Q & A, Part 2: All About My Dog (Dog Dog Dog Dog)

I know this might be dangerous territory that I’m getting into here—talking about my dog, Mekko. The internet is a funny place, and I get the sense that posting about the specifics of my dog-parenting might be a lot like if I were to post about parenting a real child: everybody thinks they’re an expert and everybody thinks they know what’s best.

That said, I was completely blown away by the outpouring of love and support I received after I posted about Mekko for the first time. And it didn’t just come from the wonderful crowd who already read my blog, but also from people who stumbled upon that post from so many places around the internet and took the time to leave a friendly comment or pen a kind e-mail. To be honest, I expected a really mixed reaction. People have enough opinions about dogs in general—who should own them, where they should live, how they should be cared for—leaving aside all the flack I anticipated receiving for adopting a Pit Bull. But, as with some other things that I’ve posted and readied myself for attack, the onslaught never came. All of this is my roundabout, awkward way of saying thank you. Thank you for making this a fun, kind place on an internet where fun, kind places are rare.

And now, without further delay, here’s what people wanted to know about my baby.

1. My question is, how’s Mekko doing? Has she been a good dog? Have you been doing much training or taking any classes?

Deciding to dedicate the next decade or so of your life to something that you’ve spent all of about 5 minutes with is a pretty scary thing, particularly when that something could potentially chew apart all your furniture, piss all over everything, or maul your face off while you sleep. Luckily, Mekko has chosen to do none of these things. She’s a great dog. Apparently pessimism is a central theme in my life, but I think I was pretty realistic about how hard things might be, and she’s just made the transition into dog ownership miraculously easy. She is incredibly sweet and affectionate, loves people and other dogs, and has enough energy to be hilarious and interesting but not so much (as the above picture might demonstrate) that she’s totally draining us, either. We’ve had her just over two months now, and it’s really been amazing to watch her come into her own. I don’t want to overdramatize here—she didn’t come to us super emotionally damaged or anything—but she is a different dog than she was when we brought her home that first day. They aren’t drastic changes, but a series of subtle ones. She’s put on weight and looks healthy. She’s less anxious. She seems more confident. And she seems really happy.

One of the many great things about Mekko is that she really wants to be a good dog, which has made training fairly easy. So far, we’ve really been working on developing and strengthening basic skills. It took about 3 weeks to get her 100% potty-trained, she’s gotten really great at walking on the leash (which was a nightmare when we got her), she’s a champ at sitting on command, and she learned her name really quickly. I’d like to start building up certain things she already knows and start teaching her new commands, and I think she’ll pick them up quickly. I’ve been told many times how valuable classes are, but we haven’t taken any yet. We may choose to in the future, but right now I think we’re all still adjusting to our new lives and it just hasn’t felt like a pressing concern.

And, yes. She is allowed on all the furniture. Deal with it.

2. What are the ups and downs of owning a Pit Bull?

Now, I have had dogs my whole life, and have loved all of them to a degree that non-dog-owners probably can’t understand. But Mekko is different, and I don’t think I just feel that way because she’s mine (well, and Max’s, but you know). I’ve never owned a Pit Bull—my family had 2 Labs and a Golden Retriever/Doberman mix growing up—but I’ve been told that some of Mekko’s attributes are pretty characteristic of Pit Bulls, so here it goes. Mekko loves to cuddle. She would cuddle all day, everyday. She is a fabulous little spoon and snores like a heavyset man, and it’s amazing. And she’s so warm. Aside from that, she is really social, and basically wants to be friends with every dog and every person she comes into contact with. It’s nice having a dog like that—this little social butterfly who makes me talk to people, too. I’ve met so many great dog owners and other dogs in the neighborhood, and it’s fun running into all our new friends all the time. And more than any other breed, Pit Bull owners really feel this strong allegiance with other Pit Bull owners. There are sidewalk love-fests several times a week.

I really think the hardest part of owning a Pit Bull is dealing with the stigma. It’s never been terribly aggressive or violent or anything, and I’m sure it hurts my feelings much more than it hurts hers. But it’s sad to see other dog owners decide to cross the street rather than risk passing us, or people who scoop up their kids and scowl. Or be told at the dog park that she’s not allowed to play with a dog because the other owner is afraid of her. People feel the need to tell me on the sidewalk that my dog bites—not as a question, but as an accusation or a statement of fact. Really? When? Mekko doesn’t want to bite these people, but I do.

The point is this: ALL DOGS CAN HAVE BEHAVIORAL ISSUES. Plain and simple. And every dog owner should be prepared to deal with that, regardless of whether you’re adopting a Pit Bull or a Chihuahua. It’s about being able to address a problem when it arises, being open to seeking out advice and exploring resources, and being willing to changing your own behavior to suit the needs of your dog.

3. How has being a dog owner changed your life—good and bad? How do you get anything done when she’s around? 

Mekko makes us incredibly happy, and we love her to pieces. I’m not one of those people who overly anthropomorphizes my dog, but I feel like Mekko really changed our relationship. When there’s two in your group it’s called a couple, but three—three feels like a family. It’s a weird word, and I still feel a little awkward applying it to a unit that’s different than the one I share with my siblings and parents. But I think that’s the only word for it.

I really don’t think Mekko has changed my life in any bad ways, but she has made my life different in many ways. Broadly, she’s a big thing to take care of, and even split between two people, she’s a big time commitment. The hardest part hasn’t been learning to take care of her, but learning how to keep doing the other things in my life while also making room for her needs. Full-time-student-with-part-time-job-and-relationship-and-dog-and-blog-and-hopefully-some-modicum-of-social-life still feels like an intimidatingly large pair of shoes to fill, and I’m definitely still trying to negotiate that new terrain. I think it’s getting easier, but I still feel like I’ve become somewhat unproductive and less competent in the other areas of my life. I have to keep reminding myself how new this all is and work on continuing to figure out how to balance my life and responsibilities.

6. What’s the most hilarious thing she does (because Pit Bulls are such comedians)?

I don’t even know where to start. Mekko makes me laugh constantly. She really likes to walk herself up to our 5th-floor apartment and waits for us at all the landings. When she sees another dog approaching from half a block away, she lies down on the sidewalk and wags her tail until they approach. She LOVES this one squeaky toy and only understands tennis balls as objects from which all the fuzz must be forcibly and methodically removed. That new Taylor Swift song produces an immediate calming effect on her. She’s taken to sleeping on the couch some nights, but she’ll wake up early and come get her morning cuddle time in bed, which isn’t so much hilarious as it is heart-stoppingly cute.

7. Will Mamma Biscuit and Mekko ever meet? And if so, will Mekko eat her?

I think Mamma Biscuit and Mekko would get along because they’re both hot NYC bitches who love their dads. Natural pair.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

Follow me everywhere

Archives: 2010-2022

Popular Categories

This blog uses affiliate links. Sponsored posts are always identified clearly in the body of the post text and by using the “sponsored post” tag.

