My sons grew up with pit bulls. There was a lot of prejudice against pit bulls back then just as there is today, and I can remember them getting asked what they thought about pit bulls. They wouldn't know how to respond to that question.
This isn't just a rhetorical debate -- the lives of millions of animals are at stake. So it's important to identify what we know about this maligned and often misidentified breed, as well as what we don't know.
My dog is now 8 years old, which makes him as middle-aged as I am, and he is comfortable in his own white furry skin. I'm trying to take lessons from him. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, maybe, but this dog has plenty to teach an old writer.
When I was fostering, curious people wanted to know how I was able to give up my foster dogs. In time, they willingly and excitedly found their way into the hearts and homes of their new owners. With each wet-nosed kiss goodbye, I learned that that life really is full of pawsibilities.
Instead of a dog being judged by its cover -- its superficial appearance -- research shows that its individual behavioral characteristics more closely follow those of its close relatives than traits associated with its breed.
Coiffed to perfection, it is easy to select a favorite breed based on their appearance. But no one should get a dog to match his or her couch cushions or new Prada bag. Each breed has a personality and temperament that makes it unique and beautiful.
As with so many slick marketing campaigns, the American Kennel Club has glossed over the downside of purebred dogs, including the fact that they often suffer miserably from congenital defects and inherited diseases. Here is the info that you won't hear from the AKC about those top 10 breeds.
The story of Lennox the dog took a final, tragic turn on July 11 when Belfast City Council announced he had been killed, after a desperate legal fight by the family and in spite of a worldwide "Save Lennox" movement.