Hello dear friends. In the autumn of my years, I find myself more thoughtful of my past, especially of the souls who have touched the more memorable moments in my life. I have so many of them to remember. How can I not as a consulting detective? The very nature of the job attracts the oddities in life and the most colorful individuals tend to follow. As I recollect my past adventures, I try very hard not to dwell upon the darkness of my days, although it abounds as plentifully as the bright points. There are times, however, where the one cannot be celebrated without the other, because the darkness makes the light all that much more vibrant and attractive. I speak of this contrast because one of the most remarkable creatures I have ever had the pleasure of knowing began with as dark a beginning as one can imagine. Her name is Lady Jasmine, and she was a pit dog. Her breed is known as the Staffordshire Terrier, but in your more modern, common terminology, she is a Pit Bull. For beauty and strength of spirit, I have never known her equal. Nor have I ever met a creature with a gentler heart than hers. I was taken by her charm and grace upon our very first meeting, and yet when I ponder her beginnings and see what she is now, I find myself amazed and mesmerized by her all over again.
Lady Jasmine is the favorite pet of the Dibgins family. They rescued her from what she was; from what she rejected in herself and in her life before them. Jasmine knows nothing now but love and a soft hand, but it was not always so for her. Jasmine's story began as a puppy on a breeding farm for fighting dogs. Illegal fighting dogs. Yes, dear friends, dog fighting is as illegal in my time as it is in yours. From the time she was weaned from her mother, Jasmine had to fight to survive. She was bigger and stronger than her siblings, and so her master (if you can grant a brute like that any sort of noble title) placed her in with pups that were much older and meaner than she was. She fought for her food and fought for her survival every day of her life, all the while being groomed for the fighting ring.
Jasmine did what she had to do to survive. She dominated her opponents but only to dominate; never to kill or maim. She was neither cruel nor brutal by nature. She merely wished to end the fights once they were begun. She hated it - the fighting; every bloody minute. All she wanted was peace and rest. If she won a fight, she ate and she wasn't beaten and had peace for a time; at least her version of it. So she fought until she was sick of the fighting and sick of the blood lust which fueled the underground fights she was forced to engage in. One night in the ring, after so many years of endless battles, Jasmine stopped fighting back. She stood there in the ring and welcomed her opponent and the defeat he would bring to her. Maybe then her peace would come. Maybe with her death, she thought, there would be no more pain. Jasmine took a terrible beating that night from her opponent. Her body was torn and bloodied until there was little life left in her. She was ready to welcome her own passing when the opportunity to escape presented itself to her in the form of an open, unguarded door.
Jasmine took her chance that night and ran with what little strength she had left in her, to die as cleanly as she could and as far away from the life she despised as possible. The Dibgins family found her bloody body in a dark alleyway, so near death, they did not expect her to live until the morning. They watched her and cared for her around the clock, their youngest child never leaving Jasmine's side. Miraculously, she pulled through the night and as her body healed from its physical wounds, the greater miracle came in the healing of her heart. This noble creature who had never known anything but cruelty and violence learned what it meant to be loved. And to add miracle upon miracle, she learned how to love back.
Though the beauty of Lady Jasmine's amber colored skin is marred by a thousand scars, her heart shows no injury and is as pure and clear as a new born pup. She has not forgotten her time as a pit dog, but she is as faithful and as loving a pet as if she had never known anything but the Dibgins' love. I share this story with you because not every pit dog has the chance Lady Jasmine had - to escape of their own free will. Oftentimes, pit dogs must be rescued by groups of noble people seeking to save those lost souls from masters who don't deserve to own them. But each of us are given the same chance the Dibgins were given to love these abused souls unconditionally despite the scars that reveal their past.
Dogs and cats are rescued every day from the most deplorable conditions; subjected to unimaginable abuses and forced to do things no creature should ever have to do. They are victimized by the same people who should be their protectors. The breeds themselves should not be condemned because of it. Had the Dibgins family judged Lady Jasmine by her cover - by the wounds on her skin which spoke of her past fighting life - she would have been left to die like vermin in the street, and I would have been deprived one of my dearest friends. Instead, the Dibgins saw beyond her outside to the potential beneath and gave her the chance we all deserve - the chance to be loved.