Comet, Our Wonder Dog
For the last 30 years I have owned and trained one of the most misunderstood breeds, the American Pit Bull Terrier. This story is about my very first APBT, Comet. Her intelligence and loyalty are what endeared me to the breed.
I have always trained my dogs to entertain the neighborhood children with tricks. However, my husband is a disabled Vietnam veteran, and when his condition worsened, I turned the tricks into tasks that could assist him.
One day, during the early stages of Comet’s training, I was home alone with her and my two male dogs while my husband was out of town. While Comet stayed in the house, I went into the backyard to check on my two boys in their kennel runs. Although my dogs were not the least bit aggressive, my entire property was surrounded by 6-foot chain-link fencing atop 2 feet of cement. The front door of the house was on the other side of that 8-foot fence and it was locked.
I realized I had locked the back door and locked myself out of the house, and there was no way to get back in, even with the ladder my neighbors threw over the fence. Eventually, I thought of calling for Comet to get the keys, which was a task I trained her to do. I remembered that I had hung them on a round doorknob, and it would be impossible for the dog to know enough to lift the large key ring up over the knob to remove them.
I took the chance anyway and yelled to Comet, “Get my keys.” I heard keys jingling and knew she was trying. I felt pangs of guilt thinking I gave her an impossible job. True to her breed, however, Comet wouldn’t give up on her assigned task.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when, in the partially opened upstairs window, I saw her with the keys in her mouth. Even though I was afraid to climb the ladder (which was placed unsteadily on steep cement grading), I climbed up as far as was reasonably safe to get to the window and reached for the keys. Comet placed them in my outstretched hand.
I wondered: How did she get the keys off the doorknob and where was the larger key ring that was attached to the smaller one?
When I let myself inside, I saw the larger key ring bent open on the floor next to the doorknob. This was no skinny little key ring; it was at least a quarter inch thick, 4 inches in circumference and soldered closed. Let me tell you, a grown man would have had trouble bending it. Comet must have yanked on that ring extremely hard to pull it off the doorknob. I checked her teeth and thanked goodness none were damaged.
Comet is gone now; the one thing she couldn’t do at age 14 was beat cancer. We’ll never forget her, especially when she saved the day for me. I still have the open key ring. It was because of Comet that we still love and defend the breed every chance we get.
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