Friday, October 10, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
I am a humanitarian at heart. Especially since I do not get along with other dogs.
However, though I prefer to rule my kingdom as an only dog, this does not mean that I turn my back on fellow Canis lupus familiaris.
In light of my recent ruminations about BSL, I would like to dedicate Fridays to local bullies available for adoption.
Today, I would like to introduce Star.
Currently she is residing at the Animal Rescue League in Worcester, and is ready for her forever home. The folks over there say,
Star is a wonderful dog. She is five years old, knows lots of commands, is very polite and obedient, and she is already housetrained! Star is so friendly, and affectionate. She is also quiet, and a great companion. Star is ready to find her new forever home and spend her golden years in style. Come down today wnd see if Star is the right dog for you!
If you can't adopt Star, or any of the other fellows at the ARL, feel free to drop by with some donations of food, toys, or other items.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
I couldn't go on this trip sadly, because Denver has an ordinance making it "unlawful for any person to own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport, or sell within the city any pit bull." (Sec. 8-55. Pit bulls prohibited)
Further, they define the term "pit bull" to mean, "any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of the above breeds."
Now, it's no secret that my parentage is somewhat questionable and I have been asked if I am a pit, boxer, staffordshire, bulldog, even a labrador. The UKC breed standard describes the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) thusly:
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short-coated dog with smooth, well-defined musculature. This breed is both powerful and athletic. The body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog's height at the withers. The head is of medium length, with a broad, flat skull, and a wide, deep muzzle. Ears are small to medium in size, high set, and may be natural or cropped. The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in all colors and color patterns. This breed combines strength and athleticism with grace and agility and should never appear bulky or muscle-bound or fine-boned and rangy.
I dare say, I fit that description, especially this part: The APBT head is unique and a key element of breed type. It is large and broad, giving the impression of great power, but it is not disproportionate to the size of the body. Viewed from the front, the head is shaped like a broad, blunt wedge. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another and joined by a well defined, moderately deep stop. Supraorbital arches over the eyes are well defined but not pronounced. The head is well chiseled, blending strength, elegance, and character. (Indeed, and what a handsome dog!)
Anyway, vanity aside, the whole point of this post is to talk about the utter absurdity of Breed Specific Legislation and Breed Profiling. Now, I do understand concerns about the history of the breed. Yes, pit bulls were bred originally to fight... other animals. I myself, am not fond of other canines, and much prefer the company of my two-legged companions. I suspect that much of the public is not educated about the logistics of dog-fighting, which is a nasty activity (I will not dignify such a reprehensible engagement by calling it "sport").
It is common knowledge that the Pit Bull breed was developed for blood sports: Bull baiting, bear baiting, and later, dogfighting. What is not common knowledge is that in the days of organized dogfighting, the handlers of the combatants were habitually IN THE PIT with the dogs for the duration of the fight. They were required to pick up and separate the dogs several times while the dogs were in full fight frenzy. Before the fight, the handlers were required to wash each other's dogs, and after the fight, the badly injured dogs were often treated at ringside by strangers. Any dog that attacked or bit a handler (even if it was the other dog's handler) or anyone else at any time was culled, often on the spot, and would never have been bred. (http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/breedinfo.php)
Therefore, my bretheren who exhibit aggression toward humans are NOT exhibiting the characteristics of our breed.
Instead of banning breeds, let's educate people about responsible dog ownership and create stiffer punishments for owners of ANY BREED who behave irresponsibly.