Monday, July 21, 2008

Storytelling For Change


"Although dogs don't tell stories, they have stories, and the stories help us understand."

This is my favorite line from Susan McCarthy's beautiful article in the current issue of BARk Magazine, a story about the Vick dogs. Susan reminds us how important it is to tell - and retell - important stories. Storytelling shapes who we are as a culture, and more specifically, as a culture of animal stewards. The Vick dogs' stories have been told many times already and, we hope, will continue to be retold again and again. All the better to help us shape a new understanding and reality for pit bulls and other beings plagued by abuse and misunderstanding. So, thank you Susan.

Here's the first page of her article. I love her style. I love even more that she committed herself to so many personal visits to get to know the dogs (She was worried that she was being a pest. She wasn't.) Susan even joined us at a Shots Fair in the belly of Oakland last winter as a way to peek inside this strange world of ours, and she let herself get swept up in assisting the clients who showed up with their pets.

She really 'got' Frodo - our shy damaged youngin.' Not many people take the time to slow down and understand that dog, and his story is as important as any. Frodo was damaged by the good guys -- by the shelter that took him in. Read more about it in the BARk on newsstands now.

My next favorite line in Susan's story is from Randy Lockwood, who reminds us that even old dog fight experts can learn new tricks. It takes big cajones to admit that you've changed your dogma in the face of new evidence. Thank you Randy.
"I've changed my own position. I helped draft the HSUS policy (when I worked there) of not placing animals rescued from known dog-fighting operations. I've changed my tune." - Randy Lockwood ASPCA
After all, if we can bend our hearts towards bust dogs, then there can be no excuse for condemning the pit bulls that come from other places. That's our story, anyway.

Verizon Sucks

By now, you've prolly heard that Verizon is telling a horror story by exploiting chained pit bulls to pimp their phone. You just KNOW the ad team expected to catch heat for this. I'm betting that they're banking on controversy as a way to draw attention to their product; Every advertiser knows that there's no such thing as bad press. Even so, screw the petition. Send your outrage in ink, or mail them some dog poo, etc.

Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and CEO Verizon
140 West Street
New York, NY 10007

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Disgusting and harmful.. and I have a Verizon phone. But looks like I'm gettin' an AT&T/ IPhone now! ~doglunatique in Oaktown

Ted said...

So when do we get a chance to buy "verizon sucks" t-shirts? I'll buy many. Verizon Sucks! Pit Bulls Rock.

Anonymous said...

I just fired off a missive to Verizon Wireless...telling them how wrongheaded their campaign is...its similarity to Jew-bashing during WWII, pandering to the media hype, how pit bulls are struggling to survive amongst the ignorant masses (BSL, etc.). Hopefully it will find its way to someone with a brain and a heart. I'm ever the optimist....and my keyboarding fingers will never give up the fight. Thanks for putting out the word on yet another example of a corporate bad citizen.

Anonymous said...

http://adage.com/article?article_id=129799

looks like Donna was right on.

Shanda said...

I've been thrilled with my Verizon service for 4 years after leaving AT & T really angry. Now I don't know what to do! Bloody bloodthirsty ad men!!!

Kudos to the article in Bark, it was fantastic. xoxox to Ms. McCarthy!

Anonymous said...

I'm putting my letter to Ivan in the mail as soon as I post this. Then I'll be heading to the Verizon store to cancel my contract - and my husband's and son's. This afternoon I plan to spend some time on e-mail initiating a grassroots campaign against Verizon. What pigs. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Marie

Anonymous said...

who are the trainer/owners of the dogs in this commercial? And why is no one attacking THEM?

Anonymous said...

I was given the email address of a man at Verizon to email about this, which I did. I actually got a decent response back from him. Much different than the offensive response I received from amazon.com when I complained about dog fighting books on its website. Anyhow, the man at Verizon indicated that the appropriate person to email about this ad is brenda.raney@verizonwireless.com.

Kyle and Tom said...

Just another reason to dislike cell phones! The ladies actually made a comment about how mean the dogs were and that they were nothing like Trinity! Bad Verizon, Bad!

www.trinitythepitbull.com

Anonymous said...

The really ironic thing is that for a half-second you can see the black pittie's tail wagging in the video!

Horatio said...

HOLA BULLY LOVERS,
I AM EXTREMELLY HAPPY TO FORWARD THE MESSAGE BELOW THAT I RECEIVED IN MY DOGSTER EMAIL. TELLING ME THAT ---VERIZON HAS PULLED THEIR AD FROM TV.-----
WE DID IT!!!
Horatio & Moomy Ena

http://www.dogster.com
Group: ★PLANET PAWLLYWOOD★
Subject: VERIZON PULLS THEIR COMMERCIAL Sent: Wed Jul 23



Message:
I JUST THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE THE GREAT NEWS!! CHECK IT OUT......

Please Forward

I need to thank Steve Sacchitelli for his incredible work in getting this terrible portrayal of the American pit bull terrier pulled off the air

In a message dated 7/22/2008 7:30:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Stevesach32 writes:
"I just got off the phone with Scott Armstrong at Verizon who is someone in Marketing with considerable pull

They have pulled the ad.

Congrats to Verizon for actually acting on this
Please say Thanks to Steve with a short email, for his efforts in effectively removing this ad campaign with the help of all of you
Email: Stevesach32@ aol.com

CathyP in ATL said...

Here's some positive pibble press from the news media:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMeKGeu81fw

Wish we could see stories like this this and BadRap's story in BARK mag more often!

Robben and Zak George said...

I honestly thought when I saw the commercial I was the only one who would think it was ridiculous, glad to know I wasn't. I just discovered your blog and the vickDog blog as well....added you to my favorite on my blog....thanks so much for doing what you do!