Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Part 4: dog training applies to non-pit bulls, too

In post 4, Skeptifem attacks Bad Rap for having information on their blog about socializing and training foster dogs. She implies that only pit bulls require this kind of socialization, therefore these posts are proof that Bad Rap is hypocritical about their stance that pit bulls should be treated like any other dog.

If you actually read the posts from Bad Rap, all you find is the same general advice you'd find on any dog trainer's website regarding any type of dog.

The biggest and most embarrassing mistake in Skeptifem's multi-post series on pit bulls is this idea that certain breeds of dogs are "safe" and others are "unsafe". Period, end of story, any counter-examples are rare flukes.

All dogs need socialization and training. Many types of dogs needs special socialization or training to overcome issues and go on to become fine pets. Temperament isn't a black and white issue. Aggression isn't a black and white issue. Context matters.

Dog trainers (of all types) know this. Animal behaviorists (you know, the scientists?) know this. People who foster or adopt rescue dogs know this. The dog-bloggers I read know this. Heck, even the lawyers seem to understand. It may be complicated and nuanced and not everyone agrees on everything, but it's not a secret, and it's not at all limited to the "pit bull nutters".

Even professional dog trainers can get frustrated with their pets.

Dog-dog socialization is important from a very young age. Unless you've bottle raised an orphan, we tend to take this for granted.

A perfectly good pet in a home situation may act terrified and anti-social while in a shelter situation.

The idea that you can go to a shelter/breeder/pet store and pick out a "safe" dog based solely on breed is not just ignorant, but dangerous.

[Edited to add] It has been brought to my attention that I haven't linked to the blog post I'm reacting to and therefore the numerous readers of my blog can't make up their own minds about it and are helpless slaves to my opinion. I apologize for the oversight and have corrected it with a link in my first sentence above.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An unfortunate conversation

Client: "So there's no other steroid therapy that's less harsh."
Doctor: "I'm afraid not. We could dial down the dose even more, or even try stopping thearpy until he gets over this bout of side effects, but we'd have to start up again."
Client: "Is there an herb we could use? Something natural that wouldn't have the side effects?"
Doctor (after a pause to carefully consider his words): "Not that I'm aware of."

Me (inside my head): "We have a special name for 'natural herbs' that are effective and have fewer side effects than your current therapy. We call them 'drugs' and we would have already dispensed it to you."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fossils, fossils everywhere

Remember that trip I mentioned a while ago? It was to Fossil, Oregon. A wee little town near the John Day Fossil Beds. On a hillside behind their high school, members of the public can dig up fossils to take home.

I've collected fossils from private land before, but this is the only public fossil bed in the entire US. I've wanted to visit for a long time. So on a lark we set off one cold, rainy Saturday.

Once you get to the town, just drive around for a few minutes and you'll spot the high school. It has an informational sign that talks a little about the fossils found there. Anyone can walk up to the hill and start digging, year round. They ask for a $5 donation per person, that each person only take two handfuls of fossils and that everyone dig gently with small tools.

I didn't even bring any tools. I spent about 45 minutes sorting through the pieces of rock already on the surface of the dig site, and doing a little bit of digging with my fingers to pry new rocks out of the clay. Here's what I came home with:




Bagged me some metasequoia and alder leaves. I'm sure if I'd brought tools and dug down I would have found some even better.

If you ever get the chance to visit, do it! If you visit while it's raining, though, learn from our mistakes: wear boots. The soil is that special sticky clay that clings in giant clumps to shoes and dog fur like dinglehoppers on steroids.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anecdotal Pit Bull #16, 17, 18, 19, 20

More examples of dogs that would be targeted by breed specific legislation simply because of the way they look, not the way they act.

If we used BSL-type logic at the clinic, we'd waste a lot of time "protecting" ourselves from friendly/neutral/nondangerous dogs. And not enough time looking for behavioral signs that a dog (any dog) might injure us.

