Me, Luka is appx 8 -9 years old. When Momma adopted me the vet said at least a year to two years . She adopted me seven and a half years ago on June 15th, a day after her birthday. (flag day) Quinnie is six. I came in June. He came in December.
Where did your name come from?
My name came from the meaning “under Gods protection”. (cant remember what religion)
I read that it took you awhile to find your forever home, what did your mom do that was different?
I had quite a few homes (3) before Mom. I was left tied to a fence by the last owner and picked up by ACC and brought to the shelter. Then, when Momma took me to my first vet apt, the vet recognized me! He does work for the shelter and remembered me being brought in! I was a real handful. I was very high-energy. Some might say hyper. VERY hyper. You should have seen me on my freedom ride home! I thought we would get in an accident! Then, once home I would run and jump all over the furniature like a maniac! And, I mean maniac! Never sitting still. Never. Barking very loudly and scaring people. Barking and demanding. I even went after the plumber when I first got here. But that plumber was raising his voice to my Mom. It was enough for him to run and jump over the fence out of the yard. It was also enough to scare Momma into seeing what a powerful force my breed is and to use that power in a great way. I would have nightmares all of the time and tremble in my sleep. But Momma knew it wasn’t aggression. It was fear. My grandogma was even afraid of me in the beginning (because of the barking) and she lives with us. (upstairs) So to calm her fears, because I was a pit bull my momma hired an animal behaviorist. He said NO WAY is this dog aggressive. He has severe anxiety. He prescribed (with my vet) Prozac. I took the Prozac for a couple of months. It helped. With the Prozac and ALOT of exercise I got through it. I started to calm down. Two very long walks a day on a very long leash, and playing fetch every night helped. Believe it or not, my Mom never knew much of pit bulls before me. The shelter said I was a pittie mix, but the vet said no way. I’m an American Pit Bull Terrier. All in an effort to get me where I was comfortable, well behaved, and sociable, momma started watching Ceasar, read every one of his books, and applied that to me along with the medicine. She was determined not to give up on me all the while having to admit silently she understood “maybe” why someone did. (not excusing them) But that wasn’t going to happen this time!
What did you think of Quinnie when you two first met?
Luka came in June and Quinnie came in December. He was only four months old and by this time Luka was a champ. Love from the beginning. Quinnie has followed Luka around everywhere and still does! I can honestly say they have never ever had a fight. never ever played rough. Its as if Luka just knows how small Quinnie is. He truly loves him. He also follows his lead with the barking! Quinnie will start barking and then its a choir! The pit and pug choir. Ironic considering Luka was the “mean” barker!
I have something called a dilated esophagus or megaesophagus. and, GERD. I have episodes where I vomit uncontrollably and violently. The food comes up undigested. There have been times Momma had to rush me to the vet during the night for iv meds and fluids. Right now I have been very good. I had lost 20% of my body weight very quickly but gained it back.
Are you on any medications or require therapy at this time?
I’m just on Pepcid and Prilosec right now. Momma also found a food that agrees with me. Its not the most popular food or expensive food, but it the only food that agrees w me. She softens it w water and canned food. I also have a heart problem. Where I will just stop walking, sit down and cant walk for a few minutes. Its called sub-aortic stenosis. I have to have profilactic (sp) antibiotics before any procedures/surgeries. I will have another echo in a month. Quinnie: Quinnie has had multiple bladder surgeries and catheterizations for bladder stones and sludge. One night it was very touch and go at the vet hospital. The vet outright told me, she may not be able to save him. She did, thank God. Because of this he wears belly bands. He’s incontinent. He also has chronic cystitis which makes him feel like he has to go every minute. He’s on diet dog food that dissolves the stones and he has been good for about seven months.
What is your favorite game to play ?
My fav game is fetch. I LOVE playing fetch w Momma. And, I love to play tug of war with Grandogmas girl phoebe. Then Quinnie stands on me the whole time as if he’s on my side! Well, he is! He also pees on me! lol. I let him get away with murder! During Hurricane Sandy in which our home was destroyed and we were under a mandatory evacuation, I (LUKA) had to stay at the vets for boarding. None of Momma’s family/friends wanted a pittie at their home or with their dogs. And, after staying through Hurricane Irene the year before because Momma didn’t want to leave us, it scared us enough to leave this year. It also saved our lives. This was the only time Quinnie and I were ever separated. Quinnie was allowed to go with Momma to friends. I went to boarding. After a few days, the vet called, and said to Momma ” Luka REALLY needs to see you” Luka was very very frightened and the vet thought he was aggressive. But the little petite girl at the vets office was able to calm him. Again, it was fear not aggression. Momma ran to the vets during a state of emergency with no power/water and living in a mandatory evacuation zone to get him. For two weeks following this we lived under dire circumstances just so we could be together. No heat, no power, no water, no food, nothing. Police coming to the door every hour. They would ask “are you okay in there”? And, Momma would say “I have a pit bull and a pug”. lol. They said, “Oh, you’re good”! To this day Luka is petrified of the wind. I kid you not. He will not go out if its windy. He will hide in a corner. But, we survived.
What else would you like to add about yourself or your mom?
Luka’s mom here: I would also like to add That if humans are thinking of getting a pit bull do you’re homework. Pitties are high-energy dogs that need ALOT of exercise and commitment. Their not couch potatoes. Also, owner responsibility is so important. Not breed specific legislation. If you’re dog doesn’t like other dogs, then don’t walk him at the dog park. If he doesn’t like strangers then keep him in a room when they come. Luka has spent many a time in a room, when people he doesnt know come, or people who are afraid of pitties, only to win them over later on. Its being responsible. Most of all, don’t have two dogs that don’t get along in the same house. A chi can bite. A pittie can bite.
The pittie is more powerful, which is why it is owner responsibility. Luka and Quinnie lead by example. When, people see them together, they think “oh so they cant be that bad”! Its educating people. Many people have stopped and asked “aren’t you afraid”? Arent you afraid he will hurt him? No, because I trust him 100%. You have to trust you’re dog 100%. And, if you don’t, then it goes back to responsible dog ownership
I rescued Luka during one of the worst times of my life. My Dad had just passed of lung cancer after caring for him at home on hospice. My dog Sammy of 12 plus years had passed from liver cancer and my 16 year old cat passed that year as well. Admittedly I was depressed. Luka came into my life and I HAD to get up and go. I HAD to walk him. His life depended on it. And, through helping him, and saving him, he saved me. He was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had in life and I’ve had many, which is why that contest was so important to me. I wanted him to get the recognition he so deserves, and show the world how loving pitties are. He won a spot on American Dog magazine! Came in 16th. I not only gave him confidence he gave me confidence. Something awesome about walking a 100 lb pit bull and feeling proud. He’s my best friend. So as Ceasar would say, “you don’t always get the dog you want, you get the dog you need”.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Luca and his mom for letting me interview him. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit them both on their facebook page – The Pit & The Pug
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme and Pittie Love theme, click on either of the badges below for more interviews.