Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Don't Bully My Breed

For the last few years I've been considering getting my nose pierced.   I've always loved the way those teensy little diamonds caught the light.  It's a bit of classy face bling.  Or it can be, under the right circumstances.

Nice, right?

My Mom and I are pretty close, so even though I'm 28 I like to run things by her.  Especially if they might involve, er, "irreversible" sorts of things.  Her one comment was something like this; "As long as you realize that there's a social stigma attached to having a piercing like that.  You have to realize people are going to look at you differently."  Sadly, I know this too well.
Mostly, we're a bunch of WASPs around here.  I fit right into the stereotypes set forth by Christian Lander of Stuff White People Like (which is HILARIOUS, btw).  Hubs is in the Military, my daughter takes ballet class, I'm in the PTA and my son will probably play football.  Then two years ago E found this lonesome creature at a pet adoption:
The lady who ran the charity caring for this dog raised an eyebrow and told me that the dog was a "Lab Mix" when I asked about her.  It may not be obvious in the photo, but that dog is BRINDLED.  Ever seen a brindled lab?  HA!  If this dog, my dog now, is a mix of any kind, I'm fairly certain we can all guess what the majority of her is.  That dog's a pit bull!

Honestly if the charity volunteer hadn't said she was a lab it probably would have ended at that, and I think she knew.  I had a lot to learn.

When I take my dog, Gracie, to the park with my kids none of the other Moms want their kids to come play with my dog.  She's banned from all school property, as are all dogs like her.  Pet owners keep their animals at a distance when we go to the dog park.

I think my dog is being discriminated against!

Is she strong?  Heck yea.  Uncontrolled, aggressive, dangerous?  Not even close.  My son regularly crawls under her and lies down using Gracie as a pillow.  He also learned the names of parts of the face by poking the dog repeatedly in the eyes, nose, mouth and ears (much to my chagrin).  

Check out this little piece from my new favorite charity:

Still not convinced?  Try something from Cesar Milan. Pit Bulls went from being all American dogs and war heroes to being euthanized by the thousands.  LA County euthanizes over 120 Pit Bulls PER DAY (source Karen Delise). 

It sucks when an entire breed is classified by the behavior of its minority.  These are highly intelligent dogs; show them love and they're lovers, abuse them and they're fighters.  They learn quick.

If you're considering a dog, I'd highly recommend a pit bull!  (Which is actually not a specific breed, by the way.)  They actually score higher on human compatibility tests than Labradors (learn more here).  I could go on for a long, long time, but the long and short of it is this; pit bulls are loving dogs that deserve the chance to have a good life and a caring home.

So here I am, a pit bull owner mad about breed specific legislation and doggie discrimination.  Now, if you see me running with my pit bull down the street in all of my (soon to be) nose pierced glory, wearing lizard shoes (these) and a hat that I crocheted myself, I'd like you think twice about hiding from us just because our appearance might be atypical.  We're not scary or dangerous, and we don't even have any tattoos...


two girls, a boy and a blog said...

I like your nose pierced, my little sister has hers done and it is totally beautiful on her, everyone wanted her to take it out for her wedding but she refused, it is HER! Love it!!

Holly Brim said...

I think you should just go around with a little sticky rhinestone on your nose for a week or so, just to get the feel :)

Kelly said...

Love this post! My dog is pit/mastiff. As big as me with the pitbull face. Definitely scary at first glance but he is the best dog I've ever met. We're doing what we can to change the stereotype. (btw if base housing asks, he's a mastiff mix!)

Jordan said...

I hate how people categorize all of the "bully breeds" together. The truth is they are some of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. If base housing would allow it we would have adopted one for sure!

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