For a story on a pit bull rescue organization, I was visiting Kim Ramirez. Kim has two dogs, and she was fostering a third, Spyder, a worried young dog who had been confiscated from the Michael Vick dog-fighting operation. I was there to meet Spyder, since the Vick dogs were celebrities. I also met the other two, Nala and Ross. Ross is a 60-pound pit bull mix, white with brindle spots, with a classic Hello-I-love-you pit bull bonhomie. Kim adopted him after the organization rescued him from the shelter. (Shelters overflow with unwanted pit bulls.)
In order to have a place for three big dogs, Kim and her daughter live in a mostly industrial neighborhood, on the outskirts of town.
After we talked about Spyder (who had retired to her crate to avoid stressful media attention), Kim showed me Ross's favorite game. We were in the kitchen, late afternoon sun leaning through the window. She got out a bottle of bubble-blowing liquid and blew a plume of bubbles. “Touch!” she said.
Ross was delighted. He leapt into the air, catching bubbles. He flung himself clear off the floor. He twisted, trying to grab more than one bubble per leap. He jumped again and again, leaving no bubble unpopped. He looked at Kim hopefully – more bubbles? More bubbles?
She blew more bubbles and Ross jumped for them, even the tiny ones.
The pit bull rescue story was fascinating to research. There was a lot to learn, about dog fighting, dog breeding, dog rescue, and dog politics. Some of it was very sad. Some of it was encouraging. There was no space in the article for Ross.
But the image that keeps coming back to me from that story is of Kim, and a big pit bull in a sunny kitchen jumping like a trout to catch bubbles.