Sometimes the world can seem dark, and it’s easy to lose hope. But for Meatball or Meaty – a rescued smiley Pit Bull mix – life is beautiful. He was taken in by Lisa Reilly, who shared in an essay for Petco how she found love again through Meaty’s smiles after seeing him on Fresno Bully Shelter’s Facebook page.
In gratitude, Meaty showed his full support for Lisa’s other half, Joe. Patience paid off when Joe trained Meaty to balance a diamond ring on his nose– leading to an irresistible proposal. Now, the entire family is spreading their lovely smiles all over Instagram. Below are some of our favorite snapshots!
If you ask his humans, this pit bull mix’s name is Meatball, or Meaty for short. About two years ago, however, he was just a number. A dog facing an untimely end at a shelter.
Lisa Reilly came across a photo of him online that was posted by Fresno Bully Rescue. He looked strikingly similar to her own dog, Kitty, who had recently passed away three months prior.
When she seeing him living in the shelter, Meaty was lying in the sun enjoying the heat. Many other dogs who live in shelters require just as much attention as he did.
“I found Meaty in a terrible state, but Fresno Bully Rescue did an amazing job nursing him back to health until I was able to bring him home,” Reilly recounts.
The dog seemed to take the most interest in the camera, acting like a model every time Reilly went to snap a picture.
Reilly didn’t realize how great of a dog Meaty was until he took him home and introduced him to two other pit bulls who were also rescued, Punky and Ricardo Tubbs. Reilly also has dachshunds living with him, Bitty and Dappe.
Reilly said that he looks like a bowling ball. It’s hard to tell how short he is, but he is low to the ground and wide. He would barrel into you when we first got him, so Reilly started calling him “The Meatball” or “Meaty” for short.
Occasionally, it’s Meatster. And other times, when the dog accompanies Reilly’s husband to his job at the police department, it’s McMeat -the Crime Fighting Dog.
But Meaty is more than just a physical specimen. He knows how to work the camera and his owner for maximum cuteness.
“Many people think that having an obese dog is negative, but I’ve found one key benefit to my chubby pup–he very treats motivated,” Reilly explains. “This means that he responds well to rewards, making it simple to take pictures of him.”
Santa called in sick? TREAT.
Meaty has blown up on Instagram, with over 30,000 followers, but he remains down-to-earth. Or at least, as much as possible given that things have turned out incredibly well for him and he’s gone a bit insane because of it.
“When meathead isn’t working,” Reilly says, “he either passed out or runs around like a maniac.”
Besides always being willing to have his picture taken, Meaty never forgets where he came from or the family who took a chance on him – unleashing his inner superstar.
“His dependency on me is bittersweet,” Reilly says. “On one hand, it’s wonderful to have such a close bond with my child. But on the other hand, I can’t ever get a break! Even when he was teething and gave me zero sleep for months, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that he wanted nothing more than to be near me.”