Friday, October 22, 2004

Follwup on my protesting the protest

I have gotten a lot of feedback on my post last night about the pit bull ban protest tomorrow in Toronto not being dog-friendly.

I'm going to say something here that will probably alienate a whole lot of people, but I believe it to be true, and people should really sit down and think about it. Really think about it, and really decide for themselves whether or not it's true. Because I really think it is.

There's 2 types of pit bull owners. And not just pit bull owners. Bully type dog owners - that's all kind of "perceived tough dog" type owners - you know the kinds I mean - any kind that is currently under the gun of breed bans. One type of that dog owner believes that any kind of dog who is well socialized and well trained can handle any kind of situation - including being around other dogs off leash. Then there is the other kind of bully dog owner (who seems to be in the majority, unfortunately) who believes that all these dogs should NEVER be off-leash, and should be never socialized around other dogs. THAT'S why tomorrow's demonstration is a no-dog's event.

People have emailed me to say that they're worried that there's going to be anti-pit bull people there who are going to harm their dogs. Well unfortunately in today's world we have to deal with that everyday anyway. It wouldn't happen just tomorrow. It's happening everyday. Dogs are targeted everyday - and it's not just pit bulls. Dogs are being poisoned, kicked, yelled at, abused, put on short chains, and murdered everyday - and that's by their own owners! The weakest and easiest targets are the things that are hurt the most - so dogs are sure to get kicked the first. And as one of the emails this morning mentioned - my Daisy has a nice long scar on the back of her head (8 stitches on the back of her head from a guy hitting her with the metal end of a leash last winter at Seaview park) to show for it. You never know what's around the next corner for your dog.

But back to my theory on pit bull owners. And there being 2 types. With one type being the type that says they should never socialize with other dogs and they should never be off-leash. That to me is the scariest part of what I'm learning about pit bulls. That it's so untrue except for the fact that people CREATE it. And there's 1000's of websites out there now that preach it. So maybe it'll be a good thing that the breed disappears. I don't know. I think there are a lot of pit bull owners who are their own worst enemies. I can give you a ton of websites that say the above stuff, but I can only give you one website that says what I believe to be true, and the website that I believe to be true is SO compelling and so well thought out and so articulate that I can't believe how anyone could deny it. So I will give you some websites and let you make your own decisions. To me, a whole species depends on it, really. And the blood will be on your hands. Because if you demand to keep sheltering these dogs in your basements and your back yards and your living rooms and you don't show them as the good dogs that they are and bring them out into the light of day and be proud of what they are and feel confident enough that they aren't going to "show their genetic heritage" and start spontaneously fighting with another dog - because you don't have control over them, or you're too worried that sonmeone is going to put a cigarrette out on their backside - which if someone did to one of my dogs - I can't tell you what would happen next!

But to me, this issue is HUGE. It's more than about just a demonstration. It's about a way of life. It's about access to places. It's about being able to take my chosen life companions with me where I want to go. If I wanted to go to that demonstration tomorrow I couldn't - because it's people only. And it's a dog event! End of story. The bigger picture is the eradication of the pit bull dog and the media being able to get video of 2 dogs fighting at the demonstration - well they can go to any dog park and get that, so - so what. That's irrelevant.

Because to me you can win the breed ban battle - but if you can't take your dog anywhere after that - what's the point in having them? It's not much of a life for them. It wouldn't be much of a life for me anyway because I won't go anywhere if I can't take my dogs with me.

The picture here is that once again the dog world has lost.

Here's some websites where you can look and see what I'm talking about pit bull people:

This is the best one:

from "Pit bulls on the web":
Responsible Pit Bull ownership

The "genetic whisper."

A Common Sense Approach to Dog Parks and Pit bulls


This website I'm going to include because this lady is supposedly "highly respected" in the pit bull world - I couldn't believe when I was exploring her website one night when I came upon a large section of her site that explains in great detail how to set up your back yard so you can CHAIN YOUR DOGS OUTSIDE AND WHY IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!! (and I meant to holler that) I could not believe it. So I give you this link so you can go look for yourself...

So now on to the website that I think is the only one that speaks the truth - and for those who know me it will be no surprise. It is the website - which is a Canadian website run by Marjorie Darby. I will direct you to the page that directly addresses this topic:

One that I particularly like is: The True Meaning of Socialization but her page about pit bulls is here

It was from her website that I made the pamphlet for Seaview park on "appropriate dog park behaviour" which I thought turned out pretty well.

Anyway - you can make your own decisions.


  1. Anonymous2:09 PM

    You know, my upstairs neighbour does mostly cat rescue and some dogs, too - we were at war with each other until she discovered I do rat rescue - and she told me that they do pit bull fights in Point St. Charles (poor area of Montreal) and that they're going to start doing boxer fights, too. I don't know how accurate this is, but she also asserts that the SPCA isn't doing anything about it.

    On another thing: British bulldogs were getting to be so inbred that they were extremely unhealthy. The British bulldog association then mandated all breeders to outcross their dogs with boxers for a generation or two to reintroduce some healthier traits into the breed. Why doesn't this take place with pit bulls? Mandate that breeders breed with another breed known for more consistent and placid behaviour? I know that it's more nurture than nature, but nature informs their disposition, and I've always found pitties to be unpredictable.

  2. Anonymous11:24 PM

    Hi Joan, this is Melissa, formerly of DLCC (grr).

    This is exactly why I left the DLCC because this drivel was being preached in there as well. To me it's saying the nay-sayers are correct, that these dogs(pit bulls) are BY BREED and GENETICS more dangerous than others. And that didn't sit well with me.

    I'm sorry for what happened with you earlier this year. It was ripped out of my control and shoved down my throat too. And it sucked. Which is why I left less than 2 weeks later.

  3. Hi there Melissa - I pretty much am a one trick pony when it comes to this stuff, aren't I? I really wish that the DLCC's view on dog ownership wasn't so harsh, and that so many pit bull owners didn't have that view as well. It's a self-fufilling prophesy. The dogs feel what's going on at the other end of the leash, that's for sure. Especially when the leash is on a hook and the dog is in a crate or in the back yard or in the basement and the owner is entirely somewhere else.... fighting for dogs....