Sunday, September 24, 2006

Being a pit bull's PR agent

The Tallahassee Democrat has a piece in today's paper: "Hard Being A Pit Bull's PR Agent." It's an interview with me. But more interesting than that, the author of piece, Mark Hinson, talks about his family pit bull, who would leave with any stranger driving a car. It's a pretty nice piece, but there's a strange quote from me at the end that seems out of context. In any case, you can read the interview here.

Also, last week the Memphis Flyer ran a story, "Rescue Me."


Sara said...

Great piece--the guy who wrote the article can actually write, which is always a nice surprise.

Linda said...

Regarding your comment in the Tallahassee article on just when pits became the demon d'jour--I've often pondered that as well. I remember when it was Dobermans--this would have been the 70s and 80s ... think about films like "Boys From Brazil", "Hound of Hell" --always a Dobie as the uber guarddog-turned-willing killer. Dobies supposedly were gang dogs, untrustworthy, "bred to kill", etc. And you *did* see them wearing big metal-studded collars, hanging w/punks and drug dealers more than you saw them as pets. I confess they made me nervous ... till I first started working as a veterinary tech in an NYC animal ER and got to know a few. I found they were big, sweet, lovable goofballs--what could be more heartwarming than to see a big formidable dobie flop over for a bellyrub, whining like a big baby. For whatever reason, Dobies faded from the public image of born killers -- it's funny, in Chicago at least, you don't even see dobies that often anymore -- they're no longer trendy among the bad guys. I recall Akitas going through the same cycle. Pits in the 80s, as I recall, had a bit of a bad rep but not in the way they have today. You didn't see them around as much--why, I don't know.

I do recall one very sad incident when I was a tech -- a guy and his kids brought in a young pit, probably about 12 weeks old, with a tummy upset. The dog was just the sweetest little fella. Anyway, the doc and I and the father had stepped out of the exam room for a moment and suddenly I heard all this barking and growling. I went back in and there was the puppy, tail wagging etc, but clearly worked up. I asked the kids what was going on ... and they said, "Oh, we're just teasing him, 'coz we've got to make him MEAN."

I've always wondered how many of these "family pits" that "suddenly" turn -- you know, the "oh they're pets, we don't know why they suddenly turned on that person" -- I wonder how many of those dogs get teased, roughhoused, etc., to make them mean because mean dogs are "cool"?

It would be interesting to view your social history, when it's finished, against the timeline of some larger societal problems, particularly the desensitization of kids to guns, violence, etc.

{sigh} What a world. I'm going to go hug my dog now...

Anonymous said...

And before that--it was German Shephards--maybe you are all too young to remember those days.