Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

For some people it's their favorite holiday. It is one of the few chances during the year when we have an excuse to dress up, down, be a super hero, be provocative, or for men to wear a tutu. I've seen a few costumes already this weekend, the most ironic being being a tall homeless man wearing an extra tall Uncle Sam hat. But have you ever seen a gargoyle dressed up as a lion?

So many people still write and ask for updates on our unusual Nelly that I'll use this opportunity to let you all see for yourselves. She's as beautiful as ever and is as heavy as ever - which in this case is a good sign - meaning that her babesiosis is in remission. She's still with one of our trainers (Sara and boyfriend Jared) living the good life with a house full of dogs. We visit her when we meet with Sara and it's always a highlight of my week - you know how it is when a dog makes ya feel extra special. She can lift spirits with the best of them and her piggy snorts are a such a hoot. Best Halloween to you all!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a boy's heart

Christine Allen's son Sam turned four fingers old on Tuesday. We've had the pleasure of watching him grow from a babe to a boy with a special connection with dogs, starting with his love for homegirl Izzy, then later as one of V-dog Teddle's very first and bestest friends.

Sam's been such a true heart to the dogs, so we weren't surprised when we heard he was already giving healing hugs to newcomer Huckleberry. Happy Birthday Sam - and thank you. The world has so much to learn from your tender example.

Photo: Christine Allen

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wanted: Crystal ball

These are the days when we sure could use a crystal ball. This sweet soul presented us with a new mystery when he came into Oakland Animal Services, shook up from his past misadventures. He sat in his run looking very forlorn while the days that his owner could come collect him him ticked away. Poor kid almost got lost in the hustle-bustle, such a quiet guy and all, swallowed in a shelter that's being rocked with the challenges that come from staff shortages during an increase in intake numbers.

Somehow his little spirit found a way to stop us in our tracks. "Who are you?", I asked. I blew through the kennel bars into his face; a rude greeting I give to dogs that we want to suss out. Many dogs offer full ecstatic wriggles when we do this. "Me! Me! Do it again!" Occasionally a dog will snarl and spit back, as if to say, "People have not been nice to me. GO AWAY!" But this guy, he stood very still, lifted his paw and licked his lip when he got hit with that rude greeting. Read: Big baby softie, asking for a connection.

We brought him into the trailer to stare at him. He's a mess: Red, swollen toes ... bleeding, yeasty ears...swollen glands...(very) old bite marks and strange red sores on some of his joints. He was having a hard time walking on those feet and looked like he needed to get under a blankie and drink ginger ale and watch old I Love Lucy re-runs.

"What happened to you, honey?" He just stared back, "I don't feel good. Please hug me."

Dogs live in the present moment, so we don't really need a crystal ball to know when they need help now, but it sure would be nice to know more about how dogs like this came to such a crisis state. Of course we hugged him.

A visitor from Australia was with us and offered a new name for a new day. Huckleberry. Huck for short. Unfortunately our Ambassadog ward has been invaded by puppies while a veterinarian puzzles over a recent spread of dog germs. Huck was safe, but relegated to a noisy ward of wild barkers. He hunkered down, as if to wait out a loud thunderstorm. "Please. Get. Me. Outta. Here." Shelter staff slathered his yeasty ears with medicine goo and filled him full of antibiotics while we strategized an exit plan.

Finally, on Sunday, his big day came. Josie Kat adopters Nafia and James drove up in their shiney red mustang, a fitting get-away car for a lovely boy. He's off to foster care now, and while we may never know anything about his past, we'll do our best to create a better future for him.

Stay tuned for news on the softie dog named Huck while we sort out his health issues and see about finding him a new home.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is it something I said?: Rock bumped from role for stupid talk

Not much we can say; just read for yourself. Dude.

Rock's Dog-Fighting Comments Cost Him Pryor Role?

From: The animal-loving widow of RICHARD PRYOR banned CHRIS ROCK from portraying the late comedy icon on the big screen after he made a joke about dog fighting, according to reports. The Head of State star was among the frontrunners to land the main role in a new Pryor biopic, but he allegedly lost the part after jokingly defending shamed American football star Michael Vick, who recently served time for running an illegal dog-fighting ring.

During a recent appearance on U.S. TV's The Jay Leno Show, Rock said, 'What the hell did Michael Vick do? Pitbulls ain't (sic) even real dogs! Dogs have never been good to black people!'

