Look at that smile!
Ivy, an 8-year-old pit bull rescue, could not have been happier when owner Justin Hall gave her 500 tennis balls for her birthday this week.
"The tennis ball tradition started on the first birthday she had after I adopted her. I bought a few packs of tennis balls and 'made it rain' for her and she absolutely freaked out," Hall, 32, told TODAY in an email.
"Every year since then I've been getting her progressively bigger boxes of tennis balls," he added, "and this year it culminated with a bulk shipment of 500 tennis balls off of Ebay as well as her own little above-ground pool in the backyard."
Hall, a graphic designer based in Orlando, Florida, adopted Ivy four years ago following a dark chapter in her life. She came from a defunct breeder , and survived in a household where she was locked in a room for a week with no food or water.
Now, though, she has found the owner to give her the love and attention she deserves.
"Ever since I adopted her she's been my little sidekick for anywhere I go," Hall said. "She loves the water; I take her kayaking and she has a blast every time. She also enjoys being pulled behind my bike in her little bike trailer."
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: One of the fringe benefits of taking on the responsibility of pet ownership is that animals can be an instant icebreaker, whether they’re with you or you’re just using them as a topic of conversation.
Pit bulls tend to get a bad rap, but Ivy is here to prove it's unwarranted. "Everything about her personality goes against the 'vicious pit bull' stereotype," Hall said.
"When we're walking, it's common for people to cross to the other side of the street, shield their children," he said. "But I love being able to expose as many people as possible to her so that they can see she is as gentle and friendly as they come."
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