#YouMatter

*Vanessa*

My Genius

I believe my genius is being a proud pitbull owner in this world. Some people may disagree due to this breed is highly frowned upon and thought of as one of the meanest and most aggressive dogs in the world. I didn’t realize how highly they were frowned upon until I owned my first pitbull. My first pitbull was a sweetheart and the best dog I ever had. Then out of the blue my dog was maced and attacked by the mailman but the main part that frustrated me was that my dog was on a leash on our front porch and could not reach him and was also very visible that he couldn’t. After this incident I realized how much this breed and my dog needed my help to help protect him. After this occurred we received a letter stating that my dog was to wear a muzzle at all times outside which didn’t help due to he was an outdoor dog, he was required to be on a chain no longer than three feet, have his shots which is required everywhere though, and also we had to pay to have him on our house insurance. He was also required every year to be registered every year with the Scottsbluff Police Department. This is what hit me the most of how he was treated just because of a person doing wrong and basically trying to mislead this type of breed.

I now own a pitbull/ shar pei named Bunny and loves everybody. I have owned many pitbulls over my lifetime and have come to realize that these particular dog along with many others are on the thin line of being banned from many places. My view is that they are like children and they learn what you teach them. It’s the owners they should be going after for turning the dog the way that they did. Any animal can be aggressive but it’s on you to teach it right from wrong. Especially since pitbulls are known for fighting they don’t have a choice due to they are literally fighting for their lives. I believe since these dogs can’t fight for themselves we are their voice and need to speak up to save this particular breed. This breed is very loving and affectionate and to me the most beautiful dog I have ever seen. To me they resemble me of having this tough and mean appearance but inside are sweet and always their for you no matter what was going on or whether the problem is major or not.

What Breaks My Heart?

What highly breaks my heart is the fact that people are cold and heartless enough to abuse or even kill an animal for no reason at all. I have seen where people have just simply their animals behind or didn’t want them simply because the animals weren’t what they were expecting. I have also heard and seen people give up their dog just because it has started to go blind or is getting to an older age and having problems. Worst of all, animals getting killed just for being the breed that they are. I have also dealt with people who have killed animals for revenge or just to scare somebody they hate. In many instances also today many animals are being stolen from yards and homes for fighting and even killed for spiritual rituals.

To me this is highly heartbreaking especially the way I see it is that we are these animal’s voice and only we can be heard to save them. On the other hand though it does enrage many people who disagree with this. It is also sad when they are killed just because they were abandoned and left to die. To me every animal should have a loving a family and know what kind love really is but some just don’t get the chance to experience this. It’s like taking and leaving a child to some people and to others it’s like leaving behind garbage. I hope that one day people would come to realize that animals are just as important as people on this earth and should show them the same respect we get. The only way to fix it is to help more people realize this problem going on today and hope they will help to fight for abused animals.

My Fears

My worst fear is turning out like my dad. My dad was a great dad until my mom and him got a divorce. He was a truck driver and was into drugs which was particularly meth but he wasn't around much. Maybe once or twice a month he would be home to visit but after the divorce we would only hear from him every few months and see him. One day he vanished though for a year. After this we received a letter from him from Sherburne County Jail. My uncle and my dad had been arrested for transporting over 300 pounds of drugs in a semi concealed to not be found. The driver was sentenced to seven years and ten day in prison and my dad was given credit and was released under the condition he completed thirty years of probation. As soon as this occurred and he was released he fled to Mexico but was caught at the border where he was then given the chance to either serve seven years in prison with the other guy or seven years in Mexico and he can't return within those seven years and once this is completed he can reapply for his green card but then will still have to complete the thirty years of probation in Minnesota. Another reason I don't want to be like him is because he did hit my mom and would break everything in the house when he was mad. Strangely though I always took his side when I was younger and didn't want to stay with my mom but it was mostly because he turned me against my mom but after he left I did get into trouble and do my dirty deeds but then realized I have a family here that cares about me and what I was doing.

One of my other fears is also turning out to be like my brother. He was my role model growing up until he started doing drugs also which was also meth. He was in and out of jail at the age of fourteen but this was also because he took it rough of our grandpa passing away so he turned to the drugs and alcohol to ease his pain. He has been to prison for drugs and is now looking at charges for burglary from my own family to pay for his drugs. We have tried many things to help him but it just doesn't work. He is also affiliated with a gang which is Sureno 13. He has the thirteen on his arms and has SUR on his stomach along with a girl wearing a bandana on his arm and a girl wearing a sombrero on his back with his gang nickname "LIL J" which meant Little Justin. He can be good and when he isn't drinking or on drugs he is the sweetest guy you could ever meet. He is artistic like me and the one who made me want to become a tattoo artist because he wanted to be one so, of course, I had to be what he did and what he wanted to become. I realized how much it hurt my family for the stuff he did and has done and don't want to be that way. I would admit I used to drink and do the drugs with him. Like I had said earlier I had to do what he did and see it as making him happy. Then I realized how much it hurt my family and hurt the person closest to me who was my aunt. Seeing her cry when I was arrested for running away was what mainly made me change to make her happy instead of my brother. I am sure she would be happy to see me and how much I have achieved and how much I am achieving to this day. I guess I could say my worst fears is mainly seeing my pain hurt and knowing that I caused it.

*My Brother, My Mom, My Dad, and Me*

My Greatest Dreams

My greatest dream is to become a professional tattoo artist and then hopefully still help to protect pitbulls. In order to succeed in becoming a tattoo artist I have to first start my apprenticeship. The tattoo artist then determines when I would be ready to go on to be my own tattoo artist and maybe open up my own shop. In order to do this though I would have to go to college for business to learn how to run everything. I also am thinking about going to college for art to help with my apprenticeship. If I do go to college I wouldn’t start my apprenticeship until afterwards so I could focus on one thing at a time.

My other part is to protect pitbulls and hopefully one day make a success that they aren’t banned or greatly feared of or hated. I have owned pitbulls since I was ten and came to see how hated they are just because of what people turn them into. I would love to one day show everybody how sweet they can actually and have people realize they aren’t the enemy but the people who turn them into what they are is the enemy. In order to do so I plan on doing many things to help raise awareness about this breed and also help others to get involved in helping these animals. I have never really thought of how but I know there are many conventions and seminars to help raise awareness to help these animals which I hopefully will one day become involved in.