Prejudice is the Pits

I have had countless experiences with people that dislike pit bulls.  I always try to provide them with a well thought out, educated response to whatever comment they may have made, in hopes that I might plant the seed to change their mind. I generally don’t let people’s ignorance get under my skin too much, because I am self aware enough to realize that if I did, it would cause me to say something that would probably perpetuate the stereotypes of pit bulls and their owners that some people subscribe to, but after the “incident” I was dangerously close to doing just that.

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For the first time ever, I was personally offended by a couple of comments–because for the first time ever they were directed right at my dog.  While we were waiting at the vet for news on how the girls were doing, I left our room to go to the restroom, and started chatting with the girls up front.  I have always loved the vet I go to and genuinely like every single person that works there.  As we were talking, one of the girls made the comment,”Well, Maggie is dog aggressive, right?  So she probably started it?”  I stopped dead in my tracks.  What?  At this point, we really hadn’t pieced together exactly what happened but I was still shocked by the immediate assumption that it was Maggie’s fault.  I mean, if you looked at the two of them, Maggie was in MUCH worse shape than Tag.  I said, “Um, no she isn’t?” and went into the restroom pissed but asking myself if maybe I was just being hypersensitive?

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When the vet came back to update us she made a comment about Maggie being aggressive.  Again, I was angry and said, “No, she’s not?!” to which the vet kind of back pedaled.  I let go it, confused, but more concerned about hearing what she had to say about what was going on with the girls.  Later that day when we came to pick them up a vet tech made the third comment of the day about Maggie being the cause of the fight.  “So, we are assuming Maggie started the fight, right?”  No, we most certainly were not assuming that.  We got the girls in the car and I was fuming.  “I didn’t just make that up, right?”  I asked Rich.  “Everyone was blaming Maggie because she is a pit bull!”  I just couldn’t come up with an explanation for why they would assume Maggie was the cause of the fight, other than the fact that she is a pit bull and Tag is a lab.  I was incensed.

IMG_1630Over the next few days as people started to hear about the fight, multiple people would said, always in a sad tone, “Oh, so Maggie started the fight?”  like they were really sorry to hear that the pit bull attacked the lab.  By this point, though we really will never know exactly what happened, we had pretty much determined that it was in fact Tag (the lab) that attacked Maggie (the pit bull.)  It was excruciatingly obviously when you looked at the two dogs, that Maggie barely even defended herself.  (Which breaks my heart and furthers my belief that she was a bait dog–not fighting back is a sought after trait for bait dogs.)  I did my best to maturely explain to everyone that we believed it was in fact the opposite of what they were assuming.  Tag attacked Maggie.  In my head, I screamed and yelled, and called all these people prejudiced.  That is what they were being after all.  They were jumping to the conclusion that Maggie started the fight with zero evidence or facts to support their hypothesis–just the assumption that if two dogs got in a fight and one was a pit bull then surely that was the one that started the fight.

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I’ve always spoken out again BSL and done my best to positively promote pit bulls but it really is different when you are actually experiencing the prejudice firsthand.  I couldn’t even articulate a good response to the people at the vet’s office.  I am fortunate to live in an area without BSL but this experience has furthered by resolve to do my best to speak out against it and to continue doing my best to positively promote pit bulls.  Maggie and I will continue to walk the walk and show people what amazing, loving, and forgiving dogs pit bulls are.  Prejudice is the pits and I for one will do my part to put an end to it.

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Maggie intends to help me lick discrimination!

9 thoughts on “Prejudice is the Pits

  1. I know just how frustrated you are! So many people are scared to let me meet their pups, but my only problem is being too friendly!

    I have been attacked and bitten all over by dogs that I could have taken out in one bite, but I just flattened out and tried to crawl away. I had big scrapes and puncture wounds all over my body. A lot of dogs would be afraid or defensive after that, but I am still just so happy to meet every single pup I see.

    Lots of dogs have growled and snapped at me too. Mom says she is so proud of me because I just walk away with a big happy face. When dogs bark and growl as we walk by I just look at my mom and keep walking. I don’t take this stuff personally. I don’t react or escalate. And I don’t show aggression. Ever.

    I think Maggie is such a wonderful girl for taking all those bites and doing so little to defend herself when she could have done a lot. And for going right back to being buddies with Tag after such a scary thing happened. She deserves so much credit for all of it and it is very sad that some people just want to assume the worst when it is so far away from what is true.

