It was 2008 when Paul and Diane wrote their Visions while camping on a ranch in Northern California. Paul, an author, wanted to continue writing while also focusing his attention on rescuing and advocating for pit bulls. Diane, an American Sign Language Interpreter, dreamed about rescuing pit bulls plus all types of animals.
In the summer of 2013, the now-married couple left their home on Oahu and made their way to Austin, Texas with their Visions very much alive. They spoke often about rescuing pit bulls, but hadn’t gotten any closer to starting their own rescue. After making the tough decision to say goodbye to their beloved fifteen year old pit bull, Titan, their other pit bull, Malia, was heartbroken. Her health immediately declined and less than two months later, Malia passed away. This left both Paul and Diane heartbroken and with a brand new experience: having an empty house.
Only a week later, while taking pictures of dogs at the Austin Animal Center (AAC) for an upcoming fundraiser, Paul met another dog. This dog had only been at the AAC for two days. He was found wandering the streets outside of Austin with open wounds oozing blood and fluids from being used as a bait dog, a catheter still inserted into his body which was used to pump antibiotics into him so the cowardly dog fighters wouldn’t have to take him to a vet. Paul attempted to ignore him, not ready to go down the path of pet adoption so soon after losing Malia and Titan. But the dog continued to watch Paul, quietly sitting, wagging his tail, waiting for the human to say hello. Before leaving the shelter, Paul decided to take the dog for a walk. That was all it took. The next day, the dog went home with Paul and Diane.
They named him after the actor, Danny Trejo, because of his facial scars, ripped body, and loving personality. A month later, Doggy Trejo got to meet his namesake while Danny was in Austin for an event.
Doggy Trejo surprised not only Diane and Paul, but everyone he met. He had zero trust issues with humans or dogs. Rather, he playfully sought out their attention. Trejo sped through obedience classes with Love-A-Bull, quickly passed his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test, and became a Therapy Dog with Love-A-Bull’s Pit Crew.
Sadly, Trejo became ill in the fall of 2017. After numerous tests, a foreign object was found lodged in his intestines. He was taken into emergency surgery and died on the operating table. Paul and Diane, along with their other dog, Barker Posey, were devastated. Trejo was as close to perfect as a dog could be and was suddenly gone.
Through their heartbreak and grief, Paul and Diane realized they had only been paying lip service to their idea of opening a pit bull rescue and animal sanctuary. If they had learned anything from Doggy Trejo, it was to live fully in every moment and love freely. Trejo’s untimely and unfortunate passing was the kick in the ass the couple needed to start acting on their dreams and begin allowing their vision to unfold.
With the help of friends, animal rescuers, dog trainers, and shelters workers, Bully Ranch is now ready to rescue, rehabilitate, train, and find permanent homes for this often misunderstood, yet hysterically loving breed.