I'm dreaming that I'm in a world class hotel...and it's full of pit bulls and their friends...People are smiling at us...and well dressed valets are holding the door for us as our wriggly dogs glide in like movie stars over polished wooden floors...
Wait...Not a dream. We were really there, at the Claremont Resort with our pit bulls, for the third annual Turn Up the Volume BAD RAP Conference. *Pinch me.
Last weekend's event really did have a dream-like quality. Overlooking the gorgeous San Francisco bay, we discussed pit bulls non-stop for two days with movers & shakers from around the country. Heaven!
Bambi and the crew pulled off a seamless event full of great food and new inspirations in a top notch setting. Claremont staff was more than welcoming, and only one person freaked out at the sight of our dogs. ...There's one in every crowd, I guess.
A hot topic this year was Marcel Harnois' (Solano County Humane AS) presentation on American Bulldog history and particulars. More than a few animal welfare professionals were shocked to realize how easy it is to misidentify ABs as pit bulls. To help illustrate the futility of trying to identify breeds, Leslie Nuccio (BR) marched several dogs up to the front for a live version of the 'Find the Pit Bull' game. Not easy! A small bull mastiff stumped more than a few people by pretending to be a funny looking brown pit bull.
ASPCA's Ledy VanKavage roused everyone awake by pointing out some of the media's bigger fiasco's in 2007, and Sergeant Cronin from the OPD gave us his sage advice on ways to curb animal cruelty in our cities. There was so much more ... Loads of video of dog intros and rowdy play sessions; dog evaluations and kennel enrichment.
Conference goers watched a demo of 21 pit bulls at our Pit Ed Class training grounds, then, handlers turned their leashes over to our guests and they practiced what they'd learned. One guest actually teared up at the sight of so many well loved pit bulls in one place -- a good reminder that what's commonplace in our corners is not so common in other towns.
It was one of those weekends when you feel something bigger happening just beneath the surface of the calm goings-on; sort of like realizing a mild earthquake is rumbling beneath your feet while you're absorbed in doing the dishes. We look forward to watching the ripple effects of this event and are grateful to everyone who added their fire so this special gathering could come to life. Thank you!
The Queen of our Hearts enjoyed her first weekend with the comfort of warm blankets, good food and - luxury! - a pedicure. Her foster mom Stephanie tells us that she's so happy to have a cozy bed that she's reluctant to leave it. Can't say that I blame her.