Saturday, May 28, 2011
My baby boy. An American Pit Bull Terrier. The first one I have ever had. Being an animal person, more specifically a "dog" person, I love all breeds. Including those I don't know much about. Actually, the feeling seems to be mutual as I have never met a dog who didn't seem to like me too. Thank goodness--I consider this a compliment since dogs seem to be a better judge of character than any species on the planet.
My boyfriend and I live in a loft in Downtown Houston with our two beautiful children--ahem, dogs. Yes, they are both Pit Bulls. Never mind that they are babies. Or that they're friendly as all get out and want to play with and/or lick-to-death every man, woman, child and dog. Never mind that we are responsible pet owners that keep them on a leash at all times, make them sit so someone can pass them by and pick up their poop. Or that they are fully vaccinated, insured and healthy. None of this matters because people everywhere think my babies are monsters that should be euthanized.
Today I saw someone's post on FB about the evil Pit Bulls that live next door to them that bit her husband and her Chihuahua. Are you effin' serious? First of all, if ANY dog bit a Chihuahua (other than another freakin' Chihuahua) I'd venture to say that it wouldn't live to tell the tale, but that's neither here nor there. What I would like to know is how that wretched, disgusting, out-of-control Pit Bull had the opportunity to nibble on this Chihuahua. Did he scale the fence and go through all that trouble to give him a little nip? Did he bum-rush him on the front porch and snatch him right out from under his master? Or are they one of the many, many arrogant and discourteous people that let their own dog run amok because they think THEIR dog is NOT the problem. I'll be the first to tell you that the latter is not that far fetched--I live with dozens and dozens of them. And every day it's like trying to walk my dogs through a gauntlet of stupidity. If I am expected to be responsible with my deadly Pit Bulls, then why on Earth shouldn't you be responsible for controlling your yapping Chihuahua?
Now, I am not implying that the Chihuahua, the husband or their master are to blame. I simply wonder where the blame actually lies. If I am walking my dog, on a leash, and your unleashed terror comes rushing up barking, snarling, carrying on and jumping at my dog (essentially the canine equivalent of "little man syndrome" in my opinion), and my dog reacts, how in the HELL is this my or my dog's fault? Regardless, you can bet your butt that's the way it's gonna play out. My dogs don't bark, yelp, screech or lunge at any other dogs...UNTIL THEY ARE PROVOKED. What animal (or human, for that matter) would not react when backed into a corner? I walk each dog separately for at least 30 minutes to an hour every time they go out. I have tons of time spent with them, training them and observing their mannerisms, as well as those of my neighbors and their pets. I am not even nearly always right, but I am certain and confident in my observations in this regard--people can be extremely discourteous and irresponsible. I liken it to the parents that let their children run wild and don't watch them, yet want our sympathy when they end up drowning in the back yard or when grandpa backs over them in the driveway. How in God's name was no one watching that 2 year old? It sounds callous and mean, but at some point in time we have the accept some responsibility. I won't start because that's a completely different rant.
Let's clarify some things. PEOPLE are the problem--not the Pit Bulls. By nature, Pit Bulls are friendly, non-aggressive animals. A Pit Bull should NEVER be people aggressive. They are extremely loyal and loving dogs. When a Pit Bull shows aggression toward another animal, or heaven forbid--a human, that Pit Bull was taught that aggression or was wired wrong from the start. The same way any other breed of dog or animal or human can be. And yes, they are dangerous. Either way, it's not their fault. Dogs can be, and are, as much a product of their environment as any human. I watched the NYPD released footage of the Pit Bull puppy getting slammed into elevator walls, kicked and beaten with his own leash. I watched him cower on the floor in horror and my heart breaks that there are people out there that think it's okay because it's only a Pit Bull. Or worse yet, should he make it through this ordeal and come out adopted and then start showing signs of aggression as a result of what he has been through, that he would likely end up being put to sleep. No animal on the planet deserves to be treated this way.
So, once again, call me crazy but I tend to try not to condemn things I know nothing about. Hell, I try not to condemn or judge things that I DO know something about. But as a society, we are sure as hell perfectly content to be ignorant. As they say, ignorance IS bliss.