October 28 is Pit Bull Awareness Day*
Pit Bull Love is Every Day! 😉
This is not the first year I post about pitties [read an older post about the breed here]. It is however the first year I’m doing a post about them being a proud owner of one. Most of you already know her:
Hera! [more on my sweet dog: Hera, my model and here: Late July ]
Yes, that terrifying dog is a pittie!
10 years ago, Bless the Bullys by Jodi Preis a pit bull rescue and education group in Middle Tennessee, introduced the idea of a pit bull awareness day and since then it’s celebrated on the last Saturday of October every year. A day of appreciation and education of this very much misunderstood breed.
When we adopted Hera from a shelter [Pitbull Rescue, bless them for the amazing work they do!] we weren’t prepared for for many things:
1. we didn’t expect that she’d be so loving
We really did not expect such a loving dog. She’s so expressive, it’s …heartbreaking!
2. we were hesitant because of her age. We wanted a puppy and she was 3+ yrs old already. We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to train her because of that.
Well, I can’t say I missed the puppy training [loitering, learning to go out etc]. It was very easy to train her – unbelievably so! So the age thing was to our advantage!
3. we didn’t know how she would react to visitors – kids – strangers on our walks or other dogs
She’s a great judge of characters. I suppose it comes from having spent years in the streets. She will only approach people who’ll smile at her or are generally fond of dogs. She has an uncanny instinct for people who dislike or are afraid of dogs. She’ll simple ignore them and move passed. On other dogs, well I suppose it’s like us. She likes some, she’s indifferent with others and well, there are a couple she really doesn’t enjoy their company, but won’t charge or argue.
4. we didn’t know how she would behave if left home alone
First few months she would just go in her bed and sleep then she’d start sniffing around and 2-3 times she tried to study some musical scores, a photo album and a beautiful handmade box …in depth! Parts of those items were salvaged! Now she’ll just go round, check things and go sleep but in all cases she’ll take a slipper to her bed for company!
5. we didn’t know whether she’d enjoy car rides
She loves them!
On ALL accounts she is an excellent character and we are overjoyed with her [and then some!]
What we really weren’t prepared for however was people’s reaction. Just saying the word ‘Pit Bull’ sends waves of shock to so many people, it’s unbelievable! The wildest example of this was a neighbor who was always very happy to see Hera, pet her and praise her for her impeccable and loving character. And one day she asked in the middle of another praise: “She’s so beautiful and amazing, I’d love to have a dog like her, what breed is she?” and then came the answer: “Pit Bull”. What happened next was beyond my wildest expectations, “no, no, keep her away from me …oh awayyy!!!!!” as if she was hit by electric shock, she run!!!! She avoids us ever since [no matter how I tried explaining to her] Likewise we’ve had many people say “oh, be careful, she’ll bite you one day, you’ll see, Pit Bulls are dangerous!” No wonder they say give a dog a bad name and hang him!
I guess this is how B.S.L. was enacted in some countries. A cruel, discriminative set of laws banning specific breeds. Read ASPCA article about this: Breed-Specific Legislation
It has always been by belief that the behavior of a dog is very much a reflection of the environment and the owner. As with us humans, the character of a dog may vary and yes, aggressive characters do exist but in ALL breeds. Of course with proper training and socialization this can change.
Pitbulls* are loving and devoted pets however they are strong [‘Bull’ is a great description! ;-)] and very fast too, so when they charge for a hug, be prepared for an overwhelming experience! This breed is not shy with love!
A few years ago I remember seeing those creatures and thinking to myself, how can anyone not love those faces – how is it possible that these beings are so misunderstood?! Now that I’m so fortunate to have one, my only regret is that our house is not big enough to accommodate more! But then, Hera’s love is more than I gambled for so…
I encourage you to read this excellent article about Pit Bulls: Pit Bull Advice All you need to know about them.
* On a note, ”Pit bull” [or Pitbull] is not a breed. It’s a generic term often used to describe all dogs with similar traits and characteristics known to the public as “pit bulls.” The term “pit bull”, is mainly used to describe American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and mixes of those breeds.
More great Reads on Pitbulls: Pit Bulls: The Myths, the Legends, the Reality – Pit Bull Rescue Central and Dog Fighting
Enjoy the day and to those of you who still have reservations about this breed, please rethink and remember:
ADOPT don’t buy!
Greetings from Hera to all!
[mom, I told you not to potht thith picthure of me …my thmile ith mithing a tooth!]