Monday, December 23, 2013

What We Talk About When We Talk About Pit Bulls

A few months ago, a friend asked if I would consider contributing to a blog she shares with Your Pit Bull and You.  What did they want me to write about?  "What is a pit bull?"  Sure, I said.  Why not?  I've written on that unanswerable question plenty of times.  But I wanted to find something new to say, or some new way of saying it.
another dog trainer:

It wasn't until, last week, that same friend spoke of the controversy that erupted when Your Pit Bull and You awarded a pig the title of "Honorary Pit Bull."  Immediately, I knew what I wanted to say.  The resulting essay, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Pit Bulls," deals with the question of labels and heritage and what, if anything, either one means.  It is also about my own honorary pit bull, Brando, who passed away last March.  Things have been a blur ever since, and as often happens when someone you love dies, everything I've written since then has been in some way about him.

Then something remarkable happened.  Within a day, the essay had been shared more than 1000 times on Facebook.  A day later, it was over 4000 times.  Then 6000.  And that was just Facebook.  Five days after it was posted, over 25,000 visitors have come to the page.

I'm not entirely sure what this means.  I think for some people, it is the philosophical question that brought them in.  But judging from some of the comments, it is also Brando, and my love for him.  None of this, naturally, was really on my mind when I wrote it.

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