Lacey is a 6-year-old spayed female rescue dog. She's possibly a catahoula mix, but who knows. With her smooth coat and head shape, she would definitly be targeted by BSL as a "pit bull type" dog. She is owned by a co-worker who also has three young children that Lacy loves and gets along wonderfully with. Lacey has killed cats in the past, and can be cranky with the other two dogs that live in the same house. She recently came into the clinic to be treated for a broken toe. She hates being held down to have it bandaged, but never shows aggression.

This pathetic face belongs to a 6-month-old neutered male pit bull terrier. His family (husband, wife, toddler) doesn't speak very much English, and my Spanish is too rusty for me to ask many other questions about him. All I can tell you is that he is incredibly friendly to all people he meets.

This is a 7-year-old spayed female American Staffordshire Terrier. In this photo she's in considerable pain from arthritis in her neck. She's a well-loved family dog. She never acted aggressive as we handled her to examine and take x-rays.

This ridiculous, neutered male dog is, according to owner, an Alapaha Blue Bulldog. At nearly 90 lbs, he's certainly much larger than any pit bulls I've seen, but because of his short hair and head shape, he would without a doubt be targeted as a "pit bull type" dog by BSL. He was in for a minor lump removal surgery and aside from being a leash puller, acted very nicely for everyone. He has the kind of face I want to smoosh.

When you first see Toby, the first thing you think is "rottweiler mix of some kind". His huge blocky head, short hair, wide set front legs and deep chest would easily fool anyone who didn't know his ancestry. He is actually half boxer, half black lab. He is one of the goofiest dogs I've ever met, and that's saying something. He's been at the clinic for almost a week now, and we have to shove pills down his throat twice daily, and hold him in the sink to flush his wound once daily. It sometimes takes 2-3 people to hold him, but he's never aggressive. I've personally had my hand up to the wrist in his giant gullet several times and at no point did I fear losing it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Still not quite done: Part 3!

Photo: Tango (pictured playing with puppy-Zelda), is a mixed breed dog who, because of his blocky head and short hair, would likely be targeted by any type of BSL. Despite being one of the most mellow, friendly, wonderful family pets I've ever met.

Here's part 1 and part 2 of my take down of Skeptifem's un-skeptical essay supporting BSL.

(Paragraph 1): Teaser line
(Paragraph 2): Ad hominem argument involving unethical actions of a pit bull owner.
(Paragraph 3): Same, continued.
(Paragraph 4): Criminals use code words and do other sneaky things to hide their illegal activities.
(Paragraph 5 - 9): Ad hominem argument involving unethical actions of a pit bull breeder.
(Paragraph 10): At last, the point:

"This isn't to say that everyone who is anti-bsl or a protester is okay with or involved in dog fighting, most will express that they hate dog fighting and people who abuse pit bulls. I believe them. What I am trying to say is that they are helping dog fighters and are doing nothing to flush them out of their own ranks"
She has a tiny bit of a point: if you defend all pit bulls and their owners, you run the risk of defending a dog fighter unknowingly. There's no escaping the fact that pit bulls are the current breed(s) of choice for dog fighters in North America. How this helps dog fighters continue their already illegal activities, I'm not really sure, and Skeptifem hasn't really made a good case.

And what exactly does she expect pit bull advocates to do to "flush dog fighters from our ranks"? Do a background check and home inspection of everyone who makes an anti-BSL blog or joins a pit bull forum? Shouldn't we bend over backwards to flush out other types of criminals as well? There are a lot of pit bull owners out there representing a wide swath of humanity. I'm positive some of them are also shoplifters or car thieves or embezzlers or partake of illegal substances. Why are we responsible for criminals who happen to agree with our anti-BSL stance? I thought that was the job of law enforcement to, you know, enforce laws?

The one thing that all pit bull advocates agree on (treating dogs with short hair and big heads the same you would any dog), doesn't have anything to do with dog fighting. It's already just as illegal to fight German shepherds as it is pit bulls.

"BSL can include things that make it difficult for dog fighting to continue, like limits on how many can be owned and standards for containment."

Yes, because people who are already breaking the law are going to take one look at these new laws and go, "oh, well, these ones I'll follow, by golly!" Especially when there's barely enough funding to enforce the animal control laws we already have.

