Happy Birthday America!

Our pack wishes you and yours a very Happy 4th of July!

IMG_3456We hope you eat too much.

IMG_3471Drink too much (responsibly of course.)

IMG_3501Laugh til your belly hurts.

IMG_3503Spend all day with family and friends.

IMG_3543Blow some sh*t up.

IMG_3533And feel proud to be an American.

IMG_3521Because we sure will be!

photo-6 copyAnd please remember, between the fireworks and overly intoxicated individuals out there, today can be both scary and dangerous for your pups.  Please plan for their safety and enjoyment as well as yours!

‘Merica!  

Calling All Anti-BSL Folks

I became aware of this situation from one of my favorite blogs, Run A Muck Ranch.  They became aware of this through an Anti-BSL blog and then wrote about it on their blog.  All credit goes to them, I am merely doing my best to spread the word too because in my opinion, it’s shit like this that is really holding us and our beloved “bully breeds” back.  So, what is this all about?  Please watch this video:

http://www.abc6.com/Category/178006/video?clipId=8959457&autostart=true

“Son of a b*tch.  Great.  Here’s yet another negative story about pit bulls.  Why did that woman have to send her dogs to attack a reporter?!  Way to perpetuate the stereotype lady!”  I’m not proud of myself, but that was my reaction immediately after watching the video.  I’m willing to bet not many people will admit it, but it was theirs too.  And if I hadn’t taken the time to read the rest of what RAMR had to say, I would have only seen exactly what the ABC6 crew wanted me to: an innocent white lady being attacked, unprovoked, by two vicious pit bulls owned by a black lady living in the ghetto.

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Just another “vicious” pit bull, hangin out.

Let’s watch the video again and analyze it this time.  First we have the introduction: the reporter wanted to ask a “simple question” to the mother of a recently shot teen.  Wait a second.  I didn’t even really catch that the first time around because all I could think about was the “pit bull attack” I was about to see.  Ok, so we have a grieving mother on our hands.  I am only mother to my fur children and I can’t even begin to fathom the state I would be in if someone had shot them.  I can’t begin to put words to what she must be feeling.

The video starts, not as they are initially walking up to interview the mother, Ms. Lawrence, but at an undeterminable time later.  How long had they been there?  What did they say to her before they edited the video into the version we are watching?  Were they the only crew there that day?  Unlikely, since remember, this is the mother of a recently shot teen girl and the alleged shooter had just turned himself in.  So the very first clip is of the mother throwing a rock.  Then it shows the reporter walking up to the house…then it shows the same clip of the mother throwing a rock again?  Note the two dogs, sitting peacefully on the steps.  The mother is shouting, “Get away from me!” then she goes to get a bat.

So at this point, the crew had been told, by a grieving mother nonetheless, to leave her alone who knows how many times.  She threw rocks.  She got a bat.  Still the reporter was going to get her answer!  And remember, she isn’t harassing the mother of a recently convicted sex offender, drug dealer, or murderer.  No, she is harassing the mother of a victim.  The woman herself is a victim!  But dammit, Abby Niezgoda, reporter extraordinaire, has a right to know how she is feeling, and get her question answered! Ooookay.  Moving on.

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So, after yelling to “get away”, throwing rocks, and getting a bat, the mother tells the dogs to attack.  (Note that the dogs were just standing around loose up until this point, showing zero signs of aggression.)  They jump on Niezgoda, barking, and following her as she shuffles runs down the street.  There is a voiceover and Niezgoda says, “They bit my forearm.”

Ok, reverse and watch the “attack” scene again.  The dogs come out, barking, and really just trotting along.  One of them does jump up on her, and maybe nips her forearm, but then they basically just follow her.  I don’t know about any of you but the very first thought in my mind is that if the dogs really wanted to attack her, she would have been  flat on the ground the second they made contact with her.  Second, I’ve been bit by dogs before and let me tell you, I bled like a stuck pig.  I didn’t see a drop of blood, did you?  Third, and probably the most ridiculous, is Niezgoda’s attempt to run away.  She’s not moving at more than an awkward trot with those ridiculous heels on!  You mean to tell me these vicious, unprovoked dogs couldn’t catch her?!  Puh-lease.  What I see are two dogs that are reluctantly following the commands of their owner.  I like how they show the clip of her “running” and them “chasing” her a couple more times too, just for good measure.

