Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Pit Bull Cross

Blogging Friends.... Thank-you so much for your many get-well wishes!! There were moments when I felt like Iron Man descending from our skies as he suddenly loses power. Going down, down, down, down.... Fast!! But I am better now!! Thank-you!!

This Blog post was supposed to be "published" on Monday. But, in a very positive way, my plans were changed!! Oh well.... To quote Daphne Reynolds' line from Hollywood's "What A Girl Wants": "Life does not always turn out the way you planned it. It's even better!" Well said, Daphne!!   

The media can be a powerful resource. It is born from people's varied opinions. Research. Observation. The media can be such a powerful thing that, in many cases, it controls our beliefs. How we think. And, soon, opinions which are produced from the media, sadly, become our own. This has happened to me. Unintentionally. We used to have former neighbors who resided across the street from our suburban cul-de-sac. In a golden-yellow-colored house. This family of four lived with Gary and Carmella, their parents. Several years ago, however, along with some life changes, these neighbors moved away. They still visit frequently, though. Recently, these former neighbors added a new member to their family: An unusually calm, seemingly submissive, well-behaved, Pit Bull/Labrador Retriever puppy!! His name is Skip. I have always considered this mix strange.... A contradiction, even!! Pit Bulls can be aggressive, from what the media has lead me to believe. Toward people. And other canines. They can be fighters. At least that is what I have heard!! But Labrador Retrievers are practically "pacifists" that love everybody!! They do not have a "mean" bone within their body!! Skip is nearly always off-leash, an owner nearby. Based on what the media has lead me to believe, this makes me quite nervous!! Because, seriously. What if Skip were to maul Rose, holding my defenseless mongrel's body in his mouth, drawing blood, causing grave injury? Where would that nightmare lead us? Honestly? I would rather never witness the potential answers to these queries!! So, if I can control it, whenever Skip is outside, romping about playfully, I do not walk Rose. Why? Because Rose is my little girl!! She's the only dog I have!! It is my job, as her Mama, to keep Rose safe, best as possible!! Call me prejudiced. I can vehemently argue that I'm not!! Call me overprotective. For that, I would reply with this: "Guilty as charged!!". I already know that I'm a weird, overprotective dog owner!! Call me wrong. Because maybe I am!! But, frankly? I feel the exact same way about any free-roaming canine!! When dogs are off-leash, their masters lose control, like some skilled pilot attempting to maneuver a flying machine with mechanical issues!! It is inevitable. No matter what the "breed". It can be a Pit Bull. Or some angelically-behaved Golden Retriever mix!! It does not matter. The other day, Skip was outside, running about freely, his owner nearby. We were returning home from hours of errands, so I immediately rushed to our white, magnetic front door, as always. I heard Rose's "happy sound", her high-pitched bay. I smiled at my greeting. Rose loves her Mama so much!! I turned the key. I slipped through our door. Rose's mighty vocal chords were working overtime!! She was excitedly baying!! Then, to avoid any great escapes, I hurried Rose outside our backdoor. This way, she was safe from Skip!! Plan successful.... Right? Not exactly!! Rose was safe. This I knew for certain. However, I failed to realize, in my groggy, head-cold mental state of affairs, that Skip was frolicking about right next door!! Oops. Skip saw Rose, a happy expression written on his face. No. No. No. I thought. I acted nonchalant, yet fear streamed through my body, like rushing waters. Rose saw Skip. Her ears perked, forehead furrowed, and tail spun like the rotator blades of some helicopter. Rose's face wrinkled up in a Beagle "smile". Sans hesitation, she ran toward him. With gusto. Be calm. Otherwise you will make things worse. I coached myself. I froze, for a nanosecond, just standing there, watching the two dogs meet. Then, I walked toward them. I knelt down, to be on Rose's level. This way, I could protect her.... Even though our cyclone gate. My heart raced. The entire time. My heartbeat never slowed its pace. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. I felt like I'd been watching "Signs" from M. Night Shyamalan, with its suspenseful story, and eerie-sounding music!! But Rose was.... "Ecstatic" does not even begin to describe her reaction!! No. Rose was already hyperactive, because I had just returned home. And, now? She was meeting a new "dog buddy"!! Happy day!! Let the baying begin!! Again!! Rose greeted Skip nose-to-nose through our gate. She bayed. Pawed the gate. Bayed some more. Greeted Skip through an ajar gap between the cyclone gate. Skip softly kissed Rose's face. She bayed some more!! Normally, whenever Rose is boisterous, I attempt at "calming" her down. Not this time!! When Rose met Skip, I didn't have the mind to "shhhh" her!! I could not do it!! So I allowed my Beagle cross to be a dog. And that felt so incredibly good!! I let Rose be herself!! Liberated. After all, Rose cannot allow the media to influence her "perspective". She doesn't even see Skip as a Pit Bull cross!! Rose cannot watch, or hear news coverage about these so-considered man-attacking beasts. She sees Skip as a dog, another mutt, no different from herself!! How wrong was I to think otherwise. How wrong was I.... Now, do I walk Rose when Skip is outside, playfully frolicking about? No. I do not....