She does acknowledge that it's impossible for a law to distinguish between "good" pit bull owners and the "bad" ones it's trying to target. But that's as far as she goes in the discussion of the drawbacks and difficulties in enforcing BSL.

(Paragraph 11): Best Friends Animal Shelter did some possibly unethical things with high profile rescue pit bulls. I don't know how this argues in favor of BSL.

(Paragraph 12): A bunch of ipso factso stuff with no references:

"Most of the problems involved with pit bulls and shelters stem from the fact that there are too damn many of them being bred"

I suppose this is possible, though I quibble that there's a "problem" with pet overpopulation in the first place, let alone it being the fault of breeders. But that's a different discussion.

"[breeding] is where dog fighters really make their money"

It is? I'd love to see evidence of that, but she provide none. I thought it was all the illegal gambling. I'm also confused. Just a second ago she said the dog market is flush with "too damn many" pit bulls. How can anyone make money from a breeding a type of dog that's overflowing at the shelters?

"The advocates ... are supporting breeding groups like kennel clubs and breed associations."

I'm confused again. Is she saying all breeders of pit bulls are dog fighters? And/or that all breed clubs are bad? It could just as easily be argued that breed clubs provide the type of scrutiny that dog fighters tend to scuttle away from.

"people with an ounce of curiosity can see that the massive amount of information about being a Responsible Owner is just a bunch of disingenuous bullshit.

When in doubt, label the people who disagree with you as "disingenuous". There's no way to argue against it!

Um, also, I'm pretty sure every dog trainer on the planet would tell you being a responsible dog owner is important to prevent dog bites. It's not just pit bull advocates who say this.

Sigh. Looks like she has a Part 4 in the works. I'll be there.

I'm not done: Part 2!

Bob 1
Photo: This intact male Pit Bull Terrier was in great pain after being hit by a car, yet he never showed signs of aggression toward us humans as we handled him.

Here's Part 1 of my take down.

And in case you need it, here's an explanation of why I bother to defend pit bulls from poorly researched and overtly biased rants such as this.

Skeptifem, you can do better than this.

In Part 2, Skeptifem now focuses on pit bull advocates and how crazy they are to defend dogs that, in her mind, have definitively been proven to be SUPER SPECIAL DANGEROUS than any other type of dog.

(Part 2: Paragraph 1)
One of the main things she takes exception to is the fact that pit bull advocates often compare breedism to racism. This is something I've struggled with myself. From the perspective of a dog-lover, the parallels are impossible to ignore. But to a lot of people, such a comparison is insulting. I understand this. I know perfectly well that dogs aren't humans, and so do plenty of other pit bull advocates.

Again, just because some people are hyperbolic in their defense of pit bulls, doesn't actually mean pit bulls shouldn't be defended.

What I don't understand, especially from a feminist, is why she ignores the links between BSL and racism. This is a related but seperate discussion, (although Skeptifem has already proven she doesn't understand nuance when it comes to this subject). A big part of breed specific legislation is the this idea that only gang-bangers or similar undesirables own them. (I mean, pit bulls aren't owned by nice families are they?) Specifically attacking the pets of people of color sounds like racism to me.

(Paragraph 2)
"Being worried that someone else will be mangled by a dog isn't considered a legitimate reason [to discriminate]."

Well, yeah. Since there's no reason to treat any individual pit bull type dog differently than any other dog in any given situation.

Also, this constant theme that pit bull advocates hate dog bite victims gets old real fast.

It's not logical to discriminate against friendly, family dogs because someone, somewhere, was injured by other, different dogs. Making this observation also doesn't mean that I hate or blame the victims of dog attacks. Also, observing that there were ways to prevent dog bites independent of breed is not "blaming the victim". Unless, of course, the victim was an idiot. Then they actually deserved to be blamed for their actions.

Any dog can cause harm. If breed discrimination actually worked to deter dog bites, then I and most other dog people would be totally for it. Fewer dog bites is good for dog owners, too. But it doesn't. Even if all "pit bull type" dogs vanished from the face of the earth tomorrow, people would still be attacked and injured and maimed and sometimes killed by dogs.