The video ends with the reporter making sure to tell us that Niezgoda was on public property the whole time, she had to get a tetanus shot!, and there is a warrant for Ms. Lawrence’s arrest.  A warrant for her arrest.  Do I wish that she hadn’t decided to sic her dogs on the reporter?  Absolutely!  Do I think she was thinking rationally?  No.  Can I even imagine what she is going through?  No way.  Can you?  It’s funny how Niezgoda is portrayed as the innocent victim in all this, with our sympathies guided in her direction.  No sympathy for the mother of a shot teen who was just harassed at her home when she should have been left alone to grieve.

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Look, the last thing I’m saying is that what Ms. Lawrence did was okay, and yes, I do think she perpetuated some stereotypes.  Our dogs should never be used as weapons.  It is our duty to protect them at all times and at all costs.  But again, I don’t think she was anywhere near a rational state of mind.  She was provoked, how much, we don’t even know.  I think there was a hell of a lot of editing going on to produce the video that we all just watched.  Who knows what else happened that we didn’t see?  And now she is going to get arrested?  Actions absolutely should have consequences, so how about Niezgoda getting arrested too for harassment?  I think we all know that isn’t going to happen.

And what is going to happen to the dogs?  I shudder to think of the possibilities.  So, here is what I think needs to happen.

1)  The dogs in the story are the ultimate victims.  They did not randomly attack Niezgoda.  They chased her down after their owner told them to.  They also came as soon as she called them off.  I think we can all agree that these are not the actions of vicious, unprovoked dogs, and also that they do not pose any sort of threat.  If Niezgoda had left Lawrence alone, after who knows how many times she told her to, this never would have happened.  It might already be too late for these dogs, and if so, ABC and Niezgoda should be held accountable.  But it might not.  If you are in the Rhode Island area, or know someone that is, I implore you to try and contact Animal Control and speak up.  These dogs do not deserve to die over this, and should be returned to the Lawrence family who has already lost too much.

2) I think Niezgoda needs to hear from the masses that what she did was wrong.  Through who knows how much editing, Niezgoda and ABC painted an ugly picture.  They want us to believe that this is just another story of a vicious pit bull attack.  These stories need to stop!  Until the media begins to report incidents like this more accurately, our dogs are in danger.  We need to all stand up and let our voices be heard.  Yes, what Ms. Lawrence did was wrong, but what ABC did is even worse because they are endangering not just those two dogs, but all pit bulls with this kind of inaccurate, lopsided, prejudicial reporting.  So, let’s tell them what we think of their actions.  Below is a copy and pasted list from RAMR of various outlets to contact.  They are all public information so no worries there.

3)  Everyone, please, think before you act.  As the owners of “bully breeds” our actions are constantly in the spotlight.  One wrong move and you never know just how blown out of proportion it might become.  Let’s all try and take some time over the next few days to do something extra public and positive with our pit bulls.  Maybe a walk through a park.  Post a cute picture online.  Just something to show them in a good light so that we can hopefully counteract a little of the most recent damage to our breed.

Thanks for sticking with me through that incredibly long post.  Below are the list of contacts.  Go.  Now.

*This information was made available from public sources, and as outraged citizens, you are entitled to make your opinions known.  Freedom of speech, just like freedom of the press, is guaranteed in the Constitution.  Your filling of Abbey Niezgoda’s inbox can’t be any more wrong than her refusing to leave a grieving mother alone who asked her to leave.   Unlike Ms. Lawrence, who never expected to be attacked by the press, public figures such as Abbey Niezgoda should expect people to express their opinions of her freely.

https://www.facebook.com/abbeytv

Twitter:  @abbeyniezgoda

e-mail: aniezgoda@abc6.com.

Please contact the ABC6 Executive Team and tell them that Abbey Niezgoda’s self-serving, unethical and despicable behavior should cost her her job.

Chris Tzianabos

Vice President/General Manager

ctzianabos@abc6.com

401-453-8000

Michael Troiano

General Sales Manager

mtroiano@abc6.com

401-453-8024

Beth Ulicnik

MultiChannel Manager

bulicnik@abc6.com

Web/RINC/Digital

401-453-8021

John Methia

Director of Broadcast Operations & Engineering

jmethia@abc6.com

401-453-8058

Robert Rockstroh

News Director

brockstroh@abc6.com

401-453-8036

Cindy Walsh

National Sales Manager

cwalsh@abc6.com

401-453-8026

Judy Shoemaker

Promotion Manager

jshoemaker@abc6.com

401-453-8158

Anne Marie Menard

Business Manager

amenard@abc6.com

401-453-8008

Contact ABC and let them know of the unethical means in which one of its affiliates creates news. (sorry, these are form contacts, but your voice is worth the effort)

http://abc.go.com/site/contact-us?nord=1

http://abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346&cat=ABCNews.com

If you are local to the Providence, Rhode Island area, contact the sponsors of ABC6 News and tell them you have a problem with a news station that tortures victims for a story, and ask that they pull their support until Abbey Niezgoda is fired, and ABC6 has issued a formal apology to Melissa Lawrence.