The quip offended Pryor's wife Jennifer, who serves as the director of animal rescue group Pryor's Planet, and she made sure Rock's throwaway comments cost him the movie job.
In an open letter to the star, Jennifer fumes:
'For your information, Chris, what Michael Vick did was to torture, drown, electrocute and murder dogs all for fun and for profit! He went to prison for felony animal cruelty! That's what he did!
These types of comments only encourage abuse and misunderstanding of this breed, as well as actual dog-fighting. Clearly this part of your latest stand-up routine would not make Richard laugh!'

Fellow funnyman Marlon Wayans is reported to have landed the coveted role in Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, which is expected to hit cinemas in 2011. Pryor, who founded Pryor's Planet before his death, passed away in 2005 from a cardiac arrest, aged 65.

(See also: caring about pit bulls? that's "white stuff")

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

out in Iowa and back at home in Oakland

There are always so many unspoken heroes behind the scenes of those larger criminal cases involving dog fighters. They stay in the background while making us look good by helping us get the dogs to safety. I was glad when Rita Mason (below) and Scott Wilson gave us the okay to tell people who they are.

Rita is your federal government, ladies and gentleman: US Marshals Service, Southern District of Iowa. And not only did she search out help for the bust dogs that landed in her state, she rooted for each dog during their evaluations and even had her heart broken when a favorite male showed some troubled behavior. (Read: She wept) Scott Wilson, Operations Manager of Animal Rescue League of Iowa, is another helper who was rooting for the dogs. His shelter does not adopt out pit bulls, so it was extra special to have his and his staff's (Karen!) support. He smoothed our visit to the Des Moines shelter in a big way, stayed through almost every evaluation and hugged on every dog that ended up near his lap.

Thanks also to Maureen McGuire, Assistant U.S. Attorney, for bringing our recommendations to the judge and securing the dogs' release. And to Shane Bunn, Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General USDA, for contract help.

This group of dogs they've been focusing their energies on are so very important because they represent a teeny bit of hope to this state that's littered with a whole lotta bad news for pit bulls including breed restrictions and bans. So helping their bust dogs became a mission to help more than just the bust dogs: It meant demonstrating to Iowans that pit bulls matter, including the ones that most would cancel out without a second thought. We knew we had to get involved, but we didn't know how we would be received until we met these big hearts during our visit. What a pleasure.

A Positive from Iowa News - News Video
This past Sunday, four of the dogs left their kennels for good. This report documenting their departure gave me goosebumps. A Rotta Love Plus made the nine hour round trip to gather up the dogs they'd selected during evaluations and staffy bull devotee Kristi Johnson came to collect Ernie, a goofy little cannonball on four legs. Check out the quotes in the news piece - inspired. We're just so proud of all these good people.

(Note: We're currently working to get some lucky Iowa dogs to CA.)

Back in Oakland...

Here's a screen grab of the banner we flew over the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday. There's a story behind this thing: Turns out that the local FAA rep put so much pressure on the pilot to kill this message that the pilot caved and refused the job at the very last minute. We have to wonder if this rep was a big football fan. After all, as Christine Allen reminded us, chilling first amendment rights is a big no-no. We were in a pinch at that final hour but the pilot's partner is a dog lover and felt so bad about leaving us out in the cold that he contacted his competitor and asked if they would do it instead. It's interesting how many people seem to want to quiet the outrage against Vick's return. Even more interesting when a federal agency does the chilling.

BR adopter Dona Fong was at the game and reported back on the drama: "There was a lot of clapping and shouting for the positive when the Bad Rap plane flew over. I did go into the game because most of the protesters did not and I wanted to keep the protest alive once the game started. Whenever Vick came on to the playing field, which wasn't much cause he sucked, the crowd would boo, bark and many shouted dog killer. As I walked through the crowd with my Bad Rap t-shirt on ( "It's about the dogs, Justice for the Vick-tims"), many people gave me thumbs up, or shouted "I love my pit bull" and; several made comments like Vick is a Dick or Vick sucks. I had a few heated conversations with some idiots who tried really hard to defend him by saying it was a mistake. I said a mistake is adding 5 + 5 = 9. I said what Vick did was premeditated murder of innocent animals who's only crimes were they were too nice to fight - defend that. Anyway, it was a good day for Oakland and for our beloved dogs. I bet Vick won't forget his visit here anytime soon."

Thank you for your showing your cajones, Dona. We love knowing that our hometown didn't decide to pick its navel when the Eagles came to town.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sports heroes among us

It was a very different kind of Sunday in Oakland: In Defense of Animals gathered up a group of animal lovers at the coliseum for the Raiders game and pushed their message out to several news outlets (well done, guys - news), our banner got off the ground AND the Raiders kicked some serious Philly butt. Woof!

