Thursday, June 3, 2010

“Hey! You’re the pit bull lady.”

“Hey! You’re the pit bull lady.” Pearl, my pit bull, and I turned, not knowing whom we’d be greeting. Yes, this is a pit bull, I said. “She’s big. She’s pretty. But why did you breed her?” the young man asked. He must have been 12, and he had a few friends with him. They were on bicycles, in a park in Boston, Massachusetts, where I live.

“I didn’t breed her; she was bred before she was rescued. She has been spayed since then.” “Well, who did?” Pearl was rescued in Florida, so I told Pearl’s fans the truth, which is that I don’t know who her first owner/abuser was. She was overbred, as her teats clearly show. “That’s just wrong,” the talker of the bunch said. “There are too many dogs without homes. My mama told me that all pets should be spayed.” Well, I damn near cried. Ever so slowly, the message is getting out there. “Your mom is right. Or at least I think she is,” I said. “There ARE too many homeless dogs, especially pit bulls.

“Pearl really is pretty,” he said, “but why doesn’t she have any ears?” AHHH, that’s the million-dollar question; the one that can make me cry if asked in the right setting. “Her ears were cut in Florida. Some people like the look. Some people crop dogs’ ears
so they can’t be latched on to in fights.” “Fights!” he exclaimed. “Dog fighting is wrong. Michael Vick is an ass. My mama said he should still be in jail.” I wanted to hug that young man! What I said was: “It is wrong. And it is illegal. But some people think it’s cool. As for Michael Vick, while I think he should still be in jail, I hope his case prevents others from fighting their dogs.”

“If you walk Pearl in my ‘hood, people wouldn’t believe she’s your dog. You’re old, and a woman. All the pits in my ‘hood are owned by men. Especially the tough looking ones like Pearl.” What do I say to that? What SHOULD I say to that? “Well, she IS tough. And I AM old. But you have petted her, you know isn’t dangerous. And I knew the song you were singing when you approached me, even though I don’t sing it all of the time. The thing pit bulls can teach people is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.”

“Lady, you and Pearl are cool by us.” It takes a village to raise a child, and I simply loved my village that day!

9 comments:

Betsy said...

I sure hope that someday, all conversations about pits can be this heartwarming!! :)

the slackmistress said...

Awesome.

Anonymous said...

that story is awesome! yes pits are tough but my experience tells me their bark is so much bigger than their bite... my own and all those i know would much rather lick you to death than ever bite especially once they've determined you are a friend

Anonymous said...

Oh, hold on now. I love my pit, I don't *think* of her as a "tough, beat-em-up" pit bull, but there's intrinsic aspects to the breed that can not be glossed over, and, yes, their visual distinctiveness (which I like) DOES, albeit in a very limited way, uniquely distinguish them. Whereas pits are only as dangerous as their owners "allow" them to be, they have greater *potential* for harm than other breeds. It's treacly sap to suggest otherwise and I'd argue the best pit bull owners are those that understand and work within that parameter and not deny it due to misinformed public opinions.

Rescued Pittie Family said...

That brought tears to my eyes.
I would have just had to hug that little boy.

Anonymous said...

i love my pitts, i was looked down on in the town i come from for owning 2 of them, they are trained and very well mannered. as i took my pups for a walk and came apon a woman when she asked what kind of dogs i told her she yanked her dogs chain away from us and my dogs sat and stayed as they were told unlike her lap dog that did nothing but bark and jump at them. i was very proud of they for listening to my every command and for her she was just plain ignorant!!!

Wendy said...

I love this! I'm an "old lady" (almost 49) and I have TWO. This young man has an AWESOME Mama!

Jo-Lynn said...

Oh, for the love of a Pitbull

Leiga Monge said...

I love it! I believe every man, woman and child should get to experience the love of a pit bull! I think it's funny because people do judge us ladies that have the big pits but if they only knew the bigger they are the bigger their heart is. Thanks for sharing this cute story!