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Pit Bulls and the Media: Hooray!

April 26, 2011

By Leslie Smith, (as first posted in Dogtime on April 19, 2011)

Hooray? Yes, hooray.

I noticed the link to a video clip titled, Blind kids get a helping paw from pit bulls, and I had to click. In it, Today Show correspondent Jill Rappaport reports on a pioneer program created by Main Line Animal Rescue: Pit bulls as therapy dogs at a school for the blind.

The clip is worth watching for several reasons, not the least compelling of which is the flood of shots of adorable pittie pups.

But as the video played, it dawned on me that the big news here isn’t about pit bulls comforting the blind. The real story is that a mainstream media network chose to cover pit bulls in a positive light. This is huge. Not to mention highly unusual.

The report wasn’t perfect. More than once, Rappaport brings up the breed’s flawed reputation. Ok, fair enough. But in speaking to Main Line’s founder Bill Smith, she insists, “This is definitely an aggressive… not aggressive, but dominant, breed…”

Smith half-corrects her, reminding Rappaport that pit bulls were bred to fight each other, but remain loyal and gentle with humans. Any dog, not just a pit bull, can (and likely will) become aggressive when treated cruelly or violently.

Ultimately though, Rappaport’s message is accurate and hopeful. Pit bulls can become aggressive when in the wrong hands, but when treated with love and respect, they are just dogs. Just dogs. Today Show anchor Meredith Vieira reiterates the sentiment at the close of the segment: “Dogs are like people. Some can be good, some can be bad.”

It doesn’t surprise me that such a strong bond between blind kids and misunderstood dogs has been forged. But it is ironic that there are still “normal” adults who can’t see the light.

Did you know? 

 

The classic children’s television show, The Little Rascals, featured an American Pit Bull Terrier as “Petey the Pit Bull.”

 

 

Video:  THE REAL PIT BULL THE WAY THEY WERE INTENDED

h/t to Stubby Dog – Cross-Posted at Ask Marion

Related:

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American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs… In Memory of Ace

Dog Rescued from Fighting Becomes Therapy Dog

Guarding Dogs  -  Documentary in the Making

Dog Fighting Game Released for Android Phones – CALL TO ACTON

May 5, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs… In Memory of Ace

In Memory of Ace

who has gone to Rainbow Bridge

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Ace With His Sister Paige a Pit Bull Mix

A  Dog’s Purpose? (from  a 6-year-old)

Get a tissue before reading…

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron , his wife Lisa , and their little boy Shane , were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the  family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane  might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him.. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few  minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me.  I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.  It has changed the way I try and live..

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Video:  Behind the breed:  American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs

There really  are no mean or bully breeds there are just mean and bully breeders and owners.

A lot of people seriously don’t know what an American Pit Bull Terrier is. Watch this video and you will understand the breed allot more. Most people that claim to own these dogs really don’t. They own mixed bred dogs that are designed using the American Pit Bull Terrier. Allot of these crosses have American Bulldogs added in for size and strength and some even try adding Bullmastiffs! Both the American Bulldog and Bullmastiff are much larger and more powerful dogs then the American Pit Bull Terrier. That is one of the reasons they are used to produce the dog commonly seen today. Allot of these dogs end up in shelters. In reality, the true APBT is, in my opinion, one of the best dogs you can own, if you know how. Dogs are pack animals and you need to make sure you’re the pack-leader without ever hitting or abusing your animals. You also need to make sure that you can handle a dominant breed.

The true American Pit Bull Terrier is a small to medium sized dog that gets 15 – 21 inches at the shoulders and
22 – 65 pounds. Anything more then 70 pounds is obese and/or a mutt.

In this video you will learn:
*- What a true American Pit Bull Terrier is and how to know.
*- How to tell the difference between the true APBT and the Fakes.
*- How to know if the breeder is a legit, educated, responsible, reputable, respectable breeder, and also how to tell if they are a “Back-Yard” breeder.
*- You will also learn the “Pit Bull” isn’t a breed, its a term used to describe a certain group of dog breeds. “Pit Bull” isn’t a breed itself, though.
*- You will also see some of the breeds commonly confused as an APBT.

And many more ….

Dog Rescued from Fighting Becomes Therapy Dog

September 1, 2010 Posted by | animal behavior, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments