I adopted Siris 4 years ago from a no-kill rescue in rural Ontario. I'd just moved out on my own, and never had a dog before - I'd always wanted one but family members have allergies and it just wasn't possible while I was growing up. I was a volunteer dog-walker at the Toronto Humane Society for 2 years before I was ready to adopt a dog. I loved walking dogs there but 90% of the dogs they had were pitbulls and rottweilers or mixes of either. I wasn't sure that I was ready for such a big dog, or such a dominant/strong willed type dog, especially one that had little training. So I'd walk them on the weekends and play fetch with them and pet them and spoil them rotten, but I knew I wouldn't be bringing one home. Which led me outside the city in my search for a dog...when I found Siris, I had shown up there to look at a beagle. But then they had a 1 year old "whippet mix" they wanted to show me. Who turned out to be whippet-pitbull. Who was a total love. And so she was mine.
I know nothing about her background since she had been a stray that had come into the local pound and not been claimed. Her time ran up there and she was about to be sold to a medical research facility when her rescuers sprung her and brought them to their private rescue - a huge farm, which was also their home. My girl was there in a heated outdoor kennel for about a month before I came along.
"Tigger" was quickly renamed Siris and came to live with my ex-boyfriend and I in the city. She was a wild child. We're talking zero leash manners, zero manners at all actually. She was rambunctious as hell, bouncing all over the place (and I thought she was named Tigger initially because of her brindle-ness!), and just all around bratty. She had extreme separation anxiety, and she wanted to eat most dogs she met. I had my work cut out for me. But there was good stuff - Siris immediately proved herself to be thee most affectionate dog I have ever met. She was an instant frisbee champion. She wasn't a barker. She got along well with the ex's cat. She was smart and learned super fast. 90% of the population would have returned this girl to the rescue within 2 days - but I couldn't give up on my girl.
A gentle leader helped with the leash pulling, and we started into a series of obedience classes, which were trying at first but helped us bond and learn so much. By the time she could heel well on a martingale, the trainer at our school had offered me an assistant job at the school - "if you can train that dog", she said, "I'd love it if you can come and work for me." Siris' separation anxiety will probably never go away, but it's gotten a lot better. She's much more controllable with other dogs and meets many she loves. She knows tons of tricks and commands and she's learning agility. She comes to the office with me 3 days a week where she gets constant love from my co-workers. She just loves anyone she meets - especially new people. We take a lot of crap from people because she's part pit bull, but really, she's a total suck and pretty much the exact opposite of the stereotype.
Siris is now about 5 years old and showing no signs of slowing down, at all. If it weren't for the grey on her muzzle, you'd think she was still a puppy. I hope we've got a great many years together yet - and boy am I glad I stuck it out with her - I can't imagine her not being in my life.