She links to two studies that list risk factors for dog bites. They both include "certain breeds", but for now I'll ignore the inherent problems with compiling these types of breed-specific statistics. What I want to know is: why do anti-pit bull people always ignore the other risk factors?

Children left unsupervised with dogs. Seasonality. Age of the victim. Unneutered male dogs. This is my favorite: households with any dogs at all.

"If advocates admitted that there is a genuine concern about public health ... they would have to address it as such, but the refrain of "my dog is perfectly safe" is all that can be heard"

Perhaps that's all that Skeptifem hears, but she obviously isn't reading the same blogs I am. Dog people all over the web are very concerned about dog bites, and are doing their best to address them as a public health issue. We're just doing things other than BSL.

"Safe" is also a very relative term. I would call my border collie very "safe", yet I would never leave her unattended around young children because she could easily injure them unintentionally. I've known many pit bull type dogs (and many other dogs!) that I would say the exact same thing about.

"Advocates ... flood youtube with videos of their pit bulls being friendly with their kids, titling them things like "pit bull attacks child" or "vicious pit bull" so that it is difficult to find videos about actual attacks that occurred."

Titles like that are meant to be sarcastic or ironic, not a part of a vast conspiracy to hide negative images of pit bulls. And why are anecdotal videos and photos that show pit bulls in a positive or neutral way somehow less trustworthy than negative ones?

She can't even imagine that anyone would let their child interact with a pit bull at all, and says, "Animals that can kill babies shouldn't be put anywhere near babies." Human babies are pretty fragile; I guess by this logic no one should allow any animal over the size of a baby garter snake near a baby? I'm being factitious of course. It's completely ridiculous to think no one can safely take pictures of a child with a family pet.

Shen then misquotes BadRap and says they say to never leave children unsupervised with pit bulls. What they (and everyone who knows anything about dogs) actually recommend is to never leave children unsupervised with any dog.

Then, in the span of a few jaw dropping sentances, Skeptifem brings up three pit bull myths as if they were facts:

"I don't know what this is supposed to prove exactly, considering that many families could have taken years of pictures of this sort before their pit bull killed one of the children. I would say that keeping these dogs away from children is important because of how difficult it is to dislodge the dogs once they bite. A special breed specific tool for bites called a "break stick" exists to try and dislodge pit bulls who bite, but if you really believe your dog is "perfectly safe" it is hard to imagine why you would be compelled to buy one or supervise your children around the dog."

Ticking time bomb? Check. Superdog bite strength/locking jaw? Check. Break sticks required?Check. A few paragraphs later she likens owning pit bulls to owning tigers or birds of prey. We're well on our way to filling in a bingo card, here.

Paragraphs 3 through 5 are dedicated to completely misrepresenting a recent incident with a pit bull being banned from a library reading program. In Skeptifem's version, the current owner of Jonny Justice the former Vick dog muscled his way into a library and forced children to read to his dog so he could get photos of the act. The children were terrified, and he and his dog were kicked out of the library. Pit bull advocates went nuts and pulled the whole program in a fit of pique.

Uh huh. What really happened was that Jonny, a trained, experienced and well-behaved reading assistant dog, was banned from a library's dog reading program by one librarian. There were no reports of "terrified children". When mediation with the librarian was ignored, and the city attorney confirmed that that breed discrimination was actually illegal in the state. Instead of follow the law, it was the librarian that canned the whole program rather than allow a well-behaved, trained dog in her library.

Skeptifem says, "The safety and comfort of everyone else is at the bottom of the list of what these folks care about."

Fearing something for ignorant or illogical reasons doesn't mean the rest of society has to bend over backwards to accomadate you. There are some people who fear vaccines for ignorant or illogical reasons; that doesn't mean the rest of us should change childhood vaccination requirements for them.

The rest of Part 2 is more ad hominem arguments about how some pit bull owners/advocates are silly or stupid or callus or whatever. Yawn.

