After losing her furry brother, a senior Labrador named King, Gigi felt sad and grief-stricken. Having lost her companion and playmate, she was also lonely.
Her owner, Aaron Michael Louis, thought bringing Gigi to the park to socialize would help her, but other dog owners were not so considerate.
People kept avoiding Gigi, and would not let their dogs play with her, so she ended up playing by herself once again.
It was simply heartbreaking because all Gigi wanted was to have fun like the other dogs.
All-Encompassing Pittie Prejudice
Pit Bulls are often the most misunderstood dog breed by the public due to wrongly-labeled stereotypes that claim that these dogs are dangerous and have a stronger bite strength than other dog breeds.
However, according to the journal article, titled: Pit bulls and prejudice , published by the American Psychological Association, “scientific research demonstrates that no truth exists in these common stereotypes”.
Still, pervasive bias against Pit Bulls persists in society, and Gigi and Aaron felt it firsthand.
“I wanted to take Gigi to the park to help socialize her. People were avoiding her. They didn’t want their dogs playing with her, so she ended up playing by herself. And that just made me feel so awful, watching my dog not be able to have fun with other dogs,” Aaron told The Dodo.
Even when Aaron would take Gigi on walks, he would often see people cross the street to avoid them. “I never get like frustrated or mad because in my mind, I’m just like, ‘They don’t know us’. They’re going off something that they believe without even meeting us,” Aaron commented.
And, it’s not only Gigi that’s the victim of an ugly prejudice.
Aaron, himself, has been a victim of stereotypes.
“We’ve been told that I look like a typical Pit bull owner,” Aaron said.
He has had several different dogs in his lifetime, but Pit Bulls have always had a special place in his heart.
Before Gigi, Aaron had a Labrador Retriever dog, named King, for fifteen years. In 2021, when he noticed that King was getting older, he decided to get another dog.
“I met Gigi, and she was just the sweetest, kindest little dog. So, I brought her home, and it was, like, an immediate bond between them,” Aaron said, adding that King passed away a couple of months later. “The first month or two after he passed, it was probably the hardest time because not only did I lose my first adult dog, she lost the only other dog that she’s ever known.”
Both of them experienced a strong grief period, which eventually brought the two of them closer.
Bully Breed Meet & Greet
Seeing his little, sweet girl suffer because of the ugly prejudices and stereotypes, Aaron decided to do something about it.
He took matters into his own hands and started a thing he likes to call the “Bully Breed Meetup”.
The first meetup he ever did was in his hometown city of San Diego. Both of them were very excited and a bit nervous.
At first, Gigi did not know what was going on, but the more dogs that showed up, the more her tail wagged.
She was finally happy to be able to play with other dogs.
“To see GiGi’s personality grow. To see the love pouring out of her. The joy. The smile she has when she sees her friends […] We’ve been through so much. We’ve battled against a lot of hate. But we still lead with love,” Aaron wrote in an Instagram post.
It all began as Aaron’s wish to make Gigi happy, but it grew into something much bigger.
Both Aaron and Gigi are now huge Pit Bull advocates, with a huge social media presence that show people how kind these dogs can be.
As of now, they’ve had many Bully breed meetups in the San Diego area, and there are many more to come.
“My favorite part has been just seeing these dogs grow in that space and find their comfort zone, find their happy place with their humans,” Aaron said.
Follow Gigi on Instagram for more educational and inspirational content, and her dad, Aaron, as well (a.k.a. Gigi’s assistant, as he likes to call himself).
 Duberstein, A., King, B., & Johnson, A. R. (2023). Pit bulls and prejudice. The Humanistic Psychologist, 51(2), 183–188. https://doi.org/10.1037/hum0000259