Shirley Zindler
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What a Good Dog

On a recent dark, chilly fall evening, a three year old child wandered out of his home un-noticed by his parents. His departure was, however, observed by the family dog, a large neutered  male Pit Bull, who took it upon himself to follow the little boy and stay close by his side. They were a good distance from home before they were seen by some passers-by who stopped to help. The child was unable to tell them where he lived or give them any other information so deputies were summoned. The dog stayed by the child’s side the entire time, friendly but watchful.

The child was going to be taken into protective custody so one of my fellow animal control officers was dispatched to pick up the dog. The officer scanned the dog and found a microchip which had been implanted by our shelter during a free neuter clinic that we had offered a few years previously. Thanks to the chip, one phone call was all that was needed to get the pair home safely. The situation is still under investigation but could have been much worse had the dog not chosen to stay with the little boy.

I was so touched by the way the faithful dog stayed with the child the entire time and by the way, once again, a microchip led to a happy ending!

I would love to hear from readers about things your dogs have done to be there for someone in need. 


Shirley Zindler is an animal control officer in Northern California, and has personally fostered and rehomed more than 300 dogs. She has competed in obedience, agility, conformation and lure coursing, and has done pet therapy. Zindler just wrote a book The Secret Lives of Dog Catchers, about her experiences and contributes to Bark’s blog on a regular basis.

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Submitted by Anonymous | November 28 2012 |

Give that dog a big bag of bones!

Submitted by Anonymous | November 28 2012 |

What I thought Pit Bulls were so mean and worthless. Yea exactly NOT!!!!!! Mine is the same way with my kids friendly as can be and a big baby with people but don't mess with the kids. She will get up and stand right next to them if they cry or are hurt. Thanks for posting a good article of these dogs because all you hear is that one but someone. Every dog that bites on the news is always a pitbull. It could be a chihuahua and it would be listed as pit bull if it but someone.

Submitted by Frances | November 28 2012 |

Thankfully they were returned safe...and the dog didn't get shot because of a well-informed and properly trained ACO...

Submitted by Canine Adventur... | November 28 2012 |

I remember a few years ago, I got really sick. I was laid up, unable to leave my bed for about 3 days. My old Plott Hound, Marshall, was by my side, I couldn't even let him out to pee those days that I was sick, but he slept on the bed beside me patiently.

My brother (who was living with me at the time) came upstairs one day to see if I needed anything. He knocked and I told him to come in, but Marshall popped up and just about attacked him. He stood between us, howling at my brother to leave. I've never had a dog defend me, until this happened! That old hound was FRIGHTENING! He sent my brother on his way with his tail between his legs!

Good dog!

Submitted by Anonymous | November 28 2012 |

I have 2 pit mixes.They are the most loyal dogs ever. My husband has a form of M.S. They stay with him on his bad days and dont leave his side when hes alone. The younger one stays with him and the older one comes to get me if help is needed. Very in tune with his needs. They are not trained for this its just a natural instinct and loving nature.

Submitted by Dick Hooker | November 28 2012 |

There have been several incidents where a dog had stayed with a child and protected it after they wondered away from home.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

The constant companionship of our dogs has been instrumental in my spouse's fight against mental illness (schizophrenia). While not trained as therapy or assistance dogs, they have had an uncanny ability to determine when something in her mood is shifting (and when it does, she gets pawed and nuzzled), served as a tool to verify reality (e.g., they bark at the window when people approach the house, but not at delusions), provided companionship during the day, and one of our dogs used to paw at me in the middle of the night and wake me if my spouse went downstairs (sadly, he passed away recently). The dog who is still alive is her constant companion.

That being said, unless there is a caregiver to make sure the dog gets fed properly, let out regularly, etc. I would not recommend buying a dog for the severely mentally ill, just because you hear they can be helpful.

