Copyright © 2012 by Shorty Rossi

All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Crown Archetype,
an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of
Random House, Inc., New York.
Crown Archetype with colophon is a trademark of
Random House, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
[CIP data]
ISBN: 978-0-307-98588-0
eISBN: 978-0-307-98589-7
Printed in the United States of America
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Illustrations by
Jacket design by
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First Edition

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’ve got a big mouth.

I came out of the womb wailing and I’ve pretty much
been yelling ever since. Over the years, I’ve learned some
choice words, and I use them with abandon. Swearing adds
some flavor to the yelling. Swearing is like putting whipped
cream with a cherry on top of all those regular words. You get
more for your money. Swearing is an art.
So I swear and I yell. A lot. I’ve got opinions and I make
them known.
And yeah, I’m not an idiot. I know my big mouth isn’t the
first thing people notice about me. I’m short. Shorter than
most but taller than some, and in a world where short ain’t
shit, you gotta do something to make sure you don’t get swept
underfoot. Hence my big mouth. It’s gotten me into trouble
and it’s saved my ass, and while it may not be the first thing
you notice about me, I guarantee it’ll be the thing you most

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Sh or t y R os s i

It’s this mouth that leads people to believe I’ve got a
Napoleon complex. Like I’m overcompensating for my perceived handicap. Napoleon complex, my ass. That bastard was
five-six—what’d he have to complain about?
Plus, I got good reasons to yell.
I yell ’cause somewhere in a Los Angeles basement, there’s
a pit bull with duct tape wrapped around her muzzle, being
trained to kill while money changes hands. I yell ’cause on
some news program in Denver, there’s a politician demonizing pit bulls to further his own career. I yell ’cause some punk
in Tampa’s got his fifth box of pit puppies and I know they’ll
end up in the last cage of an animal shelter before they’re two.
I yell ’cause humans can be the most brutal and heartless animals on the planet. I yell ’cause a pit bull can’t and somebody
needs to.
I yell ’cause pits are my family.
We are the same breed. We are short, muscular and
stocky, misunderstood, and much maligned. We’ve got hard
heads, short hair, and our “bad” reputations precede us every
time. We are judged by the actions of a few. We are treated
like the enemy before we even make your acquaintance. We
are feared. We are banned. We are excommunicated.
Pit bulls and ex- cons, we got a lot in common.
Except, I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, and I’ve got no
patience for stupidity. I can’t sleep all day and I much prefer
a good cigar and red wine to a bowl of mashed beef. I might
stand at crotch level but I’m not gonna sniff you. And trust


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F O U R F E E T TA L L & R I S I N G

me, if you raise your hand to me, I won’t be the one ducking
and cowering.
On second thought, I guess, in most ways I’m not like
a pit at all.
They’re much, much nicer than me.


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