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Team ACPB Runner Spotlight: Shannon W

On March 14, 2014, I cursed my way through 13.1 miles of the ASICS LA Marathon in support of Angel City Pit Bulls (and wondered aloud why instead we could not do a bake sale as a fundraiser). I did not question the cause, but I was grossly out of shape and a month away from my dissertation defense so the last thing I needed to do on a very hot day in Santa Monica was crawl my way through a half marathon. However, I completed the miles and was proud that I had raised at least some money to help this amazing organization. And that evening, my girl Buddha, whom I had adopted from ACPB a few years earlier, laid her head on my lap with her pit bull smile and I was reminded why those miles were so important.

Fast forward a year later, and I am registered to run the full marathon. Having now fostered seven pups for ACPB (and readied the house for a mom and six puppies to come in this week), I am convinced that 26.2 miles is nothing compared to the work that ACPB does on a daily basis to save and find forever families for pit bulls. I have experienced the immediate support that ACPB provides for alums when Buddha started exhibiting some behavioral issues a couple of years ago, and have since been able to take part in three different training classes which ACPB offers to fosters, alums, and the community at large for free. To see my own dog go from a stubborn, jealous, and sometimes reactive girl to a recipient of the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen award makes me a bit teary and I owe the talented trainers from ACPB a debt of gratitude for the patience, support, and resources they provided me (as I was a bigger problem than my dog).

I would be lying if I said that the cursing has stopped when it comes to running. However, I am inspired by my Team ACPB partners and when I think of the pit bulls that can be saved by the money we raise, I swear a whole lot less and keep going. While distance running will never be my passion, my love for my girl Buddha and my former and future fosters, as well as my respect and gratitude for Angel City Pit Bulls will keep me going well beyond 26.2 miles.

(But I would still like to discuss my bake sale ideas…)

To support Angel City Pit Bulls via Shannon this weekend, you can donate to her Crowdrise Page