Submitted by anonymous | November 29 2012 |

I have personally witnessed the saving of a young man's life by his 2 pitbull terriers. A stray dog (another pitbull) attacked him, lunging for his neck, but the young man put his arm up, so the dog was biting his arm over and over, and wouldn't stop. When the young man's Mother heard the commotion & went to see what was going on, his dogs burst through the door & they went over to the dog and attacked him from the top side and back of his legs, and the dog eventually let go of the boy. The dogs then cornered the dog and kept him where he was until animal control got there, only resuming fighting if the dog tried to get away, and stopping as soon as the dog would stop. It was later found out that the stray dog had been fed gun powder and used in dogfights & had been abandoned because the owner could not control him. He was humanely put down, and the hero dogs were allowed to wait out their mandatory 10 day quarantine at home. The boy recovered full use of his arm after repairs including micro-surgical tendon repair and he and the dogs are living happily ever after.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

That's what pit bulls do! There is a very good reason why they were called "The Nanny Dog" in this country for over a hundred years. They are loyal and loving...and it's disgusting how thugs take advantage of their loyal nature.

Submitted by Leanne | November 29 2012 |

Awesome story, great dog. I love these kinds of stories, thanks for sharing.

Submitted by Dee | November 29 2012 |

I've had several I've had several instances where our dogs have alerted us....overflowing dishwasher, fire on stove, smaller dog in swimming pool unable to get out.....they are truly gifts of love!

Submitted by Susi | November 29 2012 |

What a wonderful story! Goes to prove hoe loyal Pit's really are!

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

recently a pitbull stopped an infant from being kidnapped during a break in...in the Boston area...

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

When my oldest son was about 2 years old, he was playing outside, following his grandfather every where he went, which happened to be to a next door neighbors house. The neighbor was redoing the fence on his property! While his fence was down, his pond on his property was easy to get to. Well my son got too close to the pond and our dog took off running toward the pond where my son was. Now, my dog had a shock collar on to keep him in the yard, but that didnt stop him from running threw the "shock" to get to my son. The dog (His name is Einstien) stood infront of my son who was at the pond alone, and backed my son away from the pond by leaning up against him to push him back!! He saved my son from possibly drowning. I am thankful everyday that my son is still with us because of Our dog. My son is now 11years old and we still have the dog, I wouldnt trade him for the world!!

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

That is an amazing story... Thank you..

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

The same situation happened when my son was 2. Instead of a pond it was a major road. He got the front door unlocked and ran outside running towards the road. My pit ran out and put himself between my son and the road, pushing him back. If it wasn't for my pit (Bossy) my son may not be here today.

Submitted by Bex McClutchie-... | December 2 2012 |

Oh my...this story touched me in that spot that makes my goose bumps show. ♥ the Happy endings so so much. LONG LIVE THE PITBULL :)

Submitted by Felice | November 29 2012 |

I'm not surprised by the devotion of this wonderful pit bull. I'm ever grateful to the dog's guardian angel who protected him from the trigger happy police! Long live Pit Bulls!!! I love them!!

Submitted by Rachel | November 29 2012 |

That's so cool! So good to hear a story with a happy ending! Especially with all the unprovoked shootings you hear about lately. My pits haven't done anything that exciting but I don't doubt that they would or could. Love'em to death!

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

I hate to admit this, but the very same thing happened to me when my daughter was only 1 (12 years ago). We lived on an Army base and the only bathroom was upstairs. While I was in the bathroom, my daughter sneaked out the back door without me hearing. When I came back downstairs, her and our 2 dogs were gone (one a Mini Schnauzer and the other a Pit Bull). They were fast...but I did find them a few minutes later down in front of another building, but the dogs literally were flanked on each side of her. I was terrified but I felt better knowing that the dogs were with her. Not so much the Schnauzer, but I knew my Pit Bull would never let anything happen to her. Sadly, we lost that Pit just last January at the age of 18.

Submitted by shannon | November 29 2012 |

That is so awesome. My pit charm is a rescue. I love her very much. Although my children are grown to a point they don't have to be watched every second I know my girl would never let them get hurt. She's very protective of our family and such a gift. I've made a vow never to buy another dog. All my dogs will come from rescues. She has made our lives whole and I love her so much

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

Wow, that's a great story hut what's even better is the fact your dog lived so long. She must have had a real connection with the family to have such a will to live. God bless you, your family and your four legged friends

Submitted by Lynn Peterson | November 29 2012 |

My daughter rescued an emaciated and injured dog. Because of a micro-chip, it was discovered that the dog had been reported missing a year ago and from a different state. The owners were contacted and reunited with their baby. Everyone needs to micro-chip their pets...it's a no-brainer.