Some people back in Philadelphia are starting to question the whole mess: 'Eagles make a bad decision signing Vick'

On their way into the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Eagles were forced to pass the now-obligatory bands of protesters, still upset that Vick is in the NFL despite his prominent role in a dog-fighting circuit. And on their way out, they were 13-9 losers to the Oakland Raiders, one of those NFL teams believed to be inept --- that after Vick was on the field for one play, a four-yard rushing loss. - Times Herald

The biggest highlight of the weekend tho' came from sports reporter Kimberly Coyle. She knows a real sports hero when she sees one. Check it out...

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Dog is Family Photo Contest - Now Closed!

We're still peeling our jaws off the floor from the high powered maneuvering that went down with last night's photo contest deadline. What a wild ride. Just when we thought the finalists were settled and the contest was wrapping up, four huge donations came in inside the last 15 minutes and pushed long standing favorites in every direction. It was a true pit bull experience - as in, "Move on over, I gotta contest to win!"

We'll confirm the winners as soon as each of the 13 top scoring entrants submits their high res photo, completing our requirements for the calendar. Next! In a couple of weeks, we'll begin selecting photos for use in our My Dog is Family Book, so keep your eye peeled towards your mailbox in case your pic is chosen.

Thanks to everyone for buying votes and for submitting photos of your cherished pets. This contest was crucial in helping us build our funds for the rescue and advocacy work we plan to do in 2010. We'd be nowhere fast without you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vick: Still not sorry (we checked)

This coming Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will be landing in - gulp - our hometown to play the Oakland Raiders. What to do? In the spirit of moving forward, we decided to invite Michael Vick to meet his victims while he's here so he could look them in the eye and extend his apologies. Yeah we did. It was a tough situation to consider - but at some point we have to find some closure and move this man off of our emotional radar, right? It took five pins & needles days for him to say No. One can only imagine the back and forth between his handlers about that little decision. (Right: V-dog Frodo)

Here's the short version. And here's our news release in full:

Vick refuses to meet former Bad Newz Kennel dogs while in Oakland

Late last week, Oakland based pit bull advocacy group BAD RAP invited Michael Vick to view eight of his former Bad Newz Kennels dogs from behind a window while in town for the Raiders game on October 18, but the offer was refused. The invitation was extended to allow Vick an opportunity to acknowledge the victims of the crimes he committed while running a dogfighting operation that employed torture and death as a means to punish underperforming dogs. Vick has indicated remorse for disappointing his fans, his family, his teammates and his coach, but has steered clear of mentioning his victim dogs in public statements.

BAD RAP Co-Founder, Tim Racer said: "Oakland is a town that welcomed Vick's broken dogs with open arms back in 2007. We understand Vick is trying to right his wrongs and is very interested in redemption, but you can't find redemption without acknowledging your victims. Making amends to the dogs themselves would have helped to create some closure for many of us, especially the people who worked so hard to keep them from being destroyed. It seems that Vick is not ready to go there."

Pamela Browner-Crawley, public affairs director for the Philadelphia Eagles, relayed BAD RAP's offer to Vick. To satisfy the conditions of Vick's parole that bars him from being near animals, a location was identified that would allow him to view his former dogs from behind a window, at legal distance. On Wednesday, Crawley contacted BAD RAP to decline on behalf of Vick. Ignoring the fact that legalities would be followed, she explained, "Michael is not allowed to be around dogs by a court order, so logistically and legally, your plan can't work."

"We were fairly certain that he would decline our invitation, given his continued refusal to make mention of his dogs," said Racer. "The unfortunate thing is that his new position of compassion towards animals would be so much more credible if he could actually say that he looked his victims in the eye and said, "I'm sorry."

So, who's surprised?

Actions speak louder

If you're looking to join an action at Sunday's game, In Defense of Animals is calling for people to join them in a peaceful protest at the Oakland Coliseum Sunday, October 18 from 12-2pm to let the Eagles know that Vick is not welcome in Oakland. Their news release.

We'll be there - sort of. You'll see.

Thanks to SJ Mercury News sports writer Mark Purdy for asking about the dogs this week. We love Kim Ramirez's quotes, and I blew soda out my nose with Marthina's sock puppet comment. The Aftermath of Vick

ONE MORE DAY to vote for your favorite dog in the 'My Dog is Family' Photo Contest! We end at midnight on Thursday, October 15.