Leave a Comment


  1. 4.4.12
    Laura said:

    Love all three of you and can’t wait to meet Mekko! Road trip her to LA???

  2. 4.4.12
    Ana@RearrangedDesign said:

    The above picture with the three of you is so sweet and full of love.

    Congrats on becoming a family.

  3. 4.4.12
    Gracie said:

    This was cool, I wondered how you could afford home improvements on your student budget but was too embarrassed to ask, I’m on a tight budget too and you inspire me. Anyway you’re a wonderful writer and it’s actually heart warming to read that you derive so much pleasure from all of us deriving pleasure from reading your blog. Oof, what a sentence. :)

  4. 4.4.12

    “Pit Bull owners really feel this strong allegiance with other Pit Bull owners. There are sidewalk love-fests several times a week.” I have absolutely noticed this, too! And Lenny is quite the social butterfly as well… I’ve never had a dog so happy to meet absolutely everyone, but also just fine if I want to keep walking instead.

    Lenny also feels strongly that tennis balls and their fuzz must ALWAYS BE PARTED. Weird dogs. Thanks for sharing! She is the cutest.

  5. 4.4.12
    Kathleen said:

    Aaawwww!!!! This made my heart go all pitter-patter. I want a good dog so bad – but Jeremy and our cats vote no and well… majority rules. So instead I’m training Mister Scooty Boots to love kisses on the face, to be held like a baby and to come running when I call. I even went as far to get him a leash. Did I mention Mr. Scooty Boots is a cat?

  6. 4.4.12
    Lil said:

    She is adorable. In all honesty, I’ve never met a Pit Bull who wasn’t utterly charming. Maybe I’ve been lucky – at any rate I’m beginning to wonder where all those nasty Pits are.

  7. 4.4.12
    Nicole G. said:

    Delurking after being a lurker for quite some time just to agree about the stigma thing. I have an 80 lb. American Bulldog who looks a lot like Mekko, and I too have noticed people actively avoiding us on the street or even openly commenting about how my dog shouldn’t be at the park because she might bite their precious little puppy. There are always a couple of people who leave the park as soon as we get there, giving us looks like we broke some kind of unspoken rule by being there. Meanwhile, Lady is making the rounds to greet every person at the park, giving all humans lots of love before playing with the dogs. I’ve told my husband many times that it feels like it bothers me more than it does her.
    In February we adopted an American Staffordshire Terrier from our local shelter and he has some trust issues with new people. I completely understand when people don’t want to get near him, because he does exhibit signs of anxiety. I don’t expect the world to accommodate us, but I also never expected to have strangers tell me I should’ve left him at the shelter.
    Thank you for dedicating a whole post to Mekko. I’m glad you guys found each other. She’s a beautiful girl!

  8. 4.4.12
    Melissa said:

    She sounds like my little Astrid (also a rescued APBT)! Snuggly, smart, hilarious, and surgically dissects her toys.

    I hate the stigma. It’s funny because I don’t know anyone who’s been bitten by a pit bull (except me but it was my own fault for breaking up a fight and she let go right away because she was thrashing wildly because she was scared and defending herself) but I know people who have been MAULED by black labs, German shepards, and malamutes, needed stitches from miniature pinschers and chihuahuas.

    When either of my dogs (I have a white boxer, too, who everyone thinks is a pit bull) is in our front yard and a UPS or mail person stops, I say, “She’s/They’re friendly!” and I almost always hear, “Even the friendly ones turn.” It makes me so. mad. My sweet pups don’t have a mean bone in their furry little bodies and they DID have emotional and physical trauma before coming to live with us. If anything, they’ve turned for the better :)

    • 4.4.12
      Daniel said:

      Yes, I HATE that—people who are so sure that even if my dog is friendly now, there’s some kind of monster lurking beneath the surface. That’s not to say that I think people should blindly trust their dogs—after all, they’re not people, and they operate off a whole different set of cognitive and emotional responses. But I really do think that dogs take their cues from their owners, and the vast majority of dogs really just want to please. It’s about redirecting and changing certain behaviors when/if they crop up, not waiting for them to “turn” and then blaming the dog for it!

    • 4.4.12
      carmencatalina said:

      I don’t want to be the one negative voice, and I love dogs and respect the hell out of anyone who adopts any animal from a shelter (all my dogs and cats have been shelter rescue), but I’ve been bitten, badly, by a bull terrier mix, and I will admit that I am more cautious around dogs that resemble the dog that bit me than other dogs.

      I know that’s not really smart – any dog can bite, and caution around strange dogs is a perfectly fine thing – but I’m sure the dogs can sense my apprehension, which to me is all the more reason to give them some space, since I don’t want my issues to become their issues.

      So if you see a nice lady that smiles at you but still gives you and your lovely dog a wide berth, hopefully you won’t take to too hard, and realize that we all have our scars. In may case, some rather ugly ones, but those are only the ones you can see.

    • 4.4.12
      Daniel said:

      I REALLY am not offended when people aren’t completely comfortable around my dog (especially if they don’t know her!), it’s just sad to me that she has to deal with a reputation that has nothing to do with her character or actions, or when I’m the target of a negative response solely because of her breed and its reputation.

      I once broke up a dog fight between a pit-mix and another dog, and the other dog ended up biting me in the spur of the moment, and I have scars from that, too (not bad ones, but my forearm doesn’t look quite the same as it used to…). And I TOTALLY understand going through that trauma and fearing dogs, particularly ones who look like ones who were involved in the situation. That was a few years ago and I’ve gotten over most of that, but it was a really awful thing to go through, as somebody who loves dogs and has always really trusted them. The dog that bit me was brought back to the shelter (my friends had adopted her to see if they could bring a second dog into their house, but because of some difficult stuff in their existing dog’s past—they think she’d been used as a bait dog for fighting—they just couldn’t get along), and it took me quite a while to feel OK about the other dog, who I’d known for months and had nothing but positive experiences with beforehand. All of a sudden I was so afraid of her, developed horrible anxiety when I was around more than one dog at the same time, had terrible nightmares every night, etc.

      I think what helped was understanding that the pit-mix went through things that her owners knew vaguely about, but didn’t anticipate the lasting effects of, and that trying to get a second dog probably wasn’t a wise idea in the first place. The point was, the aggression she exhibited (toward other dogs, not toward people) had nothing to do with her natural inclinations, but was rooted in past experiences inflicted by people. And it just felt illogical (not to mention exhausting!) to transfer that anxiety to any dog who looked like her—including, of course, the one I own now. But that takes time and work, absolutely, and the fact that you’re willing to smile as you walk by instead of throw out some uninformed insult or snide remark is already huge. I’m really, really not asking everyone to like my dog or want to stop and pet her, I just wish people were smart enough not to let an experience of one dog—or, worse, a reputation they’ve never even experienced—transfer to their impression of all dogs of the same breed and result in outward negativity towards random dogs and their owners. I hope that makes sense.

