Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pitbull Problem

I just got one of those viral "Warning" e-mails about Pitbulls. It said:

If you are an owner of a dog that belongs to a 'dangerous
breed category
and you also have a small child please take this as a
warning. Don't leave your
dog with the child unattended under any
circumstances. Only a little moment was
enough for the following to


Then I was directed to open the photo:

I've gotta tell you, it totally made may day. I once rescued a dog, a boxer mix, who was labeled as a Pitbull under Ohio law. Petey was the coolest, most laid back, gentle giant you could ever meet. He had the heart of a real softie, just like the dog in the photo above.

Now I don't want to lead people to believe they should not be cautious around these dogs. One thing I learned when working with wildlife is ALL ANIMALS CAN BITE. Caution is warranted. Especially when working with large animals that have the power and potential to do real bodily harm.
I almost lost my leg from an unfortunate incident with a horse many years ago, and still carry the scars. That horse was a sweetheart -- never meant me a lick of harm -- but she was a very large animal. She reared up when a tractor drove by and honked it's horn. We were riding on loose gravel. She lost her footing and fell over backwards. I was on top of her, and then underneath her. The saddle horn crushed my chest under her weight. My foot got caught in the stirrup. When she got up, she drug me about a hundred yards down the road. It nearly tore my leg off.

Big animals are dangerous. But that does not mean I no longer ride. And it does not mean large dog breeds should be eradicated as companion animals. It means proper training (for both animal and human handler) are in order. It means following good care and safety protocols. It means treating the animal in a loving responsible manner, and remembering risk exists in just about anything we do.

But as for me, well, I'll take those risks, because the wonder and joy of sharing my life with these animals is part of what makes life worth living.

My son with our ol' pal Petey.
(We miss ya buddy boy.)


Gabriele Caruso said...

Great post. I love dogs.

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Pawsitive PitBulls said...

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