Friday, September 29, 2006

Speaking of dangerous dogs...

Mozart and Schiller
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
This is Mozart, a Tallahassee pit bull who loves his cats. His owner was at my reading on Tuesday night at the Warehouse, and shared this photo with me. The following day she emailed a whole series of photos of Mozart and the cats (this is Schiller with him on the chair).

Unfortunately, the day I left town, two other dogs, identified as pit bulls by the police, ran loose and killed a cat. The police shot and killed the dogs. The Tallahassee Democrat has run two stories on this in two days. In the second of them, the report opens with the sensational suggestion that if the cat's owner had been outside, she too would have been killed. The evidence to support this: they had killed the cat, and MAY have bit a man on the leg earlier. The bite on the leg is reported as "not serious." To leap to the certainty that they were bound to kill the cat's owner is really, really crappy reporting. Although it wouldn't surprise me if they make the same kind of projections based on human race as well.

Meanwhile, I want to make clear that there is no excuse for dogs of any breed running loose, or killing a neighbors cat. Or chomping on a leg. It just doesn't mean that they would have certainly done anything more. Dogs frequently have issues with cats.

One of the patterns of press coverage of pit bull incidents is that they open with a charge that has nothing to do with what actually happened. Many times they actually reveal a few paragraphs in that the dogs weren't pit bulls after all. Then, at the very end, they actually have some useful information, for those that get that far. This one includes the following: "Ziegler said his office receives about 500 calls a year about dog and cat bites. This year there have been 69 incidents of bulldog and bulldog-mixes (which includes pit bulls) biting people, Ziegler said." In other words, pit bulls account for perhaps 10 percent of all cases. But they are likely to account for 100 percent of cases reported in the press.

Best Friends Summit on Dangerous Dogs

best friends summit
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
I just confirmed that I'll be speaking at the Best Friends Summit on Dangerous Dogs, which will be taking place in Colorado October 27-29. They've put together an extensive three day program, which is available at their website. And, of course, Colorado is a hot bed of BSL.

Note to anyone in Colorado: I'd love to talk with you about your experiences with the Denver ban and the underground railroad that people put together to get the dogs to safety.

I'll also be signing books at Borders in Littleton on Sunday October 29th from 2-4pm.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Femme, femme, femme: Paintings of women in French Society from Daumier to Picasso at the New Orleans Museum of Art March 3-June 2 2007

"With paintings by such artists as Renoir, Degas, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso, Femme, femme, femme celebrates the emergence of the modern woman as seen through art. This evolution of women's roles is presented through several themes beginning with timeless images of domestic life in the family circle from birth to death, progressing to the nineteenth-century phenomenon of women working outside the home and the emerging independence of the twentieth-century woman. This exhibition is the fulfillment of a promise made to New Orleans just two months after Hurricane Katrina as the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, and President of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette, led a delegation of French diplomats and art curators on a visit to the city and the New Orleans Museum of Art. They renewed their solidarity with our beleaguered city and their desire to assist NOMA during this unprecedented time by organizing this exhibition of nearly one hundred works from the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and museums throughout France."

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."