  9. 4.4.12
    Meldorf said:

    Aw, your Mekko sounds and looks adorable. I’ve had dogs and cats over the years all of very different personalities and so I know how remarkable it is to have one who is so loyal and affectionate. My friend has had pit bulls all her life and has always found them gentle and loving.

    I hope it makes you feel better to know that it really isn’t personal the way people act around your beautiful dog. Although I have only known kind reliable dogs I am very cautious with my children when we see a strange dog we don’t know. I’m afraid I would certainly cross the street to be on the safe side. Unfortunately it is impossible to predict and know every dog one meets and so it is best to err on the side of caution. After all, there are more deaths caused by dogs that any other animal.

    We have the most kind and lovable cat that toddlers are able to pick up and squeeze and he flops tolerantly and has never scratched or bitten anyone. But from time to time we have visitors who are nervous or suspicious of cats. When I know they feel like that I make sure the cat is kept well away from them out of respect for their feelings.

    People who know you and your dog will appreciate how wonderful she is. It doesn’t matter what strangers think, and they don’t mean it personally, they are just being cautious. Show them you are making sure the dog is well out of their child’s way and they will see you and your dog as good citizens :-)

    • 4.4.12
      Daniel said:

      Thank you so much for your comment—I fully understand what you’re saying, and I don’t want to come off like I’m wildly offended every time somebody avoids my dog. You’re right, any unknown dog can definitely carry risks, and I don’t blame people for trying to avoid them. However, what I’m talking about is a little different, I think. Our neighborhood has a LOT of dogs, so it’s not abnormal for me to see somebody walk by 2 or 3 dogs with their kids or their dog and then cross the street or pick up their kid/pet specifically when we’re approaching, often with a dirty look. Mekko stays on a short 4-foot leash (and usually walks right next to us, particularly when we’re near people or other dogs), so it isn’t as though we’re dominating the sidewalk or anything. It’s pretty clear to me that it’s not just taking caution around dogs, it’s taking caution around my dog, and I don’t see any other rhyme or reason to it than a judgment based on her breed. And when that escalates to some kind of verbal statement, I don’t think that has anything to do with caution. Random people will take one look at her and literally tell me that she’s a dog who bites. Or approach me at the dog park and tell me specifically to keep my dog away from their’s, even though she hasn’t been aggressive and their dog is busy playing with other dogs her size or larger. It’s hard not to take that stuff personally when the prejudice seems really overt. I really, really don’t take issue with people who are cautious around dogs, or even people who don’t like dogs, but it makes me sad when that caution or dislike is reserved specifically for my dog.

    • 4.7.12
      Meldorf said:

      I see what you mean. People make judgements without knowing anything about your dog. It sounds like some people are just using prejudice to justify being silly and rude. It is really unfair when you are are just taking your perfectly lovely and innocence dog for a walk and some fun in a responsible way. There is no need for them to say things that are completely untrue and offensive.

      Your blog might help spread the word about the general niceness of pit bulls (and their owners!).

  10. 4.4.12

    LOLOL Mamma Biscuit and Mekko practically define the NYC canine experience! Mekko’s snout is just begging for Mamma to rest her chin on it!
    The Biscuit Family!

  11. 4.4.12
    susan said:

    I love the dog posts. I especially love the dog pictures in the dog posts.

    Couple of points – I think the strong allegiance Pit Bull owners have is due to the unfair maligning of the breed. It’s wonderful you have that support.

    Second point and one you were so right about. All dogs CAN have behavioral issues. My grandmother had a Chihuahua and she had encouraged the most awful behavior with that dog. That dog would not allow anyone to get near my grandmother and she thought that was the most adorable thing.

    Dogs that are loved will show and return than love. Mekko is living proof. Here’s hoping for a nice mix of dog posts and design/decorating posts!

  12. 4.4.12
    Melissa said:

    I overly enjoyed reading this post. You guys seem like amazing dog owners.

    My sister and her husband got a Pit Bull puppy almost 5 years ago and honestly, they couldn’t / didn’t know how to handle him. Over the next few years, he became very aggressive, couldn’t be around anyone and was almost always in attack mode. A few weeks ago they had him put to sleep and it just broke my heart.

    I just love that the two of you are mature and responsible enough to take the time with Mekko. I have no doubt in my mind that she will grow up and stay her loving / playful self with parents like you guys. I live downtown Chicago and there are several Pit Bulls in my building who are beyond friendly, and my 4 year old son loves to pet them… and stalks them.. and dosent leave them alone to pee for a second.. but thats another story.

  13. 4.4.12
    Heather said:

    Yay Mekko! She’s so adorable!!! I’ve got a little 15 lb Havanese that thinks he’s a big dog- and sometimes just has to show the other dogs that. I would never tell anyone with any dog (unless it was being outwardly aggressive- my dog has been attacked on the street by a german shepard that got out of its fenced yard) that it ‘will bite’- that’s insane! My dog’s best friend is a 120 lb Irish Wolfhound. That being said- there are occasions that I see someone walking a big dog and I’ll cross the street- mostly just because my dog can get SO excited that I don’t want my dog to cause a scuffle. It has nothing to do with not trusting the other dog- I just know that my dog is a really in your face dog and I don’t want to risk it.

    Big dog owners- don’t take offense! I love your dog- I just don’t want my dog to nip yours!

    • 4.4.12
      Daniel said:

      Totally understood! Check out my response to Meldorf, where hopefully I’ve made myself a bit clearer!

    • 4.4.12
      Heather said:

      Argh, I keep commenting before seeing the previous comments that have been made. I can totally see where you’re coming from, and that really sucks to be picked out like that just because of your dogs breed. I have known many pitbulls that are the sweetest, snuggliest dogs ever. Coming from a small dog owner- people also think it’s okay to just pick up your dog or have their kids grab it- people are insane and don’t know boundaries. Cheers to you guys for being responsible, friendly dog owners. I’m so glad that Mekko has found such a loving home, you guys have really changed the world for her :)

    • 4.4.12
      Daniel said:

      That’s OK!! Both of your comments were in moderation, so the other one wasn’t visible when you commented!

      And yes—the lack of boundaries with small dogs is equally (if not more) maddening than the avoidant reaction to big dogs. As sad as it is when people actively avoid us, I’m really glad that people generally remember their “dog manners” around us and approach her the way that they should approach any dog. She’s never shown aggression towards people (even ones who just reach out and pet her), but yeah—size is not a predictor of personality or how a dog will react to interacting with strangers.

