Rags-to-Riches Shelter Dog Becomes Face of Shoe Company
Oliver is a pit bull rescued from the Humane Society when he was just a puppy, but he’s showing the world how you start off doesn’t decide where you end up!
While the news may be full of stories that show pit bulls to be aggressive, vicious dogs who randomly attack people, there’s another side to pit bulls not often seen in the media.
Bzees, a women’s shoe company dedicated to comfort and fun has recently promoted a former shelter dog to their Chief Canine Officer–and you better believe he’s much more than just a pretty face!
The new executive is Oliver, the fur-baby of Bzees’s Vice President Lori McDermid, and McDermid has not only made Oliver the brand ambassador for Bzees, but wants him to be an ambassador for all pit bulls, often misunderstood as aggressive dogs.
McDermid adopted Oliver when he was approximately 6-8 months old. He’d been rescued from an empty warehouse, and the St. Louis Humane Society took responsibility for rehabilitating and rehoming him. Unfortunately for poor Oliver, he came in with parvo, and had to be in isolation for a month. Once that isolation was over, Oliver got pneumonia, and again, had to return to isolation. When Oliver’s Mama first saw him, he’d only been with the other shelter dogs for two days. She was there dropping off some donations for the holidays and couldn’t get over how cute Oliver was, regardless of his breed.
The rest was, as they say, history. Oliver became part of Lori’s family, which includes fur siblings Polly (an Akita mix) and Monty (a Coonhound mix) and never looked back. Calling Oliver a “Love Bomb,” Lori worked hard to make sure Oliver knew he was never going to be alone again. After the first night he slept in a warm, comfy dog bed of his own, he was hooked on the family life, and has blossomed into the best, most social and loving pup.
Which made Lori even more sad as she learned of the discrimination and bias many have toward pit bulls. Wanting to advocate for Oliver and dogs like him, Lori created a Facebook page called Oliver’s Clubhouse, which is dedicated to sharing how wonderful pit and pit type dogs are. Because Lori is so busy with Bzees, for now Oliver’s Clubhouse is a virtual one, helping find homes for and advocating for dogs like Oliver. One day, she says that may change. In the meantime, Oliver mugs for various animal charity campaigns that partner with Bzees. One particularly close to her heart was a campaign that raised $1000 for the Colorado State University Flint Animal Cancer Center. Sweet Oliver is a cancer survivor himself, as he went underwent surgery and chemotherapy for a mast cell tumor earlier this year. He’s doing well, according to Lori, and he’s using his health and good looks to continue shatter breed myths and misconceptions.
Saying that at heart, pit bulls and pit bull types are just dogs, looking for families to love them, Lori hopes that Oliver’s good looks and lovable, goofy personality bring more pit parents about, and at the very least, for people to look beyond breed and look at individual dog personality when visiting shelters looking for the perfect family pet.
Oliver is clearly proof–you can’t judge a dog by its muzzle!