They said, "He's strong, about 67 pounds, and he's a puller but with some training he'll be great." Okay, I thought. Easy enough. But what they should have told me was something entirely different. What they should have told me was this: This is an adventure. Welcome to the best years of your life.
When Los Angeles-based TV producer Michael Levitt isn't creating hit shows, he's driving all over greater L.A. rescuing dogs from kill shelters and placing them in loving "forever" homes. Now taking his passion one giant leap further, Levitt has created a groundbreaking TV event.
Tuesday, voters in Aurora, Colorado will have the opportunity to repeal the city's 9-year-old breed ban. The city has discussed the potential repeal multiple times since the law's inception and finally decided to take the repeal idea to the voters.
PetSmart's policy helps reinforce the incorrect belief that pit bulls are different from other dogs. That they are dangerous and can't be trusted, just because of the shape of their head. That they don't deserve to be treated as well as other dogs. This belief has consequences.
I get some mighty odd glares when walking my pit bull. No matter. I'd rather hang out with a pit bull than most people any day. Here's why.
I'd heard about -- and desperately wanted to try -- programs that let visitors take shelter dogs out hiking. It was a beautiful fall day, perfect for going for a hike. So my friend and I -- and my dog Murray -- stopped by a local animal shelter to pick up a dog to join us.
Heated argument is normal, when it comes to contentious issues. What deviates from standard practice, however -- especially on the part of a professional journalist -- is an effort to silence your opponent.
Merritt Clifton is prominent not simply because he has been making noise for decades, but because he uniquely claims to be a rigorous statistician: a scholarly expert. People who hate pit bulls lean on this man's putative expertise. And he's a charlatan.
Our pet came to us by accident. He was a skinny, ten-month old pit bull who was punched, kicked and dragged by his previous owner in the industrial part of Brooklyn, NY. As soon as the owner walked into the bodega, he was ours. That was our first rescue.
In my practice as a behavior consultant, I have too often heard parents say, with anguish in their voices, that the dog bit and, "He just didn't give any warning." Unfortunately, it does not relieve any pain to explain that the dog gave a warning, but it went unnoticed.
Almost anyone that meets this sweet dog is baffled to think that he could be illegal anywhere, as he is the sweetest, goofiest dog, there is nothing aggressive about him at all.
I always found it interesting how people could have such strong opinions about a couple of people and a dog they've never met. Fear is an interesting thing. Do we listen to that fear, and euthanize Wallace to guarantee that he never hurts anybody? Or do we take our chances?
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.
Most pit bulls aren't bred for anything -- by and large they're mutts, plain and simple, who happen to share a similarly blocky-shaped head.
This is a terrible story in every way. It is tempting, given these details, to reinforce the belief that the dogs have dangerous tendencies. That's the conclusion that the Boston Globe editorial board came to, certainly, in a profoundly wrongheaded, and unsigned, editorial called "Pit bull owners: know your breed."
When you take up the cause of the so-called pit bull, you make a lot of charming friends. Particularly fetching is the person on Twitter who calls herself "Eradicate Pits."