    • 4.4.12
      Heather said:

      PS- also- being a family is the best- if my boyfriend and I didn’t have Buster, I know our relationship wouldn’t be nearly as deep as it is. It’s awesome to have each other, but to have this little fur baby that crawls all over us and is happier than anyone in the world to see us? Life changer. Yes, yes, people say that about kids, but my dog will never become a teenager ;)

  14. 4.4.12
    Jennifer H. said:

    I’m pretty sure that family portrait of the three of you has to be your Christmas card this year. Love it!
    Don’t you just love how dogs become part of (read: take over, in the best possible way) your life and are so aware of each person individually? My dog can tell if I’m texting my husband to come pick me up from work, or if I tell her that Dad’s home when she & I get back from running errands, she tears up the stairs and searches every room until she finds him.
    And in the mornings she finds the cutest ways to cradle her head with her paw while curled up in the blankets I’ve left behind, or stretches across the top of one of us with her back legs sticking straight out. I also love it when she’s really content and getting a chest rub and her ears go back and her eyes kind of glaze over. And how she’s obsessed with the air pockets (?) that are used as packing filler when boxes come in the mail. She’ll nonchalantly pull it out of the box while we’re just sitting around, and just go to town. And if any part of the fluff inside a toy is visible, she won’t stop until ALL of the fluff is out. Our cutie is a boxer, and you can tell I’m smitten. :) Thanks for a full post dedicated to dog love.

  15. 4.4.12
    jeannette said:

    a pack of pit bulls (three adorable dogs, two smiling waggling puppies and one wary old street chick) walks by my house every day. two hispanic youths in droopy draws and sideways baseball caps are on the other ends of the leashes. they are all five too cute. i made friends with them the other day. the kids and the dogs are like rescued dolphins, or angels, i know. anytime anywhere i get into trouble, i know they will msg help and/or show up in person.

    yeah. i think you should get a button that says I’LL BITE YOUR ASS WAY BEFORE SHE DOES.

  16. 4.4.12
    Shauna said:

    I smiled the whole way through this post…I love your dog. Not as much as my own dog but in a weird internet cute dog love way. :) It’s so nice seeing a pittie getting so much love (I live in Ontario, where there is a ban on them and it sucks). We have experienced the other dog owners crossing the street to avoid me and my rottie, and parents snatching up there children in fear…we used to be angry, but now we just feel sad for these people that they miss out on knowing such wonderful animals. (ps the family photo is super cute!)

  17. 4.4.12
    Kim said:

    Those pictures of Mekko are so precious!! Congratulations on your little family!

    I use to live in a house where my roommate had a Pit Bull/ Lab mix and she was the friendliest big dog I ever met. And yes, she loved to cuddle too! There’s something really special about Pit Bulls that some people never get the chance to discover, and it’s that they can be so lovable and are so smart. I could talk days to my roommate’s dog for days and feel confident she understands every word. I’m so glad you adopted Mekko and are including her in your blog. Can’t wait to read more!

    • 4.4.12
      Mom said:

      I love reading how loved Mekko is by you and your followers. In reading Kim’s comment, I literally started to weep at my desk. Having had dogs around me all my life and now being dog-less for about 8 months, I realized I miss talking to them. Holding them, petting them, just being with them yes but talking to them is number one. I am home alone a lot, whether really home or at Grandma’s and all that alone time with no one to talk to is what I think drives me most crazy. Maybe only a real dog lover understands that but they do fill such a big hole in your life. OK, almost stopped crying now and need to report one of the most incredible things I’ve seen Mekko do. She flys. Literally. She took a leap at my house from two steps into my family room over the back of the family room sofa and into my lap. I think her ears were even out, Dumbo style. Not sure about that since it happened in a blink, but in my mind that’s how it looked and yes, she can fly.

    • 4.4.12
      Daniel said:

      I’m sorry, Mommy! Someday you’ll get another doggy, but until then you should just come visit us lots and lots! You can talk to Mekko all you want, although I’m not sure her comprehension is quite as developed as some of our pups.

      I can’t believe I didn’t mention her insane leaping skills!! YES, MY MOTHER IS RIGHT. Mekko’s legs are made of springs. She jumps directly over coffee tables, sofas, people, and her vertical leap is outrageous. She’d probably be an amazing frisbee dog, if she had any inclination to run after things other than dogs and people.

  18. 4.4.12
    jbhat said:

    I’m so glad to hear that all of you are so happy together, and I liked reading about how your definition of “family” is evolving.

    I recall being really, really worried one time when my kiddo and I were walking along an unfamiliar block and an unleashed pit bull was in a yard across the street from us. The person with the dog was a very un-Daniel-like young man whose look and demeanor probably had more to do with my reaction than the dog did. He did not look like a responsible person, let alone pet owner, at all. As we walked by, my heart starting thumping, my imagination brought on bloodied limbs, ambulances and nightmares, and I scooped up my little one and raced along immediately. Probably very much an over-reaction, but my protective instincts had kicked into high gear and I had no choice but to listen to them. Perhaps nothing would have happened, but who knows.

    I have been on the other side of this situation too, as a (former) pet owner. Our cat died several years ago, but he was big Maine Coone who was a terrible grouch (even though we were good cat parents). Once we had friends over, and one couple brought their toddler. I took the toddler to our bathroom, and when we came out, our cat trapped us both in the hallway by blocking the exit, complete with an arched back and scary hissing and yowling. It was awful! I myself was afraid getting near the crazy cat and had to call my husband to come and rescue us. The toddler was completely freaked out, and his parents, who were definitely not thrilled, gave our cat a new name that day–“Killer.” It was sort of funny, but it was also rather mortifying. So I guess you just never know. But I’m glad to hear that you are such a responsible dog owner. Mekko is lucky to have you and Max.


  19. 4.4.12

    Such a beautiful post with so much to comment on!

    1. I grew up with dogs – mostly dogs that had pit bull in them. Never a pure breed, but enough that it was obvious that my dog was a pittie in some capacity. People always assumed they would attack. They never did. You know who did bite? A labrador (my niece) and a malamute (me).

    2. Pitties are so adorable. I love how happy they look all the time.

    3. I understand what you mean about family. My husband and I have chosen not to have kids, but we have a 13 year old cat and regardless of what anyone says, the three of us are a family.

  20. 4.4.12
    Jen said:

    Thanks for the followup post on Mekko! I was wondering how she was adjusting to her new life with you guys. I’m about to move into a new place and after having a longtime roommate who was reluctant to get a dog, I’m so excited to be able to get one of my own. I’m inclined to go for a Pit just because there are so many of them in the nyc shelters and everything I’ve seen from the friends who have one proves that these dogs can be incredibly sweet and loving when they’re in good homes. So good for you (and Max) for working to dispel the myth that they’re dangerous.

