Please say hello to Lily.  Lily is a pit bull.  When some folks hear the phrase “pit bull” they have a visceral reaction, they gasp.  Almost as if you’d told them you have cancer.

I want you to meet Lily and cast your eyes on this beautiful girl because she deserves a chance.  A chance to let you know she will not hurt you.  That she will kiss you and lean calmly into your leg, just to be close to you.

Lily wears this special vest to show that she has passed the Canine Good Citizen Test.  Because Omaha has Breed Specific Legislation, and because Lily has the physical characteristics of a “bully breed,” she must follow specific regulations.  Before she passed the test, she had to be muzzled in public.   So if you see a bully in public with a muzzle on, please don’t assume they are vicious, their human is simply following the rules.

While Breed Specific Legislation has been shown to be costly and ineffective, communities across the nation continue to pass it, relying on its false sense of security.

However, I am grateful that Omaha does not have an outright ban on pit bulls.  Had Lily found herself in cities such as Denver or Miami, she would not have been given a chance…a thought that makes me cringe.  Imagine all the loving, loyal dogs euthanized simply because their physical characteristics fit our preconceived notion of what a dangerous dog “looks” like.

In February, Lily will be starting the certification process to become a therapy dog.  She will enrich lives and bring joy to those in medical and assisted living facilities.  How awesome is that?!?

Lily is a pit bull.  And she wants what we all want.  To give and receive love…and to hog the bed at 3:00 in the morning.