Four Feet Tall and Rising: A Memoir
Shorty Rossi, SJ Hodges
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Luigi Francis Shorty Rossi, the tough-talking, fedora-wearing star of Animal Planet’s hit show Pit Boss, may stand only four feet tall but that hasn’t stopped him from living large, becoming a successful businessman and an outspoken advocate for pit bulls, the most misunderstood breed of dog in the world.
A third generation dwarf, ex-gang member, and ex-con, Shorty knows what it’s like to be misunderstood and in this candid memoir, he shares his personal story for the first time. No one expected Shorty to live let alone succeed, and yet he has, overcoming every challenge, from an abusive home to the violent streets and gangs of South Central LA, to the notorious cell blocks of Folsom Prison where he was imprisoned for attempted murder.
After 10 years, 10 months, and 10 days behind bars, Shorty gained his freedom and the chance to put his entrepreneurial and negotiation skills to the test. He cut the ribbon on his own business, Shortywood, with three goals: to turn his life around, act as a talent agent for little people and establish and fund charities that advocate for, rescue and place abandoned or abused pit bulls into safe homes. In the process, he became a reality-TV star. Now, with Hercules, his rescued pit bull and newly trained service dog by his side, Shorty continues to save pits from the basements and backyards of breeders and abusers while taking on new and even bigger challenges. And nothing is gonna stand in his way.
Shorty Rossi is four feet tall—and rising.
Southgate substation. When I walked in, all the cops were laughing at the guys who’d been part of the chase the night before. “You let this little fuck get away from you?” It embarrassed them so badly they got pissed off. One of the cops kicked me as hard as he could in retaliation. They put me in the holding tank. It was freezing in there, with no toilet. Finally, they pulled me out and said, “Tell us your story.” I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The cop interrogating me said,
reward. Besides, DeWitt was my world, for now. It was too hard to hear about what was going on without me, outside. It was a distraction to get letters and phone calls and packages. I appreciated them when they came, but my focus was on doing good time and getting my sentence out of the way so I could move on and live a new and better life. I became more and more independent. After a few years, the visits dried completely up. That was okay with me. Seeing people could wait until I was out. I
chew me out. He thought it was a travesty that I’d lost such an important job, asking, “What are you gonna do with your life?” I’d defend myself. “I’m dancing onstage! I’m enjoying myself. I don’t have to report to fucking nobody.” It was true. Despite the grueling schedule, the sweaty costumes, and the kicking kids, I enjoyed performing. My dad thought I needed to settle down. “But why? I missed ten years of my fucking life. Let me catch up!” He pushed. “You’ve gotta be like everyone else. With
not the dogs that should be put down. It’s the humans.” I have no idea if they actually heard a single word I said. Some people hear only what they want to hear, words that support their own opinions. Everything else just sounds like … blah, blah, blah. It is one thing to march and make speeches. It’s another thing to make it personal. We had an owner named Louise who had to give up her pit. We had to sneak the dog out of the city and she was bawling her eyes out. The dog was howling and
were headed for bumfuck. I wasn’t going anywhere. I watched them pack and go and barely waved good-bye. I moved in with Nonnie and spent my weekends at Mama Myrt’s. I wouldn’t say I never gave Nonnie any trouble but I tried to keep it to a minimum. Nonnie had gotten older. She was having a lot of trouble walking, so we mostly just sat side by side and watched The Golden Girls together. She thought the show was too racy. We’d have a lunch or a dinner at Sambo’s and I’d walk down the street beside