By Cara Dee Clark
Actress Dianne Scott doesn’t recall a time when she didn’t love animals, but she does remember a time when she had some tremendous misconceptions. Growing up, she had cats and a dog, but it wasn’t until she was an adult and got her own companions that she really started to learn, well, everything there is to know about animals and their needs. “What’s really important especially is to teach children about animals. I have dogs and cats, “ Dianne shares, “and I’ve learned they have really unique personalities – like humans. They really deserve respect, kindness and so much more. These are living, intricate, magnificent beings.”
Dianne’s face is familiar to many fans from her regular appearances on the SyFy series FaceOff, and for performances on the popular FOX Network television show, Bones and the award-winning film, Super Bois. But some of her biggest fans are the four-legged wonders with whom she shares her heart. For Dianne, respect and unconditional love are essential when deciding to share your life with a cat or dog, or multiples of each, as she has. The two-way street means these creatures aren’t possessions, but part of a partnership. And that’s a contract that should never be broken.
Those rules about animal relationships were brought into sharp focus when Dianne developed a bond with her first pit bull. It was a life-changing learning experience that taught her to set aside preconceptions and open her heart.
“Nine years ago, my husband I and wanted to rescue our first dog together,” Dianne reflects. “Someone sent a photo of a dog that had been returned to the shelter, and when my husband sent it to me, my first reaction was, ‘Aren’t pit bulls dangerous?’ I was in a different place in my life. My husband laughed and educated me, he informed me that the negative stories about pit bulls were basically myths. I was shocked. I’d always believed the stories – I don’t even know where the perception originally came from. But trusting my husband, we adopted this dog. Hurley was the sweetest dog I’ve known in my life.” Hurley shared three incredible years with the family before being diagnosed with lymphoma and dying at age 4.
Losing Hurley was a tragedy that was difficult to overcome, but with the convictions of one whose eyes have been opened to an injustice, Dianne set about campaigning to dispel myths about pit bulls. “After realizing how wrong I was, I knew I had to make this one of my missions and share what I learned,” she says. “After Hurley passed, I had to carry on this dog’s legacy. I had only had him for three years but in that short time, he turned my world upside down.”
With a void in her life left by Hurley’s death, the family adopted another pit bull-mix, Wednesday. And before long, they rescued another 6-month-old, Pugsley. “A lot of people feel guilty about adopting another animal when they have experienced a loss – even if it has been some time,” Dianne says. “They feel they can never love another animal as the way they felt about the one that passed. Ilearned after Hurley that as animal lovers, it’s our job to keep adopting. There are so many out there who need us.”
Dianne conceived A Tale of 2 Pitties, her series of five children’s books to debunk the myths about pit bulls. She devotes one book to the story of Hurley’s heartwarming bond with one of her cats, Chewy, and how the two grew to be best buddies.
“I wanted to be an advocate for pit bulls and all pets, so I started writing the children’s books about my pets,” Dianne explains. “There’s constantly so much going on. When Hurley was alive, he was so much fun. We had all of these amazing stories but what seemed natural was to write them from the animals’ point of view, starting with Hurley. They’re true stories with cool lessons tied up in there. I could never run out of stories to write. I keep adding to the collection. I’m hoping to inspire people to adopt animals. I want to encourage children to look at these wonderful creatures who really deserve our respect.”
The books are now available on Amazon. With more than 100,000 followers, Dianne’s Instagram A Tale of 2 Pitties https://www.instagram.com/ataleof2pitties has become one of the top pit bull advocacy platforms on Instagram. She also created Neighborhood Watch, a mom and dog web series here to make you laugh and smile. It has become so wildly popular, it has snowballed into spin-offs starring other pets. Wild Earth, a documentary featuring Dianne’s valuable and informative commentary on the life-changing health improvements dogs receive from plant-based nutrition, has recently been released.
Her “Velco” pit, Pugsley, has had to work through some issues, and Dianne has the patience born of a heart filled with love and respect. His original owner gave him to the shelter after he chewed up a few things while he was left alone. “One lesson I’Dianne and her husband have developed special skills at introducing new dogs and cats since they have accumulated so many. They start with supervised sniffs and smells and slowly release the animals as trust builds, this way they ensure all in the household feel safe and develop relationships that work. Protected and respected are key words they keep in mind as they blend their new family members. And advocating for pit bulls is always in their hearts.m super passionate about is that if you adopt an animal or buy one, you invite that animal into your home, and it is with you for the rest of its life,” Dianne says. “ If you go into that relationship understanding the depth of the relationship, you realize a few chewed up shoes aren’t important. It’s a lifetime commitment, and I encourage people not to get an animal unless they are prepared to be together in sickness and health for as long as the pet may live.”
Dianne and her husband have developed special skills at introducing new dogs and cats since they have accumulated so many. They start with supervised sniffs and smells and slowly release the animals as trust builds, this way they ensure all in the household feel safe and develop relationships that work. Protected and respected are key words they keep in mind as they blend their new family members. And advocating for pit bulls is always in their hearts.
“Pit bulls are some of the biggest babies I’ve ever met in my life,” Dianne says. “Both he and Wednesday are just lovers and think they’re lap dogs. They want affection and give affection. Never once in my life have I worried they are going to hurt me. If you treat a pit bull with love and respect and affection, you’re going to get a reflection of that back.”
Dianne explains it’s important to know your dog’s temperament and to train your dog, no matter how large or small. It’s part of the responsibility that comes with sharing your life with a dog of any breed. “Once we think about how short a time we have with these guys, it’s such a blessing to have them in our lives,” she says. “They’re only with us here for so long to teach us super impactful lessons. Animals are so brilliant, so much more intelligent than we give them credit for most of the time. It’s so important to me to use this passion in my heart for pit bulls and pit bull mixes and share all of the things I’ve learned about them.” You can find this entertaining book series on Amazon, we can all learn lessons from A Tale of 2 Pitties