small brush shouldn't fuck with big timber

Death's Door, the view from the Spanish announcers table: sweatin the small stuff

Friday, August 4

sweatin the small stuff

Kansas City and its surrounding areas as of late have been going thru this crazy period dealing with the pit bull issue. You know wither to ban all pit bull breeds or even have all existing pit bulls put down. All this comes on the tail of people being killed or attacked by pit bulls.

Now I know that being attacked by any dog is a horrible thing and I’m not denying that at all. But once again with the help of our famously biased local news reporting and pit bull attack cases being given such a high profile I think people around here might be missing the forest because of the trees.

My only exposure with pit bulls has been thru my friends since I haven’t owned a dog since I was a kid. So for years I wasn’t even sure what a fuckin pit bull was until one year at the Hurricane. Back in the day if you walked in during the afternoon you might see anywhere from two to ten dogs hanging out in front of the window.

There used to be a booking agency upstairs and when the band guys dropped by the agency they’d leave their dogs at the Hurricane for a few minutes whilst they did their business upstairs. So as a result if I was there in the afternoon having coffee and such I might be sharing the couch with a bunch of dogs.

And to pass the time we’d throw the ball around the bar or just sit there and stare out the window at folks walking by. I never knew what kind of dogs they were but they were all well behaved and very cool to hang out with. It wasn’t until years later that I found out that they were all pit bull breeds. And since then it seems that if I’m introduced to a dog, eight out of ten are gonna be a pit bull breed for some reason.

Which brings me to this, why blame the dog and not the owner. Because isn’t the way that the dog owner treats the dog that makes its personality? Most pit bulls I’ve every met always seem very laid back and just happy to be there. Why, because they’re owned by responsible people who love and treat em right. And again you won’t hear me say that all pit bulls are cool because they’re not, but who’s really at blame here, the dog or the owner?

Owners who are irresponsible assholes who beat their dogs to make em mean and ugly because they think it’s cool. So maybe instead of the MAN doing the “normal” thing and placing blame on the fuckin dogs and banning em and putting em to sleep, why not try a novel approach and put the blame and responsibility on the fuckin dog owner instead? Maybe make it harder for assholes to purchase pit bulls or pit bull insurance.

Because if this shit keeps up who knows who’s next on Safety Citizen’s list? Doberman’s, German Shepherds, Great Danes because folks are finding their dog balls offensive? Remember, it ain’t always the dog that’s bad but the owner.

"and the monkey flipped the switch"


Blogger curmudgeon said...

My next door neighbors have two pitbulls. Now most gates to backyards, I would think twice or even fourteen times before sticking my hand through.
But whenever I stick my hand through my neighbors' gate, those dogs nearly beat each other to death climbing on top of each other to see who gets to lick my hand the hardest, or get petted first.
I come back with a hand which is very clean, and soaking wet with dog slobber.

Sure. Pitbulls have jaws that are built for biting and not letting go. But they don't know how to fight when they're born. I too, say go after the owners.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a life long dog owner I agree with Greg. I have two dogs,a 95lb lab/border collie & a 105lb Great Dane both are loving animals. But if starved, beaten, and what ever else abuse done to them they could turn mean. But then so could I. This is nothing new. Look at the people in jail, foster homes. People have been turned into animals by the abuse they've received. And those that abuse animals will likely move on to abusing people (usually women & children). All abuse needs to stop. Respect is the word.
Peace to all of you,

5:16 PM  
Blogger *ashley* said...

it breaks my heart that pit bulls are unloved... I own two and will never own any other breed than pit bulls. Both my guys are such loves, and when I walk them down the street people get scared!! It drives me nuts because all my guys want to do is lick and love.... bad pit bull owners (or dog owners in general) should be put in a cage and starved and beaten and see how they like it..

5:33 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

See, I want to agree, but I don't think I can.

Pit bulls are bred to be vicious, tenacious little fuckers. The reason they are called pit bulls, is because they were specifically bred to go into the bull pit, clamp down on some huge fucking bull, and bring it to the ground. A bull. Ya know, them fuckers goring the idiots at Pamplona every year.

Now, lions and tigers and bears (oh my) can be all cute and friendly when they are young too. But eventually, they will revert and their genes take over. Ain't nobody's fault. That's nature. They were never meant to be pets in the first place.

Same with pit bulls. Don't matter how nice you treat 'em and how much they love your little kids. Eventually their genes kick in and they say "I can't TAKE this cute little doggy bullshit anymore!! I NEED to RIP THE SHIT OUT OF SOMETHING!!" Ain't nobody's fault. That's nature. They were never meant to be pets in the first place.

People own pit blls and rottweilers for the same reason people own guns. They like the idea that they own something that can kill somebody if they need it to.

Just don't be surprised if (like guns) your little friend turns on you and kills you or a loved one by mistake.

Shit happens.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Assrot said...

