Janie was randomly forwarded an email from San Diego Humane Society by a friend one day, and attached to the message was a photo of JJ, a pit bull in need of an owner.
“I could not get his smiling face out of my mind,” Janie says. She was compelled to drive all the way from Long Beach to meet JJ. “Within ten minutes, he rolled over and gave me the belly for a rub,” she says.
Despite the good first impression, an SDHS staffer counseled that a pit bull can be challenging for a first-time dog owner. Her friends were also against the idea of adopting that breed.
Four months passed. She relocated to a residence without breed restrictions, and a week after moving in, Janie finally adopted JJ. He settled in easily and did well with other dogs in obedience class. But during walks, people feared him.
“He seems genuinely disappointed when someone on the street doesn’t stop to greet him,” she says.
To provide JJ with more human interaction, she brought him to a workshop to have him evaluated to become a therapy dog. He then underwent rigorous testing to become a certified therapy dog, and he now works at the Los Angeles Airport’s Pets Unstressing Passengers program, where he greets people awaiting their flights.
“I couldn’t be happier with JJ,” Janie says. “He is the sweetest big lug, and people who are able to see past the cropped ears and huge head fall in love with him, too.”