There was a really sad story in the local paper the other day. A 74-year-old woman was attacked by daughter’s dog. Without giving you the link [I promise, I’ll give it to you in a bit], can you guess what kind of dog it was?
Okay, most of you were probably correct. It was a pit bull.
I felt awful reading the story, because it’s never a good thing when someone is attacked by an animal. But via the quotes they attributed to the owner, I could tell she probably wasn’t educated about her dog. And I know myself well enough to know I shouldn’t have read the comments on said article.
I did anyway.
I then proceeded to go on a tirade on twitter. Sorry, followers.
It’s just that . . . regardless of what the media tells you about pit bulls, they’re generally well behaved dogs. Yes, you will get the occasional bad seed, but that happens with any animal. I hate when I see stories about children being attacked “completely unprovoked” by a dog. I bet you that kid did something the dog didn’t like, especially if the dog was eating. I don’t like when people discriminate against a dog breed because they don’t research, but blindly follow what the news says.
For instance – do you know there are dogs more likely to fail a temperament test than pit bulls? Click on that link. You’d be surprised which “family friendly” dogs fail more than pitties. [FYI, the President’s dog has a higher failure rate than a pit bull.]
I am a firm believer in responsible ownership. If you want to own a dog, do some research before you get one. Adopt when you can. Dogs in shelters may have had a hard life before you found them, but they can be real sweethearts. I used to volunteer and work at a local no kill shelter. My boss routinely went into the next county to rescue pit bulls from their SPCA. They did basic tests on them to see whether they’d make good Breed Ambassadors, for The Pit Stop Program, which is an education, outreach, and intervention program. They offer free spay/neuter services to owners of pit bulls in our area, as well as training for how to handle their dogs.
Read this story. It’s an incredibly touching story about one of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s compound in Virginia. Please, try not to get me started on how much he says he’s “reformed.” I don’t believe it for a minute, and I don’t believe he regrets what he did, only that he was caught. I personally know one of the volunteers with the Pit Bull Awareness Coalition. They were the only rescue in the Tidewater are of Virginia to get one of Vick’s dogs. Piper – the dog that story is about – is now a therapy dog. Pretty awful, right? She helps kids learn to READ! The horror!
Please, please, please inform yourselves before you bring any animal into your home. If you want to bring a pit bull home, please read the information available at badrap.org. Look at the Pit Bull Awareness Coalition web site. Read the myths about the breed and edcuate yourself before you look like an idiot on a newspaper’s web site.
Please don’t think I’m saying pit bulls can’t be dangerous. They can be, if their owners aren’t educated about their animal. But that’s just it. In the end, dogs are animals. Any responsible dog owner will never say “My dog doesn’t bite,” because the truth is they don’t know their dog doesn’t bite, only that their dog has never been put in a situation where they feel provoked enough to bite.
We can’t have dogs because M is allergic. But if we could? I’d adopt a pit bull in a heart beat, even with Butter and Little Bear in the house. But I’d know about the dog before I brought it home. And in the end, it would be my responsibility [and M’s] to be aware of the dog and our children. It would be up to us to educate our children on how to behave around the dog.