Submitted by Angi | November 29 2012 |

After my divorce, my Pit Bull Paige and I moved in with my mother and grandmother. One night, Paige woke me up and was frantically running between my bed and the bedroom door. I assumed she must need to go potty really badly. When I opened the bedroom door, there was my grandmother, who was diabetic, on the floor outside the bathroom, moaning. Her blood sugar had dropped dangerously low. If it weren't for my Paigie dog, hearing her and waking me up, we might not have found her in time. She saved my grandmother's life that night.

Submitted by Bex McClutchie-... | December 2 2012 |

That's absolutely taken my breath away :) Awesome Pitbull you have there...my gosh! Shes a Superhero :) So Happi theres a Happi ending & to have saved a Life? Now that's just Heroic...Totally Beautiful.

Submitted by LorraineB | November 29 2012 |

What a great story. So nice to hear something good about pits. Funny how we always hear the negatives about them. We have pits in our extended family and they'll lick you death!!

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

My pit is so aware of feelings- I had a friend die just two days ago and she won't leave my side- she knows something is wrong and is constantly attending to me. They are amazing animals---

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

A few months ago when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, my pit would follow me literally everywhere I went to make sure I was ok. He would even wake up 4 times in the middle of the night with me to go to the bathroom. The night I went into labor, I swear he knew before I did. He sat right in front of me while I watched tv after work and kept looking up at me and licking my leg. Now that my twins are home, he no longer follows me around, instead he lays right in front of the babies' crib to make sure they they are ok. He is absolutely the best dog I could ever ask for.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

Where I used to live I had acres of land. My daughter was almost 3 when we got our Pit and I had her outside playing while I was on the couch door open where I could glance up and see her doing my homework. Just then I hear a mans voice screaming and trying to run as fast as he can the acre that leads to the street from our house. He crept so quietly up our packed dirt drive way and I never saw him. My dog however, hid behind my daughter she was only like 4 months old but no one could get near her that she didnt know. Anyways, so the man got I am guessing within 3 feet of my daughter who by then was covered in dirt, to attempt to take her when my Pit bull puppy growled and started barking and chasing him out of the yard. I never heard her like that before but apparently the man was not good and my dog knew this. I was able to get his discription and they cought him lying in a ditch a few blocks up still shaking. I have never left my daughter in the yard again without me and of course our pit bull since then even if you are ten feet away in the house with the door open thankfully out dog was there. Now all I have to do since my daughter and now son like to play hide n seek in the house when I cant find them my command of find the baby leads me straight to them.

Submitted by Stefanie Skye | November 29 2012 |

I love Pit Bulls, but of course some are trained to be vicious and that was the case back in 2001 when my mom and I were on a walk in our neighborhood with our two Keeshonden. Sam was 10 years old at the time and my Leo was 1 year old. We were barely off our street when the dog left his yard and started stalking towards us. My mom and I had nothing to fend him off with as the dog went straight for the weakest (Sam). At the last second my Leo put himself between Sam, mom and myself. He took the brunt of the attack which didn't last long as the owner of the dog came up and pulled him away. I was so proud of my boy that day and also very thankful for his profuse mane of fur as it saved him from being bitten.

Dog's truly are better than us humans at times because even despite going through that, Leo has never acted wary among dogs who looked like the one that attacked us. He basically gets along with every dog he meets (well except for Ralph the pug) in our old neighborhood; and lives with our lab/pit bull mix Nero who we adopted a month after we let Sam go to the bridge in 2005.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

Our pit is 10 yrs old and happy dog when grand kids come to visit she always with one of them. A new baby joined our family, instantly the pit became his guardian. its been almost five years now. They are so bonded. you can see the love between them. we say " a dog and her boy" ♥

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

My daughter's husky-german shephard mix, who now lives with me, is a true lover of brisk walks. He becomes very excited and wants to practically run during his walks. When my daughter was in final stages of cancer and within weeks of death he stayed by her side night and day. He took on a very careful, gently approach toward her. She was very weak and could barely walk when she decided she would like to take him outside for one final, brief walk. She moved at a snail's pace and he stayed right by her side, walking as slowly as she needed through the entire walk. At many times he was barely moving his feet but he was patient and made no attempt to speed it up. Of course, he also stayed by her side when she died and grieved along my side after her death. He helped my get through more than I can say.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

