The experience of loving and being loved by man’s best friend is a joyous, brilliant, and rewarding one. Anyone who has a dog knows exactly what we’re talking about! When Jyo Buyyala learned that — and the particular delight of choosing a Pit Bull as her new best friend — it was 2002. That’s when she visited her local shelter looking for a Shepherd, a Golden, or maybe a Labrador to adopt. Unexpectedly, she made eye contact with a big, beautiful, dark-brindled Pit Bull named Savannah. You probably already know what happened next! She adopted her and was set on a new course of life full of purpose and meaning.

Savannah was all head, all muscle, and all heart. She was also all powerfully thumping tail! Jyo found herself constantly taken aback by the fear, hostility, and disapproval Savannah would receive from both friends and strangers. Time after time people’s judgement and second-hand opinions seemed to trump first-hand experiences of her sweet Pittie. One day Jyo’s mother took Savannah on a walk. Her mother was dressed in traditional Indian attire, and the two of them set off for a nice, effortless stroll. Jyo couldn’t get over how smoothly her mom was able to manage this giant, exuberant dog! It was an unexpected sight, a unique picture of love, and it warmed Jyo’s heart to witness her mother and Savannah together. (She also couldn’t deny that perhaps one of the reasons Savannah was so well-behaved was because she loved her grandma’s chicken curry!)

With so many unexpected happy Pit Bull moments piling up in her memory banks, Jyo was inspired to create The Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar. Her vision has been one and the same since she started this passion project: To boldly, proudly, and unexpectedly showcase true stories of Pit Bulls sharing their lives with loving families, all through gorgeous photos and stories. In doing so, Jyo hopes to reveal the true beauty, comedy, softness, exuberance, friendship, loyalty and courage of this misunderstood breed.

Since 2004 when the organization began, new calendar editions have been published each and every year. These are largely a labor of love, developed by a small group of volunteers so that they can be shared and hung up with pride by thousands of Pit Bull lovers all over the world!  As always, The Unexpected Pit Bull donates 100% of its net proceeds to Pit Bull rescue groups, education programs, and advocacy organizations. In the past proceeds have funded a shelter expansion project as well as numerous spay/neuter programs and Pit Bull adoption programs. The organization continues to sponsor initiatives that advocate, educate, and serve on behalf of Pitties everywhere.

The Unexpected Pit Bull credits their fans and customers with their exponential growth and success. But for now they continue to set their eyes on more to come. Their overall mission is to be able to sponsor innovative programs that focus on training Pit Bulls as Assistant Dogs and Rescue and Therapy service animals. These programs would help rebrand and re-introduce Pit Bull dogs into the mainstream, while enhancing the public opinion of them to the highest regard. We believe that this is something these dogs deserve – a chance to be seen for who they are, individually and fairly. That is why we are proud to sponsor The Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar, and to support their incredible efforts to re-inspire the world about this breed. Together we can challenge more people to see Pit Bulls beyond the stereotypes, and into the heart of what they are: fantastic animals worthy of giving and receiving great love.

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Photos by: Leesia Teh Photography and Mountain Dog Photography.