Not sure if all you readers know but Joe and I have a pit bull. We got Athena from someone we know who accidentally had 8 pit bull puppies back in August 2011. Unfortunately, she couldn’t give the pups away for free… To be honest, at first I didn’t want a pit bull either. Joe convinced me into getting Athena, well not really he just showed up at his parents’ restaurant with her and her baby brother. I almost had a heart attack thinking about two strong dogs in our small townhouse and we ended up returning Athena’s brother. I felt terrible keeping just Athena, but I knew that would be best for us. All of the puppies needed a good home and unfortunately so many pit bulls are misunderstood and mistreated as we all know. Here are some of my experiences with a pit…
I didn’t start to feel the way I do about pit bulls until we got Athena. I have a whole NEW view of pits and what kind of dog they really are. Pit bulls are NOT these terrible, vicious animals that kill people and other dogs. They can be trained to act that way, but so can any other dog. I have heard of Dalmatians attacking people, German Shepard and even Cocker Spaniels.
With that being said, please remember that dogs becoming vicious is many times in how you raise them. We treat Athena like part of our family, walk her almost everyday, work with her to be an obedient dog, take her to puppy classes and give her all the love we possibly can. What bothers me most is the reaction I get from people that we have a pit bull. I hear things like “Oh wow, they are aggressive dogs.” Or, I get nasty eyes when I am walking her and Athena wants to smell someone or someone’s dog. I hear things like, “We know who will win in this situation.” I think to myself, you have no idea what you are talking about because a Jack Russell terrier ending up attacking Athena and she stood there and cried like a 1-year-old child. When I take her to the doggie classes, people say, “Oh well, how is she around children?!” They ask me as if she is mountain lion instead of a dog. I have to remember that not everyone has had the experience of being around a sweet, innocent pit bull and that I have to educate them. I tell them all the great things about Athena and try to be an advocate for pits.
Just this week, I just experienced a feeling of discrimination when going to the vet with Athena. A man and his chocolate lab came in the door of the office and Athena was more than overjoyed to see another dog. She wanted to smell him so badly and unfortunately, the owner gave us a skeptical look and kept as far away from us as possible. Now, maybe his dog was sick, but I really think he felt like Athena was going to eat his dog. I have to always, always reassure people, “She’s a nice dog, I promise!”
I want more people to see just how wonderful pits are! There are so many awesome blogs and organizations out there that are just focused upon pit bulls: www.loveandaleash.com http://love-a-bull.org/blog/ http://stubbydog.org/ and many, many more. I hope you remember the owner of these pit bulls and how they feel discriminated in many situations. Here I am, always having to defend Athena and myself! Hopefully you won’t judge a book by its’ cover because I know there are a ton of pits out there that are just darling. Look past there big, boxy heads and into their little, sweet hearts.
*Check out a youtube video of Athena!!