Your story is truly touching. Thank you for sharing such a profound part of your life. I share your grief and I am glad her dog has remained with you and offers you such comfort. Dogs are remarkable creatures, such true companions and incredibly sensitive to human need and mood. It breaks my heart that so many humans ignore the possibilities of canine friendship and love. Ownership is not friendship. Virtual hugs to you and your sweet dog - xoxox

Submitted by DODY PRESTON | November 29 2012 |

pitbulls are very awesome dogs. everyone always told me about mine "watch em they will turn on you when they get old". well my last pit lived to the age of 13. at the end she had alzhiemers and didnt really know anything. she didnt know who we were or where she was. BUT she never did turn on me. They really are just the best dogs.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

I am a believer that regardless of breed any dog is as wonderful as their owner is a person. It's people who make aggressive dogs, not the breed.

Submitted by Melody Perez | November 29 2012 |

People who thinks dogs are just animals could never been more wrong. Max my blue heeler is my best friend been together for 13 years now. Animals love there family people take that for granted. When u been gone all day at work you would love to come home eat take a shower then go to bed but you forgot one important thing to spend time with the one that missed you so much during the day. They waited patiently for you to come home all day and you. Want straight to bed. But still they wait happily to be petted by you never not loving you. Please people make sure you appreciate your 4 legged best friend everyday you never know when u need them and I guarantee they will always be there never letting you down.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

Could have easily gone the other way had the officers chose to treat the pit bull as a dangerous annimal.

Submitted by Melissa | November 29 2012 |

I have two Pit Bulls, one of which developed an attachment to my son before he was even born, he watched closely as anyone rubbed my pregnant belly, and was distressed when someone he didnt know wanted to rub. When my son was born I had my husband bring home our son's blanket from the hospital so they could get his scent, they immidiately approved. Cody, the one who was attached from the start slept with it and was curled up with it when we brought home the baby, well. From that day on Cody spelt under our sons crib and would come out and nudge me with his nose when my son would just start to wake (before he would cry) then trot back into the room and wait just watching his baby. If it got to the point of my son crying he would run to me and bark looking back between myself and my son's room. It did take me a few times to realize what he was doing, and once the slow owner caught on it was pretty neat! I used to think that Cody was MY dog, but... my son took my spot, if he dropped his pacifier Cody would retreive it and drop it in his lap, if he had a mess on his face from a teething cookie, Cody would clean him up (yes I hated this, but it made my son squeal and laugh with delight, then was promptly followed up with a wet wipe)... Once my son got into his toddler bed, well lets just say I can't imagine how either of them slept. Cody would try to take baths with my son, when we went for walks, Cody didn't require (although he had one on at all times) a lead. He stayed right with us.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

what an awesome, touching story

Submitted by Gail | November 29 2012 |

What a wonderful story. Dogs are amazing friends!

Submitted by Samantha | November 29 2012 |

So amazing. This story just touched my heart. :) Pitties are such sweet animals...We have two ourselves & two little girls ages 1 & 2. They get along perfectly.

Submitted by Melissa | November 30 2012 |

I got cut off last night when posting that. Cody is now 8 and my son is now 6, and they are still the best of friends. When my son's grandmother would take him for the weekend he would call, and say "Can I talk to my buddy" I would always put them on speaker phone, and just giggle at the love they share. Any breed can be misunderstood, any breed can bite. It takes responsible pet parents to raise a good loving dog. Cody pulls and shows his excitement when I walk him without my son, nearly pulls my hand raw because he is just so excitable, but (while monitored closely) my son can walk him and Cody will take the lead in his mouth and stays within a foot of my son. There was one time that I was walking behind the two of them on our walk and the little neighborhood PUNKS (no other term for it)-which these are kids who ride their bikes and throw things at small children and animals)... I was putting a cigarette out and throwing it in my neighbor's trash can, these little "Punks" didn't see me, Cody dropped his part of the lead from his mouth and stepped between my son and these kids... He bowed up his chest and started growling which alerted me to turn around. One kid stepped closer and his growling turned to a vicious snarl, the kid dropped his rock and backed slowly away. From that day on Cody was known as the neighborhood protector. The kids came and played in our yard and Cody would stand watch at the edge of the yard. I think he knew he was on duty. I wish I could post a picture of them on here. They are amazing. I love my children both my two legged and four legged. To sum it up, to this day, Cody has never bit anyone but will not hesitate to stand his ground, and I am sure that if it came down to it he would do anything to protect "His Boy". Thanks for reading Camden and Cody's story.

