Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Anecdotal Pit Bull #1

Inspired by my recent discovery of the assinine policies of my neighbors to the north, I've decided to start a new series on this here blog. I think I'll call it "The Anecdotal Pit Bull". I'll snap a cameraphone picture of a "pit bull type" dog, and describe its behavior while in the clinic.

I've encountered so many pits and pit mixes in the dog park, while volunteering at the shelter, and now at work, that I keep forgetting how bad their reputation is out there, even among people who ought to know better.

Pit bulls are just dogs. Not monsters. Not angels. Dogs. Despite the diversity in dogs as a species, (and despite the face that we all have our favorite breeds that we like to convince ourselves are unique), they are all of them, as individuals, more alike than they are different. If breed looks and behavior were drafted on a ven diagram, it would be a haze of overlapping circles, no clear definitions anywhere.

Lazy thinking, media bias, and reactionary, self-serving politics lead to some breeds being characterized as practically another species. Super Dog, or something. For various reasons, "pit bull type" dogs are the most popular to hate-on currently. This angers me. I don't even particularly LIKE pit bull terriers or Safforshires. They're fine dogs, they're just not in my top ten favorite breeds. Though I certainly wouldn't mind having a pit or mix as a pet someday.

No, I feel the need to defend them because I like all dogs in general. I also dislike busy-bodies, sloppy thinking, poor science, politicians, and racism. Which are, of course, all the things that breed specific legislation is all about.

In that light, here's my first post on pit bulls that I encounter. Sadie.

Sadie 2

Sadie is a purebred American Staffordshire terrier. One of the breeds often included in breed specific legislation. She's a "pit bull type" dog.

Sadie was raised in a family environment, but somehow ended up living with a scumbag the last couple years. He abused and neglected her until recently when my friend took her away from all that. Despite that, she still greets strangers happily, even eagerly. She was brought into the clinic to treat her skin allergy and dirty ears. This involved strangers manhandling her onto her side and holding her there for over 10 minutes while her ears were cleaned. She showed obvious signs of discomfort and resisted being laid down (as most dogs do). At no point did she act aggressive, or even fearful. The best description is probably "annoyed but resigned".

Sadie's just a dog, one of many I encounter on a daily basis. She was easier than average to work with. And she's a pit bull. Whoop-dee-do.

I really hope this series doesn't overwhelm my blog. I deal with so many pit-looking dogs I probably have enough fodder for every day of the week. (They're popular pets in this area). I may have to start doubling up.

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