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Four Feet Tall & Rising: A Memoir

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  378 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
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 dog breed in the world.

A third-generation dwarf, ex-gang member, and ex-con, Shorty knows wh
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Published February 20th 2012 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 13, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-journal
Fans of Animal Planet’s Pit Boss will recognize Rossi as talent manager and owner of Shortywood Entertainment and founder of Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue. Here, he tells his life story—and what a story it is! A third-generation Little Person, Rossi wasn’t expected to survive infancy, but, in his first defiance of authority, he was born without the limitations doctors predicted. After an abusive childhood, Rossi fled the suburbs for the projects of South Central Los Angeles, where he became the only ...more
McGuffy Morris
May 14, 2012 McGuffy Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Four Feet Tall & Rising

By Shorty Rossi

You may know Shorty Rossi as “The Pit Boss”. He has had a big impact on Animal Planet, and the world of dogs. In spite of his size and stature, Shorty Rossi is indeed “four feet tall & rising”.

As a little person, Luigi “Shorty” Rossi learned that life was going to be very different for him than for that of his peers. He also learned that what didn’t kill him made him stronger. Tenacity became Shorty’s way.

A turbulent childhood only made Shorty more d
Mar 04, 2012 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves pitbulls
I give Four feet Tall and Rising 5 stars of of 5

So let me just start off this review saying that I LOVE Shorty Rossi and I have so much respect for him. I know who he is from the Animal Planet show Pit Boss. The amount of dedication and love he puts in his rescue for pit bulls is inspiriting. It's also inspiriting how he went from an abusive home to the gang to prison and eventually a successful business man. I feel like Shorty Rossi is making a big difference in this world and hopefully one d
Camille Turner
Apr 11, 2012 Camille Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shorty Rossi is larger than life, and his personality shines through in this memoir. I'm sure his family members aren't happy he put their business out like he did, but if you don't do it, there's nothing to tell. This book feels like a conversation with Shorty, and it did answer a few questions that had not been addressed fully on his show. I wondered why he gravitated to the hood, and I wondered about the whole prison business. His father is a piece of work. Why his mom stayed I do not know. W ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Astrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My original intention coming here was to write a long-winded review on Shorty’s book but after coming here and reading other’s reviews, I figure most everyone has said what I had wanted to say and probably better. It’s all everyone is saying here--Shorty is authentic, brutally honest (thank you Shorty) and is an intelligent guy with a big heart who has taken every single negative in his life and turned it into a positive tenfold.

That being said, I would like to add one other thing. I used to be
Bonnie Davis
Mar 19, 2012 Bonnie Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an amazing tale by an obnoxious ex-felon. Shorty Rossi has undoubtedly had a difficult life but many of his problems were self induced. He admits that in this fast paced intriguing story of his life... so far. I really enjoyed the story and I was captivated by his struggles and how hard he worked to overcome them. This is a must read book.
Jan 17, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of the his reality show and this book exceeded my expectations...I thoroughly enjoyed it. It reads exactly like I have heard him speak, and it was very interesting the full scoop on his life. I find him pretty inspiring.
Jan 19, 2012 Abbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I LOVE Shorty & what he does for Pit Bulls. A very well-written memoir telling the whole story of where Shorty came from & how he ended up where he is today. I had a very hard time putting this down!
I have been a big fan of the show Pit Boss since it first aired. Shorty is as inspiring as he is infuriating. He definitely can be demanding, as evidenced on the show, but he truly loves his Pit Bulls and those that he rescues and speaks up for. I know I personally would never be able to stand working for him like his employees do (they definitely get major props for sticking it out). But his determination is what makes him a good representative in the fight against BSL (Breed Specific Legislati ...more
Jan 16, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Shorty Rossi is a ex con, ex gang member and a third generation dwarf. He is arrogant, pushy and has a very loud mouth. He has made tons of poor choices and uses the misunderstood game to try and rationalize them. He is driven by money. He is an outspoken advocate for Pit Bulls and is the owner of Shorty's Pit Bull rescue. He is a reality-TV Star on Animal Planet's Pit Boss. He is the owner of Shortywood Entertainment were is a talent agent for Little People. Good and interesting book.
Bobbi Bullard
This book was better than I expected. In the beginning of it, Shorty isn't a very likable character. I'm not saying that he becomes a Sister Tersa but some admirable qualities do surface in the course of thebook.

The book kept my attention till the end, which surprised me. I wish that there was a 3 1/2 star rating because that's what I think it deserves.
S.K. Thomas
Feb 03, 2014 S.K. Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a real life story of how if you want something bad enough, no matter what you have to overcome, you can attain it through hard work & crazy determination. Oh and by not giving a crap about what anyone else thinks or says. Deep down he does have a heart and believes wholeheartedly in his journey in this life as well as these pit bulls he rescues.
Clara Forrest
Jul 13, 2014 Clara Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touching and real

