Happy Tail for Utah!

Happy Tail for Utah!

unnamed (31)My plan – adopt a white & black Pit Bull. What happened  – we adopted a Black Lab then a white Shih Tzu & this year we adopted a brindle Pit Bull … all together we have black, white and Pit Bull. Utah is a spirited, energetic boy who reminds me to pause and be in the moment when I see him bouncing around the yard with a stick … ears flapping, tail wagging, just loving life. 

We named him Utah after the first state to make breed specific legislation illegal. His bright copper colored brindle markings also remind us of Angel Canyon, Utah where Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary resides.


Bringing him into our family wasn’t an instant success. He started out fitting in perfect but soon became too rough with Cass (Shih Tzu) so we’ve helped Utah learn to play nice or walk away. Recently Utah decided it was time to challenge Hilo (lab) when Hilo indicated he was done play fighting so we went back to basics of parallel walking, monitoring interaction and interrupting play with treats to decrease intensity.

Utah likes cuddling but too much and he would give a mild growl. We didn’t punish the growl, we respected his comfort level and worked to increase his of sense of security. Utah’s relationship with the dogs and humans in our family has taught me to reach out to those who know about dog behavior and utilize their knowledge to train both humans and dogs how to live harmoniously

Today Utah is very accepting of cuddling and petting but we are mindful not to overdo it. Utah would like every dog who comes to our home to play with him so he’ll go get his favorite tug toy to entice them into being his buddy. I’m thankful I didn’t get our black & white Pit Bull and instead got Hilo, Cass, and Utah.

Brenda Olson-Wray (& Darwin Wray)