Falcor, adopted 1/12/13
October 17, 2013

Falcor Shanti Earnest: The Gold Standard of Happiness

We were looking to adopt a new dog, and my husband had more than a few characteristics he was looking for: good listener, protective, no barking, good with cats, superb with kids, loves to hike and swim, short haired, and a dog we could take everywhere. We described this long list to the adoption counselor and she said, "we've got the perfect dog for you!" She led us straight to Falcor. My husband looked at him and said, "A pitbull? No!"

We spent a few moments looking at his sweet little face, perfect little eyes and friendly demeanor. My son and I were hooked. We said, "lets just take him on a walk. We'll just see how he is." And wow, what a great listener! How responsive and connected he was! The difficult task of convincing my husband that pitbulls were good dogs was now at hand. The adoption agents answered our questions, let us see how Falcor played with other dogs and spend extra, extra time with him. They answered all our weird questions about pitbulls.

We brought Falcor home and I'm not kidding...he was instantly good. He graduated from training in five weeks (our husky had taken six months). Falcor is a delight to one and all. The kids in our neighborhood say that Falcor is the "gold standard in happiness" because he always has a wide smile and a welcoming demeanor. My son says that Falcor makes every moment more perfect and he takes my husband on a walk every day.  He's a superb friend, who cuddles with our two cats, gently nudges our three year old neighbor, and befriends puppies and senior dogs alike at the dog park. He's got tons of dog friends, loves the ball, and swims every day. I can't imagine life without Falcor. He brought a sense of love into our life. He gallops like horse, but has ears like a pig. As my son says, "he's epic! He's awesome!"

What's hard about owning a pitbull? They're sensitive. They'll listen and try to do exactly what you want. That's a great responsibility. It's a responsibility I hope I can live up to for his whole life.

The other hard thing is that people are afraid of pitbulls. Having one (if you live in the city like we do) means you've got to talk to folks occasionally about how great your dog is. I used to say, "he's a terrier" and my son would day "he's a short haired laboradoodle" as a way to divert the concern of others when they saw him at the dog park. I've since learned to be proud. The other day someone asked the inevitable "what kind of dog is Falcor?" and I said, simply, "a pit bull." The woman replied, "I thought so, but he's so happy! I don't think of pitbulls as happy dogs." Yep...happy...the gold standard of happiness. If you connect with them, befriend them and guide them they are the best dogs in the world. They'll challenge your beliefs, they'll give you lots of kisses and they'll sit on the coach and go running with you. About the only thing Falcor doesn't do is walk in the rain; he's simply not partial to bad weather.

If you're thinking of a family dog I just couldn't suggest a pitbull more. It seems a weird thing to say. To be honest the first three months I kept waiting for him to snap, attack or do something pitbull like...but those moments never came. He did bark at a snapping turtle once, but that's it! He's truly a wonderful dog and I hope you get a chance to adopt someone so perfect and life changing. If you go to the shelter just take a pitbull on a walk and look into their eyes - you'll see the peace and earnestness that gave Falcor his middle and last name.

- Laura