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Pittie Love: Bodacious the Super Hero Pit Bull Therapy Dog

Posted by yornma on July 28, 2014 in Animal Articles, Dog, Pitties |

May I ask how old you are?
I am 7 years 9 months old. I was born on Oct 8, 2006 in CA.

Where did your awesome name come from?
My mama saw a picture of me the day I was born and thought I looked like a little bear with a lot of personality. She decided that if I came home with her my name would have to suit me perfectly & right away knew I would be BODACIOUS. My registered name though is much much longer it is: UKC CH/ ADBA CH T’s Built-M2B Invinclibl, NTD, ITD, ATD, ETD, CGC, ADBA Safe Dog 1, Therapy Dog
I also have my ORT in Birch, Clove and Anise and have passed my prerequisites to compete in freestyle dance too, but that part doesn’t go on my name. LOL

How did you find your forever home?
My mama flew clear across the country to come see me and evaluate my litter and picked my littermate sister and I up to bring home. We rode in the plane with her and not in cargo. Everyone on the plane and in the airports wanted to play with us. People were amazed by how super friendly we were and our stripes which I thought was so silly. Mama had to do some educating about us to a bunch of humans. It was a long flight almost 8 hours with a lay over too in between, but we were both very good though mama has motion sickness. We made her feel better. So, I already pretty much was doing some on the job training and major socialization at 8 weeks old. The first thing I did when I got to my new home was get to play in a huge backyard and go onto puppy agility equipment. But, b-r-r-rrr, the weather was sure cold compared to sunny CA. That’s when I learned to wear my first sweaters and silly shirts which is helpful since at the hospital some sort of shirt or vest is required. Now, I like to wear goofy ones with sayings that make people start conversations, teach lessons or simply make them laugh and smile

Do you live with any fursiblings?
Yes, my littermate sis Touché, and also Patchronus Charm, who is the youngest in our pack. When I first came home, there were other fur-family members too, but they were all much older than me and have since gone to the Rainbow Bridge. I miss them very much. They taught me a bunch O’ good stuff even the cat Babie~ Girl, she was cool and thought she was a dog too!

May I ask how you became a Super Hero?
I was born to be a Super Hero so my mama tells me. I really don’t know why mama and everyone else calls me a Super Hero…. Isn’t everyone supposed to love and help one and other like my Wonder-Woofer pack and I do???? I had a lot of paw prints to follow in when starting my Super Hero training because several others in my pack where certified/ registered therapy dogs and worked for years before I was even born. My mama has had super heroes for a little over 16 years now.

I guess my work sure does take quite a bit of Super Hero magic on my visits though too. The Pit Bull Powered LOVE makes the world a better place. Maybe someday, humans will learn to love more unconditionally like dogs do!

I also do K9 nose work, freestyle dance, a lot o’ tricks, dog shows and agility for fun which and helps me really helps with my therapy job too.

I have work hundreds of hours each year LOL but mama still has yet to send in my hours to even get my 50 hr. award which I surpassed my very first year as a Therapy Dog as she says, that’s not why we do our visits. Maybe she will eventually send it one day though, who knows.

However, I have received two huge honors for my overall work. One from the Positive Pit Bull Organization for being The Best Breed Ambassador and one from the NJ Animal Hall of Fame which make me very proud. I prefer, hugs, pets, smooches, smiles and treats to awards, but know those other things do make people who don’t understand Pit Bulls sit up more and take notice.

What is the Safe Dog 1 certificate from ADBA?

The ADBA Safe Dog 1 cert is given when a dog passes a series of test on socialization and basic obedience training along with dog owner showing knowledge of basic canine psychology and the elements of responsible canine ownership.
It is similar in many aspects to a CGC which I also have earned. :)
Both things are a great way to show the public what I’m really like and not all the media myths and hype.

Did you have to study hard for the test?

I actually didn’t know what was on that particular test until the day I took it. That test was very new at the time and I was one of the first in my area to take it. My previous training was a big help. :) Mama was nervous. She always is about stuff like that, but I wasn’t. I thought it was a piece of liver-cake and fun to do!