  21. 4.4.12
    Jenny said:

    Hi Daniel – As a million others have said, your writing is incredible, your blog is a treasure, and Mekko is beyond adorable! I just have to say that maybe some other dog owners cross the street when they see you coming not because of Mekko, but because of their own dogs’ issues. We have sweet, wonderful rescue dog – but her years on the streets left her traumatized. She gets scared by other dogs and will attack (or, actually, put on a big ferocious display as if she will attack) when she’s in close contact with another dog. As a result, we avoid contact with almost other dogs when we’re out in the world (off leash in the dog park seems ok, but anywhere else is a no-no). Sadly, we just can’t participate in sweet sniff-fests that I see other dogs enjoying on their walks. But what’s hard is that people assume that if we are avoiding them and their dogs it’s because of something we perceive in about *their* dog, when in fact it’s the opposite – it’s because of something we know about *our* dog! Anyhow, I’m sure there are haters but there may also be some folks like us who would love to see our dogs play/sniff/greet with your dog, but know that just isn’t a good idea. For whatever that’s worth.

    • 4.4.12
      Daniel said:

      Yes, I ABSOLUTELY understand that, and in fact it’s normally what I assume is happening. I’m really just talking about the people who I see pass by three other dogs in front of us, but cross the street when they see us. I’m not the sort of person who’s out there looking for ways to feel slighted by others, but I do see a stigma about my dog in particular fairly often. And it’s really not that I’m offended—I want to keep my dog as safe as possible, too. People hold their biases for certain reasons, and I can’t fault anybody for trying to avoid a threat, whether it’s real or perceived. It’s just personally sad for me that I know we face certain judgments walking around with a Pit at the end of our leash and are reminded of them frequently.

    • 4.5.12
      Marian said:

      Jenny, I’m so glad you brought this up. I also have a sweet 3 year old Pittie who is the best cuddle buddy anyone could ever ask for, and she can dissect a tennis ball from it’s fuzz in record time. But becasue of her past (bait dog, with the scars to prove it) she just can’t handle being around other dogs. In the instances where I turn a corner and suddenly there’s a dog in front of us, and Amelia flips out, I can’t help but feel like I’m sometimes perpetuating the stereotype. For that reason, we go out on early morning and late night walks, and we aviod other dogs at all costs; to make sure that we aren’t inadvertantly reinforcing a stereotype that just simply isn’t true. She’s got her few neighbor dogs that she’s friends with, and she is completely fufilled with that. And if she’s happy, I’m happy. It’s always refreshing to hear from other people who go through the same issues and don’t let it get them down. :)

      PS Daniel Mekko is ridiculously adorable. You’re so lucky that she’s good with other dogs; I can only imagine that the cuteness factor multiplies by a million when they interact.

  22. 4.4.12
    KBurns said:

    Great post! Mekko warms my heart and I know exactly what you mean about going from a couple to a family. We have a Boxer and American Eskimo in our little apartment and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well maybe a little more space. Our boxer is extremely social too and wants to play with anyone that looks at her. I’ve experienced people giving us more space and I actually appreciate it. People that want to pet her usually approach and ask if it’s ok. When I see Pit Bull owners I make it a point to smile at them and their dog because I know they probably deal with a lot of negativity. If you haven’t already checked them out Bad Rap is a great pit bull organization based out of Oakland. They have tons of great info on their website.

  23. 4.4.12
    Kyli said:

    We have a 14 lb Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix. He was abused in his previous home (with one noticable scar to prove it) and has some behavioral issues as a result. He’s also a small dog who exhibits some stereotypical “small dog” Napoleanic neuroses. We sometimes cross the street when we see another dog because he will occasionally pull, bark and growl at that dog. Also living in Brooklyn, we pass a LOT of dogs. We are careful about letting strangers get too close too fast or back him into corners because we know he can be defensive. Despite all of this, he is a wonderful, silly, cuddly and sweet dog. He’s basically our kid.

    All dogs have their own histories and personalities, regardless of size or breed. Mekko sounds amazing and I’m so glad that you are so happy in your little family.

  24. 4.4.12
    Gaidig said:

    I’m glad things are going so well with her. Although I didn’t comment last time, I must say that I couldn’t agree more with your comments about Pits. Every one I have known has been super sweet and cuddly, as well as very much desiring to please. Of course, they’re crazy energetic, too. I do think that certain breeds have certain personality traits, but there are also many issues that come from the owners rather than the dogs. I read once that Pit Bulls’ desire to please their owners is one reason that they can be trained to fight — they’ll do whatever their owner wants, even if it means they get hurt. That makes me tear up quite a bit.

  25. 4.4.12
    tess said:

    She’s great! You’re great! Much love to you on this fine April day :)

  26. 4.4.12
    Kim said:

    She’s a beautiful dog and she looks so sweet – I’m so glad you are finding happiness with her! We have 2 dogs – a Bichon Frise named Eleanor who we got from a breeder 4 years ago and a Black Lab/Great Dane mix named Rigby who we rescued and who just had his 2nd birthday. They are totally in love with each other and we are totally in love with them. Having the big dog/small dog dynamic (with a baby due in 6 weeks) is totally fun and frantic and I hear you completely when you say that adding Mekko to your couple made you feel like a family. The same thing happened for us when we got Ellie and the feeling grew when Rigby bounded into our lives (or, more accurately because he was only 9 weeks old, tripped and stumbled on his own gangly legs as he clumsily fell into our lives). I’m looking forward to seeing how the pups react to the baby!!
    I adore your blog, you’re a very talented writer :) We used to live in Boerum Hill, on Wyckoff between Smith and Hoyt. We now live in Fort Greene and I will be happy if we never leave Brooklyn!

  27. 4.4.12
    Sara said:

    I LOVE Mekko! She is THE best!

    I really believe that it is owner that shapes a dog’s personality and not the breed.
    Her traits you describe are very similar to our King Charles Spaniel, and this breed is supposedly categorised as ”˜sweet-tempered, playful, and gentle’.

    Our little Ziggy is a beautiful, sweet and spoilt brat and has the run of the WHOLE house and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  28. 4.4.12
    Furpants said:

    Squeeeeeee! Mekko is so cute and lovable. It’s not the breed, its the owner and the way the dog has been treated.

    To play Devil’s Advocate, as a stranger on the street, I can’t know what kind of owner you are or what your dog’s experience has been. I love dogs and am around them all the time. I’ve been attacked three times and have scars to prove it – a german shepard, a chow mix, and a pit bull. All three were loose dogs that had gotten out on their own. And yes, after the first time, the other 2 times probably happened because I was scared to death when I was startled at finding a stray dog in my path. I know this makes me sound like some kind of crazy dog bait. Believe me, I’ve had pets my whole life – dogs, cats, sheep, horses, chickens. I’m good with animals. But some breeds require more caution than others and I just want to tell your readers why I think so. That said, Mekko is cute as hell and once you assured me she was friendly, I would totally hug and kiss the sh*t out of her cute little face.