Monday, October 12, 2009

And another batch of bust dogs is freed

This is a bad luck / good luck story about yet another group of bust dogs who've been given the green light to live...

Good luck. This wonderful creature was removed from one of several midwestern dog fighters along with 34 other dogs in the summer's big seven state sweep.

Bad luck. She was taken to a location where the law defines pit bulls as vicious. Bad for pit bulls, bad for local shelters and rescue groups, who have such a hard time placing pit bulls that most don't even bother to try.

Good luck again for the dogs - Two federal agents each started proactively searching for someone qualified to evaluate the dogs and organize rescue efforts. (Did we ever tell you how much we're starting to like our federal government? who knew!)

Their search brought them to our door, and of course we agreed to get out to Iowa and do our part to help the dogs. Even better luck, Rachel Anderson and Lara Peterson of A Rotta Love Plus in Minnesota were willing to take time away from their busy schedules to assist in the evaluations and help us sort out the difficult task of matching dogs to foster homes.

Like deja vu. Four of us met in mid-September and loaded up on triple lattes in blazing heat so we could get to the task of sussing out dogs and hoping hard for their futures. This past Friday - on Tim's birthday no less - a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa reviewed the evaluation results and ruled - Yes - in favor of the dogs' rescue, and then released one dozen dogs into BR's custody. This is the week that we follow through on sad euthanasia decisions for the more troubled dogs while hammering out transport plans and begging up last minute foster options for the others. I really want to explain more about the feds who worked so hard to make sure the victims from this case got a real chance, but not every dog from this locale is able to be released yet, so I'll bite my tongue. But please put a bookmark in this chapter because the story needs to be told.

Maybe you're like us? We're starting to become strangely comfortable with news that yet another group of bust dogs who once had a snowball's chance of a future have zig-zagged their way to safety. And all via the efforts of a whole lotta good people who happen to believe in the same version of justice for the victims. It truly is a brand new day for our beloved breed.

Above. This pretty girl is about to be absorbed into the care of A Rotta Love Plus. We're all very envious of whoever ends up adopting her!

Photo Contest

There are over 1100 unused votes at this eleventh hour of the My Dog is Family photo contest. Yowsa! We predict a wild and crazy Wednes/Thurs as people pour last minute votes in to their fav photos.

I've had to go back to this photo three times this weekend just for the smile. This is Doula, owned by Bridget Hodson of Fair Oaks, CA. Her story of Doula is as rich as her photo. Treat yourself and give it a look today.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dogfighting videos = free speech?

So about a week ago, I started reading media sources and a variety of dog-related forums about how the Supreme Court was going to hear a case about whether creating and selling dogfighting videos was illegal. Well, I finally read the transcripts of oral argument yesterday, and as it turns out, the case isn't really that simple.

As background, Stevens, the guy who was convicted was found guilty because he was selling videos that depicted dogfighting and hogcatching. He was charged with violating a federal statute that made it illegal to sell depictions of illegal animal cruelty across state lines. The statute doesn’t apply to videos that have some redeeming value, for example, for historical or educational purposes.

The only issue that's before the Supreme Court was whether that statute violates the First Amendment. The main concerns the Court had were whether the statute is overbroad and whether Congress overstepped its bounds in potentially criminalizing behavior that isn’t criminal.

The Justices peppered hypotheticals at the lawyers to figure out what Congressional limits were on regulating speech: whether Congress could ban a Human Sacrifice Channel where we could buy pay per view to watch sacrifices taking place in some imaginary land where sacrifices were legal. (By the way, everyone seemed to agree that Congress probably couldn’t ban it.) The Court wondered whether the law would criminalize the sale of videos showing off-season hunting or fishing. Or bullfighting videos that were filmed in Spain, where bullfighting is legal. And our newest Justice asked wondered about the possibility of whether the documentary, Off the Chain, would be included under this statute as it’s written because it contained gruesome footage of dogfighting.

I've never been great at predicting which way the Supreme Court is going to come down on cases before it, but I do know that both parties (and the Justices) agreed that dogfighting and animal cruelty is reprehensible. And illegal. Even if the Court decides to throw out the entire statute as unconstitutional, it doesn't mean that it is giving the sale of dogfighting videos a green light. One of the points made at argument was that if legislators intended to make the sale of dogfighting videos illegal because it promotes and encourages animal cruelty and helps cops find dogfighters, they need to draft a more narrow law that doesn't encompass other potentially "innocent" behavior. The only issue the Court is considering is whether the statute is invalid as its currently written because it hinders speech.

No more. No less.

