Today Todd tells us how Macy’s story begins, how Macy and the Jagemanns have evolved since that first day when Robyn spotted her profile on PetFinder and how Macy inspired Todd to write his first book and become an advocate for pit bulls everywhere..
I have to be honest, when my wife told me that our first dog could be a pit bull mix, I was not thrilled. She called me at work and said there was a dog she found on petfinder.com that she was really interested in. Immediately, all the bad things you read about and hear on the news went through my mind. “Are you crazy?!” I said, “she is going to turn on us, attack our family and friends, we will be sued”, etc. My wife laughed and told me not to believe everything you hear. “Please read her profile that I emailed to you,” she said.
Pet Rescue of Mercer was the organization that took on this dog’s case. They paid for her recovery and wanted to get her adopted into her forever home. Despite everything she had been through, they said that this dog, now named Angel, still had such a sweet disposition with no ill feelings toward people or other animals.
I did feel sorry for this dog after reading her write up, however I still was not convinced how good this breed could be. It took two weeks, two “face-to-dog” meetings and many questions until I finally agreed to give Angel a try. My wife was ready to kill me because she thought someone else would adopt her during that time period. Whether it was fate or just luck, Angel was now ours.
My sister had previously owned a dog named Angel, so we felt the need to change this dog’s name. We were struggling to pick a good one so our niece suggested Macy, for her favorite store.
It would take Macy about two months to come out of her shell and be completely comfortable in her new surroundings. She was definitely sweet from the beginning, but she was hand shy (mostly with men), would get startled easily and was not housebroken.
I remember after the Kong was fixed I put it on a pub chair in our kitchen; I then went into the bathroom. A few moments later I heard this loud bang in the kitchen. I quickly opened the door and rushed out of the bathroom into the hallway. At the same time Macy was running out of the kitchen into the hallway. I did not yell, but I guess there was something she saw in my demeanor because in an instant she hit the ground. Her tense body was completely flat with her front paws straight out and eyes shut. It looked like she was expecting to get hit and was bracing herself for it.
I got down on the floor and starting reassuring her everything was fine. I told her “easy girl” while petting her. I then went into the kitchen and realized she must have jumped against the chair. The chair then hit the wall and the Kong fell to the ground. There were treats and peanut butter everywhere. I literally had to carry Macy back in the kitchen to get her to lick everything up. On that day I think I got a better idea of what this poor, sweet dog must have gone through.
Macy loves meeting and playing with other dogs, especially her best friend next door named Jenna who is also a pit bull mix. She loves people, snuggling on cold nights, running in the yard, car rides and going for walks. Many people have told us that she would make a great ambassador for the pit bull breed. This is when the idea of writing a children’s book about her popped into my head.
I was lying in bed early one morning back in March of 2011, when this story starting forming in my head. The story of how we came to adopt Macy. All of a sudden I had a choice: go back to sleep or get up and get a pad and paper. Thankfully I chose the latter.
I had always wanted to write a children’s book, but never really had any ideas. Now I had one, and what better way to tell Macy’s story than to children! I thought that maybe by getting Macy’s story out it could change kids’ attitudes toward pit bulls, and then possibly adults’ attitudes toward this breed would change too. I also wanted to educate people on the importance of pet adoption..
To make a long story short, the rest of the process took about a year. I had to create a storyboard layout of the book, work with their illustrator on how I wanted the illustrations to look, decide on a cover, the color of the cover, the binding, the size of the pages, etc. It turned out to be a longer process than I thought, but the experience was extremely fun.
Since that day my wife, Macy and I have done many pro-adoption dog events in our area trying to promote the book, along with some school and other event readings. During all of this, I have come to realize that it is Macy who is the star. Everyone loves meeting her, especially the kids. She loves meeting them too.
Looking back now it is hard to believe I was so afraid of getting this dog. I have learned so much from Macy and from this journey.
Unfortunately, it is human nature to be judgmental. There are times when we all make judgments about things, sometimes too quickly and most of the time without really knowing the facts. We get caught up in our own lives and don’t realize how our actions can affect other people or creatures.
I admit I am far from perfect, but after this experience I try not to judge too quickly anymore. I will leave you with two things that came into my mind while writing this. One is the saying “Don’t judge me until you walk a mile in my shoes (or paws).” The other comes from the movie “Evan Almighty”: “How do you change the world? With one act of random kindness.”
Please check out Macy The Lonely Pit Bull Finds A Home. It is available on Lulu.com, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and other online outlets. Todd has also written numerous articles aimed at combating the myths and negative connotations associated with pit bulls. These articles can all be found online. And of course, Macy has her own Facebook page so be sure and check it out!