Tag Archives: Pitbulls

9/19/13 How Bullies Begin

Yesterday, Mom and I went to pick Jamie up from tutoring after school. The parking lot was pretty empty since, of course, it was after school.  Mom parked Zeus and Jamie came out with the teacher.  Jamie wasn’t feeling well.  We were about to have another thunderstorm, and this time, the headache picked him.  So Mom was very concerned as we got back in the car.

Mom admittedly was preoccupied and didn’t notice the dark-colored car that parked behind and to the right of us.  Mom backed the car out and barely kissed the other car with Zeus’ tire.  Everything was fine, there was not even a scratch on either vehicle, and since both people in that other vehicle had exited the driver’s side, everyone was OK.

Mom apologized to the other lady and accepted full responsibility for the “incident”.  However, the other lady proceeded to ream Mom out with these made-up scenarios of “What if my child had been getting out of the car?  What if this happened?  What about if that happened?”  Mom said she was sorry a couple more times and the lady walked away, saying, “There was no damage.”  Mom said, “Wow, I told her I was sorry and had my insurance card ready and everything!” 

I’d say this lady over-reacted just a tiny bit.  And it was extremely rude of her not to accept Mom’s real apology.  The kicker is that Jamie goes to a “religious” school and you would think the people would have a little more patience, forbearance, forgiveness and understanding.  Guess not!

This is how, I believe, bullying begins.  I would, for example, hate to be a child in that lady’s house.  She obviously is unforgiving whether or not anything bad truly happens.  So if her child spilled the milk, I could just hear her saying, “What if that milk had been from the last cow on Earth?  What if all the herds were wiped out?  What if the starving people couldn’t get any more milk?”  And so on until the child feels totally humiliated.  Then that child goes to school and does the same thing to another child.  Insta-bully!

Children (and dogs) learn what you teach them at home.  People call Pitbulls a bully breed, but I think this lady was a bully and a terrible example to her child that day.  Perhaps this is why we have so many instances of bullying in schools:  because of the self-elevated, self-righteous, unforgiving parents at home who think they have to right to yell at someone even after an apology and admittance of fault is given.  Are people such hot-headed jerks?  I guess they are.

Woof!  Love, Maggie

 

9/17/13 Guest Blogger: “Mom” – ‘This is very hard for me to write’

This is very hard for me to write as I hate to do anything to cast my dog in a negative light.  But, perhaps by sharing this information, I can help a rescued Pit or other dog – any breed – from being “re-homed” after a brief period of adoption.  This is a straight-from the heart blog and probably not going to be too polished.  Forgive me.

To put it bluntly, Maggie came after me yesterday when I was in the kitchen.  I didn’t know what was happening.  All her hair was raised up, she snarled and growled, bit me repeatedly (but didn’t break the skin), scratched me, and, I think worst of all, came at me several times at a dead run and leaped on my back.  I’m bruised and scratched, but it’s my back that’s hurting me since last night.

Naturally, I got control of the dog and put her in the crate for a cool-down (she did not get beaten) while I did research and called the Canine College.  A billion thoughts raced through my mind:  Had I done something to set her off?  Would she do this again? Was Jamie safe with her?  What the hell happened to my good dog that stayed with me 7 hours while I struggled with a migraine?  Should I re-home her?  What the heck was going on??  I was so confused.

After speaking with Daryl of the Canine College, he explained to me that it is very common for dogs, especially the larger breeds, to want “hard play” when they get wound up or excited.  He further explained that Maggie could have bitten me and broken the skin, and given me a really bad dog bite any time she wanted, but she didn’t, because she was controlling her bites because she was playing.  Daryl also said this is very common behavior for the Shepherd police dogs when he is training them, and it’s important to re-direct their energy.  Bottom line is, there are several restrictive measures I have to take with Maggie and I will get further counseling on Saturday.

Why am I telling you this?  Because Pitbulls get a bad rap, and I think if people know that, once their rescued Pit is comfortable, they are going to want “hard play”.  Knowing this, then, maybe owners will get the idea out of their heads that the dog “turned” on them when what they are doing is showing their owners that they want to play.  I certainly did not know what to think.  Right now, Maggie has to wear the leash in the house along with her training collar so that if she does this behavior, it will be easier for me to correct her.  She also has to be crated more often and again, I will get further advice on Saturday.  Daryl assured me it was not aggressive behavior directed toward me and that my family was perfectly safe.

My husband says that Maggie has 2 speeds:  “balls to the wall” and “super submissive”.   Maggie is still a young dog, and through exercise and re-direction of energy, I will help her get past this negative behavior.  She is a very good dog and I love her very much.

Please, please, do not give up on your rescue animal!  Remember that you do not know his/her background or puppyhood.  Dogs start forming their personality with humans at 8 weeks old.  If you take in a rescue pet, you’re going to have some baggage to deal with!

Again, this post is hard for me to write, but I want to reassure you that IT IS WORTH IT to work with your rescued animal.  Maggie is a good girl, and her behavior has NOTHING to do with her breed (except she does need lots and lots of exercise, but I knew that) and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that she looks at me as the person to play with.  Sometimes, our ideas of play do not match up.  But doesn’t that happen with humans, too?