I've been around and owned dogs all my life. I've had several pit bulls and known at least a couple a hundred of them. They are one of the best behaved and most loyal dogs I have ever known. I have only met one mean one in my life and his owner was the cause of that. I think people should have to go through training and certification as well as a psychological exam before they can own any animal. It's the same with children. 99 percent of the bad ones have useless parents. These dumb ass laws about not being able to own certain dog breeds make about as much sense as making laws telling people what kinds of kids they can have. If you live downtown you can't have white kids because they are mean and will turn on you. If you live in the country you can't have black kids cause you know how them people are. They gang up on you. Sounds pretty stupid when you apply it to people don't it? It's no different when you apply it to dogs.

6:53 PM  
Blogger satyavati said...

I have mixed feelings on this issue. Our dog was a rescue; she's pit and chow and where we lived there was a law that any strays brought in of either of those breeds were put down unless they were claimed (so we claimed her). She's a sweetheart, but there's different ways to look at it.

You're right that a lot of a dog's personality depends on how it's treated and handled, and on the owners. Treat a dog like crap and it'll turn on you. On the other hand, different dog breeds do have different temperaments. A chihuahua is a little yapping rat and a golden retriever is a wagging tail with four legs and a tongue. There's a reason that dobies and shepherds are the ones that cops love the best.

So I guess I don't know that it's right to go around and just put down every single dog of a chosen breed just because they are what they are.. but on the other hand, if there's a pit roaming loose in my neighbourhood, I don't fall out in shock when it winds up shot dead.

Unfortunately, selective breeding over generations has really brought out the vicious streak in these animals (and ANY animal of any breed has a vicious streak, it's just hidden more in some) and it seems like unless those people who love pits and breed them make some big changes in selection and start breeding them a little different, it's not going to look good.

Chows are the same; they're the cutest fuzzballs going but unfortunately it seems that they have a mean streak. Bree's getting old now and her leg bothers her some and she's got that snappiness under there and it'll get more pronounced as she gets older. It's unfortunate that this all has occurred but I don't quite know how to fix it. Also, both these breeds have the worst PR of all time.

So I guess there's no right answer on this one, really.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous rustyjones said...

I'm on the fence about this one. One side, I'm all about animals, period. Except snakes. I HATE snakes.

But on the other end, all animals (even humans) have instinct drives they can't ignore. Eat, breed, etc. Good example? Look at how your old cat would attack. Can't change that, no matter how hard you try.

12:54 AM  
Blogger LL said...

A lot of attacks have to do with dogs going after children. They are small, relatively helpless and PERFECT PREY. That tells you something. These are animals. Their instincts can and will override training. Look at that dog that tore up all the teddy bears. He's a guard dog. He's probably been trained out the wazoo, but he STILL lost control. What if that had been a group of school kids visiting the museum? I know it was a different breed, but the principle still applies.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might be wrong, but don't we have mutual friends who own pit bulls that they dearly love? Didn't one of those pit bulls kill a neighbor's dog?

It's not the individual dog or its owner, but the breed that's the fundamental problem. A good owner may never have a problem, but they could. It might kill a neighbor's dog, child or the neighbor. This is happening with some regularity. The laws are not being passed without cause.

And yes, bad owners will have bad dogs.

I know the new laws will be an over-reaction, but killing the dog and jailing the owner will be more difficult and expensive than just banning the dogs.

I think it comes down to this. Are pit bull owners willing to risk paying fines and going to jail to keep their dogs? If their dog kills or maims someone, then are they willing to be defined as being a bad owner who deserves jail time? I'm betting every one of them pleads not guilty and says "I'm a good owner with a great dog. Sorry about your poor dead mother."

My friends are not bad people. I think the breed is the fundamental problem. None of the answers seem fair, but I would rather not be around pit bulls given a choice. K Sose

2:56 PM  
Blogger curmudgeon said...

"Just don't be surprised if (like guns) your little friend turns on you and kills you or a loved one by mistake."
My guns have never turned on me. Thank the gods.

But - guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because isn’t the way that the dog owner treats the dog that makes its personality?

This shows a disturbing lack of behavioural understanding. A dog's personality is bred into it. It's why different breeds were developed. Labs love the water and it is difficult even with tons of training to keep them out of it. Border collies love to herd things, but you can't get them hunt or point if you life depended on it. Likewise pitbulls love to attack things and kill things. This doesn't make them bad dogs, they are just doing what they are bred to do. Ask any vet and most will tell you that cocker spaniels are the dogs most likely to bite you. Why don't we hear about people calling for bans on cocker spaniels? Because they don't kill people!

I own a breed of dog that is pontentially more dangerous than a pit bull. It's bigger, more athletic and agile and has a stronger bite pressure (at 3 months it has more pressure per square inch in it's bite than an adult german shepard) and yet you never hear of a single problem with this breed? Why? Because while they were bred to protect farms and hunt lions in Africa they are not aggressive and were not bred to be so. Furthermore, the breeders of this dog tend to be very selective about who they sell to will generally not sell one to a novice owner or someone they deem to be unsuitable.

6:40 AM  

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