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March Against Pit Bull Discrimination

Filed Under: Life
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When Sophie was a puppy – maybe three months old – she was viciously attacked by a chihuahua. Yeah, I know. My pit bull was attacked by achihuahua. We don’t talk about it much because it reminds Sophie she was pwned by a dog that was already half her size.

I wrote a long time ago, in a land far, far away about putting research into the dog you decide to own. The gist of that piece is to do your research before you get a dog.

I knew what I was getting into when I bought Sophie from my cousin. I had been around his dogs and I had been told horror stories about the evil looks people would give me just because of the dog I had chosen to love. It didn’t matter how sweet she was; people would assume the worst.

Sophie is seven now and we’ve gotten our fair share of people making snarky comments about her. People yanking their children up when they see her. People – including family – who basically demanded we “get rid of that dog” when they found out I was pregnant with Cara.

But, here’s the truth about Sophie.

She’s cool as hell. She puts up with our kids crawling all over her. Some days, I suspect she might even like the little crumb eaters. Sophie has never shown aggression toward another dog or a human. She’s been a model dog – if you ignore her over exuberant front door greetings.

I did my research and I knew what I was getting into with her. Any terrier breed is hardheaded and if you’re not willing to lead them, they’ll lead you which basically means they are going to make your life a living hell until you put your foot down and show them what you expect of them.

We socialized the crap out of that dog putting her in all kinds of weird situations and making sure she met tons of other dogs of all shapes and sizes and met tons of people – some of them who didn’t like her very much.

So, yesterday, when I took her out to pee, with Oliver and Caroline following behind like good little ducklings, I was presented with a situation I’ve encountered way too often: a chihuahua that wasn’t expected to behave itself.

One of our neighbors – who just moved out – has a chihuahua and two Great Danes and one of her Great Danes tried to eat Sophie’s lunch a couple of months ago. Luckily, I was able to remove Sophie from that situation before the Great Dane could make good on all of its raised hackles and bared teeth.

But yesterday, the neighbor only had the elderly chihuahua out for its morning constitution.

The little dog saw Sophie and instantly made a beeline for Sophie since he wasn’t leashed. Sophie, who loves all dogs, got all excited and wiggly at the prospect of playing with a new dog. The neighbor snatched up the chihuahau and eyed Sophie.

I gave the woman my best “nice smile” and assured her Sophie wouldn’t hurt her dog. Her reply?

“Oh, no. I’m worried he would attack her.”

Really? Can you imagine if I met someone out walking their dog and then checked Sophie and told the person I was worried Sophie would eat the person’s dog?!

Oh. My. Drama.

Yes, yes, yes, before you even comment on it, I realize a pit bulls would do more damage in a fight than a chihuahau based simply on their size. But, how is it right or fair to expect my dog to behave like a perfect citizen and not expect a little dog to behave the same way.

Dog discrimination, I tell ya.

I suggest a march of some kind. With signs and stuff.

Comments

  1. Oh MY Gawd, this is a HUGE pet peeve with me. Never mind the pun. Seriously, I cannot agree more. People a) need to do some serious homework about the breed they bring home and b) need to absolutely have an expectation that their dog have OUTSTANDING manners if they plan to take that dog out and about anywhere, let alone around other dogs or kids. Grrrr. Argh.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Fall Out =-.

  2. I agree with you. But at least she had the decency to admit that her dog was a misbehaving asshole. So many times(but not always) I see people with small dogs who act like, “So what? They’re tiny. They can’t “really” hurt you.”
    .-= thepsychobabble´s last blog ..Introductions are in order =-.

    • Too many people think of their little dogs as “little humans” and that’s where the problem lives.

      I’ve met only one person who expected their little dog to behave like a good dog.

  3. Heather says:

    Pits are great dogs and more people need to speak to their good nature. Especially with children. I think another big problem with your story is that the chi was off leash. I mean, if you know your dog isn’t a ‘good’ dog and may attack, KEEP THEM ON LEASH!!! Dog owners like that give all dog owners a bad name.

  4. Anne Nonymus says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that people need to know what they are getting into & what to expect BEFORE they bring a pet home. I agree, too, that pit bulls can be some of the sweetest, most loving dogs there are.
    AND, on the other side of the issue, I have a little dog (approx. 7 lbs,) half chihuahua, half mini-pinscher… and it has been my experience that chihuahuas are maligned like pit bulls are. Certainly not to the same degree, I’ve never heard of any proposed legislation restricting chihuahua ownership, but nonetheless, a few bad chihuahuas have given the breed a bad name. My little girl has bitten exactly one person in her 7 years on this planet. Biting is NEVER acceptable canine behavior, and this was a nip, not a serious bite, and it came about through a misunderstanding; a non-dog-person assumed that all dogs love to play “kissy-face” (i.e. that they all enjoy kisses on the mouth from anyone, and will reciprocate by licking the kisser’s lips.) My girl has NEVER bitten another dog, as a matter of fact, the “kissy-face” nip was the only time she has bitten, period. And, while I recognise that she doesn’t get the same level of bad press as pit bulls do, it still perturbs me that my beautiful and affectionate little girl is shunned regularly by people who believe that chihuahuas are aggressive and mean dogs. I am certain that some breeds are more prone to aggressive behavior than others. But I am also pretty convinced that environment has a HUGE impact on canine behavior, and that dogs who are brought up in loving homes, who are taught that aggressive behavior is unacceptable, will rarely display the kind of anti-social behavior that makes the news.

  5. I have said many, many times that if chihuahuas were bigger they’d probably be illegal.

    I have a boxer that often gets mistaken for a pit bull (by obviously ignorant people) so I understand completely what you’re saying. It’s ridiculous.
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..Young Love =-.

    • Anne Nonymus says:

      Thank you, Tina, for acknowledging that chihuahuas, like pit bulls (or rottweilers) get undeserved bad press. I agree wholeheartedly with you, judging a dog’s temperment by breed alone is as offensive as judging a (gender neutral) man by race. We don’t put up with humans being judged thusly, so why is it ok to do so with dogs?

Trackbacks

  1. Amy Tucker says:

    New Blog Post: March Against Dog Discrimination http://bit.ly/awVRLv

  2. Cheryl says:

    RT @Tastelikecrazy: March Against Dog Discrimination http://bit.ly/9UmL9A

  3. Amy Tucker says:

    I just wrote this: March Against Dog Discrimination – When Sophie was a puppy – maybe three months old –… http://ow.ly/17ePUY

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