Sir Patrick Stewart has boldly gone where no man has gone before. He’s honed the skills of the world’s most elite mutants into humanity’s greatest defense. He’s haunted Elsinore, hunted the white whale, heated the Cold War, and sparked up a giddy friendship with Gandalf that the world can’t get enough of.
At 76 years old, Stewart holds multiple Laurence Olivier awards, a Grammy, and even a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for a role in a Mel Gibson film most people have already forgotten about. He’s that good; even his bad days are applauded.
He’s advocated for and helped bring support to organizations like Amnesty International, BeatBullying, Dignity in Dying, and Precious Paws.
It seems there’s little the modern world wouldn’t want to let this in-between-jobs starship captain have full creative control of, so long as it’s captured on video. All except one thing. And perhaps the greatest of all.
Despite all his love and compassionate intention, Stewart is prohibited from adopting Ginger, the pit bull he’s been fostering in the United States, due to breed-specific legislation.
The Dangerous Dogs Act, introduced in 1991 in the UK, makes it illegal for Stewart to bring Ginger back to his home. Stewart had no problem caring for the dog, who was formerly a breeding dog for a pit bull fighting ring, in his stateside home while filming X-Men franchise features, but in England, dogs like Ginger can be seized and destroyed.
When Stewart first brought Ginger home, the actor could hardly contain his excitement, having waited 50 years to own a dog of his own.
“She only arrived a few hours ago at our house, and I’ve longed for this moment to come,” he told Conan O’Brien on March 9.
It was the intention of Stewart and his wife, Sunny Ozell, to foster Ginger in New York until they could find a permanent home for her, but it didn’t take long for Jean Luc Picard and his pup to become fast friends.
The actor’s connection to Ginger is one he admits did not come naturally at first. Stewart, like many others, was apprehensive about taking in a pit bull, due in part to the stigma connected to the breed.
“I had a reaction to that, which I am now significantly ashamed of, because pit bulls to me meant only one thing: aggression, hostility, violence,” he told People. “I was uncomfortable with the idea of meeting this dog,”
Read more to see how Stewart’s relationship with Ginger developed.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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