Nose deep in nose work and loving it.

How did you end up doing nose work ? And what does that entail?

One day when mama thought she was going to an agility class with my littlest pack member Patchronus, but she walked into a different class. Oops the schedule had been changed! So she stayed and watched and decided we’d all give it a try. I get to sniff out scent on interior, exterior, container and vehicle searches. Then have to “alert” which means tell my mama where it is. There are sometimes distractions like critters, toys, food and always people around that I have to ignore. It is fun and any breed or mix even dogs in wheelchairs, ones that are blind and deaf compete! It is really neat! I have passed three different ORT which are Odor Recognition Tests. You have to be able to pass an ORT in order to prove you are ready to compete. I have competed, but I didn’t get my title yet because mama messed up, NOT me. That’s OK I still love her, and she’s learning. Humans take awhile to get things right. However, I did still get the fastest container search time and earned a pretty 1st place ribbon for it! I wanted to eat the ribbon, but mama said no.
What type of therapy do you do? I guess you’d say, my pack and I pretty much do it all . I do my a lot of my work at the hos-Pit-al, li-bull-aries, schools, hospice, and also with scouting troops, hurricane relief, help people in rehab, physical therapy, military, and more. I really enjoy doing things like reading programs, Anti/ Bullying Anti suicide self esteem building. I pretty much go wherever I’m needed. I L-O-V-E to work. I also go to charity functions/ dog walk events, parades, community parties, baseball games and enjoy educating about Pit Bulls, fighting BSL and helping others become therapy dogs.

What has been your favorite visit?
That’s a tough one because I have done literally visited thousands of people and each situation and experience is unique. I don’t really have just one favorite. Some of my most memorable times have been with the cancer and hospice patients along with their families, death is a really difficult time and people need a lot of Pit Bull loving. Some other special visits were working with people who had major fears, watching patients who have had major illnesses lean to walk again, seeing some of my favorite people get all better, helping shy kids to come out of their shells, and hearing the littlest reader who was only two who visited us at the li-bull-ary. Working with children with multiple disabilities especially those mere humans have a hard time reaching is also one of the things very near and dear to my heart! See what I mean? It is too hard to pick just one.

Do you help someone overcome their fear of dogs or pit bulls?

Yes, I have both helped some people overcome their general fear of all dogs, but also pit bull specific fears on many occasions…I’ve worked with kids and adults that have been dog attach victims and also those who just were afraid but had never had an issue with a dog and also ones who are afraid because they have listened to media myths and hype which is the easiest group to help. I’m sort of irresist-i-bull, so I’ve been told and make it hard for people to stay afraid. it is sort of funny though to some when they hear a “PIT BULL” helps people with fears, but it’s a big part too of what I do.
I’ve also assisted people with fears of other things like, being in the hos-Pit-al, fears of elevators, and fears of getting needles and having IV’s put in their arm etc.

Bodacious is a powerful anti-depressant

You take such wonderful pictures, do you do K9 modeling on the side?

Well, sort of, I have been in the newspaper a few times, calendars, books and magazines to help the image of my breed. Mama doesn’t have a good camera, but I like to pose and she whips out her cell phone a lot.

Is there anything you or your mom would like to say about being a therapy dog, a super hero or BSL?

My Apache then Patcheeno and Steel were my first therapy dogs. Thus, Bodacious was my 4th American Pit Bull terrier to be certified; then, Touché and Patchronus. She is one of the most requested therapy dogs at many of the places we frequent and actually get phone calls where the person on the other end asks for her not me. However, talking isn’t one of her strong points so I get to answer for her. Things have changed a lot since I first started proudly holding the leads of working dogs of this breed. Sadly at times, we have still to deal with ignorance and hate. I gladly educate when I can and know that the work my dogs do does a lot of the talking for the breed, and sometimes I really don’t have to say much. The actions of happy wagging wiggly butt smiling Pit Bulls “speak” volumes above anything else.


 

Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Daniel’s mom for letting me ask questions. Pictures were used with permission. You can find Daniel’s facebook page with his wonderful pictures. 
This article is a part of the Pittie Love theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pit bulls.
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