Adopted Pitbull Puppy Shows His Family that Love Comes in Many Breeds

Julie and her family were looking for a pup to join their pack. By taking a chance on a Pitbull named Zeke, they met their perfectly imperfect match.

Julie + Zeke

When Julie and her family were ready to adopt, they thought a fluffy retriever would be the perfect pup for them. But a Pitbull named Zeke proved to be the best friend they needed most and taught them that great dogs come in many breeds.

"Zeke is nothing like what I thought I wanted, and yet he’s everything I didn’t know I needed. He is incredibly smart, loving, loyal, silly, and sweet. He’s a snuggler and a lover through and through. Most importantly, he’s taught me not to judge a book by its cover."

It had been six months since our beloved rescued mutt passed at the age of 17, and we were finally ready to open our home and hearts to another dog. My wish list of canine characteristics was fairly straightforward. I was looking for a young adult Retriever mix who was fluffy, loved playing fetch, and enjoyed the water. Seemed simple enough, and yet every dog I found that fit the description seemed to find its forever home within a matter of hours—long before we had a chance to offer our own. I was getting discouraged, so I widened my search parameters and hoped for the best.

And that’s how I found our perfectly imperfect match. Or shall I say, he found me. Zeke was an adorable black Pitbull puppy with amazing ears who had been pulled from a shelter when he had a broken leg and was taken into a foster home through Pitties and Purrs. Unlike the fluffy dogs, Pitbull-type dogs sit on adoption websites for months, sometimes years, before they find their forever homes. Zeke was no different. Cute as he was, he had been listed for nearly three months before I stumbled across his post.

Let me tell you, Zeke is not fluffy. We have since learned that he is not good at fetch. In fact, he much prefers to play “keep away” and will promptly destroy whatever toy you threw for him to retrieve. And much to my dismay, despite months of coaching and encouragement, he’s still afraid of the water. Zeke is nothing like what I thought I wanted, and yet he’s everything I didn’t know I needed. He is incredibly smart, loving, loyal, silly, and sweet. He’s a snuggler and a lover through and through.

Most importantly, he’s taught me not to judge a book by its cover. Although intellectually I had always felt bad for the unfair reputation of the Pitbull and would donate money to their cause, I didn’t want to adopt one. On some unconscious level, I too was biased and afraid. But I took a leap of faith, trusting logic over fear, and adopted this sweet then-10-month-old puppy. 

Zeke has proven that Pitbulls are indeed misunderstood and entirely love-a-bull. My 10-year-old daughter, husband, and I have all become advocates for the breed on a deeply personal and profound level. I’m eternally grateful that he chose us to be his family. Zeke isn’t the perfect dog, but he’s perfect for us. He’s made me a better human, and that’s a pretty sweet accomplishment for an adopted Pitbull puppy from Baltimore city.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Julie won Pitties and Purrs in Baltimore, Maryland a 2021 Love Stories award.