I can honestly remember being uneasy going to over to Butterfinger’s house after he had told me that his roommate had brought his Pit Bull, Biz, along with him to live. The only Pit Bulls I had seen to this point were neurotic dogs featured on a nightly newscast being lead away from a home or locked up in a cage as a result of a heinous act with which they had been involved. As soon as I walked in the door and Biz’s stocky black body came wiggling up to greet me at the door, I knew I was in love. Never before had I seen a dog so genuinely excited to see a person enter a residence! We were immediately best friends, I would share my hot dogs with him and he would cuddle up on my lap and keep me warm while I watched a movie or read a book.
I am not really sure if the Butterfinger bar has a dad, so we will refer to him as “Bdad”. Anyway, Bdad was incomprehensibly understanding of my situation and told me not to worry – as long as the dogs (he already had one other female pit in the house) got along he would surely adopt her. Lucky for me, both Beryl and Miso were instant friends and Miso found herself a new home, a new playmate, and a great dad. I really do not think words could ever express how much I appreciate what he has done for her.
From there my love of the breed just grew and when we moved out to the west coast we adopted our own pitty named Guapo. He was maybe a year and a half old when he came to live with us and within his first five minutes of being at the house he took a wrong turn in the dark and ended up right in the pool! Tucker is our third canine house mate and we adopted him about a year after Guapo. We knew Tucker would be a perfect fit for us when we went to see him at the animal shelter and he tore out of his cage, jumped a waist high fence, and lavished us with kisses right there in the waiting room.
Sadly, if you hear something enough times, you are going to start to feel as though there is some truth to what you are being told. It is easy, then, to see why people are so terrified of “Pit Bulls”. I use Pit Bulls in quotes in my previous statement because in many cases the dogs that are reported to be vicious “Pit Bulls” are actually another breed including American Bulldog, Cane Corso, Mastiffs, and about 20 + other breeds. If you want to see for yourself, check out this link and see if you can Find the Pit Bull
Besides misrepresentation of the breed, Pit Bulls fall victim to misrepresentation of facts. First of all, no dog has locking jaws. When I hear people come at me with this “fact” I myself wish I had locking jaws so I could clamp around their neck to prevent them from spreading this unfounded Pit Bull rumor to other misinformed members of society. Second, human aggression is not a Pit Bull trait, in fact, the American Pit Bull Terrier scores 84.1% on the American Temperament test, which is higher than the Golden Retriever at 83.8%. Because of their historical involvement in bull baiting and (sadly) dogfighting, human aggression has been bred out of Pit Bulls due to the handler’s need to intervene while the dog is in action.
I can sit here and refute pit bull myths for hours and hours, but the point I am trying to get across is this – the media will tell you anything you want to hear. If you want to hear about Pit Bull attacks and the reasons why banning Pit Bulls and promoting breed specific legislation with help the nation, they will be more than willing to overdose you with incorrect fact/figures and induce hysteria in those mesmerized by their spell. It is depressing that we live in a time when we need constantly second-guess the information presented to us as fact, but make sure you do just that and not just with Pit Bulls – do it with the war, this presidency, the state of our nation. I will be sure to do my part in encouraging positive Pit Bull press and working to ban BSL, and my three best friends would greatly appreciate it if you did too.
To know a pit bull is to love a pit bull.