22 August 2007

Kiara and Jake

I've known many dogs in my life. There was our fun and active cock-a-poo Bullet, a golden retriever named MacDuff who thought he was human, my grandfather's cattle dog Lady Robin, my Uncle Jeff's border beagle Molly B, and on and on. I've known many dogs of all shapes, colors, and breeds. Two of the friendliest and sweetest dogs I ever had the privilege of knowing were Kiara, a pit bull, and Jake, a rottweiler.

My friend Teri sent out a really good article today (click here to read it) regarding the unfair prejudices the public has toward these dogs. Because of a few dog attacks regarding these two breeds, as well as mastiffs, German shepherds, and other large breeds, local and state governments across the country are considering legislation to ban those breeds that are perceived to be dangerous. Come on, people! Wake up and smell the Beggin' Strips!

Rottweilers, pit bulls, mastiffs, and so on are no more dangerous than the .40 caliber Glocks I have in my bedroom. Just as it is the person wielding the gun who has injured or killed someone, it is the people who have raised these dogs and made them vicious who are to blame, not the dogs themselves. Just today, while reading my local newspaper, the opinion poll asked the question, "What should we do about vicious dogs in Cherokee County?" First of all, I didn't know we had a vicious dog problem in Cherokee County. This is the first I've heard of it. Anyhow, one response was, "We need to control dogs, especially pit bulls and rottweilers." Interesting. Simply because these two breeds have been mentioned in the news as of late, this woman felt the need to point out those breeds in general. The follow-up question that should have been asked, "Have you ever met a pit bull or a rottweiler?" She probably hasn't or if she has it has been one unfortunate experience in which a pit bull or rottweiler scared her and it was due to the owner's upbringing of the dog that caused the bad experience. I can tell you from personal experience that I have met chihuahuas and dachshunds more vicious than any pit bull or rottweiler I have known. But, because chihuahuas and dachshunds are small, they aren't even thought of as vicious. What I find fascinating is that people are so focused on the dog or the dog breed, they don't even think about the people raising that particular dog. Was the dog abused as a puppy? Was the dog trained to fight? Is the dog currently being abused in it's home? It's all about abuse. Abuse of guns kills or injures the innocent. Abuse of people can cause violent tendencies in a person. The same holds true of dogs, regardless of the breed.

Kiara was a sweet pit bull female. She would give you high-fives and bark and yowl at you during conversation, as if to say, "Hey! I'm a person, too, and I want to join in on the talk!" She had these big, sweet, brown eyes and would sell her soul for a Milkbone. I guess a lot of that had to do with her human, Teri, a wonderful woman with a big heart. Then there was Jake, the rotti. His humans are my cousins, wonderful loving people, and Jake had no idea that he was a big dog. Try a big, slobbering, wuss of a rotti trying to fit in my lap. The dog was tons of sweet.

Some other, sweet, large-breed dogs I have known? Let's see, Shep the German shepherd was a mouthy, sweet boy. Jake, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, is a big baby. Then there was Bear, the mastiff who hung around my college campus with his human, a fellow student. He was just a gigantic ball of fur who would calmly sit there and let you love on him. All of these dogs are unnecessarily feared by the general public over a lack of knowledge about the breed and media hype regarding the few instances of large-breed attacks.

Please, everyone, don't be afraid and don't be part of the prejudicial hype surrounding these dogs. Punish the abusive owners instead. That's the right thing to do.

OK, off my soapbox for now...


Unknown said...

I'm glad I grabbed a tissue when I read the title. Kiara and her relatives are very lucky to have someone like "Aunt" Heather in their corner. (and so am I) ;)

Love you,

Anonymous said...

It is nice to know that my baby 100+ lap dog Jake is immortalized in Cousin Heather's blog, drool and all.