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"Panting While Pittie." - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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"Panting While Pittie."
It's pretty much the same concept as "driving while black," only these stereotyped victims can't say anything in their own defense.

This piece was on the front page of our paper this morning, after first appearing online late yesterday. The headline tells you all you need to know about how fair and balanced it is:

Spate of pit bull attacks puts the spotlight on the polarizing breed


The "news"-worthiness of the piece is questionable- at least in terms of it being "new" to any extent. It was inspired by an incident from over two months ago:

On the pleasant summer afternoon of Aug. 11, the 86-year-old man was walking his neighbor’s dog, Maggie, – a small Cockapoo – along Wallace Road on Grand Island.

Suddenly, a pit bull bashed its way through a screen window of a home on Wallace, bolted across a lawn and attacked the much smaller dog.


I'll spare you the details of what happened next- although the reporter didn't. That description is followed by four paragraphs of Evil Demon Hound statistics before you get to the first mention that pitties might actually be worthy of being allowed to live.

You come away from reading the piece- after it tells you about at least five more "recent incidents" of pit bull madness (one from close to a year ago), and quotes from a Washington state lobbying group which would euthanize every pittie puppy as soon as the cord is cut- wanting to run away any time you see one coming within a mile of your home, your children or your own pet.

Then you get into the comments, and it gets even worse. The anti-pitties are as virulent as the anti-vaxxers when it comes to their selective use of statistics and anecdotal evidence, and there's no compromise or even discussion of it with them. Amazingly, some of these commenters are the same ones (still hiding behind anonymous screen names in both cases) who post in favor of completely unbridled gun rights, no matter that thousands more innocent victims are taken out by firearms. Guns don't kill people, but pit bulls do.

I see a parallel to the whole "driving while black" phenomenon. Yes, statistics and anecdotes may suggest a greater predisposition to crime among some groups than others. But we absolutely shouldn't prejudge any individual driver on account of that. Nor should we assume that a bred and placed, or fostered and adopted, dog of any breed will do something that some other random dog or dogs did.

And sorry, but maybe an 86-year-old dogwalker isn't the best poster child for proving the violent tendencies of pit bulls. If you can't control your own dog, or react sufficiently quickly to disturbances around it, maybe you shouldn't be walking it by yourself.

Would I adopt one? Any hesitation comes from questioning my own ability to provide such a rambunctious family member with the level of training and activity he or she deserves.  But if I felt ready to adopt a puppy with a similar need for stimulation, I'd be just as ready to substitute a pittie for him or her.

I'm sorry for the losses, and feel even worse for the unadoptable dogs that have been mentally destroyed by training for fighting or drug-house protection- but I'll be damned before I'll damn an entire family of rescues because of those bad experiences.
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Comments
yesididit2 From: yesididit2 Date: October 19th, 2015 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
my dog before puppy was a pittie and there will always be a special place in my heart for the breed.

in the news, any dog bite is written off as a pitbull bite. no research necessary. it had to be a pitbull. and even later, *if* corrections are bothered to be made, nobody cares after the fact that it wasnt a pitbull but was instead any other breed.

stupid people *think* pitbulls make great guard dogs and want them as a status symbol, something to show off. like expensive shiny wheel rims or sneakers, or fancy hair or nails. then they get one and give it zero training and zero exercise. terriers are extremely energetic breeds. but nothing good ever comes from an energetic dog with no training and no exercise. regardless of breed. and its always the dog who pays, not the people.
xiphias From: xiphias Date: October 19th, 2015 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another issue is one that also shows up in the gun control debate: just like any firearm used in a crime is an "assault weapon", any dog which looks even vaguely like any of the bully breeds which attacks someone is a "pit bull."
liddle_oldman From: liddle_oldman Date: October 19th, 2015 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Someone else in my f-list just posted a picture of a pit bull wearing a pink T and tutu...

And my wife's hair person has one who comes over and asks for dog scritches, and then more dog scritches, please.
ayrshire_of_elm From: ayrshire_of_elm Date: October 21st, 2015 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed! I'm gonna post my opinion since I have a half hour before class starts. :) As a dog walker myself, Sasha and I have been "attacked" by several dogs. None of them pitties. Surprise. Mostly just unsocialized animals that their owners are clueless and let them run loose. A GSD, rottweiler, a terrier thingie, a bulldog and who knows what else. People don't seem to understand that ALL dogs need training and when we forget that we are doing them a disservice.

Now, as a vet, I'm much more leary of GSD's (they are super wimps!), shiba inu's, min pins and chihuahua's then any pitbull. Not that I haven't met my share of mean pitbulls. There just isn't any more of them then anything else.

It's the people who are the problem. Sigh. Rant over. ;)
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