Review: Pit Stops

Pit Stops Book Cover

Pit Stops: Crossing the Country w/Loren the Rescue Bully
By Michelle Sathe
Say The Words Press

The Short of It:

Pit Stops is the kind of cozy read that you can curl-up with. There’s some sadness yes, but ultimately a lot of hope and stories guaranteed to warm your heart.

The Rest of It:

Sathe is a journalist for my town’s local paper. When she hit the big 4-0, she decided to head out on a road trip across the country to help promote animal rescue, specifically for the “bully” breeds that tend to get a lot of bad press. To do this, she had to pick the perfect companion for the trip. That lucky girl was Loren, a homeless pit bull/staffordshire/bulldog mix who was living at The Brittany Foundation, a rescue sanctuary very close to my home. Sathe, also a volunteer and board member for the foundation, was hoping that at the end of the trip, Loren would find her forever home.

As short as this book is, it packs quite a punch. As Sathe visits with animal rescues across the country, she encounters folks from all walks of life who volunteer their time to help animals in need. As she spends time with Loren, she see first hand how people react to bully breeds. Even though Loren is an absolute love, people are often hesitant to come up to her unless they are familiar with the breed or have big dogs of their own. In addition to this reaction, some towns have legislation in place that prevents the adoption of such breeds. What this means is that many of the animals are destroyed because agencies are not able to adopt them out.

As Sathe treks across the country, she continually asks herself why some dogs find homes when others do not. What makes a family go for one dog over another? And why is it that when some dogs find homes, they just don’t work out in the long run? As frustrating as it was for Sathe to address this in the book, I have to say that it comes down to confidence. A potential owner has to have the confidence to handle a particular dog. Sometimes, this is a learning process and some are more willing to give into that gray area (where they admit that they have no confidence) in order to gain the knowledge needed to care for a particular breed, and others simply cave to their lack of confidence and end up bringing the animal back.

Having had an adoption experience that did not go well, many years ago, I can honestly say that I’ve been that person. The person that completely loses confidence and suddenly realizes that she’s completely out of her league. It’s a very humbling and life-changing experience to think that in all manners of life, you are quite successful yet you cannot care for a dog who wants nothing more than to be with you. Now, I am not the type of person to give up easily and I refused to take the dog back so we went forward with training only for the poor thing to have a heart attack at the vet. Needless to say, he didn’t make it, but we learned so much from that experience. Now, several years later we decided to rescue a puppy from the shelter and it’s been a completely different experience. Not perfect, but everyone in the family is confident this time around which I feel really makes a difference.

No matter where you stand on “bully” breeds, Pit Stops will appeal to many readers. Sathe is a foodie, so all of her stops center around must-visit restaurants and let me tell you, the food is to-die for! She had me drooling more than once. The moments she shares with Loren are truly special because Loren is such a character. A loyal companion but a bit of a comedian, too. Although, I do not know the author personally, I sure feel as if I do after reading the book. Oh, and I’ll forgive her for saying that “Safety Dance” is the stupidest 80’s song ever made. How can she not love Men Without Hats?? She obviously did not dress-up in a black trench coat and rock the Mod look during that time. Ha!

Humor aside, I encourage you to check out Sathe’s website. There, you can purchase a copy of the book, see photos of the meals she enjoyed, visit her blog and read more about Michelle and Loren.

Although I ended up not adopting from The Brittany Foundation, a few of the folks there went out of their way to answer my questions. If you have it in your heart to make a donation, please visit their website here.

Source: Given to me by a friend, via the author.

12 thoughts on “Review: Pit Stops”

    1. I am one of those that was sort of intimidated by the breed but I’d never say ALL breeds are a certain way. I’ve seen lots of bully breeds while looking for a dog to adopt and so many were very sweet and begged for attention.

  1. I admire what this lady is trying to accomplish. These poor breeds have been trained and bred to be the way they are for their characteristics, and a few bad eggs have given all of them a bad reputation. If we were ever to get another dog (gotta wait until we don’t so many cats) I would most definitely adopt from a rescue mission or shelter.

    Well, Safety Dance IS pretty dumb, but you still can’t help but bop around when it comes on!

  2. I am a fan of the bully breeds with a few close bullies in my life. I, too, feel so bad about the reputation that they have. Like any animal who is abused and trained to only react violently, bullies are used in such capacities because they are so strong. However, as most people who are educated about different breeds will tell you, naturally pit-bulls/staffordshire terriors are considered HORRID guard dogs because they would rather kiss an intruder to death than attack one. (And more people are bitten per year by labs and retrievers than pit-bulls).

    Ok, off my soap-box… I know a few people whom I will have to buy this as a gift for. Thanks, Ti for sharing!

    1. There is a mention in the book about goldens and labs being known to bite too, yet they never get the bad rep that bully breeds do. Most of the bully breeds I’ve seen are all slobbery with kisses. Big lugs (or lubs, as The Girl says).

      1. I imagine they don’t have the bad rep because they are never used as fighting dogs. I assume that’s where the fear of bully breeds comes from.

        Cute! Definitely, big lubs… I like her vernacular.

  3. We can dance if we want to…oops, sorry I got a bit carried away. I love bully breeds and really think that they have gotten a bad rap. I know that Detroit is overwhelmed with pit bulls in the animal shelters. Good breed bad, very bad owners. Our newest addition is a bully breed, American Bulldog and I couldn’t love her more. Heck, if my pocket book was bigger and my house I would have two more of the breed for sure!! This sounds like a great book to read and hopefully, it will help educate people in general. A lot of the times, I think people pick the wrong dog for their family and/or themselves.

    ** P.S. I was a bit creeped out by the Safety Dance video…just a tad strange!!

    1. I know, the video IS creepy but the song… so many memories come to mind when I hear that song. This whole adoption process has been a learning experience for me. What’s funny is that I keep saying I am a “cat” person and this dog thinks she’s a cat. I just realized this the other day. Maybe that’s why we all fell in love with her.

  4. It sounds like a really nice mix of things: humor, food, dogs, a quest. And I do think that people often go into adopting a dog too lightly; it is not something that should be taken lightly as it is rather big commitment. Glad your second experience is working out better.

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