Submitted by Bex McClutchie-... | December 2 2012 |

Wow! Now that's just Awesome :) I'd love to share stories like this on my Facebook page to Educate those certain people who Hate, Despise, Ridicule, Blame etc...of this Beautiful breed who are ALL clearly Misunderstood & Misjudged with no Thank you from the Bias Media :(

Submitted by karen | November 30 2012 |

If only pregnant couples or new parents could read these stories, maybe there would be less dumping of dogs (pits esp.!) for the "sake" of the new baby! Babies who grow up w\these loving dogs are the lucky babies, as well as the parents!!

Submitted by Anneliese | June 26 2013 |

I am expecting my first child and have a pit mix...Bella's not going anywhere. The only pet I have concerns with is my cat...but shes not going anywhere either, Ill figure it out.

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

Great story!! Thank God it all worked out well. My dogs were microchipped. I had to give away one of the dogs, but the micro chip got infected in the other dog. She had to have two surgeries and a horrible time with anti-biotics that didnt work. After a tissue biopsy, the vet found the correct antibiotic. It cost over $200. No one has ever heard of one getting infected, but the vet who did the surgery called me DURING the surgery to tell me the chip was totally encased with infection. I'm a little leery now about getting my dogs chipped, but after reading this story, I may reconsider.

Submitted by Shirley Zindler | November 29 2012 |

I'm so sorry about the situation with your dogs infection. I have heard of only a small handful of problems so I believe its very rare. We chip literally thousands of animals at our shelter every year and I havent heard of a single problem with the ones we've done. I will say that I have personally witnessed hundreds of amazing reunions that wouldnt have happened without microchips.

Just last week I confiscated a very neglected dog from a terrible home. He had a chip and it turned out that the dog was stolen more than a year ago by a vengeful ex-boyfriend and the owner had never been able to find him! Without the chip, he never would have been returned to his rightful owner. I also once picked up a cat with a chip that had been missing for 12 years so I'm definatly a fan.

Submitted by Bex McClutchie-... | December 2 2012 |

I'm a big fan too. It helps put owner & pet back together...& that's Priceless :) LONG LIVE THE PITBULL

Submitted by Anonymous | November 29 2012 |

I was fortunate to be raised with many, MANY pitties and lived in the country. Whenever we took off to go exploring, we always took one with us for protection, not only from people, but snakes, etc. The pit would always get between us and the danger. One pit actually body-blocked a group of us kids throwing us in a ditch. We looked up and a drunk driver was speeding towards us. Another took down a bull that was attacking its owner. Both of these dogs died as heros on those days protecting their owners. My grandfather flew in to visit. The pit, never having known him, stayed by his side during the entire visit... he just knew that this human was important to us. I remember every pitty we had and cherish every memory we had with them.

Submitted by Patty | November 29 2012 |

My son loved to go out in the back yard and play. Well one day he was outside playing and some kids started teasing him and his step brother and heard him start to cry. Well apparently our dog Sasha who usually went outside with them, but the boys must of slipped out while she had decided to take nap, heard him crying also, and she tore out the door. Well she saw some boys who were hanging somehow over our 8 foot fence and they were teasing and throwing things at the boys. Well she ran and almost cleared that 8 foot fence. I don't know what would of happen if she actually would have been able to get over that fence. Well we never had anymore problems with anyone teasing the boys anymore and after that anytime my son went outside she was right behind him, if someone came to the door she put herself between him and the person at the door. She did this through many years even as she got older and it was harder for to get up and run after him. She did this until the day she died. She showed us how much she loved our son, we used to say oh there goes Trevor's dog mommy going to keep an eye on him. We all miss her so much since she passed away a few years ago. Trevor still talks about her all the time and he says he still feels her watching after him now, and maybe she is. We believe she is and will always be watching after him. We love you Sasha


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