Pit Bulls – an alternative view

Dangerous dogs very, very rarely exist.

I’m not going to rant on about there never being a dangerous dog just as me saying that there never is a dangerous person is clearly factually incorrect. But they are rare!

In yesterday’s post, I shared the terrible news about Stella, a female Pit Bull mix, that because of her breed, and nothing else, has been locked up by The Devon and Cornwall Police for over two years. Sharon Stone’s petition over on the Care@ website has, at the time of writing this yesterday, received nearly 16,000 signings!

To support the proposition that for the vast majority of dogs, of all breeds, it is how they are loved and cared for by us humans that makes the difference, let me republish a post from a couple of years ago. For we have a Pit Bull mix here at home and he is the most wonderful, caring dog one could ever wish for. Here’s that post.

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Meet the dogs – Casey

On to dog number five.

If you are new to this series then Ruby’s story of last week will link you to all the dogs written about so far. Today, here is Jean’s account of how Casey became part of the family.

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Casey

Casey, at home; picture taken a month ago.
Casey, at home; picture taken a month ago.

Every Friday, the Payson Roundup newspaper would devote a full page to the Humane Society, displaying some of the cats and dogs they had for adoption. I would read about each animal and quietly wish I could bring them all home.

I was particularly taken with one dog that had appeared several times in this Friday page. His name was Casey and he was a six-year-old Pit Bull mix. Unfortunately, at home (we were then living in Payson, AZ) we were ‘maxed out’ with a total of 14 dogs in three different sections of our house. We just couldn’t take Casey.

I had volunteered to be a dog-walker at the Humane Society dog shelter. But after two sessions walking dogs, I just couldn’t look at these sad little faces without breaking down in tears. I switched my efforts to working at the Society’s Thrift Store. That was great fun and, at least, it felt as though I was still helping the animals. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with the animal shelter. They did their utmost to re-home the animals in their care.

Ruby’s ‘pack’ here at home included Phoebe and Tess, rescue dogs from Mexico. Recently, Phoebe had died with leukaemia and Tess with bone cancer leaving Ruby on her own. Ruby was a dog that didn’t mix at all well with the other dogs, as was explained in last week’s post.

The next Friday, the Payson Roundup showed the Society’s ‘lonely hearts club’, highlighting animals that had been in care for a long time. The first dog shown was Casey. I telephone Chandra, the lady responsible for adoptions, and asked if Paul and I could bring Ruby to the shelter to find a companion for her. When we were at the shelter, Chandra asked us if we had anything against Pit Bulls. Of course we didn’t. Ruby was introduced to Casey and, as they say, the rest was history. Casey and Ruby right from the start were just wonderful together.

Ruby behind Casey.
Ruby behind Casey.

Subsequently, I learned from Chandra that Casey had been in care for over a year and, had we not taken him home, his days were numbered at the shelter. There were many cheers and tears when I signed the adoption paper for Casey.

Casey now lives in the kitchen group here in Oregon: Paloma, Ruby, Lilly and Casey. As with all our dogs, Casey is so happy to have our 14 acres to play in. He is also the sweetest natured of dogs and will try to climb on to your lap at the first opportunity. I have always been a great advocate of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes and have never come across a mean one.

Thus, if you are in the position to adopt a dog, please consider Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes for the Pit Bull is a much-maligned breed.

Casey demonstrating a dog's focussing skills!
Casey demonstrating a dog’s focussing skills!

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If there is any news about Stella’s fate I will share that with all you dear readers without delay.

17 thoughts on “Pit Bulls – an alternative view

  1. I can’t deny I’ve always had a bad opinion of pit bulls — but it’s clear why, simply because the breed is the punchline of the joke ‘What has four legs and a baby’s arm?’. Isn’t it odd how our perception of reality is so easily perverted by small, unrepresentative samples?

    1. Yes, there are many examples of our brains being a very long way from our eyes! Indeed, at times it seems that perceiving reality is beyond our grasp, if you get my drift.