26 comments:

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

I have always been of the opinion that it is not the breed of dog but the people who have them that determine the way they act. I have seen Rottweilers that were as soppy as Poodles and Pitbull types who are as docile as kittens. You only have to look at Cesar Milan's dogs to see that. It is when they fall into the hands of these thugs that the trouble starts.
Lynne x

charlene and Storm said...

ahhh raelyn that was a funny story i was expecting it to end with you opening the gate and letting skip in to bounce around a bit and saying that you always go out on walks when he is around now, no such luck LOL!!!! is that cos your still a bit scared of anything bad happening :) i know exactly what you mean tho, im just the same i worry about everything and anything when it comes to stormy xxx

Raelyn said...

Lynne....
Thank-you for the comment!!
"I have always been of the opinion that it is not the breed of dog but the people who have them that determine the way they act. I have seen Rottweiler's that were as soppy as Poodles and Pit bull types who are as docile as kittens. You only have to look at Cesar Milan's dogs to see that. It is when they fall into the hands of these thugs that the trouble starts." True. And, at one point in my life I used to think this way. But, as I wrote in my very lengthy Blog post: "The media can be a powerful resource. It is born from people's varied opinions. Research. Observation. The media can be such a powerful thing that, in many cases, it controls our beliefs. How we think. And, soon, opinions which are produced from the media, sadly, become our own. This has happened to me." I am not proud of that!! Especially, because any thoughts, or feelings are most likely based on false accusations. And that is just not fair!! Rose taught me a lesson the other day. In not judging others by their appearance, as Skip does, look much like a Pit Bull!! ;op

Raelyn said...

charlene....
Thank-you for the comment!!
I would never open our gate and let some dog in!! Too risky. Should Rose escape, she is gone.... In rapid velocity!! :-O
And, while Rose taught me a lesson the other day in not judging others by their appearance, which I will never forget, I have to protect my little girl!! I would withhold our walks if neighbor John's chocolate Labrador Retriever was out roaming free, just the same!! Yep. Because it is not the "breed" that matters!! ;op

Finn said...

There's a pit bull at our dog park who just plays rougher than I would like with Finn, and I admit, the first few times, I got really antsy and would kind of hover to make sure nothing happened to my girl. It's okay, it happens. I had to let go of my pre-conceived notions. This other dog is just more agressive. Do I think she's going to sink her teeth into my little baby now? No, and sometimes I am a little ashamed I thought that way once too. Have a good weekend!

Raelyn said...

Finn....
Thank-you for the comment!!
Wow. Great story!! ;)
Have a good weekend, yourself!! ;op

lifewithmydogs said...

I think it's terrible how the media lands this terrible label on pit-bulls! I believe that it's up to the owners to make sure their dog is brought up the right way, as any dog can be the sweetest thing on the earth! Take Cesar Millan for an example. He has the most 'dangerous' dog breeds in large numbers in his pack, yet he has the sweetest dogs in large numbers in his pack! Though I still believe it is good to be wary when you first meet a new dog, in case the humans have raised them incorrectly and they are the 'dangerous' kind.

Team Beaglebratz said...

WARNING - I love your post - dog behavior and the TOTAL trust owners put in their dog's behavior ALL of the time is kind of a pet peeve of mine - LOOONG comment!

