What's harder? Reading about dogs' heads being held down in buckets of water by overpaid sports stars until they drown? Or reading agency folklore that condemns these same dogs without the benefit of a good old fashioned temperament evaluation? After all, the poor things earned their torture because they didn't have enough heart for combat.
Oh the irony: One man's shameful loser becomes another man's out of control monster.
Pity the living, breathing dogs that are stuck in the middle of these extremes.
Note to self: Reading the news is generally not a good way 1) to learn the truths of the world or, 2) to stay healthy and happy. This has been a particularly bad summer for both endeavors.
As the world ponders the fate of the Vick dogs, today seems like as good a time as any to share Pearl's story. Pearl is a former fighter, turned BAD RAP Ambassadog, turned beloved pet. Most likely, she was the brood bitch of her abuser. She's covered in scars and, perhaps because she showed some heart to fight, her owner bred the hell out of her.
Below, a scenario laid out by her person, Nicole Rattay. Nicole's a BR volunteer and an open-minded sort who didn't fall for folklore when she fell into Pearl's eyes. Pearl is her heart-dog, although ends up that she spends a lot of time defending their bond....
"Isn’t it hard to keep a dog like that?”
Do you mean, is it hard to keep a loving, silly, eager to please, smallish black dog? Nope. Not hard at all. She cracks me up with her goofy antics. After having her in our family for two years, she still makes me laugh when she jumps 2 feet up in the air like a hurdler before running down the lawn to chase a tennis ball.
Oh…Not what you mean?
Do you mean is it hard to keep Pearl because she has been bred so many times by her previous owner that her nipples will forever hang low, prompting the question, “Do you have puppies for sale?” Admittedly, this is a tough one for me. I cringe at the thought of people making the assumption that I am contributing to the dog overpopulation problem.
Oh…Not what you mean?
Do you mean is it hard to keep a pit bull? No, it’s not. I have long gotten over being offended by breed prejudice. I have three pit bulls and usually a foster or two. They are each, in turn; fabulous, frustrating, silly, loving, stubborn, dependable (you get the point) just like me and every other member of my family.
They are individuals.
Oh…Still not what you mean?
Sorry, but I'm at a loss. What are you asking me?
Aaahhh, well yes, Pearl does have scars from fighting. But to her credit she has lived under my roof for two years with two other resident pit bulls, a cat and various foster dogs without so much as a snarf. Pearl prefers the company of people to that of dogs, but so does the cat, and we just don’t make an issue of it. She is not defined by her sagging nipples and scars. She is defined, and rightly so, by her wonderful temperament and her appropriate people focused behavior."
You just go on with your bad selves, Nicole and Pearl. We get it.