January 22, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight: Sarah Mathews

Simone, Sarah, & Tigger
Simone, Sarah, & Tigger

My name is Sarah Mathews and I became involved with Carolina Care Bullies in June of 2011. My
first interaction with a pit bull was when I lived in Atlanta. My roommate owned an older rescued pit
bull named Axys. I honestly didn't know about any of the stereotypes about pit bulls and just thought
she was an awesome dog. The funniest thing about her was that she would come into the room where
you were and let out a famous pit bull fart and then walk away. Growing up, I was never allowed to
have dogs so I really enjoyed having her around. After living in Raleigh for a while and going through
a painful breakup, I decided it was time to get my first dog. I looked at various rescues and finally decided I wanted a brindle pit bull mix named Tigger. So in August of 2006, he came on an adoption trial and I fell in love.

Once I had Tigger, I started to learn more and more about the pit bull stereotypes. I would take him on walks and though he was constantly smiling and doesn't have a mean bone in his body, some people would cross the street to get away from us. Tigger's past life was a rough one and to this day, he still has fears from that life. It hurts me to the core to see what people do to this breed and yet they still come away from these situations happy and loving life and just wanting the companionship of a human. I enjoy spoiling Tigger to this day to make sure he knows this is what life should be like. Many of friends asked me why I didn't get a second dog so Tigger would have a friend to play with. I would explain that while he likes dogs, I know he likes having all of my attention.

Sarah & Tigger
Sarah & Tigger
But in 2011, I really wanted to get more involved in pit bull rescue. I noticed CCB was asking for people who were willing to dogsit foster dogs when their foster families were out of town. So I decided that was something I could do. I was afraid to foster because I just knew I would get too attached, but I thought dogsitting would be great. I could still help out, but would know I only had the dog for a short period of time. So I e-mailed to find out more information and there was a dog named Jewel who needed someone to take care of her 2 different times in June. Then I started looking at pictures of their adoptable dogs so I could see what Jewel looked like. That's when I saw the most beautiful brindle pit bull I had ever seen. A 10 month old pit bull named Simone. I was in love.

Simone at NC State
Simone at NC State
I kept telling myself you can't get a second dog. Then I decided I would ask about her and see what they said. Surely they would tell me something that would make me realize I couldn't adopt her. But no, I was told she was perfect. Now what do I do? I decided I would go meet her and thought maybe I'd see something in her that I didn't like, maybe she would be too hyper for me or too shy. I made the drive to Hillsborough and the moment I saw her in the backyard, I knew I had to have her. I didn't care what I had to do to make that happen. I started asking about the procedure to adopt her. I was so afraid someone would snatch her up before I could get her! Luckily my adoption application was approved and we decided when I would pick her up and start my 10 day adoption trial. The first night I could tell Tigger wasn't so sure about having her here. I was afraid things wouldn't work out. As much as I loved Simone, I knew if Tigger wasn't okay with it, it just wasn't going to work. But by the second day, I started to see that he liked having her here and having someone to play with him. So on June 30, 2011, Simone's adoption became official!

Simone is the sweetest and most loving dog. She wiggles with excitement when she meets people. I hope someday to have her trained to be a therapy dog. She is currently a canine blood donor at NC State and is a very good donor because she's so easygoing. I also think that she keeps Tigger young. He turned 8 in December and even though he has a gray face, he is still young at heart. They play constantly and love to snuggle with each other on the couch. After adopting Simone from CCB, I decided to become more involved by attending adoption events and parades. Then I was able to start hosting adoption events and that has been very fun for me. I enjoy telling people about pit bulls and about CCB's mission. I like being able to change minds and it is so rewarding to help the breed I love. I have made many friends through volunteering with CCB and met some awesome dogs. I plan to always have a pit bull in my life...I can't imagine life with one!

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