Dog Rescue Stories: Luvabullz & Co Raises Awareness for Pit Bulls and Gives Back to the Rescue Community

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By Jarissa Aquinde, Positively Woof Rescue and Adoption Story Editor 
 
Danie’s love for her dogs inspired her to start Luvabullz & Co, a small business that gives back to the rescue community.  Meet Rajah, Twixie, and Ceniza, and learn how becoming a Pit Bull parent has changed her life.

Rajah
When I was a kid, there was nothing in the world I wanted more than a dog. I wanted one SO badly. But my parents didn’t want a pet, so I was left with my imaginary dog and dream that someday I could have a real one. Flash forward to my 20s, I was out with my now husband, and we saw this brindle boxer walking with his owner on a sidewalk. I had never seen that color and thought it was the most gorgeous coat. A few days later I get a text from my hubby of pic of an 8 week old brindle Pit mix puppy along with the message ‘She’s available to adopt at the shelter. Want her?’ I’ll never forget signing those papers, on June 5, 2008, and riding home with her in my arms, my little Rajah-bear.

Twixie
On September 15. 2008 my husband who was a cop at the time was patrolling a lonely highway in New Mexico at night when he noticed a white flash pass his car. He decided to stop to check it out and this pudgy, emerald-eyed approximately 8 week old puppy waddled up to him and sat at his feet and looked up as if to say “Hi Daddy, I’ve been waiting for you!”. I don’t think we’ll ever have another dog quite like Twixie. She is just so happy, all the time. Her tail pretty much non stop wags. And when it comes to her Daddy, he may as well have created the world just for her.

Ceniza
Ceniza was rescued from a backyard breeder. Before her, we already had three dogs and certainly weren’t planning on another one. But I guess dogs are like potato chips – you can’t just have one! I think if Ceniza were human her profession would be x-games athlete. She LOVES anything outdoors – hiking, running, swimming. She is a very shy/timid dog. She takes a while to warm up to new people, but once she does she is so so sweet. Her favorite thing to do is “tunnel” where she rubs her back under our legs while crawling through.

I can’t even begin to describe how our lives have changed (since adopting our Pit Bulls). Just being able to have dogs is something still so unreal to me. I constantly think about that feeling of wanting one so badly as a kid and now I have four. Our lives pretty much are the dogs. I work from home, and am with them 90% of the time. When I do go out, I am constantly checking the Nest cam to make sure they are ok. My husband and I are always reminded of them, and often say things like “human Rajah would love this” or we’ll start cracking up at the most random things that remind us of them. We have thousands and thousands of photos but we’re still always calling each other “babe look look at how cute Ceniza is sleeping! Picture picture!” My husband works long hours – without the dogs, I would lose my mind being at home so much by myself. But having them keeps me sane (or, makes me even crazier depending on how you look at it)!

What should others know about Pit Bull type dogs? Bottom line, is to give them a chance. A lot of people will say that Pit Bulls are great dogs if raised properly but that is not true at all. Pit Bulls are great dogs, period. This is seen in the hundreds of cases of abused Pitties that have successfully been re-homed. The stigma surrounding Pit Bulls is all media driven. Nine times out of ten, if someone doesn’t like Pits, it’s because of what they’ve heard about them, not because of a specific experience with one. So, to Pit Bull lovers – I would say to be patient with these people. It’s easy to give the middle finger and walk off when someone says something hurtful about these amazing animals, but as the old saying goes – “you attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.” I think if we can react to these people with kindness, and try to spark a conversation – “Why do you hate Pits? What do you think when you see my dog? Is it possible your opinion is influenced by media and you might have a change of heart after actually interacting with one?”

My business started by accident. I work as a graphic designer, and one day had an idea for a digital pet edit (I call them edits because I edit photographs to achieve a certain look) and I posted the edit on Instagram. I asked if anyone liked it, I would do some for free. The response was so overwhelming that I decided to offer the edits in exchange for a donation to Frosted Faces Foundation. It raised over $1300. For fun, I had some of the edits printed on buttons and asked my Instagram family if anyone liked them. Many people commented that they loved them, and thus Luvabullz & Co. was born. The Luvabullz are my dogs – and I’m the Co.. So, it’s sort of a “my dogs and me” business. I run everything myself, and the heart and focus of this business is to give back to rescue. Luvabullz & Co. will donate 50% of profits back to rescue, and the edits will always be purely donation based. I am really excited that I have found a way to give back to the rescue community and this is also a creative outlet for me. I get to do something I love, and give back! I am also focusing a lot of my designs on senior dogs – Ceniza will turn 7 in December, which means my entire pack will be considered seniors. I can’t express enough how much I love their frosted faces, and I hope to design products to bring more attention to senior fur babies.

Follow Luvabullz & Co. on Instagram @luvabullz and favorite their Etsy shop, which will be opening soon!  

https://www.etsy.com/shop/luvabullzandco

>>Click to Discover more Pit Bull Awareness & Pet Rescue Stories

These are all the edits I’ve done so far 🙊. I’m still getting messages from people asking me how to get one of their pup which I think is so crazy!! I really didn’t think more than a handful of people would be interested, so thank you all for your support 😭😭😭 In case you’re new to my page, I offer these edits (they are digital edits I create based of a photo of your pup) in exchange for a donation to rescue. I’m planning on offering them again mid next month. Since it’s around the holidays (yassssss🎃🦃🎄) I’m thinking about creating a sort of gift certificate. If you wanted to gift an edit to someone but wanted to let them pick the photo/phrase/color, you could make the donation and then give them the certificate for Christmas to redeem with me at a later date. I might even get some printed to mail to you to be able to give a sort of physical gift. Anyone like that idea? #luvabullzart

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First day of school outfit on point 👌😎 @the_blueboys @darrenandphillip

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#tbt 😭😭😭

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Larry Kay is the award-winning coauthor of Training the Best Dog Ever, which became a #1 best seller in dog training on Amazon Kindle. He is Leader of the Pack at Positively Woof, which helps shelter dogs get adopted by making videos and raises awareness and funds. Larry is an award-winning dog filmmaker and has been a frequent contributor to the American Animal Hospital Association and Dog Fancy magazine.