Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Slow Burn

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.


Anonymous said...

Oh Crap~ The waterworks are flowing again.
Puts other issues in perspective, doesn't she?
Here's another ambassadog contestant.

Anonymous said...

I wish we'd see more stories like this in the media than the junk that is so commonly presented. My disdain for most television and print media grows every day.

Anonymous said...

Is there somewhere we can write to to ask that the dogs get a fair shake and be TT?

Donna said...

Hi anonymous,

Thanks for wanting to nudge for TT. There will be some news regarding this early next week, so pls stay tuned.


Unknown said...

I agree and yes, it is unfortunate that people make assumptions about our dogs (Stereotypes are a real time saver) I found the below excerpt in the MSN online news this morning:
"These dogs are a ticking time bomb,", said Daphna Nachminovitch, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals "Rehabilitating fighting dogs is not in the cards. It's widely accepted that euthanasia is the most humane thing for them."

Unbelieveable. This statement was regarding the confiscated dogs in the Vick case.

Anonymous said...

What is so sad is that people do not have faith in these dogs when after abuse torture and overbreeding the dogs still have faith in us. My dog was also ovebred- her teats will always sag and people will always ask me if she is pregnant. It's not her fault her previous owner only saw her as a money making machine and not the loving, and patient dog that she is. The same should be true for all other dogs. As long as they pass temperament test they should not be written off as "lost".

Mary Eisenhart said...

Well, PETA is on record as advocating the killing of all pit bulls, and kills lots of other dogs with gusto. Both facts conveniently absent from their grandstanding of course.

Anonymous said...

If I hear another word about the NFL's concern about Vick's 'illegal gambling' and NOT about his torture of innocent animals, I think I will scream! And yes, I agree totally with the poster above about the media...this is a golden moment to get some awareness about our dogs and yet, they are mucking it up....most of the time...all over again. Wish we could get Jon Stewart to actually bring one of his bullies onto the show...now that show is the 'news' of most people under 40 these days! and some as old as me...60!


No BSL said...

I know it`s an older post but I can`t sleep and I`m cruising.

[quote]"These dogs are a ticking time bomb,"[/quote]

This is interesting.

This is exactly what Ontario`s Attorney General Michael Bryant said about Ontario`s dogs when he was pushing through his BSL legislation in 2005.

I thought it was a unique expression that he had come up with but apparently I was wrong.
I must look for that quote to see exactly when he said it.