Beautiful Joe, (formerly Merle), was pulled from BARCS to be fostered then adopted out. When I first met him, he reminded me of a dog on the cover of a book I had picked up at a yard sale. I filled out the application paperwork, and headed home to wait for him to be neutered the next day. When I got home, I found the book and was amazed! The dog on the cover has his ears cut off horribly short with scissors just like Merle. I picked up the book and started reading. I was saddened to discover that Joe had a very cruel owner who had cut his ears off to fight him. I looked at the copyright date – 1955. Wow! Way back then this poor breed was being abused. After some digging, I found out that the original book was published in 1893! For well over a hundred years, pitties have suffered at man’s hands! I was lucky enough to find a copy of the book on E-bay from 1898. It is a good educational tool, along the lines of Black Beauty, for emphasizing kindness and sympathy to animals.
We finally headed back to BARCS to pick up our new boy. After learning from the staff of his rough start, as a bait dog and confiscated during a police raid, we couldn’t let him go. I’ve never changed a rescue’s name, but our Merle was definitely a Beautiful Joe!