please take a few minutes to read about titan, a pitbull in georgia who has saved his owner's wife's life not only once but twice. what is even more impressive and sweet is that the Humane Society is acknowledging the dog's heroics. a big thank you to and props to the Humane Society for stepping up for the breed as a whole and giving credit where credit is due.
if you know me, you probably either know my dog, janie, or at least have seen pictures of her. now, i'm not even sure of janie's true breed mixture because i rescued her when she was 14 weeks old. the vet hinted that she believed janie to be pitbull/boxer mix, but as i've spent the last 9 years with her, i've surmised her to be part pointer (because she points, trees squirrels, and can seriously trail through the woods) and part staffordshire terrier. either way, she's been pegged as a 'pitbull' or an 'aggressive' dog simply because of her looks. yes, she is a big dog, but if we judged aggressive behavior by size, why the hell are people allowed to have a dog that weighs more than the human owner? obviously the bigger dog would dominate and easily have it's way with the smaller person.
my 'aggressive' dog, janie mcadoo. frightening, huh?
the ignorance associated with this 'aggressive' attitude towards such breeds or dogs is a direct result of the ignorant owners who don't control, train, love and humanely rear these dogs. and the direct result of this over-generalization of a dog breed results in what i consider to be dog racism. it is the very same idea of judging a person based on their looks or the color of their skin before getting to know that particular person. it's the very same thing the nazis did to the jews - grouping them all into one general category and condemning them to near non-existence simply because some asshole purports an ignorant idea and even more ignorant, spineless, and weak-minded individuals blindly believe without utilizing their own free-thinking will.
i can speak of this because i've been directly affected by dog racism. i lived in scottsdale, az, for a short stint and attempted to find an affordable, 1-bedroom apartment for myself and janie. not only was i not able to find an apartment complex in the entire phoenix metro area that would rent to me because my dog was one of an 'aggressive' breed, when i did finally come across one in south tempe (almost 25-30 minutes from where i worked and spent my free time), they demanded a $750 non-refundable deposit because my dog was on the list. so this lady says, "we'll be happy to accept your dog if you have a DNA test run to let us know her true breed." ok, so you want me to go spend upwards of $100 to have a test run, more likely than not to come back telling me that in fact she is a breed that is on the list, only to tell me again that she's not welcome in the complex. do i have sucker tattooed on my forehead? do you really think i'm going to give you $750 so that you can use this money to fix up the apartments that irresponsible, unhygienic people destroy? or to fix the apartments that actual aggressive dogs destroyed because their owners are not only terrible dog owners but are people who live in more inhumane surroundings than my dog would find unacceptable? i find my dog to be more patient, more loving, more hygienic, and pretty much smarter than most people i ran into on a daily basis in the phoenix area.
another complex actually took the time to ask if i could bring janie by for a 'dog interview.' i gladly accepted the invitation and was very fired up because the apartment was affordable, close to a great dog park, and very close to my work. i arrive with janie and before i can even introduce myself to the idiot who managed the place, she says - as i'm walking up with janie - "oh NO, NO WAY!!! that dog is too aggressive to have here. we have children in this complex!" my response: "lady, some kids need to be on leashes." and it's not the kids' fault - it's the fault of the parents - or owners, if you will.
so, if i remember correctly, this was pretty much my last ditch effort at finding a place and i had heard so many racist comments and objections to housing myself and my dog that i kind of lost it on these ladies. in place of wanting to unleash janie and let her 'aggressively' love these stupid people to death, i unleashed the above 'dog racist' rant on them. i asked them if they rented to ex-convicts (and they did). i berated them because i had had enough. i made one of them cry and so i figured my work was done. i let janie take a shit right there on their office lawn before i left, too.
now, on the flip-side, i do in fact understand that the corporations who build these apartment complexes have insurance policies and they are the ones that produce the aggressive breed list. my question is: shouldn't there be an aggressive breed list for people as well? in my 31 years on this planet, i've found that human beings cause much more damage and harm to the earth, houses/apartments, and even their dogs because they are, for the lack of a better phrase, just shitty people who live in a world of ignorance. they're quick to judge but cannot stand to be judged as they do others.
back to the story... this is a wonderful example of fantastic dog owners who love their dog like they would their child. and that love is over-reciprocated. i've never met a loved dog who didn't requite ten-fold the love they received. most people are intimidated by my dog solely on appearance - and in all honesty, i love it. it keeps the stupids at bay and way the hell away from me. but if you ever meet my dog, you will know right off the bat that janie would never hurt you unless you were ignorant enough to attempt to hurt her or hurt me - at which point, you deserve what's coming to you. i love my dog. she's been my best friend for the past 9 years and i really don't know who i would be without her. yes, she smells sometimes and she farts. her tail does whip your shins, but they're love whips! it warms my heart to read these stories, seeing people standing up for dogs who catch shit for an overgeneralization of a result of human neglect and irresponsibility. your dog is your responsibility. they are animals and do have naturally confrontational and defensive instincts and mechanisms. if you don't understand this, you're not fit to raise a dog.
going forward, i really do loathe looking for a new house to live in because of the ever-increasing rise in dog racism. it really makes it hard for someone like me to find a suitable place to live in a desirable area. i meet pitbull or 'aggressive' dog owners all the time and they love their dog. the only time i hear about a dog being aggressive or threatening is by the lack of responsibility of the owner. so it's time for people to step up and give their dogs the love and respect they deserve. you never know, they might just love you enough to save your life or the life of a loved one. twice.