      1. I do indeed. Trying to make sense of this consciousness miracle/thingy is tricky! I do have hopes that I’ll begin to understand it before reaching the end of the journey… though I’m beginning to suspect that if there is any truth it’s deliberately hidden until afterwards* 😉

  2. Pit bulls are gorgeous, loving, and smart. We rescued one last year who we found wondering around. Big boy, black, the type of appearance which sparks fear in people. I have to admit, I was a little cautious as i approached him, but inside a few seconds I realised he was just terribly afraid and, as it turned out, lost. I fed him, watered him, and while trying to figure what to do with him (organising a temporary shelter) someone saw our Facebook post and mentioned they’d met a man two days earlier in another suburb saying he’d lost his dog. While we set the big boy up, that person went back to the suburb and, astonishingly, found the man. We got a call that he was coming. 45 minutes later he pulls up, and the dogs eyes lit up. Dad!

    So rare for it to work out like that, but wonderful when it does. Still, if we hadn’t stopped, if we (us and the wonderful people around where we found him, one of whom had offered up her house for the temporary shelter, where he was when his owner drove up) hadn’t taken the time then he would have just kept moving and probably died on the road somewhere. Community helps.

    1. What a fabulous outcome, John. Know exactly what you describe about a dog’s face lighting up. And how dogs signal so clearly when they are afraid. Incredible animals!

      1. We did get lucky that day. Just two weeks ago I came across another big boy, black, very old, and my heart sunk. Placing big dogs, old big dogs, is next to impossible. Anyway, I went home and got some food and water. He was incredibly timid, didn’t want me to get close at all. I left the food for him then went home (only a couple of hundred meters up the street) to get a leash and see if I could walk him to our vet. When i got back he was no longer there. The food was all gone, but no dog. So, off I went around the streets looking for him. No sign anywhere. Next morning I went out again and to my pleasant surprise found him in the front yard of a house not that far away from, just one street over. His owners had only moved in the day before and, as I heard, he’d gotten out through all the confusion of the removalists, but they’d found him… Must have been when i was out. Anyway, another good ending.

  3. I’m a big fan of pitbulls as well. I used to volunteer at the SPCA as a dog care attendant and met so many of these loveable dogs. The only problem I ever had with one was their tail hitting me in the face as they tried to sit in my lap! 🙂

    1. Well said, Reena, and so great to hear from you. Yes, dogs’ tails can be quite ‘expressive’ at times, can’t they! Cleo’s tail has a habit of sweeping much off a low table in our living room, including cups of tea if we aren’t careful!

  4. MUCH maligned breed. Pitties are some of the sweetest dogs, ever. All the more criminal when humans train them to fight. (Gotta ask yourself about that training.) We’ve had a couple. We rescued Kili as a pup tied to a short lead in the blazing heat with no water in sight. The owner reluctantly gave him to us 23 years ago. He was quirky for sure, but then all dogs are. He loved chasing black rubber anything. UPS truck tires were his favorite when we lived off a long dirt road in NM. Downside was in Maine where we lived on a lake, my daughter quite unassumingly put her black rubber fins on to go for a swim. Kili snapped at her thigh as she dove in, requiring a few stitches. She took it personally, but it was just his thing, and who knew to what extent his fascination would go? We also rescued a grey wolf from NM at three weeks old, and he and Kili were fast friends. Kili died in his sleep after a long, happy life. We have known several other pitts, and all are sweet as can be. As usual, we humans do things to animals and then blame the animals. Or to each other and blame the other person. We are the most questionable species, in my opinion. And the most unpredictable (for worse and for better!). Aloha, Paul.

    1. Bela, not a single day goes by when I am not bowled over by the warm, sincerity and love of my readers. All of them! Tell you what: I would love a guest post from you about rescuing that grey wolf and how he subsequently joined your family. Would that appeal to you?

      1. Paul, I am up to my eyeballs in work right now. And school! But I will gladly oblige one day, if it’s still of interest to you. We’ll see what the Muse has to say about timing 😉 Aloha.

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