And, oh yes, I will finish this thing with a Part 3.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm not done

Photo: Gracie the Pit Bull Terrier remains docile even while her infected anal glands are examined.

A blogger I respected (up until now), recently posted (in a three-part series no less) on pit bulls and how strange it was that there are people who like them and hate BSL.

After hundreds of words, her posts boil down to this: "What? Some people keep pit bulls as pets? That's weird and outside my experience! My ten minutes of internet research confirms what I already suspected that pit bulls are different and dangerous. Stupid pit bull lovers! BSL for everyone!"

Yeah. That alone would have been enough, but she also compares pit bull advocates (which I guess I am) to vaccination deniers and fans of homeopathic medicine. Please, just slap me in the face, why don't you? This is supposed to be a skeptic's blog, and it's just. So. Wrong. I left a too-long comment there already, but as we all know I'm a fan of GYOFB philosophy, so here we go.

(Part 1: Paragraph 1)
She states that woo groups have shared characteristics, and one is that they do not "outright state their real purpose... and only nerds who like to dig deep into things (skeptics) will find the truth."

Very true. And it would have been great if she had actually "dug deeply" or found any "truth" or any evidence of a hidden agenda from people who advocate for pit bulls. Or really, anything but the same tired arguments for BSL that have been circulating for the last couple decades.

"There was an internal woo alarm that lit up for me upon researching pro-pit bull activism."

Judging by the rest of the posts, that "internal alarm" was her preconceived ideas (aka "bias") against pit bulls.

(Part 1:Paragraph 2)
She gives a history of what she calls the "pit bull debate".

"Pit bulls are a few breeds of dogs that are commonly lumped together... bred for blood sports and fighting long ago."

No reference for these statements, so I don't know exactly which "few breeds" she's referring to. Because breeds commonly affected by BSL include hunting dogs like the catahoula (unless 'hunting' is a type of blood sport? In which case all hunting dogs should also be persecuted, or lumped together with pit bulls?)

She also doesn't state what she means by "long ago". Decades? Centuries? Millenia? Because, "long ago", all dog ancestors were wolves, and wolves are undisputedly dangerous to keep as pets. "Long ago" English bull dogs, boxers, all the different mastiff breeds, and many other breeds NOT commonly lumped with pit bulls were also bred for blood sports.

She then lists a handful of examples of pit bull type dogs causing major injury to people, saying: "This is not typically something dogs in general are capable of." Another statement based on unresearched gut feeling. Like all thoughtless anti-pit bull people, she doesn't have any science that shows a locking jaw, or extra jaw strength, or any other genetic behavior that makes them SUPER CRAZY SPECIAL DOGS. Physically, what is it exactly that makes a pit bull type dog so very different than a lab mix?

I've said it before, others have said it, and I'll say it again: for each and every anecdote pro-BSL people cite where a "pit bull" has done something negative, I can cite an equally bad, equally reliable example involving a lab mix, or a golden retriever, or a boxer, or whatever, or unidentifiable mix breed.

It would be difficult to link to all the reported examples of non-pit bulls causing grievous harm to people, property, and other animals, so I'll just reference the two most active blogs who collect such reports: KC Dog Blog and For the Pit Bulls.

She states: "Multiple studies... found that pit bulls and rottweilers are responsible for the majority of fatal dog attacks."

By "multiple studies" she means Dogbites.org and that famous CDC study. Both of which, she admits, are based on media reports and rely journalists to idenify dogs breeds. But, she says, "The use of media is not necessarily inaccurate automatically- the support of other studies makes me think that the media is giving proportional attention to fatal dog attacks from different breeds." Handily dismissing, without much fanfare or research (and only one reference to one study on Dogbites.org), any possibility of media bias against pit bulls.

Oh yes, certainly no evidence of that.

And worse, I wonder if she actually read the entire CDC study, since the researchers say in their conclusion: "Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem ... other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog's breed with certainty, enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites." (Emphasis bolding mine)

(Part 1:Paragraphs 3)
"The [pit bull] advocates are generally against any breed specific laws and for everyone treating their dog exactly like they would any other breed of dog."