Please think of Maggie today.  She is greatly upset by the incidents of yesterday and is being very quiet.  She is an extremely smart dog and she knows she stepped over the line.  I have to be firm with her and honestly, that is very hard for me to do.  But for the successful socialization of my dog, I will do it.

Thank you,

 

“Mom”

 

9/15/13 Through Sickness and In Health…

I’ve never actually witnessed Mom getting a migraine until today.  I guess that’s good, considering I’ve been living here since May.  At 6:00 a.m. Human Standard Time, Mom crawled out of bed and groped her way to the bathroom.  I won’t go into details, but I found her on all fours sweating, shaking, and doing what I usually do on the carpet (not pooping).  I stayed with Mom and licked some sweat off her brow.  She took some medicine and went back to bed, but the migraine did not crack for seven human hours.

Jamie ran back and forth, fetching Gatorade, cold washcloths, and fluffing pillows.  I stayed next to Mom the entire time; I didn’t even leave to get up to go to out.  I stayed with Mom until she stopped shaking and heaving and sweating.  When she was better (she says the roots of her hair still hurt a bit) and got up to go to the kitchen, I ran outside.  Then I came back in to see if she would give me a scrap of her dry white toast (Elwood Blues style).  She did.  It was better than the tortilla the other day.

Dogs love you unconditionally, in sickness and in health.  Pitbulls are known as the “nanny dog” and I think I know why.  I can’t explain it, but I wouldn’t have left Mom’s side for anything while she was sick.  Mom says if it wasn’t for Jamie and me, she’d have had to go to the hospital.  It’s been exhausting taking care of her!  But I’d do it again.

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And now time for a well-deserved rest!  Woof!  

Love, Maggie the Nurse Dog 

 

9/14/13 Graduation: I Did It!

After my tumultuous morning, I was ready to listen at Obedience School.  So we (Jamie, Mom, and I) piled into Zeus and off we went.  The instructors gave everybody a few minutes to practice, then we all had to sit by the wall until we were called, dogs and handlers, one at a time, into the arena.  We were put through our paces and judged.  We missed 1st Place Blue Ribbon by 3 points.  But I had an excellent score (Mom helped a little) and I got my Certificate and my gold Ribbon.  I worked hard!

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Sitting, and staying! 

I think I’ve come a long way.

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Stand, stay, and my Certificate & Ribbon!

Mom is starting me on Advanced Training (10 weeks) next Saturday.  By the time we complete this course, I will be able to be a hospital or therapy dog, and retrieve things and people (Search and Rescue).  Mom sometimes leaves me out of the crate when she has to go out now, and her only major issue with me now is that I still jump, but not as much.  I know training and a couple more birthdays on my part will correct this.  I feel more trusting and confident!  And this is good for my kind, for people to see me, and know that Pitbulls are not a bad breed.  Mom wants me to get all the training I can so I can go out with people A LOT.

I had a surprise when I got home:  I crashed on the couch and in seemingly no time, the doorbell was ringing!  I met my new friend Max from Aussie Pet Mobile Grooming, and got a bath and nails clipped right there in my own driveway!  No sitting around with other dogs, no scary kennels.  And I was done in under half a human hour!  Max was so nice, I even let him dry around my ears.  I usually don’t like the dryer, but he had me calm and relaxed!

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Overall, it’s been a great day.  I feel wonderful and my family is proud of my accomplishment.  Plus, my fur is absolutely glowing and I smell fantastic!

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I’m just going to relax and chill on the couch now!  Here’s looking at ya!  And thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoyed the pix!

Woof!  Love, Maggie

 

 

8/25/13 BSL, or Breed Specific Legislation

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Mom and Me and a belly rub

Thanks to cb at contrafactual, I was advised that President Obama has lent his support to the anti-BSL cause.  I would like to take this time to explain a bit of what BSL means in my own words.

BSL, or Breed Selective Legislation, targets specific breeds of dogs and identifies them as undesirable, dangerous, and unpredictable, and restricts their living in a community.  This somewhat reminds me of the “#1 Undesirable” poster in the Harry Potter movie.  BSL, however, has a far more serious effect.

Under BSL, owners of the undesirable breed, such as: American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers (yours truly), and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, are required to adhere to guidelines that are not imposed on other dog owners.  Owners typically have 30 days to comply.  Most communities will grandfather in dogs currently living there, but restrict any new ownership of said dogs.  If a dog is picked up on the street and suspected of being a targeted breed, it is normally killed, based on appearance alone!

Pitbulls are currently the breed under the microscope.  In the past, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Chow Chows have all been subject to BSL.  It boils down to BSL promoting the wide-spread euthanasia of certain breeds of dogs to eliminate them.  What a sad day it is that we punish the animals for the actions and inactions of their irresponsible owners!

Furthermore, there is no evidence to support that BSL actually works or is effective at reducing dog bites or attacks.  It is responsible pet ownership, owner education and the elimination of dog fighting that reduces attacks on humans and other animals.  (I plan a separate post on dog fighting.)  You can find a very informative post regarding Breed Specific Legislation at everycreaturecounts.org.  Furthermore, this website has a wealth of information from the best cat litter pans to dog shots.  I highly suggest you visit it if you are a pet owner.

Please do not support BSL in your area.  Thank  you, President Obama, for having a sane head in this matter.