I grew up with dogs- there were four in the house when I was born. Irish Setters and Irish Setter mixes. They were fantastic dogs, but I have always been drawn to mastiff-type dogs. My first favorite breed was the Rottweiler, then the Dogue De Bordeaux. In Philadelphia, however, there are lots of pit bulls, and I found myself increasingly drawn to the breed.

For years, I didn't know what a "pit bull" was. I heard stories about their unpredictability and their tendency to 'snap.'

I did my research. I read the negative and the positive, and in the end, I chose to learn from experience. I refused to believe rumors--especially rumors that seemed to be largely unfounded, misreported and sensationalized.

In 2006, I rescued a 6 week old puppy from a backyard breeder. She was tiny. She was pink from the age of 2 months to 3 months, thanks to severe demodex that took hold just a week after I got her. People would approach me in the park and warn me that my 5 pound puppy was dangerous. Even my parents gave me newspaper clippings about pit bull attacks. However, it didn't take long for Laurelai to become the beloved "granddog" and my parents now have their own pit bull.

Since her debut as a tiny pink puppy, Laurelai has changed more minds than I can count. She is unfailingly sweet and thrives on attention. People would meet her and say "She's a pit bull? But she's so nice!"

Laurelai is responsible for converting people who previously feared pit bulls to pit bull lovers and owners. She's converted non-dog people to dog people. She has been the direct reason no less than 20 pit bulls and pit mixes have found homes. She is the reason over 100 groups of people and a few hundred dogs came together for this project.

Laurelai has had to have major back surgery for a congenital defect, surgery for two torn CCLs, she has survived cancer and has been in remission for 5 years, having lived long enough to now be experiencing side effects from radiation. She is nearing 14, but as vibrant and spry as she ever was. She hasn't let her hardships stop her from staying positive and charming everyone she's ever encountered. She loves everyone equally and unfailingly.

She is a pit bull, after all.