Used and abused as a bait dog, a 2-year-old Pit Bull was tied up with barbed wire and left to die in an Alabama dumpster. Eventually, he was found and placed in a shelter.
Serendipitously, this boy with a rough start to life got noticed by the right person. Zye Tipton saw the Pittie at the shelter and decided he would be the perfect companion for his family, especially his grandmother, Edee Grun.
At that time, Grun was dealing with a lot. She was recovering from pancreatic cancer and going through a divorce simultaneously, living with her daughter and grandson, Zye.
This dog’s arrival at their home changed Grun’s entire world. As she explained to The Decatur Daily:
“God put him there for me, and God put me there for him. We needed each other. He helped me get through that horrible, horrible period of my life, and that got him through the horrible things he had gone through.”
Big Dog, Bigger Softie
There is such a thing as love at first sight, and that’s exactly what happened between Grun and her family’s rescue dog. She described their first meeting:
“They brought him into the house to meet me, and that baby climbed up in my lap in that recliner and he spent the entire night in my lap. We bonded. That was just all she wrote. Handsome’s never left my side since then.”
Grun and Handsome both needed each other, and it’s a blessing that they found one another.
As for how Handsome got that name, it’s pretty self-explanatory. In spite of his scars from the abuse he endured, Handsome is a beautiful soul.
“The whole time he sat in my lap that night, I just kept telling him what a handsome baby he was. You’re going to be handsome, that’s going to be your name. And it stuck. And it’s been his name.”
Handsome is “a big baby,” and the dog once plucked from a dumpster now sleeps with a Power Puff Girls blanket each night. He’s also typically surrounded by his favorite stuffed toys, including a beloved pink elephant.
“He gets frantic if I have to wash his blanket.”
A Staple Of His New Community
Now cared for and loved, Handsome grew over the years from a scrawny 56-pound shelter dog to a healthy 80-pound boy. He’s a very fitting mascot for Grun’s nonprofit, Feeding Families of Alabama.
Beloved by the community and a big fan of giving kisses, Handsome even hosts his very own annual fundraising event: $1 Kisses By Handsome. He gets to give some love and bring some money in for a good cause too.
“He got to where he was kissing everybody for free, so we had to have a talk about that.”
According to Grun, Handsome also serves as an unofficial school bus monitor in their neighborhood. He’s a real pillar!
“I have to open the door, he’ll stand in the door, and he will watch every child, and every school bus. When those kids are out there on the side of the road, he’s watching. Watching to make sure they’re safe. And when the last bus goes through, he turns around and goes and gets back in bed. He’s like, my job’s done.”
People only assume Pit Bulls are mean dogs because a lot of the people who have them are mean. Handsome suffered at the hands of his former owners, and now he’s a love bug making a difference in his community and within his new family.