  29. 4.4.12

    Oh Mekko, what a darling dear she is! I just love her and love to see how much you both care for her. I have a 6 year old French Bulldog named Pierre (aka Poo-Air, as he has terrible gas) and I couldn’t love him more than I do. He is so special and has changed my life for the better, so I can most certainly relate. Kudos to you and Max for taking in a stigma dog and proving that Pit Bulls can be some of the sweetest dogs around. If only more people cared for their animals as much as you do, there are so many assholes in the world when it comes to pets it just breaks my heart.

  30. 4.4.12
    Troy Ford said:

    Hey Guys….THANK YOU for sharing Mekko and educating the public. As the owner of two pit bulls, Jozi and JD I know exactly how you feel !!!! I also do rescue work with an organization called rescue-a-bull….check us out and also join the Pit Bull Lovers Unite group on FB….I am posting your blog for the group to see right now !! Thanks again and keep up the great blog !!!

  31. 4.5.12
    Andrew A. said:

    Love, love, love this post and your family. I was a single dog owner/lover and found a partner that adores our Italian Greyhound. It’s fantastic how wonderfully our dogs complete our circle. Best wishes!

  32. 4.5.12
    maybug said:

    Dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog dog!!!

  33. 4.5.12
    Liz said:

    THAT DOG IS ADORABLE. Cannot be overstated. My boyfriend and I just got (I say just, but she’s almost a year) a Great Dane puppy. Best dog ever, and so damn sweet and cute. I think their personalities are similar to Pit Bulls – snuggly, super friendly, eager to please, and yes, immediately tears the fuzz off of tennis balls. Also get a bad rap. You just got yours in a more compact package than we did. :) Congrats and I LOVE HER :-D

    More pictures please – more excuses to smile. :)

  34. 4.5.12
    kowhai said:

    just wanted to say i think ur blog is epic and truly enjoy ur updates. i often wonder what will he do next to the apartment and when will bloglovin hit me with an update. i truly love ur attention to detail. i am a designer and my family and friends thing i have ocd because i think unless u do the job to 100% i don’t see the point in doing it. i colour code, group and organise everything i own! i have filing cabinets which makes life just magic. i can’t stand clutter and half finished jobs. i would love to have an apartment such as urs. i esp love the detail you provide about ur diy in ur blog – for someone like me it refreshing to see the steps and how things evolve throughout the process. i have not come across another blog such as urs before. + i am a mad dog lover (my dog recently died) so i just love seeing others really enjoy sharing their lives with a dog in a great apartment. keep up the good work and totally use ur talent to make some $. perhaps sponsorship would be a cool idea … ikea perhaps. any one in the usa would be lucky to have some design tips from u! thats my blurb just wanted to share some blog love all the way from New Zealand.

    • 4.5.12
      Daniel said:

      Aw, that’s such a nice comment. Thank you!

  35. 4.5.12
    Chris said:

    Pfft. I would cross the the street TO pet her.

  36. 4.5.12
    chelsey said:

    “It’s about being able to address a problem when it arises, being open to seeking out advice and exploring resources, and being willing to changing your own behavior to suit the needs of your dog”.

    This is the smartest thing I have heard about dog ownership in a long time. I think if more dog owners took this advice to heart everyone (dogs included) would be a lot safer. I’m constantly evaluating my dogs issues in terms of my actions. I have two rescue dogs who look like black Golden-retrievers/Newfoundlanders. One of them is full of bullets in his front legs due to whatever life he lived before he came to us :(

    All dogs no matter the breed have issues and need owners (like you) who will work to understand and train/treat them accordingly.

    I’m giving you a much deserved slow clap for this post.

    Congrats on the family of three xx

  37. 4.5.12
    Ryan said:

    I see similar qualities between mekko and my black lab/pit mix and over the year we’ve had Flynn, I’ve warmed up to the idea that the pit bull part of him isn’t a negative. Unfortunately I live in a neighborhood where I do have to worry about the other pit bulls and I don’t trust my neighbors. Mostly it’s just three dogs at one location up the street where the dogs are dog-aggressive and have attacked twice.

    We always keep the dogs on leash when on the street or at the park (regular non-dog park) and that isn’t the case with a lot of other dogs. Overall, we have a good experience with stranger dogs 90% of the time. I am wary of the dogs that I know are poorly socialized and mistreated. It is especially hard when I see them first as puppies in the yard – just cute and excited and curious – then over the years then never seem to leave that yard and just get more aggressive and suspicious.

    That aside, I totally trust my dogs with kids and love that they put up with the manhandling, ear pulling and bear hugging that I subject them to daily.

  38. 4.5.12
    Margaret said:

    My heart is so happy for you and your little cuddle bug Mekko (she is stunningly beautiful btw). I stumbled upon your blog right around the time you adopted her. I kept coming back for updates on her and for those super cute pictures that make my heart melt. I too am a pit bull owner and proud mamma of Sydney who’s 9 this year. I will never own another kind of dog but a pit. When you said “She would cuddle all day, everyday. She is a fabulous little spoon and snores like a heavyset man, and it’s amazing. And she’s so warm.” I got goose bumps because that is how my Sydney is. She’s a professional cuddler and snorer and loves, loves, loves people! Also I’m just guessing but I’m sure Mekko has the sofest belly too. Sydney has what I call CLB (creamy luscious belly) because it’s so soft and perfect for raspberries. It’s so sad these loving dogs get such a bad rap and get treated so badly but it just warms my heart when someone brings one into their home and loves them they way they deserve. Thank you for sharing your story with us all, now go give Mekko some cuddle time :)

  39. 4.5.12
    Emily said:

    I’ve never commented before — though I absolutely LOVE your blog — but I just had to say that I have a 7 year old golden retriever who does the exact same thing as Mekko…whenever I walk him, if he sees a dog or person that he wants to say “hi” to (doesn’t matter if they’re 100-200 feet away), he will plant himself on the ground, wag his tail and — no joke — smile. He’s a big dog and it breaks my heart when people don’t want to say hi or when owners of other, mostly smaller dogs cross the street. I can only imagine how having the undeserved stigma that pitbulls have would add to this.

    And yes, tennis balls only exist to forcibly remove the fuzz on the outside of the rubber. Fortunately, he will still play fetch when I want to. And it took several months, but my dog will now fetch my ny times too!

    I loved this post (although I love all of your posts — your wit and humor are infectious). I can’t wait to hear more about Mekko and your new family!

  40. 4.5.12
    Peta said:

    I love pit-bulls, and I love reading about how much both you and your man care for Mekko. My parents have a Pit Bull – Greyhound cross, and she is the sweetest and most caring thing I have come across. I looked after her recently when they went on a holiday, and I’m pretty sure after that two week period that they wern’t going to get their dog back …. she’s MINE! Sadly, they did take her back, mores the pity – I miss my morning spoon (The bf isn’t as depressed about it, I don’t think he appreciated being second-spoon to an albeit gorgeous doggy).

