sadly, we lost our sweet Alexis in early 2008, but she remains our Ambassador Dog and the memory of her joy and grace will stay in our hearts forever!
Nom Nom:The sound of a person chewing or eating with childlike enthusiasm