The mom here on this – before the Beaglebratz came into my life and brought on more self-knowledge and canine awareness to me – where I found out that reading from owners online and hearing their true-life stories and seeing the REAL results from months and months/years of training then especially after the Michael Vick story and the aftermath of what happened to all the dogs after years of torture and abuse, I have finally come to the point where I sort of trust my own beliefs about dogs and their owners. The number of TRULY bad dogs born into this world is very miniscule in comparison to the good. That small number of dogs that are born bad – it is just so tiny compared to the number of dogs, who if just given the chance – can be accepted, loving and trusting companions. 9 times out of 10, it is the OWNER who is the culprit behind a “bad” dog and that can be ANY breed or mix at any given time. That can be from the tiniest Chihuahua to the biggest Mastiff or Scottish Deer Hound. But yes, it is almost always how that little puppy is nutured and socialized as they are raised. And (you may not want to read this but I firmly believe it is true) I am sorry for the owner who believes that their dog will NEVER, 110% of the time, be aggressive if ever the situation occurs or as with Beagles, get loose and skedaddle if given the “opportunity”. I trust the Beaglebratz to behave – when I am in control. However that being said, (and I know this from personal experience since Shiloh has seized such an opportunity to skeddale a few times). That kinda sounds like a contradiction to what I have said but every owner needs to realize there is still a dog’s natural instinct, however well hidden, that needs to be controlled and managed. ALL dog owners (me included) would love to be able to say – Ah shucks, my dog will NEVER do that. I have read about Beagle owners who walk their Beagles OFF-LEASH! Knowing what I do about dogs, their behavior and their environment that even the owner cannot control 110% of the time – this is a trainwreck just waiting to happen – for any breed.

Team Beaglebratz said...

My previous comment is only MY opinion - it may offend some comes from personal experience and some online reading; training classes, a couple seminars. One obedience class I was in with Shasta - had a Rottweiler in it - the teddy-bear kind that would sonner give you kisses and play then be the other more aggressive kind that are TRAINED to attack. There are a few Pittie owners here with blogs and I really enjoy reading and learning from them.
Kim

Stacey said...

sw, sweet story :-)
I'm glad through Rose you have changed your mind on Pit crosses!
My brothers friend has a full bred pit bull and although they look scary this dog loves every person it meets (so friendly). Don't believe everything the papers tell you ;-)
Rose is such a good girl - always love your stories on her

Raelyn said...

lifewithmydogs....
Thank-you for the comment!!
I know, right? It is like the media thinks of these breeds as mutant X-men.... Monstrous beasts, and outcasts!! But I knew this Pit Bull several years ago named Sarge. He was a good boy, well raised and loved by our former neighbor!! Sarge only fought with one dog during the time that I knew them!! One dog!! I have forgotten about that.... ;-}
But Rose taught me a lesson the other day in not judging others by their appearance.... A lesson which I will never forget!! ;op

Raelyn said...

Kim....
Thank-you for the comment!!
That is alright. I like "LOOONG" comments!!
"The number of TRULY bad dogs born into this world is very miniscule in comparison to the good. That small number of dogs that are born bad – it is just so tiny compared to the number of dogs, who if just given the chance – can be accepted, loving and trusting companions. 9 times out of 10, it is the OWNER who is the culprit behind a “bad” dog and that can be ANY breed or mix at any given time. That can be from the tiniest Chihuahua to the biggest Mastiff or Scottish Deer Hound." Interesting!! And very very good!! ;-D
Yeah. Rose has escaped our house--three times--but it only took one heart-pounding, adrenaline-rush chase down the street to make sure that it never occurs again!! Our backyard is secure. And, whenever the front door's wide-open, Rose is "held hostage" (Against her will!!) by me!! ;op

Raelyn said...

Kim....
Thank-you for the comment!! Again!! ;)
I, too, have read some "Pit Bull Blogs", and I've learned that if you are afraid of this breed, do not let on. They would rather never see--or hear!!--your opposed reaction. And I do not blame them!! ;op

Raelyn said...

Stacey....
Thank-you for the comment!!
"Don't believe everything the papers tell you." That is sound advice!! Thank-you!! ;-D
Rose taught me a lesson the other day in not judging others by their appearance.... A lesson which I will never forget!! ;op

Alison said...

I have a neighbor that has a pit/lab mix. Though just looking at him you see more pit than anything. He is so kind and gentle and a good friend of Zoe's. They love to play. He is also very well behaved and usually doesn't have to be leashed because his recall is perfection. It really is in how you raise and treat the dog. Another neighbor has a golden retriever/sheep dog mix and she rescued her from a shelter. She has aggression issues because she was abused as a puppy from previous owners. She loves most people but has issues with unknown dogs and is at this point a red case dog.

Raelyn said...

