Saturday, February 27, 2010

Banish Stereotypes, Not Breeds

pit bull, dog Theresa, who adores both people and her ball:-)

My new favorite show on Animal Planet, The Pit Boss, wrapped up its first season tonight. Thank goodness they said they were going to start the second season this summer! Both my mom and I really enjoyed this show – very engaging and inspirational. Much better than the other Pit Bull show they had recently, whose name I can't remember – although it was a rescue show, it seemed to be reinforcing a lot of the negative stereotypes that come with the breed. While Shorty, the lead in The Pit Boss, is an ex-con, he’s turned his life around; he doesn’t whine or dwell upon the negative. He’s a character, and sometimes he’s a bit much, but he has a good soul and it comes through. Everyone on The Pit Boss is so likeable, and they’re really dedicated to helping Pit Bulls. If you get a chance, tune in – I’ll bet it’s like nothing you’ve ever watched before:-)

pit bull, cute dog Joey, a sweet, older Pittie

In honor of the show, I’m going to share a poem that I wrote when I worked for Best Friends Animal Society (I wrote it for me, not for work). The photos are all of dogs that were there when I was there. If all you know about Pit Bulls are the negative stereotypes, then I hope someday you will have reason to change your beliefs. I have so many memories of the Pitties at Best Friends wanting just to love on people. They were some of the hardest dogs to photograph because I couldn’t get far enough away - they were so eager to meet me:-) They want to attach themselves to you and just give kisses. More than any other breed, Pit Bulls want to please humans. They are full of joy and energy, and their sole purpose is to make us happy. It’s only when we take that loyalty and exploit that we have problems. Yes, a Pit Bull would die for you, but why should s/he have to? Why not make a friend for life?

American Pit Bull Terrier, puppy, dog M&M, who was a very active Pittie pup when I met her - look at those intelligent eyes!

American Pit Bull Terrier
Full of muscle and power.
So awesomely strong,
Yet some force you to cower.

We put you in rings,
And say you must fight.
We exploit your magnificence,
What gives us the right?

If we looked instead
At your wonderful grin,
We’d see your true heart,
And we both would win.

If we worked with you,
And our purpose was pure,
We’d have a dog
That we’d never fear.

It’s the American way
To give all a chance.
Let’s remove our prejudices,
And take a positive Pit Bull stance!

©Erica Lea

American Pit Bull Terrier dog

The very cool Spuds! And, yes, his head really was that big:-)

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