"Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who journey the way with us.
So be swift to love and make haste to be kind."
~ Henri-Frederic Amiel

All-Around READing Dogs
Missouri ~ "Lola"  

An American Pit Bull Terrier  dressed for a winter outing.

Dressed for a winter outing,
Lola is ready for anything.

Although Alison already had three dogs, she agreed to foster Lola when she learned that due to lack of space she was in real danger of being euthanized. The foster agreement lasted about 20 minutes before Alison officially adopted her—it was truly love at first sight. Alison says it soon became increasingly clear Lola needed to be a therapy dog. She says that during visits to PetSmart even people who admitted being afraid of pit bulls couldn’t help themselves and had to pet her, only to fall in love with her instantly. On two occasions, complete strangers came up, sat down on the floor, and just hugged her.

Two American Pit Bull Terriers.

Lola and her brother, Mu Shu

Alison believes Lola was absolutely meant to be doing the work she is doing now, and she was meant to be an ambassador for her breed. She is infinitely patient and absolutely loves people. To see the smiles she's inspired and the minds she's changed has been an incredible honor, adds Alison. Lola and Alison now volunteer with Pets For Life in Kansas City, Missouri, reading with children at Gillis School, and Alison also volunteers with Mid-America Bully Breed Rescue.

American Pit Bull Terrier and puppy.

Lola is pictured here with her
foster sister, Neitzsche

Books about American Pit Bull Terriers include:

Bandit: The Heart-Warming True Story of One Dog’s Rescue from Death Row, by Vicki Hearne
Max, The Shelter Dog, by Nicole Rivera
Then Along Came Barney: The Story of a Dog Who Changed My Mind About Pit Bulls, by Barbara Bullington

(Click on the titles above for a brief description and convenient ordering information.)


Lola, born in 2002, is an American Pit Bull Terrier. Dog fanciers during the nineteenth century began crossing bulldogs and terriers to develop the gameness of the terrier with the strength of a bulldog. Although first used to bait bulls and bears, and later put in pits with rats and trained for dogfighting, eventually their friendliness toward people earned them a place in the family home.

This Pit Bull is a gentle therapy dog.

Gentle Lola won the hearts of
complete strangers.

American Pit Bulls have been used by farmers and ranchers for protection, as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and to drive livestock. American Pit Bulls were also used during World Wars I and II to deliver messages on the battlefield. At one time they were quite a popular pet in America. Famous American Pit Bulls include “Tige,” shown with Buster Brown in the Brown Shoe Co. ads, and “Pete the Pup,” of The Little Rascals and Our Gang series.

This American Pit Bull Terrier has two kitty bodyguards.

Lola with her kitty bodyguards.

Lola’s early life consisted of being used by a man with a history of dog fighting. She was malnourished, housed in deplorable conditions, and kept just for breeding. When the man was arrested, Lola and 8 other dogs were taken to the Humane Society to be “stored,” unable to be placed for adoption or rescue, until the trial’s end. Most of the dogs couldn’t cope with those conditions. However, Lola’s gentle demeanor won the hearts of the shelter’s staff from the very start, so much so that they would spend extra time with her. Perhaps that is why she survived.