Stranger Danger!

Good, bad, or just silly?  I’ve got the full spectrum covered in my house.  Yesterday my brothers came over for dinner (if you can’t tell, I hang out with them all the time) and while we were out in the yard I looked at Maggie and thought she most certainly was thinking, “Stranger danger!  Stranger danger!  There are strangers, there is danger!”  (Yes, this random thought is what sparked the idea for this post.)

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Now, my brothers at this point most certainly should not be considered strangers to Moo, but she keeps her distance and even lets out a throaty little half growl/half bark every now and then when they first come over.  After oh, say, two hours, she will settle down and let them pet her, but even then you can see that she is in flight mode in case they try anything funny.  Part of me finds this just plain silly because the other dogs, whom she looks entirely up to, adore my brothers, I clearly adore them, and if it’s true that dogs can sense if a person is good or bad (which I 1,000% believe it is) then she should know they are about as good as it gets.  The other, bigger part of me, is completely heartbroken.  Here is a dog that was so damaged in her first year and a half on Earth that even after living with me for over a year still is scared of strangers.  She has improved vastly, a year ago she literally would have lost control of her bowels if a strange man had come over, but she still has so far to go.  Will she ever rid herself of this intense stranger danger?

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Then we have the middle child, Tag.  Middle in age, and always middle of the road in personality, she is the perfect cross between the two extremes that I call Buddy and Maggie.  Tag is never one to be scared necessarily of a new person, but she usually hangs back to see what Buddy and I think of them.  Tag (short for Tag-a-Long) is the epitome of a follower.  If we like them, she likes them.  If we trust them, she trusts them.  When people are over she generally prefers to sit by me (not to toot my own horn, but this dog will never, ever love anyone the way she loves me) but if someone wants to engage her in a game of catch, or better yet a belly rub, she is all for it.  Happy-go-lucky Tag will always just go with the flow.  Stranger indifference?

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And of course, there is Buddy.  Buddy has literally never met a stranger.  In fact, back in the day when Buddy and I were a couple of single kids, livin’ the good life, my house got broken into while I was gone one night.  I’m still pretty sure Buddy reached up and opened the door for them to come in.  Another time I was playing catch with Buddy in the front yard when he saw a woman pushing a stroller on the other side of the very busy street and took off at a dead sprint.  Why?  He obviously needed to introduce himself and make friends with her.  Talk about a near heart attack.  We joke that Buddy loves everyone else more than he loves us because as soon as someone comes over to the house, he smashes himself up against them and moans and groans with delight from the attention he gets.  Buddy would probably be happiest living in a frat house so that he could constantly be surrounded by hoards of people to dish out the attention that he so loves from strangers.  Stranger danger?  You gotta be kidding.

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So which is the best?  Is there a right or wrong?  For the most part, I think Tag probably wins in this department.  I don’t have to worry about her bolting down the street to say “hi” to someone, but I also never have to worry about having people over and if it will upset her.     Do your dogs have stranger danger?  Are they at either extreme of the spectrum?

Field of Wildflowers

Since it’s Monday, and if you’re anything like me your brain isn’t really quite ready to commit to the work-week again, I thought you all might like a nice long post full of pictures of cute dogs that requires no thinking whatsoever, just enjoying.  Here you go!

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Adoptable (and suuuper sweet) Nala!

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Now THIS is a happy pup. Adoptable Maggie!

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Have you ever seen such a goofy, happy grin? Adoptable Duncan!

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Old lady Tag, the only dog there that already has her forever home.

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Mariah spent time taking photos too. Check her out here: http://unsaidyetunderstood.wordpress.com/

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Fun in the Sun!

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Maggie has the right idea, always take time to smell the..err…flowers?

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“This girls are so crazy. I loves them all!” -Duncan

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Foster brother and sister, showin’ the love!

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Back to being best friends.

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I hope your brains enjoyed this laid back post.  Remember, all the dogs but Tag are available for adoption.  Feel free to share away and help Mariah and I find them their forever homes.  Happy Monday!