See this dog? This little old man of a dog? He is a pit bull terrier type dog. He is a former fighting dog. He is the stuff your insane nightmares are made of. But regardless of what you believe to be true about his breed, he is our beloved family member.
I am incredibly blessed to be able to take Ray with me to work every single day. We spend all day, every day together. He has met and charmed literally thousands of people. And never once, in all that time, has he been anything but polite and loving with everyone from littles to adults.
No matter where we go, or how we travel, Ray is always willing to meet the people who want to meet him. He doesn’t know or understand that some people hate him because of his breed or how he looks. He doesn’t know how many people wish he were dead. And even if he did know, I doubt he would care. His world is full of people who think he is amazing just the way he is.
Last week I watch Ray gently greet a 4 month old baby who reached out to him. He was amazingly careful with her. But you can believe both parents and I were carefully monitoring the interaction. That is what responsible people do…make sure neither was put into a dangerous situation, or one they couldn’t handle.
I am horrified whenever anyone is hurt by a dog. But invariably dog aggression can be traced to either human action/inaction or a physical issue. Dogs are hardwired to please and serve us, none more than pittie type dogs. But every single time a pit bull type dog is vilified in the press, it makes one more punk want to have one. If these dogs are so bad ass that they have to be banned….that is exactly the dog they want to have. Then they mistreat, torture, starve and beat the dog. And we wonder why he becomes aggressive. According to your DBO logic, it must be the way the dog looks.
I am not a pit bull apologist. I don’t care what breed of dog Ray is. He could be a poodle and I would feel the same way. I connect with who he is, not what he is. As my little brown dog’s health starts to decline, it becomes even more important that I help him build a legacy. Not because he is a former Vick dog, but because he is a member of the most vilified breed of dog on earth.
Ray’s time with us is limited. But one of his favorite things to do is to go the Village at lunch time, sit on the deck, and soak up love and admiration from the people around him. He expects nothing less. Because in his world he is a gentle dog with a loving soul. He is not a ticking time bomb. He is not a finely tuned killing machine. He isn’t a devil dog waiting for the right moment to attack. He is a sweet and shy, funny and stubborn, wonderful old man of a dog.
One final thing for you pit bull haters. Unlike you, Ray is willing to judge people on who they are, not how they look. Maybe you could learn something from him.