How old are you?
Momma doesn’t know my exact birthday but she got me on December 3rd and they said I was 12 weeks old so she decided to make September 3rd my birthday! I will be TWO WHOLE YEARS old this year!
Where did your name come from?
Well see I like the tennis balls a LOT..and when momma brought me home we lived with my Aunt Jeri. Aunt Jeri plays tennis a lot and she said momma should name me after Rafael Nadel the famous tennis player. And momma said, ya know..that fits him. So Rafa it was! Later she found out that there is an angel named Raphael who is a healer. Momma had just lost her Tucker dog and I helped heal her heart so she thought it was even more perfect then.
Do you remember what it was like in the shelter?
I try not to. I was there for 6 weeks and I was only 6 weeks old when I arrived. It was loud and scary. Really, the place I was at wasn’t as bad as many of the ones you hear about, but it’s still no place for a dog, let alone a puppy. They didn’t let people handle me much because I hadn’t had my shots so they didn’t want to get me sick. But that just made me not very sociable, so I didn’t have any manners when momma found me. I didn’t know how to play and I had NO idea what a toy was for. I’ve sure made up for that since then though!
How did you find your mama or did she find you?
Momma and her best friend went to the shelter to look at a little blue pibble that was on the shelter’s website. Momma was looking at him and her friend said “hey, what’s this?”.. when they looked in the kennel next to the blue boy (who had a little girl friend in there too) they saw me wayyyyyyy in the back curled up asleep. I was all alone. Momma said “oh, he’s black, he’s a pit bull and he’s all alone. We have to get him”. And that was that. She never even saw me move before she took me. She found out later how long I’d been there. She still doesn’t understand why the brown pit bull girl and the blue boy who had only been there a few days were on the website, but I wasn’t.
Did you live with any fursiblings?
When I first came to momma there was another dog there. Milly. She was a little german schnauzer and kind of cranky, but I loved her a lot. Now it’s just me and momma. She did foster a little white pit bull puppy recently and I was very nice to him. And she pupsat Marvin the pit bull for a week and we had soooooooo much fun!
How are your obedience classes going?
I LOVE them. It’s fun but it’s hard work. We don’t go every week now because it’s just been too hot, but momma and I work on training at home all the time!
Have you become a canine good citizen yet?
I DID I DID! I took the test in July and passed on my first try!!
Are there people who are scared to be around you because you are a pittie?
I haven’t had that problem a lot but momma thinks my wonky ears catch people off guard. She says they make me look really friendly so maybe I get a chance that some pit bulls wouldn’t. I hope so because then they know I’m not mean and she gets a chance to talk to them before they make a decision.
What would you like to say to people who are scared of pit bulls?
Don’t be afraid of the dog. You should always be cautious around any dog you don’t know but it’s really the owner to look at. Is the owner controlling the dog? Is the owner kind to their dog? Is the owner smiling at you? If so then it’s going to be a good dog. Momma knows there are people that have been hurt and even killed by pit bulls, but she also knows that she has had, and been around pit bulls for over 25 years and NONE of them has ever hurt anybody. And maybe to take some time to really learn about them instead of just listening to the silly media. The tv and news isn’t trying to educate you, they are just trying to get ratings and advertisers. They aren’t in the business of educating, so find someone who is J
Do you think you will be selling more merchandise in the future?
I sure hope so. We raised a lot of money with the tshirts! We sent $435 to Peace Love and Pitbulls in Las Vegas and another $800 to LARPBO (the Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners). That’s a lot of money to help owners and dogs and we want to do more! Momma already has an idea for a super shirt for winter…we’ll surprise you with that later!
Is there anything you or your mom would like to add?
Just love. Always love your dogs. And train them. Be a responsible owner. And speak out against those who are not responsible. Because those are the ones that are hurting my breed. We know lots of people work to get animals out of rescue and into foster and forever homes, so momma wants to help pick up where they leave off and make sure people know how to take care of their animals and can keep them IN their homes.
May I do a dedication to Tucker? Oh yes, momma and I dedicate everything we do to him..in our hearts. If it wasn’t for Tucker I wouldn’t be with momma now and if it wasn’t for Tucker momma wouldn’t be the scrappy little fighter she is for pit bulls.
Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Rafa and his mom for the interview. Photos were used with permission and belong solely to Rafa and his mom. Please visit him on his Facebook page Rafa the baby pibble. If you are in the Los Angeles area or would like to know more in general about the Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners, please visit the LARPBO website or facebook page.