Monday, July 26, 2010

four days after

This past Sunday, underneath more than three hundred headlines that outline a Concord tragedy and suggest pit bulls are dangerous, dozens of families owning pit bulls gathered for class, as they do every weekend. We tell stories about our dogs, laugh, hug each other's pets. Many shrug off the bad news, knowing that news fades with the seasons. All are anxious to get on with the day ... A cruelty survivor from Oakland finds a new home today. He yodels across the parking lot for his absent foster mom, but his hopeful adopter soothes him by scritching his scrawny red teenage chest ... A homeless dog arrives with his overwhelmed rescuer for an evaluation. Everyone tugs at his floppy ears and chuckles at his big luggy head. We make plans to give him a safety net ... A single mom comes back for her third lesson. Her once-willful dog falls into line today. Her father videos them both, smiling ... A shelter volunteer announces her progeny's good luck: Mercedes scored and will be in class next week with her brand new adopter, ready to learn ... A new foster home laments her project dog's first week of relentless barking. We commiserate on the trials of fostering ... One of the instructors winces at the pain in her back; a work injury that's still raw. She pushes on through and rallies 12 handlers into formation. "Remember to use your dog's name!" ... An approved applicant announces that they broke their discriminatory lease and signed on with a new rental. "Screw you landlord. My dog is family." They get ready to bring their new puppy home and we sort out the details ... Off in East Oakland, five people gather to distribute fliers that advertise a free shots fair to low income homes. A random woman rants at a BR volunteer: "Didn't you hear about that little boy? All pit bulls should be killed!" The volunteer shrugs it off and marches past house after foreclosed house, looking for pit bull owners that need resources and help. It's not until she gets home to her dogs that those hateful words sink in. We type out our day on our message board, check emails, smile at news from pit bull friends around the country, pull our snoring dogs into bed and fall asleep, tired, but content. Life carries on - Yes it does.

15 comments:

who wouda thunk it?? said...

God bless all of you!

Dianne said...

Aw, you made me cry at work. Thank you to all who are carrying on.

J.M. said...

"Didn't you hear about that little boy? All pit bulls should be killed!"

Good thing that "logic" isn`t applied to Parents/Caretakers.

R.I.P. little one.
Your people failed you and they also failed the dogs involved in that preventable tragedy.

It`s about time that some humans started taking responsibility instead of blaming those that can`t defend themselves.

NYCKitten said...

All pit bulls should be given a damn chance. That's my outlook and it's why we all do this...and have our hearts broken on a daily basis doing pit bull rescue. Life does carry on but man some days it carries on a little heavier than others. Hugs from NYC to all the amazing volunteers who I hope go to bed knowing they gave some dogs a chance that had none...which is a wonderful thing! =)

Linda said...

God bless the pibbles. I don't have one, but I've come to love them. May they all find responsible, loving owners.

RIP to the innocent toddler who was a victim of this tragedy.

BaltimoreGal said...

Thank you, just thank you.
You remind me why I do it, too.

Diane; The Dog Diva said...

Love this post, it's almost like a poem, so soothing.

Anonymous said...

Yup, love this post. Its a reminder that today, we need to get back to what we do and love - and rejoice in our wonderful dogs. Thanks for the ever-so-needed reminder. And for those of you still wanting to strike back at those who throw hurtful barbs at our dogs - the more we argue back, the more emotional we get - the more the fire of hatred is fanned. Keeping up our good works with our dogs - attending classes - producing ambassadors in our communities, embracing each other and giving support where its needed helps us to keep our focus (and sanity) and ultimately fight a better fight.

Lynn in N.Cal

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Donna. We all needed to hear that after these very difficult past few days. I will go to the shelter tonight after my day job and hang out with and hug some of the pibbles, then go home and cuddle with my own. We just have to keep going....and pray that others will learn from this tragedy and take steps to become responsible owners by reaching out for help from BR and other similar groups.

Anonymous said...

thank you for all you do and i'm praying that things will change but i know it's going to take a while. these dogs need us now more than ever!

mayziegal said...

Hi there! I've never commented here before but I just wanted to tell you how much this post meant to me. I live in Colorado Springs and this last week has been a bad one in the media with our own "pit bull" bites. A dog was put down yesterday for biting a little boy on the leg while a lab who bit a little girl in the face was allowed to go home. It's SO frustrating and it makes me so angry reading all the comments on the stories (yeah...I probably just need to STOP doing that).

Anyway, I have been feeling very emotional and upset and your post helped put everything in perspective for me. So thank you so much. And thank you for everything you do.

Amber (and Mayzie)

Floatingclouds said...

I attended the pit ed class as an observer on Sunday. It was my first time witnessing a class. I was not aware of the Concord tragedy; as I don't own a TV or read the paper. I do not own a dog, but fell in love with pit type dogs, and am considering adopting one in the future. That is why I attended the class. I have not stopped raving about this class to anyone who will listen since. There were a lot of participants...20 or 30 dogs. All ages, sizes, colors, and shapes, and levels of ability. I was amazed!!! These dogs loved this class. They were totally happy to be working, learning, engaged. And how very quickly they learned! They all appeared to very much want to please their owners/trainers...and it wasn't just for the treats...not everyone was rewarding with treats. Some dogs who seemed a bit unruly to me at first, were looking and focussing, sitting, walking and turning left on command in no time. They quickly settled down and behaved. One big old square headed dog walked over to me (he was on a leash, his trainer holding the other end) while I was sitting on the curb and gave my face a giant doggie smooch. This class is so organized and professional and caring about pit bulls...I signed up on the spot to be a volunteer so I can help train shelter pit bulls and mixes. These dogs were gorgeous, smart, happy and obviously loved doing the work they were asked to do. The class is impressive. If there were more classes like this in other communities, and educational outreach, such tragedies would be greatly diminished. That goes for all breeds of dogs. Shelters need to step up to the plate on teaching responsible/preventative dog ownership. I am so sorry for this little child and his family. Thank you Bad Rap for your great work. I look forward to assisting in the class in the future as well as advocating for the 'breed'.

ingrid said...

"all pit bulls should be killed".

everyone wants easy solutions.

Thank you BADRAP; for knowing it's not easy, but doing it anyway.

Anonymous said...

I still can't believe when people tell my my sweet, wonderful, beautiful and goofy dog should be put to sleep just because she's a pit bull. It's so hard to hear that blind discrimination, but I am so thankful that you're out there, doing what you do best.

Donna said...

thanks for all the feedback. and floatingclouds, I'm really glad you made it to class. I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to talk!