Alison....
Thank-you for the comment!!
Yeah.... Just looking at Skip you see more Pit Bull than Labrador Retriever, too. I witnessed myself once Skip being on a Sit-Stay. He obeyed so flawlessly!! Marley from John Grogan's memoir could never master that!! ;-}
Rose taught me a lesson the other day in not judging others by their appearance.... A lesson which I will never forget!! ;op

Berts Blog said...

When I opened Canine Country Club, I was all about NOT letting "Vicious" breeds like rotty's pitbulls even shepherds come here because I did not want to put other more gentle breeds at risk.
boy was I wrong. I soon learned, as has been stated before, that every dog is an individual. The pit bull was the last to break down my prejudices as someone abandoned a mother pit and her seven puppies.

From day one, she was the gentlest, smartest, most loving dog I have seen in ages. she allowed people to come into her area and play with her pups, she snuggled up to them and charmed them.

We kept Betty for two years before we found thte perfect home for her. She is the best example of the breed I have ever known.

She is "LOVE"
Thanks for your great post today. sorry my comment was so long
Bert and My Vickie

River said...

River's mom here: although I love beagles with an obsessive passion lately I seem to be spending more time advocating for pitbulls. To me, accepting pitbulls is a sign of tolerance/kindness that relates completely to tolerance/kindness to people who are not the norm. The same for mixed breed dogs--more acceptance breeds more acceptance in ALL things. It's the way it feels to me. The fight for their lives also brings people together in blogs and facebook with a common cause.

Rose definitely looks beaglely. Glad we found you (from Luna's site)

Stephanie & River the beagle
riverthebeagle.blogspot.com

Raelyn said...

Bert and Vickie....
Thank-you for the comment!!
"Every dog is an individual.". So true!! ;)
What a great story, Bert and Vickie!! Betty was, most certainly, "LOVE"!! ;op
I do not mind long comments!! ;-D

Raelyn said...

Stephanie & River the beagle....
Thank-you for the comment!!
"Accepting Pit Bulls is a sign of tolerance/kindness that relates completely to tolerance/kindness to people who are not the norm. The same for mixed breed dogs--more acceptance breeds more acceptance in ALL things." Wow!! I have been thinking and thinking lately on what you just wrote about Pit Bulls and people who are "not the norm"!! Seriously!! How neat is that?! I have learning disabilities. Therefore, I am "not the norm"!! ;-}
As for mixed breed canines, I could not agree with you more!! In fact, I advocate for mongrels and mutt adoption on this Blog--twice a month--so you have come to the right place!! Because "The fight for their lives also brings people together in blogs and facebook with a common cause." I love that!! ;op
Sadly, mixed breeds--and Pit Bulls--are the most likely dogs to enter US shelters. :-(

Suka said...

Good post, and very thought provoking. I have always felt it was mostly an owner issue if the dog was good or not. But I also understand about breeding and how some breeds are more aggressive, whether through purposeful breeding or just genetics. And it is also true that dogs, although domesticated for thousands of years, are still "wild" and have instinctual reactions that we humans still do not understand. So it never hurts to take caution, especially if you feel unsure about the dog. You seemed to handle the situation very well, and I am glad your sweet Rose was able to enjoy her new friend Skip!

K

Raelyn said...

K....
Thank-you for the comment!!
Yeah.... Rose taught me a lesson the other day in not judging others by their appearance.... A lesson which I will never forget!! ;op

Cinnamon said...

Hi Raelyn - Thank you very much for discovering our blog!! It's always nice to meet new friends through blogs! Also, thank you for sharing such a nice story! Rose sounds like a very friendly doggie. I wish I were like Rose. Because I am a bit reactive to other dogs and often bark and lunge at them, my Mum has been trying hard to correct it. Although Beagles are thought to be very friendly dogs, there are some Beagles like me, just like there are placid, loving pit bulls.

Raelyn said...

Cinnamon....
Thanks for the comment!!
You are welcome for discovering your Blog--it was my pleasure--I found it on the sidebar of Team Beaglebratz!! You know Shiloh'n Shasta? Or should I say: "Doodle Boy and Wiggle Butt", thanks to Sarge's "Name Game"!! Hee, hee, hee.... ;-}
I enjoy finding other blog authors who own Beagles.... For reasons beyond my comprehension!! ;op

Ruby said...

Yep, it's hard to balance being kind and open to being wise and protective. I think I would err on the side of protective in this case!

Raelyn said...

Ruby....
Thank-you for the comment!!
Me too!! Better safe than sorry!! ;op