I never set out to own a pit bull. Technically, I own a pit bull/vishla mix (we think). I had shelties growing up, so they were my default dog to own. When my wife and I started looking into getting our first dog, I demanded we get a sheltie first. That brought us Dr. Lars (whom we have since given to my mother). Our 2nd dog was an impulse buy at the pet store. We had taken Dr. Lars to get groomed, and on the way out he had an accident on the floor. While I ran him outside to do his business, Jennifer stumbled upon a cute little brown dog. By the time I returned with Dr. Lars, she was negotiating the price for Doggie Beau. Two dogs were more than enough for us, and we weren’t looking to acquire one of the most controversial dogs on the planet.
Then, life happened!
One day, while I was working from home, my mother sent my wife and I an email urgently requesting help. That morning, when she left for work, she saw something strange on her patio- a dog in a cage. When she went to investigate, she found a cute little puppy in a cage wearing a sweater. So, she left it there and drove to work. She emailed us to get us to pick it up and take care of her.
Shortly afterwards, I picked her up and took her to the vet. She was microchipped, and ended up belonging to someone who lived in my mother’s neighborhood, who had adopted her a few weeks earlier. The vet actually called the home to confront them about abandoning the dog. They answered, and quickly hung up.
We’d foster cared for dogs before, and we decided to take her in for a couple of weeks, or until she could be returned to the Humane Society. That was until Jennifer came home and saw little Sadie. Jennifer was anticipating a big, bulky, ugly dog, and she found a sweet little puppy instead. So, we kept her.
In my life, I’ve had three shelties, a lab/boxer mix (Doggie Beau), and a pit bull/vishla mix (Sadie). Without question, Sadie is the sweetest and least aggressive of the five dogs. And she’s an internet meme.
Not Everyone Is a Fan
This particular blog was inspired by a recent post by Matt Walsh called Pit bulls can maul children to death – but, hey, why should that stop you from owning one?. Usually, I agree with the content of his posts (though not necessarily the attitude) but, obviously as a pit bull owner, I was less enthusiastic about this particular post. He’s pretty clear throughout that he doesn’t like pit bulls, but the majority of the post is rallying against those who are not only against euthanizing a dog which mauled a 4 year old, but who have raised support for the dogs legal fund. I can respect his frustration on that point. However, towards the end, he says this:
I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t blame the dog, blame the owner. Trust me, I agree. But not every pit bull attack is the result of an abusive owner. However, they are all the result of reckless owners. Owning a pit bull is reckless on a basic and fundamental level. Owning a pit bull when you have small children is simply beyond the bounds of reason and sanity.
As soon as we brought a pit bull into our home, we started hearing these types of things in person. Some of the conversations were extremely peculiar. At personal dinner meetings when we would lightly bring up our dog, people would quickly respond by telling us about how a friend of a friend’s pit bull attacked a child, and very directly confronting us on the wisdom of owning one. Pit bull critics tend to be very open about their disapproval, and they all have a horror story to justify their opinion.
Let’s Be Fair
Obviously, all of us have heard horrifying news stories about a pit bull mauling a child to death. Obviously, you can do Google search and quickly discover that pit bulls are the breed most likely to be involved in a fatal dog bite. If those were the only details we were looking at, I would totally agree that pit bulls are dangerous and vicious killing machines.
- 32,000 people die in car accidents each year
- 12 pedestrians are killed by a car every single day (just this last week, 3 pedestrians were killed at SXSW)
- 10,000 people are killed by a gun
- Between 2005 and 2009, the United States averaged 3,533 boat related drownings each year (roughly 10 per day)
- 4,000 people die in motorcycle accidents
- One source thinks over 300 people may have died due to a faulty ignition system on GM cars, but even GM is fully acknowledging 12 deaths due to the system.
- This last week, an athletic 16 year old girl died of cardiac arrest shortly after completing a half marathon she’d been training for for 9 weeks.
- You are 1,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than be killed by a pit bull
- You are 100 times more likely to be hit by a car and die than be killed by a pit bull
- You are 300 times more likely to be shot and killed than be killed by a pit bull
- You are 100 times more likely to drown in a boating incident than be killed by a pit bull
- You are 100 times more likely to die on a motorcycle than be killed by a pit bull
Once again, if you’re a parent you should be terrified all the time!!!
There’s no possible way to hold to an anti-Pit Bull bias without having some sort of other blatant hypocrisy about your family’s safety.
When you actually look at the stories surrounding most pit bull attacks, there’s more to the story than a dog randomly flipped out and attacked someone. There are stories of abuse, unsupervised children, trespassing, aggressive behavior that was ignored, etc. And yes, there are stories of non-aggressive dogs snapping. But once again, this is an astronomically small percentage of incidents.
Sadie the Aggressive Pit Bull
- Sadie is a viciously aggressive dog….when it comes to being affectionate.
- If you come to my house and she’s free, she will attack you…with kisses.
- Then she will fight…to be your friend.
- She has bitten me several times before….on the bottom (that’s a bit embarrassing to admit) while we were playing in the backyard.