Monday, November 07, 2005

Sweet Pea, the pit bull/girl next door: a story with three pit bulls and not a drop of violence

I didn't know until we moved in this summer that the junk yard/art space next door had a live-in pit bull named Sweet Pea, and at first I wasn't pleased. Why? Because I don't think any dogs should be left alone to guard a property, without regular interaction and support of some kind. It makes them territorial, no matter what breed they are. In the heat of the New Orleans summer, Sweet Pea spent most of her time sleeping in a metal shed, or occassionally lounging atop of of the dead cars in the yard. Occassionally she would come over and pop her head through the fence and my girl dogs would kiss her while Brando, the male, stood back, ready to pounce.

After the evacuation, Sweet Pea was one of the many living things I was worried about. When I finally heard from my landlord, I asked about her. She was fine, living with the man who had initially rescued her, getting more attention than she ever could have dreamed of. When we came back to town, my dogs and I spotted her and her man walking down the street together, and a week later, she reappeared in the junk yard, but not alone. Now she has a live-in dog boyfriend--one of the thousands left behind during the storm. When they aren't off in a corner together, I see them wrestling playfully among the metal empty car bodies, and occassionally they come over to the fence. My dogs are fascinated that there are two dogs next door who aren't particularly interested in them.

After a while, I broke down and handed some treats through the fence. The next time I saw Sweet Pea on her walk, she ran over and threw herself against me. She has a big squishy body, so it was like being attacked by a stuffed animal. I loved every moment of it. And then she continued on her run.

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