100% correct and a very reasonable thing to want since there's no reasonable justification for not treating a pit bull type dog just like other dogs.

"[Pit bull advocates] often characterize people who oppose them as hating all pit bulls or thinking that they all bit (sic) or kill. I haven't seen anyone on dog bite victim advocacy websites pushing that view at all."

Then you aren't reading very many anti-pit bull writers, then. Or the commenters on your own blog, apparently, many of whom responded to this post with variations of "Yeah! Make the pit bulls go extinct! There's no reason for 'em!"

"The injuries (and sometimes deaths) are completely preventable."

Indeed, most dog bites are preventable. But not by BSL, which (if you would know if you researched and used critical thinking) doesn't prevent dog bites.

(Part 1: Paragraph 5)
She states that pit bull advocates "try to state that pit bulls are equally likely to bite/equally as dangerous as any other kind of dog."

100% correct, though of course due to the difficulties in identifying pit bulls and reporting their good or neutral behavior, there's no good empirical statistics to prove this. It being the null hypothesis, however, it's up to the anti-pit bull people to prove it wrong. As I laid out above, there's no evidence, but, unfortunately, from this point on, the blogger acts as if the case against pit bulls has already been proven conclusively.

Here's her first strawman argument: pit bull advocates claim that their dogs can be trained out of their inherent aggression and that's ridiculous because "The exact amount of nature and nurture involved with animal behavior is difficult to calculate, but it certainly cannot be none."

Right. Since there's no evidence that pit bull type dogs are especially aggressive, there's no trait to "train out" of them that other dog breeds don't also have. Being a pit bull advocate, I think I can speak for us: when we say "it's all in how you raise them", this is a reminder that pit bulls are just dogs. Training and socialization is important for ALL dogs. A poorly socialized or abused lab is the same risk as a pit bull in the same situation. Just as a well socialized pit bull is just as reliable as a nice lab. Note I say "risk". An abused dog is not guaranteed to be aggressive, just as a well trained dog is not guaranteed to behave perfectly or to never bite. Dog trainers know this; most of the bloggers I read know this; heck, even dog fighters know this since they kill dogs from their breeding program who, despite all their efforts, still aren't aggressive enough.

Speaking of aggressive, the blogger next tries her hand at judging dog behavior. Without, apparently, doing any research into dog behavior. She says that we say that pit bulls "were bred to be aggressive towards other animals only, but not babies and children... The principle that "dog aggression" and "human aggression" are different from plain old "aggression" has never been demonstrated by advocates or scientists."

Really? Because most dog breeds are (or were "long ago") indeed bred to do exactly that. Hounds course and kill rabbits and coyotes and deer and boar and fox and whatever else; terriers live for tearing small animals to pieces; the intensity of a herding dog chasing sheep is merely modified hunting behavior; and they all come home and sleep at their owner's side all night. What dog owner hasn't seen the different ways their pet interacts with them versus the cat versus other dogs at the park? Humans may just be another animal in the grand scheme of things, but we're an animal that dogs can easily distinguish from other dogs and other animals. This is a big reason that dogs are such popular pets.

True, it's debated in the dog community how dog fighting training affects the dogs' relationship with people. It's also true that some pit bull advocates are in denial about the ability to rehabilitate all former abused/fighting dogs. Not to even mention all the guard and police dogs are trained specifically to be aggressive towards other humans. This is an interesting topic that deserves more nuanced discussion, but to claim that dogs can't tell the difference between a human and another dog is just ignorant. And apparently this study on dog aggression either slipped under her radar or didn't count as a scientific study?

"This doesn't stop advocates from being angry when their dogs are asked to leave dog parks, either."

Yes, well, if I was kicked out of a dog park because of the way my dog looked, not the way he acted, I'd be pissed. Just as I'd pissed if someone else refused to leave if their dog (of ANY breed) was acting badly. Being from pit-bull friendly Corvallis, Oregon, I've only witnessed the latter situation, and trust me, at the dog park, breed doesn't matter nearly as much as the idiocy of the owner.

