By Catherine Pritchard
Jackie Stickley wasn’t looking to adopt a dog.
Sure, she worked at the Fayetteville Animal Protection Society, a non-profit no-kill animal shelter that seeks to match homeless pets with loving owners.
And she adored animals.
But she wasn’t ready for one of her own.
Then, one day, she caught sight of Buddy in the isolation area at FAPS. He wasn’t what she thought of as her sort of dog. She’d always loved big dogs, 100 pounds and over. This dog was an English Staffordshire Terrier, a medium-sized black-and-white fireplug of a dog who’d never weigh more than about 40 pounds.
But he looked lonely. “I saw this pitiful face,” she said.
So she took him to hang out with her during the day in her office next door – but still had no intention of adopting him.
Then he looked pitiful when she returned him to his pen at night.
So she decided he could spend nights at her house – until someone else adopted him.
Then she found out someone was interested in doing just that.
And she realized she couldn’t let it happen. The dog that she never thought she would have chosen was the dog that had snuffled and waggled and gazed his way into her heart. She adopted Buddy instead.
That was in 2013.
Two years later, Stickley adopted Quincey, a female English Staffordshire Terrier that was being held at the Cumberland County Animal Control Department.
She later learned that both dogs were purebreds – a fact she said she could care less about. But because their breeding records had been kept, she also learned that Buddy is Quincey’s father.
It turned out that both dogs had been owned by the same breeder who’d lost possession of them at different times. Both eventually ended up at Animal Control, which is where FAPS had acquired Buddy. She also learned the dogs’ birthdates so knows that Buddy is 8 and Quincey is 6.
The two dogs spend most days together with Stickley in her office at FAPS, where she is shelter manager. They sleep and wrestle and play and stop still like stones if someone says the word “cookie” since that generally means a treat is in the offing.
They spend their nights at the home she shares with her husband.
Stickley said the dogs are great with people and are extremely gentle with children, which she said is often the case with pitbull-type dogs, despite negative stereotypes.
Stickley said too many pitbull-type dogs end up in shelters because people don’t spay or neuter the animals and too many are euthanized.
“Cumberland County is full of beautiful pitbulls with wonderful temperaments,” she said.
Stickley smiled at her dogs as they rolled around on the floor of her office, wrestling with each other.
“I just happened to fall in love with that face,” she said.