Thursday, February 08, 2007

From the desk of a 7th grade pit bull fan

Somebody recently sent me a school paper written by 13-year-old Sakari Turner, who also did a speech on the breed. We think that Sakari has a great future as a breed advocate. See for yourselves:

Pit Bull Ownership
by Sakari Turner
Throughout discussions of the Pit Bull breed, you will notice two words repeated over and over again: Responsible ownership. With media hysteria looming closer every day, good owners find themselves endlessly having to defend their breed. Every bad story and headline damages Pit Bulls even further. Irresponsible and ignorant owners have done almost as much damage to these dogs as dogfighters have. The Pit Bull is an exceptional breed that requires exceptional dedication and ownership. The breed's very survival depends on new owners knowing what they are doing to their dogs, and being responsible and protecting the breed's reputation. Many people think of a Pit Bull and automatically get scared, or think of all the bad things Pit Bulls do. There are numerous reasons for owning a Pit Bull. They have a good temperament, they are loyal, and they are very intelligent.

Pit Bulls generally have great temperament. Typically docile and playful with its family, the Pit Bull is very friendly toward strangers. This dog is always great with children. It can be aggressive toward other dogs — especially those that challenge it. It is stubborn, tenacious and fearless. For the breed’s tough persona, the most important thing in life is its owner's fond attention. Like any dog, if a Pit Bull is frequently ignored or abused by its owner, its attitude can change from friendly and social to scared and antisocial. The American Temperament Test Society provides temperament testing around the country for dog breeds, and gives a passing score for the entire breed based on the percentage of passed over failed within total number of the particular breed tested. As of December 2003, the American Pit Bull Terrier has a current passing rate of 83.9%, and the American Staffordshire Terrier passes at 83.2%. In comparison, The Golden Retriever passing rate is 83.2%. Therefore, the Pit Bull’s reputation is only limited by its aggressive classification; but really, Pit Bulls are no more aggressive than any other dogs.

Pit Bulls are wonderful, loving, and loyal companions. They are great dogs to have as pets because they show a great amount of loyalty to their owners and they’re very respectable toward their surroundings. “My children have lived their whole lives around Pit Bulls and pit mixes... They have always been the sweetest most loving and loyal dogs that I have ever owned... My pits were raised with the same love as my children and not one of them turned out vicious and out of control. It's the owners not the breed that makes them what they are.” As you can see from this quote by Pamela Stricker, a Pit Bull owner, Pit Bulls are great dogs, but they are misunderstood. Some people may think that it doesn’t matter how you treat a dog, because they aren’t very important, but dogs are just like us and they have feelings, but aside from being loyal companions, they are very intelligent.

It may come as a surprise, but Pit Bulls have a constantly expanding mind. They can easily pick up and understand any directions they are given. For example, Pit bulls are commonly used as therapy dogs and visit senior care faculties and help people recover from terrible emotional accidents. Pit Bulls from around the world are taken to hospitals to warmly greet the patients. It is said that people that are sick are more likely to feel better when they are visited and talked to by ones who care about them. Pit Bulls are perfect for this job.

Pit Bulls are great pets to have, but are constantly misunderstood. You may say that it doesn’t matter, because they are just dogs, but if you really think about it, dogs are living things like you and I. Every living thing deserves a chance. If you are like me and think that Pit Bulls deserve the right to live, take a stand and tell someone. Make posters; use markers and colored pencils. You can staple one on a tree or slap one on a sign. Anything will help. I guarantee, if you put up at least five posters, someone will read one and your message will successfully get across.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Sakari for your clear understanding and advocacy for this amazing breed! Keep on speaking your mind...people are listening!

Anonymous said...

Well done Sakari...