To be a dog in… Los Angeles (as told by rescue pit bull Olive)

Olive ‘The Gentle Pit’ is showing Wunderdog around her favourite parts of town, where she models, plays and tries to change the perception about her breed

Greetings from the left coast!

Olive here. I am a  three-and-a-half-year-old hippo. Or at least that’s what my humans tell me I am, because of my blue-grey colour and dense tank-style body. But I know I’m sexy.

I came from rough beginnings, born as part of a litter of 12 to my mamma, who lived on the streets. Thankfully, she was rescued by Wags & Walks in Los Angeles, and I arrived shortly thereafter. Human mamma adopted me when I was eight weeks old. She took one look at me and said: “Yep!” I have only known love and endless snacks from humans ever since. This is why I love people and am nicknamed ‘The Gentle Pit’. There isn’t a face I won’t lick or a lap I won’t try to fit into with my 50-pound body.

This is my ‘Blue Steel’ gaze

In the US, dogs who look like me have gotten a bad rap. Horrible people have used my kind for some unsightly things, and because of this many people take one look at me and assume I’m bad. But that’s like taking a look at the colour of someone’s skin and assuming things about them. Sure, there are mean dogs just like there are mean humans. But I’m not one of those dogs. And neither are any of the pitties I know. So, it’s my mission in life to change people’s minds about our wonderful breed.

Los Angeles is an interesting city for pit bulls. Some people love me when I’m out and about with mom. They run up and tell me I’m the prettiest pittie they’ve ever seen and they have one just like me and will only have pitties forever. Other people cross the street to the opposite sidewalk when they see me coming, which I think is just plain silly. Certain parts of the city are extremely dog-friendly (hello, Venice). Stores leave dog bowls filled with treats and water out front. Other parts are a no-go for me, so I have to stay home when the parents go out and about. Even though mom would take me absolutely everywhere with her, travel in California and the U.S. can be tough. We can’t fly with our humans in the cabin of the plane unless we are a certified service dog. And only some hotels are dog-friendly. The US hasn’t quite caught up to our sophisticated European friends in this regard. But here’s hopin’.

This takes quite some skill

Mom insists on me getting my daily constitution. Every morning, like clockwork, we head to the baseball field nearby. Humans and dogs I love. Tennis balls, however, must be punished. Mom gives one a good smack and I take off after it like a freight train. I normally carry two in my mouth at all times and shred at least one before leaving. Nothing like a good chew. Since I’m built for power, not endurance, I’m usually totally pooped after 25 minutes. 

You’re looking at troub … I mean Petal

Back at home, in the afternoons I sun-snooze with my sister, Petal. She’s much smaller than me, but she’s the boss. I don’t argue because she can be a little you-know-what when she doesn’t get her way. Also, mom and dad try and help others like me, so there is always a canine foster brother or sister around, waiting for their forever home.

Los Angeles is a great city to live in because of the diversity of fun things it affords. One of my absolute favourite things in all the world is the beach. There are miles of California coast where we live. Sadly, there are only two dog beaches within an hour or so from us, so we only get to make the trip a couple times a month. Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach is my favourite. It’s off leash and I get to chase tennis balls and play in the surf. I also adore a good hike. I go off leash with mom and sniff out fabulous new scents.

Every day with sandy paws is a good day

In case you didn’t know, I’m highly cultured. I regularly travel with my parents to wine country. Paso Robles, about three hours from Los Angeles, is my favourite. They adore dogs there. I’m allowed in all of the tasting rooms and hotels. And I do love a good juicy Cabernet from time to time. Pairs well with tennis balls.

In the past few months, I’ve become famous. Sort of. I’m a rising star, let’s say. Because I’m basically the sweetest, prettiest (most modest) pittie in the whole world, I have my own Instagram (@thegentlepit). Mom and I have been having a blast exploring Los Angeles. I’ve become quite the model. We get up very early in the morning when the city is still quiet and drive all over taking photos. It’s one of my favourite parts of the day because I get to have alone time with mom in the car. Plus she gives me peanut butter.

Starting to get recognised everywhere, so keeping it on the down-lo

I love a good cave nap. I find caves everywhere. In dad’s shoe closet, under the couch, under desks. I love caves so much that mom moved my dog bed under their bed, and that’s where I sleep most of the day. So cosy.

At night, it’s dad time. He calls me ‘The Slimer’, because no matter where he is sitting, I find a way to slime myself up into his lap for a good cuddle. I know I’m small enough if he’ll just move over a little. The same thing applies to night time. The bed is for me first, my humans second. I usually tunnel myself under the covers right between them and snore the night away. All in all, it’s a good life.

Dogs, if you would like to send us what it’s like to live in your hood, get your human to contact us. 

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