My name is Josh Liddy and my best friend is, was, and forever will be a dog. Her name was Sway, and she taught me an endless amount about myself, about life and how to live it, about love, about compassion, about responsibility, and the list goes on and on, quite literally forever…

During the 8+ years that she was here with me I spent every minute being her person, and with that, observing the different actions and reactions of others any time her “breed/type” was brought up within a social setting. I quickly realized that some people had very irrational opinions when concerning these type’s of dogs… This ranged from a very generic, learned opinion, to a downright hateful reaction that was based in a desire to eliminate them altogether. As you witness different facets of this play out, you come to realize just how incredibly difficult these amazing dogs have it. Not just from the judgment and villainizing coming from facets of an everyday public, but from disgraceful exploitation at the hands of law-breaking human beings… Not just from the media and the sensationalizing for television ratings, but from perpetuated stereotypes that manifest themselves into laws that are actually written and passed in the name of “banning,” “eradicating,” and “killing” them as a whole… And then we come to the shelters, and you see that many places across the country are oftentimes filled with abandoned Pit Bulls. Most sweet, most loving, and most forgotten and just left to die.

These current realities burn in my gut. They get under my skin and they make my heart hurt, because I know the realities and I see this for what it is, a national extermination based on a misguided perception. What do you do with that? Do you just sit in your corner and wait until that shadow is on top of your world? Or do you at some point stand up and make it clear that this witch-hunt is wrong? You don’t have to have Pit Bulls yourself to come to this conclusion… Just have some compassion and an appreciation for common sense.

Personally I love to write, and I love to critically think, and I love to give a differing perspective, and I love to photograph, and I love to take and edit video. I also try to speak publicly, and although shy, can even come to like it at times (but only when I’m passionate about the subject matter). This certainly passes that test, as I’m beyond passionate about the goodness of Pit Bulls, the goodness of all dogs. So I thought, combine all of these things with the goal of making a difference in some of these dogs’ lives. Be it through hand-to-hand assistance. Be it through bringing¬†awareness visually. Be it through social commentary, both thoughtful & critical, or sometimes loud & obnoxious, but just speak my truth. Be it through supporting shelter reform legislation or speaking out against “breed-specific” (breed-discriminatory) legislation, or just simply being the best dad to my own dogs that I can be, and hoping that others will come to do the same.

One thing is abundantly clear though, and that’s that Pit Bulls sure do need and deserve any help that they can get, and I personally owe my life and energy to making this planet a better place for them to live. So with that, just know that every little thing does help, and I appreciate any support that I do receive. To all: find what you’re passionate about and do that in some way.

With Neola…

And little did I know how my life would be forever changed when this little girl came cautiously out of an Ohio cornfield. Thank God for it…

Sway’s first picture, 2001.

*Just for clarification… I am one person–a Pit Bull advocate–who is looking to help them in many different ways and through various creative outlets… Although I am actively going to shelters and doing photography for homeless dogs, I am not a “rescue,” and my intention is to not come off as if I am… Furthermore, I am not a 501c3 & I do not have pull rights at any shelter.