We understand what it means to be misunderstood. With the Karelian Bear Dog in us we like to bark, it's an intimidating bark and that’s an understatement. Our bark is the same whether we’re greeting our mom & dad at the door or we bark at a stranger at the dog park. It makes some people scared of us but we really don’t mean any harm. We know our Pit Bull friends must feel the same way. Just because some have been conditioned to show aggression and used in the horrific “sport” of dog fighting, the vast majority have not and to assume the worst in them seems unfair.
But that’s exactly what is happening all over the country and the most recent set back is in Maryland where this month, the legislature deemed all Pit Bull-type dogs are “inherently dangerous”. It’s only a matter of time until we see the result of this legislation. Landlords won’t allow them, local insurance companies won’t cover people who own them (many already don’t) and shelters won’t or will be reluctant to take them. That means an increase in euthanization and stray Pit Bulls on the street which isn’t good for the community or those poor dogs. All owners know that dogs, even litter mates like us, have their own personality. But Pit Bull breeds are being categorized as one size fits all. If a dog is chained up, abused or trained to be aggressive is that really the dog’s fault or indicative of the entire breed?
But there’s a bright spot when we see the story on CNN.com about Lilly, a Pit Bull that was rescued from a shelter, who pulled her unconscious owner off the train tracks (with a train barreling down on them mind you) with no regard for her own safety. Lilly lost one of her legs, has a fractured pelvis and many internal injuries. Her owner didn’t have a scratch on her. We need more stories like this to show that Pit Bulls like any other breed are loyal, loving and affectionate. How many times have we seen Pit Bulls rescued from dog fighting rings, who after being rehabilitated, make wonderful companion dogs? It just goes to show, one size definitely does not fit all.
We know Pit Bull breeds may not be right for everyone, just like we know as quirky Karelians we are not the perfect fit for all families out there either. Everyone needs to give careful consideration when choosing a dog. We just hope that people won't automatically assume the worst and discount the fact that a Pit Bull could make a wonderful addition to the family.
Sadie & Bella
If you own a Pit Bull breed and want to learn about pending legislation in your area or breed specific laws (BSL), click here.