Pit bull gains superhero persona

By Linze Griebenow

Bruce Wayne: Tamer of hearts, commander of street justice, sniffer of butts.

He’s not quite the suave, hyper-vigilant master of mixed martial arts most of us grew up with.

He’s my dog, and he’s a pit bull.

Holy heartworm, Batman!

From the moment we met, I knew Bruce was special. An ex and I found him on Craigslist after his owner had placed him up there for adoption. Within an hour, we were on the North side of Chicago face to face with the strangest looking dog I had ever seen.

At a lean 55 pounds, he was ripped. It was almost as if someone had him on P90X since he was a puppy; his tail even had abs.

Staring up at you from two little beady eyes in the middle of a big fat head, however, came unwavering love and adoration.

Muscles too big and unnatural for any dog to have, Bruce’s body pranced into the living room, kissed everyone in sight and flopped down on the floor exposing his belly.

The people who had adopted him initially said he had been found as a stray and hadn’t been claimed, so he was taken to a nearby shelter. Not far off from death row, the couple decided to bring him home as a playmate for their current dog.

Shortly after, the guy lost his job and was unable to financially commit to both dogs. They had only had him about a month and hadn’t even finalized a name for him yet, calling him, “Charlie Brown,” “Bear,” and other insulting names for such an interesting dog.

After cooing him to sit on my lap the whole way home, we decided he needed a better name, one he could keep for life.

Being in Chicago at the time and given his clipped ears, strong body and sad history, Bruce Wayne suited him perfectly.

We found out later Bruce had likely been involved as a bait dog, which is typically a runt or non-aggressive dog used in dog fighting rings to rile up the competitors. With two visible scars adorning his soft, chocolate brow, this made sense.

His personality, though, was nothing like his tough exterior. Bruce began to fill more the role of oblivious but lovable sidekick rather than a quick-thinking playboy.

It wasn’t until I moved home to DeKalb from Chicago and had to rebuild my life on my own that I truly realized the hero in Bruce. I never knew loyalty and humor to the extent I know them now, and picking up his poop was a small sacrifice to make.

Since then, we have formed a new family, and Bruce has discovered his passion for fashion, picking out his favorite bandana to wear most days. He woos male and female dogs alike, most recently inadvertently romancing a lady pit to the point she vomited a little. Call it puppy love.

So although he more than likely plays “Steamboat Willy” on repeat in his head and isn’t quite the unitard-wearing masked crusader from the movies, Bruce has been the best friend a gal could ask for.

His version of the pencil trick (that is, chewing up all my pencils) may not be as fancy, but hey, at least his paws are clean in the eyes of the law.