Saturday, July 5, 2008

Breed Prejudice - Grrr....

Hello family! :) I recently found out that my family is reading my blogs. Quite the shocker for me since I don't always control my tongue or my thoughts very well here in Blogging Land. Papau made the point of telling me how negative I am in my blogs - which has stayed with me and made me consider almost every word, thought, and motive today. It doesn't mean I didn't vent about select co-workers who bully others, or that I shied away from thinking poorly about the customers who didn't want to wait in line and cut in front of others in the gas lines or that I didn't snicker about the people who are never satisfied. IE - Papau now is giving away FREE bottled water for his customers waiting in line, 99% of them say, "Thank you! This is just what I needed!" But today someone complained that it wasn't soda. Can't please them all. :P

But it did make me ponder how negative I am, and ungrateful. It certainly made me think back to all the things I should be grateful for - a good family, patient parents, a surprisingly wonderful job (hey there is always free entertainment!), a fantastic pet, and of course the Gospel.

Something to ponder and remember every time I want to open my mouth . . . . .

Maya's doing fantastic with the treadmill. We just turn it on now and she gets right on. Right now, I have to still very closely supervise (ie sit in a chair right next to the treadmill while she's on it) but am hoping with a few more sessions I can fold laundry, sweep the floors in that room, etc while she is on the treadmill.

I was sick for almost two whole days (yes again, perhaps this is my season to be sickly) and so we got back into routine this evening - FINALLY! I picked up a bike from my local Deseret Industries and have been biking with Maya about 4 miles a night. We rode our bikes and scooters as a family tonight to Maya's doggie play group and it was so much fun. Maya took a rest while we waited for her BFF Nacho to arrive. Here she is looking all fantastic.

The kids had a blast too - even though Paul fell into some rocks when he turned his bike too sharply. But he's such a champ and after I washed out his scratches with some water, he was totally fine and ready to go back to playing hard.

Meanwhile, Anya continues to think that Maya is her personal pony or something. Maya is such a fantastic dog that she doesn't mind when the kids tug her tail, look at her ears, use her as a pillow, or even sit on her. What a good girl. We discovered that Maya is afraid of fireworks (sadly pretty common for pets) so we've been using Cesar Millan techniques to try to confront her fear. We've not been babying or consoling her so as not to indulge her fears, we did use the forward motion and corrections/distractions. We'll see how well these worked next time the fireworks fire up.

And here is Maya and her man, Nacho. He's such a great Boston Terrier - so well behaved, obediant, and such a great playmate for Maya. Maya's got some obediance training coming up - my birthday present, and I cannot wait to see how she reacts. Steve says that if she begins behaving in the areas we are currently struggling with (stealing food for example) then we can consider the second dog. Yippie! I'm so excited. Cannot wait! We've met some really great dogs.

I will say this - and yes it is negative. I'm becoming really frustrated with how people imagine pit bulls. Just tonight while Maya was sitting nicely at the curb waiting for us to cross, a couple jay walked to get away from her. And I honestly don't see the pit in her except in her muscles during swimming and from her chin. Plus, there are tons of pitties in rescue and animal shelters. It's SO sad. There are three fantastic pitties that we are considering bringing into our family. Because pits are great dogs. I love how Cesar explains breeds - it's just the designer outfit they have on. Pits are no more prone to agreesion for example than another dog. But because they are a power breed, they can cause more damage in less amounts of time. They've got a bad rap because of irresponsible, bad owners who were clueless when they got the dog. If you are considering adopting a dog and are of the active type - please consider rescueing a pitbull. They are incrediably loyal, wonderful dogs. Of course, there are exceptions - those who have mental issues that come down to neurological issues which can occur with ANY breed of dog - or even any mutt/Heinz 57 dog.

Okay, enough rambling out of me. I'll try to stay off my pitbull soapbox. :) Although, to warn you - I'm sure I'll write another blog like this in the future as I become increasingly frustrated with people's stereotypes of those of so awful dangerous pit bulls. :(


Anonymous said...

Awww, what sweet looking pups! I agree, I've seen meaner Pomerainians than I have Pitbulls!

Anonymous said...

If someone wants to be afraid of your dog and avoid it isn't it in their right to do so? Why do you care? Maybe you need to look up the statistics on dog attacks and see why people are so afraid of pit bulls.

Maggie said...

Great comments Jia, thank you!


You know on a personal level, everyone of course has their own rights and freedoms to be afraid of whatever they want. If Sally Smith wants to cross the street everytime she sees an African American because she assumes he's a dangerous gang banger who will steal her purse or a Hispanic man because she assumes he'll rape her, that's her own racism that she personally deals with and battles.

However, sadly, personal prejudices with animals are openly accepted and translated into law and legislature. Pit bulls rank up there with Labradors in the American Temperament Tests and are NOT human aggressive at all (Pit Bull Rescue Central) - their breed is not built this way. Sadly, the media portrays pit bulls as these killing machines which they are not. Because they are large, powerful breeds that sadly get bad owners who do not take the proper care of them, they - the BREED get blamed and legislated against. When in reality, this is like legislating against ALL African Americans because they are African Americans or all Hispanics because they are Hispanic. No one would let that fly, but because they are dogs, it is totally acceptable.

If someone chooses to be ignorant and uneducated, that's fine with me. Ignorance and hatred are bliss for a lot of people, that's a sad state to live in, but that's their personal choice. It doesn't mean that I have any less of a responsibility to educate those around me to the real truth about pit bulls and fight bigoted legislation.

As always, thanks for reading. :)

Maggie said...

A side note, which I'll have to research and blog about at a later time, we always hear about those pit bull attacks, but how often do we hear about when the 7 day old baby in Rhode Island was killed by a small breed dog? Which is NOT uncommon? In fact, in a recent book I read, there were quite a few small breed attacks mentioned that killed babies. How sad is this? Because a dog is small does not mean it's aggression is cute, it's dangerous no matter the size. All dogs need to be treated as dogs, and have exercise, discipline, and THEN affection in their lives. I certainly believe God gave us dominion over animals and certainly don't believe animal rights should run our lives or anything, but sometimes, people should get a license before getting an animal - especially a power breed like a German Shepherd, a Rot, or any of the Pitties.

Anonymous said...

These are DOGS we are talking about. Not human beings. Comparing the two is just ridiculous. I am sure your dog couldn't care less if someone decides to avoid him. That is the problem with the world today. People are beginning to treat animals on the same level as humans, sometimes they even act like they are more important. Scary.

Maggie said...

I certainly agree and am very opposed to treating animals better than human beings. As I stated, I believe God gave us dominion over animals - I certainly don't believe that animal rights should run our lives or anything, but that we should be concerned over the animals that we are charged to know and care for.

That said, I was not saying that Sally Smith is not allowed to have her own fears and phobias to deal with. I am simply acknowledging them for what they are - prejudices. And that's fine. We all carry some sort of prejudice about something. We're human beings. Imperfect.

However, when we begin legislating this into laws, or as companies refusing to serve those with pit bulls, Akitas, Rots, etc - that's just wrong. That's when it crosses a line. Animal or not. That's "racial" profiling. That would be like pulling every Arab out of line in every airport and strip searching them or denying them access to an airplane whenever we demand via law that all pit bulls (mixes or pure breeds) wear muzzles in public.