It doesn't even get to the issue of whether the law is constitutional as it’s applied to Stevens. If the Court says the law is constitutional, it will probably remand it back to the lower courts to let them figure it out first.

So what now? If the court throws out the statute, our job is to get on the horn fast and tell our congresspeople that we want them to go back to the drawing board and write a better law. - Christine Allen

Countdown - Seven more days

Seven more days to submit your photo (if you haven't already) and corral all your friends to vote you onto the BAD RAP 2010 My Dog is Family Calendar. I'm feeling Moose this morning, loved by Angie Reuter in Flemington, MO.

Angie's story is as moving as her photo: "There are no words to describe this dog. He is like a best friend. I got him after a tragic loss. He is a great comedian and a great comfort during sad times. My mother in law passed last July. She loved him, he layed by her bed. If something was wrong or different with her he would come to get me. He loves to ride in a canoe, the first dog I have seen that can be still in a canoe."

That's family. Best luck to everyone who entered your beautiful photos.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fostering Part III: Sassy bitches are worth their weight in gold

This is Part Three in our series on fostering, written in hopes that it helps more people say 'Yes.'

Under-socialized puppies are about to come flooding into rescue circles via the big Missouri centered fight bust, and rescuers are going to be faced with a special task: Making up for lost time. Workers on the ground at Humane Society Missouri - where 500+ dogs are being held including 100-some puppies - are reporting that the challenge of cleaning so many pens means little or no time left over for helping new puppies learn the good skills they need to help them grow into well-balanced adult dogs, and that can present an obvious problem.

We met 'the challenge' when we brought Elvessa home from the bust dog batch that landed in Oklahoma this summer. Elvessa had one other sibling when she was seized and a sweet but very stressed mama dog. At just seven weeks old, she was full of piss & vinegar and she was willing to assert her boss-dom on dogs five times her size - Yikes. Needless to say we worried about her future. Time to call up a special foster home with a very special dog with a very special focus: She puts bold, pushy puppies in their place. Lily impressed us years ago when we watched her break up a squabble between two of her own puppies - And they listened. She's since helped us knock down the egos of some surprisingly scrappy little hellions and put them on the path to CGC-style manners. In a very real sense, she's helped to save a number of lives and create some wonderful Ambassadogs. What would we do without our Bitchy Queens?

If you rescue or run an adoption program at a shelter, brassy female dogs can be your best ally to whipping manner-less young pups into shape. Thanks to them, pups that may not otherwise look like good adoption candidates can make a turn-around.

When we turned Elvessa over to Jane and Ron, we told them, "Don't get attached" ... Just in case that little pup was outside of the norm. They've heard it before. But after a five week check-in this past weekend, we heaved a sigh of relief: Elvessa was taking Lily's lessons to heart. That, and all the intense socializing Jane and Ron have given her with every kind of dog they could find. She greeted our dogs with calm interest and she offered an appropriate play style this weekend. A miracle - No more Cujo Puppy. Because she's drivey, she may not be an easy dog to own and she's not going to be a dog-park dog, but in the right home that relishes rules, she'll be a little Smarty Pants Super Star.

In addition to hooking under-socialized pups up with a surrogate no-holds-barred mama dog, Vessa's foster parents set up house rules from Day One. Nothing in Life is Free kind of rules, And they stood firm. Jane used to teach middle school and she told me, "What's a pit bull after dealing with a roomful of eighth graders?"

We don't have any blow by blow video of the first days of Vessa's Boot Camp, but we're pretty sure it was loud and that there were times when Jane and Ron wondered if they should intervene. We're glad they didn't! We're told Lily held Vessa down when she had temper tantrums and even dinged her faced with a mama-style correction, then rewarded her for good signals by giving her what every puppy wants: A happy playmate. Through a combo of tough-love lessons and positive reinforcement, Lily is teaching this under-socialized fight bust pup how to be a real dog. Thank you Lily!

How loud does it get? This here's a video of our Sally, teaching a young female - also from a fight bust - to cool out on the spazzy-slam play style. In a couple of days, once the pup shows due respect, Sally may initiate some play on her terms. Maybe. It's fascinating what we can learn from watching our pit bulls socialize other pit bulls --- and a classic reminder that, yes, they're still dogs.

UPDATE: Read how things work out for the now-grown-up Vessa.. LINK

(I can't watch this video without laughing at Sally. She's such a BEEYOTCH! - dog bless her.)