  2. Hmmmmm….it is funny. I am new to your blog and I really assumed that you only had pit mixes . The blog about the fight didn’t have any pictures I believe. I assumed from your description that Maggie was the attacked….not the attacker.
    I understand your feelings. I “had” a friendly neighbor (“had” being the operative word here) until last spring when I finally adopted my sweet little blue girl. You see my neighbor is an educated woman…..in fact she is a district court judge and she was appalled that I would bring a vicious animal into our neighborhood. She had recently adopted a little jack russell who has since “nipped” a neighbors child and is like a whirling dervish snarling and lunging at every passerby whether animal or human. My dog has passed her CGC….become a therapy dog and has had many hours of obedience training…..she’s pretty close to perfect in my eyes…..but I HAVE THE VICIOUS DOG????? I have been offended, my feelings are hurt and I am hell bent determined to show this woman that she is WRONG! But just like you I understand how it is important as to not feed any more stereotypes and prove that pit bull owners are aggressive too. So I will continue walking on the other side of the street with my perfectly behaved blue pit bull with a smile on my face as she drags her devil dog home. I will proudly take her to therapy visits and everywhere in public that I can advocate for her “breed” by meeting people and changing their hearts…….. even if it is one at a time. Prejudice is the pits and we have to keep going to change it……… one dog at a time .

  3. Every single day my husband and I look at each other and say “Really? THESE are the dogs they want to ban?”

    We had houseguests this weekend. One of them said “I’ve never been around pit bulls before. Is there any behavior I should avoid? Should I not look them in the eyes, or is there a certain way to approach them to make them safer?” She was sitting on the floor petting them at the time, so it wasn’t like she was freaked out that we had pit bulls or anything.

    I went into my spiel, and told her that really the most important thing she would have to do was learn how to say “No Lick!” with authority or my dogs would never stop giving her kisses.

    So hopefully after the weekend the girls had enlightened one more person who will spread the word about how sweet most pits are.

    I’m shocked at the way your vet and vet staff reacted, tho. When we first took Yagé to the vet and expressed surprise at how sweet, gentle, and non-aggressive she was, Dr. Hale told us “Oh, no, the whole breed is this wonderful. The dogs that are aggressive are so abused and neglected that there’s really no way for them to behave any other way. Any creature treated that way would.”

    Much love to the whole pack as you guys continue to recover.

    • Yes KYM….my vet feels the same way as yours and to be honest if his office didn’t have that attitude I would change vet practices. I expect them to be advocates for my pets…..actually all pets……not just those the media doesn’t destroy.

  4. I felt myself tearing up and getting upset right along with you. Ugh! What jerks. I guess all you can do is take the part of peaceful protestor, and continue to show people with kindness and compassion just all that Miss Maggie has to offer. Poor Maggie. I just want to cover her in kisses. I guess the good thing is that our pitties don’t typically have any clue that they are being discriminated against! If they did, I would really go all crazy-dog-mom on them 😉

  5. This reminds me of a time when I took Kahlua to the Vet and this happened to us (pasting an old FB note)


    At the Vet’s office. A young woman walks in, gives a wide berth to kahlua and a weird look. Asks “are you hiring receptionists? I am however really scared of big dogs!” Me trying not to be judgemental with heckles raised: ” You said you’re scared of big dogs?” She said “yours seems sweet, im just scared of the big vicious ones like pitbulls.” Honey, you ain’t getting this job if you don’t know basic puppy rules. ”

    I wanted to give her this whole lecture but did not because it was our turn to go in, plus i did not think she was worth it, plus i honestly felt a little bad for her because she obviously was really in need of work if she was applying to a place even though she harbors inhibitions however ridiculous they may be. So a lot of complex emotions!

    Judging by the reactions of the people who handed her the application papers, she had pretty much sealed her fate at that place.

    People will always be rude and mean. It’s especially paired with ignorance. All one can do is keep doing what one believes in, despite people going out of their way to be rude to one.

  6. Bless your heart. Thankfully, my vet and techs all love my boy. They’ve seen him since the beginning and love how his rehab has gone. However, I get the prejudice and snarky remarks when we go. I’ve had people say “Oh I don’t like those dogs.” And I look at them (trying not to rip off their face) and say “Oh I’m sorry to hear that. Have you owned one or are you going by what you hear?” It usually shuts em up. Come at me with ignorance and I won’t back down. I will educate you on pit bulls. Ignornance is all around us. Pibbles Mommas gotta have back bone and educate. I always say “Momma’s bite is much worse than my pibbles.” 🙂

  7. Our pit bull Oscar (who you can read about in my blog post called Our Oscar) got attacked by our jealous 18 pound french bulldog. Oscar backed into a corner and used his paw to try and push the frenchie away…he had to get 5 stitches in his left front paw after that.

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