It's nice to see what goes on in Shorty's mind and understand his past a bit more. I love learning how he overcame his failures and made them success stories. could have been more detailed with the show pit boss. It's still a great book, foul language and all.
Mary Kay
Mar 19, 2012 Mary Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! I have watched the show for a while so new the premise but after reading this book I have so much respect for Shorty Rossi and the things he has overcome in his life. No whining in his world. Suck it up, make the best of a bad situation and get to it! He has done so much to help pitbulls and to change peoples opinions about them. He has even tried to take on Denver, CO to change their breed specific legislation outlawing pits in the city. Go get'em Shorty! It makes me want to do ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Lzarrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not War & Peace or To Kill a Mockingbird but it was a fun, interesting book to read. I actually could not put it down. My family watches the show Pit Boss and we find Shorty Rossi's story interesting. Though this book was co-written with SJ Hodges, the voice sounds just like Shorty from the TV show. His is a tough guy who encountered obstacles and some poor decisions in his life. Yet is is also a softy who will do anything for his (or anyone else's) pit bulls. Check out this book. It ...more
Sep 10, 2015 Kaveri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love the show PitBoss and loved the book too!!!! I couldn't put it down and neatly read the entire book in one day!!! A must read for animal lovers and fans of animal planet as well. What a truly inspiring story
Mar 21, 2012 BJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this memoir. I read almost the whole thing in one morning and finished it while I was fixing dinner. I had seen Shorty Rossi's show on Animal Planet and knew some of his history, but I found his writing to be like sitting and having a conversation with him. I thought he was honest and just spoke his mind. He didn't sugarcoat the bad things that happened in his life, or the mistakes he made, but he didn't whine about them either. Having once had a family pet that was mixed, but m ...more
Deborah Slaughter
Loved it

Shortly is an inspiration. I learned a lot from this book. It's amazing that after all of the obstacles life has presented him, he became the kind of good, compassionate man most can only hope to be.
Nov 02, 2015 Tawana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved every bit of it.
Apr 28, 2012 Glennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
He may be short, but he is big in so many other ways! He has a big mouth and a big heart. Shorty tells his story here, warts and all. We read all about prison, his abusive father and the positive people who influenced him to change his life. It's not Pulitzer Prize material,, Shorty writes as if he is just talking to you and there is much use of the f**k word. Since I watch his TV show, it was an interesting read for me. And you gotta love a guy who is willing to do just about anything to save a ...more
Angela Campbell
Jun 18, 2012 Angela Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for anything having to do with animal rescue, and this book doesn't disappoint. Shorty's candid stories about his life, obstacles and the animals he has rescued are interesting and sometimes entertaining, but this book lets us get to know the man behind the animals. He even touches on the troubled relationship he has with his family in a manner that seems to be meant as a lesson for others in similar situations. Overall, a great book, especially if you enjoy memoirs or animal rescue ...more
Mariah Fortuna
Sep 12, 2012 Mariah Fortuna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shorty Rossi is one guy that I love his life storie. It amazes me how he could go from being off the streets in a gang, doing drugs & and shootings to running his own business for a pit bull rescue & is a talent agent for dwarfs. This storie is so easy to understand stand and I just couldn't put it down! This book I would recommend for young adults and older because there is some fowel language and inappropriate words but hey it's shorty his mouth isn't the cleanest.
Project: sculpture
Alexandra Amaya
Dec 19, 2013 Alexandra Amaya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me two days to read this book. I burst out loud laughing whenever he cursed about something that happened to him or made him mad. His story is very inspiring. I can really relate to him about the anger issues because I know I've been there myself. Who better than him to advocate for pit bulls? It seemed rather short but was straight to the point. It was only ten chapters. It was certainly very enjoyable to read.
Shelley Smith
Feb 14, 2014 Shelley Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, great story, learned a bunch and it wasn't a hard read at all (and for me just getting back into reading thats saying a ton).
Glad i got to read about the life of Shorty Rossi as he is now known.
Glad i found this book and gave it a try. :D
Mar 05, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great memoir! Shorty Rossi has done a lot to raise awareness for those who are sometimes discriminated against - little people and big dogs. Love the show and was happy to hear his authenticity in sharing his story, and his goal to save pit bulls from unfair breed specific legislation. If you love dogs, read this book! If you don't like dogs or are scared of pit bulls, read this book!
Anna Kennedy
May 13, 2012 Anna Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is hands down the most inspiring book I have ever read. Shorty's journey is inspiring and it shows that anyone can change and achieve their dreams! It is also funny and you can picture Shorty saying everything in the book. The passion Shorty feels for his pit blogs and the breed in general is contagious. I definitely recommend reading this book!
Apr 09, 2012 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a fan of Animal Planets show Pit Boss, I was intrigued with Shorty Rossi's story. After finishing the book all I can say is... WOW. It is an uncompromising look at a man's life and the choices, both good and bad, that made him what he is today. Four Feet Tall and Rising: A Memoir is a terrific book and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Mar 12, 2012 Moose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because I watch the Pit Boss, I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned more about Shorty and how he changed his life for the better. I always knew he had a big heart despite his Italian temper. Even before I read this book, I always said I'd like to have him over for dinner. He's a riot. He would have to watch his mouth though!
Aug 26, 2013 K.S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting life story. This book is very easy to read. Shorty Rossi's life before the show Pit Boss is the main focus of the book. Fascinating inside look at gangs, Little People, prison life, and more. If you're a fan of Shorty's this is a must read. If you don't know who Shorty is, or don't like him, read it anyway!
This is a good read. If you are a fan of Pit Boss I would say read this book. You will learn that Shorty isn't the big but thread people may think he is. You get the feeling he is real and doesn't put on a show just for the cause of a t.v. show. Hope others enjoy too.
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Luigi Francis Shorty Rossi is a pit bull activist, owner of Shortywood Productions, star of Animal Planet's Pit Boss, and a third-generation dwarf.

In 1987, Rossi was involved in a gang-related shooting and convicted of felonies including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He was sent to the California Youth Authority and was later transferred to Folsom State Prison to serve a tota
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