Oh my aching head. On the heels of a fantastic evening last night (see notes below), we're reminded just how tuff we really have to be to own and enjoy our pit bulls. Not tuff as in, "Wow am I tres cool and muy macho," but tuff enough to teflon biased opinions such as those in: Vallejo Times Herald's weekend piece on 'pet psychology.'
The headline of the article reads, "Pet Psychology What does your pet choice say about you?" Although I propose a different headline: "Pets and Armchair Psychology. What does your personal prejudice say about you?"
Apparently pit bull owners, we've been diagnosed. The tens of thousands of us who own and enjoy pit bulls in the bay area, specifically in Solano County, are merely fine tuning our bad boy macho image. Oy vey. If we REALLY meant to have "family member type pets" according to clinical psychologist Dr. Kelly Horton, we'd be by-passing these fat head dogs up for labrador retrievers.
Baby Clare is much too busy enjoying her friend to care what people think about her parent's breed choice.
The article suggests that our income and even our EDUCATION level may have something to our breed choice. "Income and education level and where they live may dictate why some people have certain kinds of animals," one north bay shelter worker said. Presumably, the less educated we are, the more attracted we will be to pit bulls. More: "Terriers have a strong prey drive, which can be a problem with kids going by on skateboards or on bikes, or the postman or pizza delivery guy gets bit."
Whoa! Wait a minute. The last time we checked, responsibly owned pit bulls weren't chasing the pizza guy any more than responsibly owned labradors - the supposed ideal family pets. In fact, two irresponsibly owned lab-mixes made the paper this spring when they chased and bit up a passer-by in the North Bay. Lab Attack, Of course, we would never blame the breed or the income level of dog owner. But rather, we would look at the circumstances. Prior history? Yes, the dogs had been at large before, barking scarily at some neighborhood kids. Containment problems? Absolutely.
Solano County pit bull owners, you have a right to be pissy at your local paper today. Yes, yes, we know there are irresponsible pit bull owners out there as well as irresponsible lab owners, but generalizing and supporting stereotypes is sooo 1950's. Not to mention, it's sensationalistic and smacks of tabloid journalism. Kudos though to Darlene Jelonek, who does animal control for the Benicia Police Department. She said most of the dogs she picks up in town are loose running labs and retrievers. She rarely encounters an aggressive pit bull, and said. "We got the friendlier, family dogs here, I guess," she said. Thank you Darlene. Score one for Benicia.
Speaking of Tuff Love
Last night's event exceeded all expectations. The tasting room was packed, the guests were dressed to the nines, the sake was flowing, the music was jamming and atmosphere was all about love and appreciation for the breed. Sales were good and everyone seemed walk out the door with an auction score, a BR Exposed Calendar and/or an original work of art.
We'll post a link to fun photos when we unfog our brains, but for now, THANK YOU to everyone who came out and showed so much generosity and kindness.
Photographer Anne Truitt had good reason to celebrate. Her Exposed calendar photos were a hit and her framed prints nearly sold out. Congrats Anne! and thank you again.