Shelter Dog Story:Ā Maverick

October is Pit Bull Awareness Month.

In celebration, I chose to highlight the sweetest pit I've met in a long time.

Maverick is a lover boy. He insists on lap time, even though he's the most muscular dog alive.

This handsome man hit the lottery. He's the newest member of a HUGE family. There are ten people to beg for pets.

Just like Tank, the shelter dog we featured last week, Maverick proves the many myths and misconceptions about pit bulls wrong (seriously, dude's scared of cats!).

Maverick smiling big during his freedom ride.

Maverick the Scaredy-Cat

"He is terrified of the cat. He will not cross paths with the cat at all."

Maverick is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of dogs.

Despite years of lifting weights, his muscles are more impressive than mine.

And yet he has a gentle spirit. He is extremely affectionate. A scaredy-cat, too.

That was a literal statement. Dude's been in his home for weeks. And he still hides from the cat.

Too bad Maverick doesn't have his own reality TVĀ show. It'd blow the minds of people who think pit bulls are monsters.

Maverick checking out the sights and sounds in downtown Kingsport, TN.

Best Workout Buddy Ever

"Maverick has given me a reason to get outside and walk. Heā€™s slowly getting me fit."

Dogs aren't meant to stay inside all day.

And the pit bull sure as heck isn't known to be a sedentary breed.

According to Caesar Milan, pit bulls need 30-45 minutes of vigorous exercise per day.

The same is true for humans. People are healthier and happier when they exercise for at least a half hour.

It's easier to stick with a fitness plan when you have an accountability buddy. Dogs were born to fulfill this need.

Courtney, the head human of her household, wanted to get fit. Maverick's pushed her to act on this desire every day.

I can tell you shelter dogs have helped my cardiovascular fitness, too. Walks are ten times more fun when you take a dog with you.

Everyone you pass smiles when they see the dog. The reactions of children -- "OMGĀ Mom look, it's a doggie!" -- are the absolute best.

This is why I love walking shelter dogs. You don't just make the dog's day better. You improve the day of everybody who gets to see or pet the dog.

Maverick resting on the ground, covered in colorful fall leaves.

Be a True Forever Family

"Adopt the grown dog, not just the little puppy."

Too many people only love a dog when it's convenient.

As soon as the dog gets sick or old, they get taken back to the shelter.

This isn't fair to the dog, who would do anything to protect and support you.

Only adopt a dog when you're prepared to care for them until the day they die.

Otherwise, don't bother. They'd be better off with an owner who has more empathy.

Maverick catching his breath at a crosswalk in Kingsport, TN.

PreparationĀ Is Essential

"He settled in very well, almost immediately. We made sure to have him a bed, lots of toys, food, and lots of love waiting when he got home."

Maverick's experience isn't typical.

Often, a shelter dog needs more time to settle down.

Imagine being removed from a cozy home where you get to sleep on couches.

And then you get placed in a loud, stinky building where you have to sleep on the floor.

Sounds stressful, right?Ā The same reasoning applies to the process of adopting a shelter dog.

Why should the dog believe you won't take them to the bad place again? It takes time to earn trust.

That said, Courtney's family used the right strategy. Being prepared for a pet adoption makes the process smoother.

Before you go to the animal shelter, invest in all the necessary pet supplies. This should be in place before you take them home.

Maverick enjoying his comfortable dog bed.

Why Adopting the Shelter Dog Was 100% Worth It

"Maverick brightens our day so much. He is so sweet and lovable. He has given the children a friend to cope with after a long distance move."

Moving is stressful.

Anyone who hasn't lived in the same home forever will agree.

New jobs. New schools. New people. New everything. It's an awful lot to handle.

Maverick's given his humans a reason to smile despite all the stress. He's their biggest cheerleader.

This is especially helpful for the kids. It's not easy to make friends in a new city. Luckily they already have a great hecking BFF.

Maverick tasting his first puppuccino.

I hope you enjoyed Maverick's story.

Click here to share this shelter dog story with your Facebook friends.

We could all use a fun and light read. Plus you might inspire somebody to adopt a dog.

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