Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Center of Our Pit bull Universe

BAD RAP's Pit Ed Class was cancelled for the first time in weeks yesterday because of pouring rain. The diehard folks that did show up in rain gear and soggy shoes were understandably disappointed. For many of us, this class has become the center of our little Pit Bull Universe. We watch rowdy, ill-behaved shelter dogs transform into well mannered ambassadors and go on to find homes, we share news, celebrate newly earned CGC (Canine Good Citizen) awards, we enjoy good laughs, encourage overwhelmed new handlers and generally, get the kind of mood boost that lasts for an entire week. I love this class.

The photo above shows a recent Pit Ed 'field trip.' 15 dogs showed up on this day, ready for a new challenge. We decided it would be fun and worthwhile to test everyone's skills in the crowded, chaotic shopping district that is 4th Street in Berkeley. This high end retail area is filled with every distraction including traffic, cats piled in cages outside of a pet store, street musicians, hurried crowds, skateboarders, and the occasional off leash dog....A true test of any dog handler's skills!

As expected, everyone took the field trip in stride. Surprised shoppers got to see a mass of beautiful pit bulls showing perfect manners. No small feat considering some of these dogs were spazzy, unfocused hurricanes only weeks before. The handlers in class aren't "expert" behaviorists or even part time trainers; They're just normal people with big hearts who travel far and wide to join this very special Universe where pit bulls are trained, celebrated and adored.

See you next week, everyone.


If you'd like to volunteer to take a shelter dog through the Saturday morning Pit Ed classes, please let us know! -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish I was in California so I could help out with your volunteer classes.
With our pit bull ban here in Ontario, I'm surprised that our local shelter hasn't seen as many abandoned babies like Toronto has.

Either way, I would rather support an organization that has the best interests of pit bulls in mind - unlike the one I was with that wouldn't even help us put out fliers when we were trying to fight and protest the ban.

Thank you for doing what you do.