(Part 1: Paragraph 7)
She says pit bull advocates say conflicting and often inaccurate things about dog behavior, genetics, and aggression. Yeah, I guess that kind of thing happens when there's a huge, diverse group of people that really only agree on one thing (despite the label that's been slapped on them): pit bull type dogs deserve the consideration as any other dog. I have indeed seen pit bull advocates with their heads in the clouds, who couldn't be persuaded to admit that a pit bull could hurt someone even if it was latched onto their arm. To characterize ALL pit bull owners and advocates as the same is as bad as making a strawman to knock down.

(Part 1: Paragraph 8)
After recently dismissing any possible media bias against pit bulls, the author now states that in fact it's the opposite: pit bull advocates, being biased for pit bulls, never admit that pit bulls could ever do wrong. This is inaccurate (see above about strawmen), and she obviously didn't look very hard; I read many pit bull friendly blogs, and many owners/lovers/neutrals on the subject are perfectly open to reporting pit bull attacks. Because pit bulls are just like any other dog and any dog could hurt a person.

Her ignorance shows yet again when she complains when a pit bull advocate says that a 110lb dog that maimed someone probably wasn't a pit bull. Even though that's a perfectly reasonable conclusion.

The motivations for her bias becomes more clear in the comment section of Part 1. In response to someone who sticks up for pit bulls, she says: "...you haven't mentioned what the victims went through at all. ... The statistics aren't just numbers, they are people who have needlessly been injured or killed... I work in a hospital, what I don't like is seeing horrific injuries and deaths that are preventable. When you see the real consequences of things like loss of skin and amputations you tend to take it a bit more seriously."

So, apparently sticking up for the right for normal pet dogs to be treated like normal pet dogs is insulting to people who have been maimed by other, different dogs. Right. That sounds familiar.

There are so many resources that this blogger ignored it's actually a little embarrassing. Aside from the links I've already provided, the most obvious are:

a) The list of dog experts that don't support BSL (including the CDC and AVMA)
b) The Netherlands' dog bites study.
c) And, most noticeably, the American Temperament Test Society statistics.

Stay tuned as I go after Part 2.

Hey, lookit that


Flickr Sunday: Street Dogs

"Pack of street dogs" by anandamoy

~Guandgong province, China (WARNING: dead dog pictured)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Stair Steps

4:45am: Down the stairs (with the youngest puppy for her first pee of the day)
4:50am: Up the stairs (back to bed for a little longer)
6:05am: Down the stairs (with all the dogs for more pee breaks)
6:10am: Up the stairs (doggy breakfast time)
6:15am: Down the stairs (with all the dogs for the poo walk)
6:25am: Up the stairs (drop off two of the dogs, who did their business like pros)
6:26am: Down the stairs (with the one dog who was too distracted to poo earlier)
6:30am: Up the stairs (now I get breakfast and a shower)
7:10am: Down the stairs (with all the dogs and a Chuckit for some dumbball exercise)
7:40am: Up the stairs (fill Kongs, put dogs away)
7:45am: Down the stairs (off to work I go)
5:30pm: Up the stairs (so tired from work)
5:31pm: Down the stairs (all the dogs get a potty-and-run-around break)
5:45pm: Up the stairs (puppy dinner time)
5:50pm: Down the stairs (puppy poo walk and run around in the sage brush time)
6:45pm: Up the stairs (I get dinner now)
8:00pm: Down the stairs (pee break for all the dogs)
8:05pm: Up the stairs
9:00pm: Down the stairs (last pee break of the day for the older dogs)
9:05pm: Up the stairs
9:30pm: Down the stairs (last pee break for the youngest dog)
9:35pm: Up the stairs (I'm going to bed now)

I can haz house with yard nao plz??

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Zelda's self-assigned mission to make sure no one but her plays with any toys, ever. Poor Sammy won't even look at a toy if Zelda is nearby. If you try to give one to her, she'll actually run away from it.

But it's exhausting being the Fun Police. And when the Fun Police put themselves to bed, the puppies can finally do this:

(PS, my living room isn't usually that messy. We were in the process of rearranging furniture)