Foster Dog Opens Minds and Hearts

Meeting Jingle changed everything they thought they knew about pit bulls.

Anne + Jingle

Never in a million years would I have imagined I’d adopt a 70-pound pit bull. Jingle changed all that.

Jingle was saved from a dog fighting operation along with 11 other dogs. When he arrived at Brandywine Valley SPCA, he was injured, anxious, and had bitten off his tail. The SPCA asked us to foster him so he’d be able to relax while recuperating from his wounds. My husband and I were new foster parents and reluctantly said yes, figuring we’d only have him for a few months.

"Jingle changed our minds about adopting a large, muscular pittie and broke that negative stereotype forever. He's a lover, not a fighter. "

Jingle was extremely anxious, but docile and gentle. We needed infinite patience as he chewed through the door and destroyed E-collars and medical dressings. Every day for six weeks we had to go back to the clinic for new dressings on his leg wound. But he showed us gratitude and grit. He never growled during dressing changes or when taking medication. As the court case dragged on past two months, we found ourselves loving this resilient dog. Over the 11 months we fostered him, we marveled at his change from terrified and cowering to confident and friendly.

When Jingle was anxious, the only thing that calmed him was walking. If he walked a lot, he wouldn’t bite his tail. We walked him three or four times a day in the park, for a total of two to five miles. We are both overweight and have heart problems, so this was actually a game-changer for us. I recently participated in a 5K walk—something I never would have attempted before Jingle. Our cardiologists were thrilled that we lost a combined 80 pounds since Jingle’s arrival. Their advice? “Keep walking the dog to stay out of the hospital.”

After a year, the dogs’ owners finally signed them over to the BVSPCA, making them eligible for adoption. We were there immediately to officially make Jingle a family member. He had changed so much that the BVSPCA staff hardly recognized him! He sat calmly while we signed paperwork and seemed to understand that we’d never allow him to be hurt again.

Jingle changed our minds about adopting a large, muscular pittie and broke that negative stereotype forever. He’s a lover, not a fighter. Thrilled to welcome him to our family, I am currently writing a children’s book about him.

What has Jingle done for us? He comforted us after our dog Rowlf died. He demonstrated gratitude and resiliency to all who helped him, but especially to us. He pushed us to become healthier (and perhaps literally extended our lives!). He inspired me to write a book. But most importantly, he smashed the decades-long stereotype we had believed about pit bulls. He’s shown us the breed’s true nature and does the same for everyone he meets.

We’re glad he’s finally HOME.

Each year, Petco Love invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Anne Tenaglia won Brandywine Valley SPCA in Pennsylvania a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.

Story Update: Jingle’s story continues to inspire others to Think Adoption First. His story has been made into a children’s book! He has attended multiple book signing events and paw-tographed all of the books.