  • Fostering Part 1 - The Basics
  • Fostering Part 2 - Dog-Dog Intros
  • More info on Socializing Your Pit Bull
  • ...And Monitoring Dog Play

  • _____
    BARN NEWS After an email blast today asking for help with meeting a large matching funds gift, we're now just $1675 away from the big jump up the bar graph to the other side of 60K. WOOT! These kind dog lovers gave to help us meet the current 10K matching gift challenge offered up on September 1. THANK YOU!

    Bryan Klavitter, Daniel and Diane Alspaugh, Tish Gayle King, John F. Hill, Judith Blaufuss, Jennifer Clark, Kristin Tassin, Meline MacCurdy, Wade Sheeler, Ester Shir, Roderic March, Julie Niel, Kristen McCants, Marty Schacht, Camille Change, Sara Robertson, Shanda Drawdy, Lauren Kimball, Susan Allen, Karen Iler, Judith Blaufuss, Amy Abascal, Don Keenan, Jackie Gunby, Barbara Nozzi, Andrea Donderi, Paul Sorge, Robin Causbrooke, Katherine Pitts, Sandra Ambrogio, Andrea Ives, Margaret Schrock, Linda Scanlin, Second Change Pet Rescue (thank you Debbie!), Allix Magaziner, Brooke Suchomel, Paisley Rosengren, Shirley Palma, Vintage Grace, Donald Hicok, Deb Mortenson, Carol Toms, Kirsten Reed, Divine Creations, Augusta Kickbusch, Gary Lee, Robert Dvorkin, Margo Willmes, Brittany Admire

    Saturday, October 03, 2009

    caring about pit bulls? that's "white stuff"

    After the Jay Leno Show on Wednesday night, emails started pouring in from people begging us to slam Chris Rock for comments made regarding Michael Vick and his pit bulls. I admit I didn't watch it, altho we're told this is how it went:

    Jay Leno: "It's amazing to me that you mistreat a dog and you lose your career and go to jail for two years."

    Chris Rock: "What the hell did Michael Vick do, man? A dog, a pit bull ain't even a real dog. A pit bull, that's the white stuff. Dogs are white mans best friend - dogs have never been good to black people."

    Yeah. Chris Rock is like so many comedians who shoot hard from the hip in hopes of offending somebody - anybody - into an uncomfortable laugh. If you're black - you get a free pass on caring for animals, so we're all going to give Michael Vick a big prime-time hug now because poor baby's been misunderstood. White people have clearly over-estimated his moral obligation to care about anything besides himself, and we need to just lay the fuck off. Ha, ha, Chris. I'm laughing til I split.

    I'm glad I missed that show. Leno hit a new low, too.

    I don't think anyone's stuck their neck out this far though, even to get a cheap laugh:
    "Pit bulls ain't even real dogs."
    And his truth - which is obviously not our truth - strikes at the core of why they will continue to suffer in so many hands. Caring about dogs is seen as weak, and pit bulls fall somewhere much, much lower than other dogs on the how-much-to-care scale. (They're bred to be abused, remember?) That helps explain why to this date, Vick has yet to make mention of dogs, his dogs, (Has he even used the word "dog"?) even while speaking as an 'animal rights advocate' alongside HSUS top dog Wayne Pacelle in D.C.

    Don't show that you're weak, man. Temper your words carefully so your boys don't laugh at you once the cameras are off.

    "What the hell did Michael Vick do, man?" Well right now, he's showing us exactly how much work we have to do to bring those lowly pit bulls back into our circle of compassion in this country.

    Thanks for helping with that, Rock. You're hilarious.


    Now THIS is funny: Jimmy Kimmey on Vick
    And if you like the Onion ...'Michael Vick Fails To Inspire Team With 'Great' Dogfighting Story' (Pssst. The Onion is a parody rag. Love it.)

    Thursday, October 01, 2009

    luck of the Clover

    It's a good day when the media recognizes that pit bulls are as American as apple pie. Contest entrants Kevin Flanagan, Monica Hernandez and their pooch Clover found their way to the Sacramento Bee yesterday with this crazy-fun photo and nice plug for the photo contest. How much do we love this family? Clover's entry here.

    We have to admire their ambitions. Kevin told us he threatened to de-friend anybody on Facebook if they didn't send in a few votes for his family, and the votes came rolling in. And then they suddenly appeared in the paper? Hmm. Maybe there's a little Mafioso in those Flanagan bloodlines. Good luck guys!

    If you haven't looked at the last pages of the contest, make sure and spend some time there today. Since we announced our plans to create a book with contest images, even more amazing photos have poured in. Food for the soul, for sure.