    I can definitely attest to how people are a little wary of this sweet breed of dog. I was at the park the other day with my Mum, and was pretty much ready to call it a day and get going, when this man stormed up to me and told me my dog (I wish) was a menace, and that it should be muzzled because everyone in this park was a danger. I should put IT (ahem, IT? Rage.) back on the lead and go home, because we were not welcome.

    Well then.

    I promptly told him to go fuck himself, and stayed at the park for an extra half-hour, to which Rozzie the sweet, gorgeous Pit Bull was most pleased about.

    It just goes to show that some people have very strong misconceptions about the breed, and sadly it’s the burden we bear to have these gorgeous dogs in our lives. Mum and Dad might be getting pups out of her in the near future, and all I can say is “Shotgun!”.

  41. 4.6.12
    ellen said:

    I have the ultimate sweet shaggy dog that we rescued from the pound when he was about 1 year old. His name is Henry and he looks like a big Sheepdog. He doesn’t run, he galumphs. He came with a toe missing and has a slight limp. EVERYONE wants to pet him and know what kind of dog he is. He has liquid brown eyes and a timid smile. EVERYON wants to pet him. What they don’t know is that something bad happened to him before we got him and he is very timid. What they also don’t know is that if they impulsively try to pet him, he will snarl and retreat. I am always hyper-vigilant when I take him out so that he never gets in a situation where he feels he is trapped, he can’t handle it.

    I also have a cat who never had anything bad happen to him. He is big and surly and old AND he chases people-seriously. I have had two people come up to me to complain that my cat was chasing them and what was I going to do about it. I just looked at them and said “it’s a cat, you don’t DO anything about a cat”.

    My point? Glad you asked. My point is that one should always be cautious about any animal they don’t know-cuteness does not directly correlate with non-agression-I’m sure Pit Bulls get a bad rap.

  42. 4.6.12
    Diane said:

    I am one of those who would cross the street. Having said that, I adore dogs of all kinds but I am respectful and aware that not all dogs have kind, consistent, and discipline minded owners. You are one of those people who has lived and loved dogs his whole life and I believe you recognized a good soul in Mekko. Sweetest face and eyes. Wishing you a joyful and fun-filled 10 years.

  43. 4.7.12
    diana said:

    Anyone who loves dogs the way you do is a good person in my book. I didn’t care about dogs until I’ve accidentally got two of them. What they’ve opened in my heart is unique, they are not people, not babies. They are dogs. As you said, and I’d like to say it again: DOG. DOG-DOG-DOG-DOG-DOG.DOG. There.

  44. 4.7.12
    Mom said:

    So what’s up? Where are the rest of questions answered? Don’t let down your fans.
    They might turn on you.

  45. 4.8.12
    Paul T said:

    It’s great that you have taken on Mekko and you definitely seem to have the right idea. Over here in the UK, pitbulls are a banned breed, sadly… our animal shelters are full of Staffies (Staffordshire Bull Terriers) which are another breed with an undeserved bad reputation due mainly to unsuitable people buying them as ‘status’ dogs. I know a number of Staffies quite well and although they look quite pugnacious they are, generally, very sweet natured and friendly dogs. It’s too easy to blame the breed for something which is due to the way specific animals have been treated, and politicians under pressure to ‘do something’ have an unfortunate tendency to knee-jerk legislation.

    As a keen dog owner myself I’m very aware that any dog can have issues as you say; it’s the responsibility of the owner to ensure that dogs are trained and socialised and most decent owners learn over time to read their pets’ body language and the circumstances and to head off problems before they happen. My partner (of 23 years) and I have four dogs – three Golden Retrievers and a Scots Terrier. The biggest of the retrievers weighs in at more than 40Kg and has the potential to do serious damage just by bouncing around – she’s a gentle giant and would be very unlikely to intentionally harm any human or another dog, but we routinely put her back on the leash when we’re around small children in the park, for example.

    Just yesterday we took our 4 to the park where they ran around happily for nearly an hour and socialised with a variety of dogs: everything from a Jack Russell Terrier, through a pair of 4-month-old pups, a Staffie, a young greyhound and a German Shepherd, up to a huge and magnificent creature which looked like a Malamute (think blue eyed wolf nearly as big as a Great Dane) – and their respective owners. Everybody had a great time! Ultimately it’s all about good manners – both human and canine.

    Mekko looks like a sweetie. I hope your little family is happy together for a long time to come.

  46. 4.9.12
    Jenn said:

    None of this wonderfulness surprises me one bit. I knew you guys found a beautiful-sweet little girl and that she found her forever home with you two to LOVE her and spoil her. As far as dogs on the furniture? Pull-Eeeeeze! This isn’t my grandparent’s house. Our pit-mix and one very ornery Chihuahua live all over our white furniture and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  47. 4.9.12
    Ivy Deitch said:

    Mekko is ADORABLE! I, too, am a pit bull owner, and I’ll be loyal to the bully breed as long as I live. Like Mekko, ours (Cooper is her name) MUST tear the fuzz off of a tennis ball bit by bit, and leave it strewn across our living room. And, she’s the best cuddler I’ve ever known. She has also ripped several of the corners off of our couch pillows – yours look like they’ve been luckier with Mekko.
    That being said, I would probably do the opposite of many people and approach nearly any pit bull. I have a unrealistic belief that they are ALL sweet babies – I forget that some owners take advantage of their desire to please abuse it. It gives me so much hope to see you so boldly adopting your Mekko, and standing up for her breed!
    Can I ask how you leash trained? We have been trying desperately to train Cooper and it just isn’t sticking. Our method has been making her sit every time she pulls, but she doesn’t seem to care. I also have the “gentle leader” harness, but that certainly doesn’t help the pit bulls = biting dog stereotype. It works great, but looks like she has a muzzle. Any tips you have would be MUCH appreciated.
    I love your blog!

    • 4.10.12
      Daniel said:

      I’m DEFINITELY no expert on this stuff, but what worked for us was getting a harness that she didn’t mind wearing (this one, all the other ones irritated her sensitive little underarms!). We actually bought a gentle leader and promptly returned it because she FREAKED out when we put it on her. I’ve met a lot of people who have had great luck with the other gentle leader, which looks like a normal harness but has the loop for the leash on the front, by their chest, but we didn’t try that.

      For a while, if she was pulling we would just turn completely around and walk a few steps back in the other direction. She got used to it pretty quickly and I think the effectiveness wained, but I still think it was a good way to emphasize that she needed to pay attention to what we were doing by breaking up the linearity of a normal walk. When she began to expect that, we changed to stopping and making her sit every time she pulled, using the command “slow down” right before “sit.” We used treats at the beginning (just a bag of her food, so she wasn’t eating 80328345634 treats), but she isn’t super food-motivated so we found that a physical touch was more effective. When she got better, we would just say slow down and stop and reward her, and when she got good at that, we switched to just a gentle tug back on the leash a bit and repeating the “slow down” command, and telling her she was good when she did. Now, for the most part, she just slows down when we say the command, depending on whether she’s on her normal route or in new territory (still gets excited and pull-y in new places). I think it might have been easier if she was more food-motivated, and I know some dogs who have basically been trained to fixate on their owner’s treat-bearing hand when given a command while walking, which redirects their focus toward YOU instead of whatever they’re pulling toward (or just the tendency to get to the destination faster!).

