One of the best days of my childhood was when I was 9 and I got to pick out my puppy. When I first picked her up, she very small and black, and she fell asleep in my arms immediately. When I announced she was the one I wanted, however, my parents were hesitant. My puppy was a pit bull mix. For some reason, this made my parents question whether she would be a good dog for me. But my mind was made up, and I got to take her home that day. I named her Mitzi.
She became my best friend and my constant companion. She was gentle, sweet and calm–no matter how many times I abruptly scooped her up, made her wear a baby bonnet and put her in my old stroller so I could stroll her around. As a Homeschooler, I could spend as much time with her as I liked. When I wanted to explore, we went on walks together through forests, parks and city streets. I took her everywhere, and everyone wanted to greet her and pet her. Although I noticed that when Mitzi started to get big and no longer looked like a puppy, many people stopped wanting to meet her.
When strangers were around her, they would hesitate to get close to her. When some parents saw her, they would usher their children away from her. Some would pet her and tell me that it didn’t matter how she looked, while so many others would look at her cautiously when they saw her. I remember not understanding the hesitancy of others at first, and then explaining to people (‘Oh no, she’s nice! She doesn’t bite!’) and then eventually, realizing that I didn’t need to explain.
If others were around Mitzi for long enough, she disproved any stereotype or preconceived notion you had about her. Any idea about her being mean or dangerous was soon eradicated when you saw her naturally sweet and loving disposition. She couldn’t talk to people about their stereotypes, of course, she couldn’t argue with them or change their minds. Her actions simply spoke for her.
I have yet to find a soul more gentle and kind than her. Rest in peace, Mitzi.