People see Tonka and all the stereotypes of pitbulls flash before their eyes, simply by the way he looks they expect him to live up to each of them. With a backwards hat, piercings and being covered in tattoos I experience the same looks and stereotype; tough guy. Yet some days due to anxiety I can’t even make it down an aisle at a grocery store, if I’m able to get there at all. Like me the big scary rescue dog happens to be the most delicate of little creatures; his list of crippling fears is the only thing longer than the list of health issues, allergies and trips to the vet we have had over the past 4 years.
Tonka’s challenges challenge me. The acceptance, understanding and patience I have learned to have with him have helped me to have them in myself as well. If a big tough pitbull can cripple in fear from an over filled water-bowl made out of something shiny; I can avoid buying eggs at the grocery store because the aisle has too many people and can now accept it’s just one of those days. Tonka gets me out of bed in the morning and through most days just knowing he will be there when I get home. Petting his fur and laying on him calms an anxiety attack, while looking at pictures and watching videos of him on my phone get me through them when I’m away.