      It’s definitely a work in progress and she isn’t 100% amazing at walking on the leash yet, but we’ve come a loooooooongggg way from that first week, when my thighs felt like they were going to fall off from the tension required just to walk her. I think it also helped to always make her sit at intersections and whenever we stopped, just to reinforce that she should be keeping pace with us and paying attention to what we were doing physically.

      Every dog is different, of course. When we started, the key was just being super consistent, even if that meant that it took 20 minutes to walk a block. It seems so silly to stop so often, but it took us a week or two to understand that even pulling until she was coughing from the tension on the leash wasn’t necessarily unpleasant enough for her to adjust her behavior, and that allowing that pulling only reinforces the behavior even if it seems like it would be so irritating to her.

      There are some great videos on youtube that we found helpful, too, if you just search stuff like “leash training”! Hope that helps!

  48. 4.12.12
    sara said:

    i hadn’t checked your blog in a while. and i was super excited to see your post dedicated to your fur child. i just adopted my second dog, only to realize my first dog is a real dick. not mean or bad, just that kid you see in the grocery store kicking their mom in the shins while informing heavy set ladies that walk by that they are fat. but i love them both more that i could ever have imagined, and i was so happy to read when you had taken the plunge and adopted! she is a sweetie and i am just so happy that she has a wonderful, loving home. you guys rock!

  49. 4.13.12
    Louise C said:

    I’ve been bitten once by a dog – and it was a chihuahua in some lady’s handbag. Have cuddled and loved Pitbulls, boxers, all sorts of “dangerous breeds” and never had a problem. Unfortunately it is the media that blows up these breeds out of proportion, because one person got bitten, mostly because they frightened the dog or made it mad. In NZ, a toddler got bitten by a dog (can’t remember the breed I’m sorry!) because it kept tugging/pulling on its testicles… and the owners did not think to tell the toddler not to do that… huh wut? I don’t know what happened to the dog, but those stories make me angry because of how much blame is put on the dog, even though its testicles are nearly parting from its body! I felt more sorry for the dog than the toddler.

  50. 4.13.12
    Mary Jane said:

    Love this post! I completely understand how getting a dog transforms you from a “couple” into a family. Its a strange transition, but its a very loving place to be.
    As for pit bull stigma – we adopted an adult (15 lb) terrier mix, who is incredibly reactive and barky to almost every dog he sees, sniffs, hears, etc. (with a few exceptions). Little dogs, like ours, can be total jerks. We’ve been trying for months to work on this, but it just ONCE AGAIN proves the point that any dog can be aggressive and that no one breed should be stigmatized the way that pits are.
    Your Mekko sounds like a dream :)

  51. 4.16.12
    Sarah W. said:

    Here’s my 2 cents of dog advice: I also let my (fairly crazy) dog on all the furniture because I like cuddling with her better than her being perfectly behaved/having perfect furniture. However, every couple months she gets REALLY naughty about jumping on the couch (violently jumping up on it, up on the back of the couch, jumping over the entire couch to get across the room, etc.). When she starts doing this, we institute a “no couch month” were she isn’t allowed up for a while, and when we let her back up, she realizes it’s a bit of a privilege and won’t be as naughty… for a while. :)

    I love the Mekko photos – keep them coming!

  52. 4.17.12
    Adam said:

    I’m almost 100% positive I ran into you and your dog last week at PetSmart. I didn’t realize till after it might have been you. Your dog is super cute in person.

    • 4.18.12
      Daniel said:

      Haha! You probably did. I feel like we live in Petsmart.

  53. 4.29.12
    kmkat said:

    My son and his fiance adopted a pit bull last summer, and he is ADORABLE! I prefer my pets to be furry, but Percy has won me over. His face is so earnest. Here he is:

  54. 5.1.12
    Juliet said:

    Oh Daniel, For all the pitbulls out there, and all the people who love them and work to rescue these amazing creatures, THANK YOU for this post! (Our pitbull mix of 14 years died last month. She was actually dog-aggressive, so we took to telling people that she was a “lab mix” b/c we didn’t want folks to associate her “more difficult attributes” with pitbulls. She was probably pitbull/german shepherd.) Recently we adopted a pure pitbull from a rescue group here in Chicago (he came from Animal Care and Control and was 48 hours from being euthanized before they “pulled” him and put him in a foster home). He is sweet as can be. Just like how you describe Mekko – amazing cuddler, really really warm, loves all people AND other dogs. As a full pit he is actually easier to socialize with than our prior dog, that was not 100% pitbull. What has been heartbreaking and maddening are all the strangers and people we know even, who are terrified of him based on the fact that he is a pitbull. In the short time we’ve had him, a depressing number of people have crossed the streets with their dogs (usually golden retrievers) when they see us coming down the sidewalk so that we don’t walk by them. He is the most dog-friendly dog I know. Last night, my husband was walking with our pre-schooler on the campus near our home and he saw an educated college student with her golden retriever talking on her cell phone. Our pitbull Sam wanted to say hi to her dog and my husband was walking him over (we never would have done this with our other dog, but Sam is different story). She quickly said to the person on the other line “Oh, I’ve got to go! There is a pitbull coming at me!” As they departed, Sam whined sadly. Friends of ours, even, are asking if it is safe to bring their toddler to our home with Sam for a party I am throwing for my husband. Really sad. We are unaccustomed to this sort of blanket fear of pitbulls. So, this is all to say THANK YOU for being an unabashed champion of these deserving beasts. They are such beautiful, soulful creatures.

    I also wanted to pass along a link to an article that brought tears to my eye. So many incredible dogs, mostly pitbulls, are waiting out a sad fate at Animal Care and Control here in Chicago (if you are a glutton for punishment you should check out CACC Transfer’s facebook page for pictures of sweet pitbulls hoping for someone to rescue them before their time at CACC runs out). Anyway the great folks at Animal Farm Foundation funded this play lot that brings a little joy to the lives of these sweet, deserving animals:


  55. 8.23.12
    Emily H said:

    Hey – I just stumbled across your website (I think I was reading something about dogs because I’m obsessed with mine and there was a link to your story about Linus) and now I can’t stop reading. You’re such an awesome writer, you’re super talented with design (I envy your apartment!), you do super cool things, and your dogs are quite possibly the cutest. Just wanted to give you a shout out that your’e awesome and I appreciate your blog and your humor. Rock on.

    • 8.23.12
      Daniel said:

      Why thank you, Emily!