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Old October 6th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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pitbulliest pitbulliest is offline
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Smile The Truth About My American Pit Bull Terrier.

The Truth About My American Pit Bull Terrier

Before I got Messina, my American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), I was never aware of what wonderful dogs they really are. I’ve had experience with various breeds, but most were quite small, such as Chihuahuas and Miniature Pinschers. When Messina first came into my life, I never had any idea how much this very special dog could truly influence me to become active in promoting a positive image of this wonderful yet sadly misunderstood breed.

My father is a truck driver, and he travels back and forth from Canada to the U.S. I actually have him to thank for finding Messina and bringing her into my life. On one of his trips, he had parked at a truck stop in California to take a break from hours and hours of driving. Being an animal lover, he noticed a pair of hitchhikers walking up to truck drivers and initiating some sort of conversation with them. Not wanting to interrupt, but highly interested in the pretty tan colored dog with black and white markings, he couldn’t help but approach them. He was surprised when one of the hitchhikers, a young girl in her early twenties, asked my father whether or not he’d like a dog. Being a complete animal lover, much like the rest of my family members, he asked them what they meant by that question. The young man that was with the girl told my father that the dog that was with them was an American Pit Bull Terrier, and her name was Messina. They both explained that they were constantly traveling from state to state, and had no intentions on dragging the animal with them. To put it simply, the hitchhiking couple wanted to find a permanent home for their little girl.

Our family never really knew much about Pit Bull Terriers, or any other bull breeds for that matter, except for all of the negative, and as I would learn later on, false stereotyping and media coverage that would come up every now and then on the news or in magazines. When my father was offered this muscular and intimidating dog by these two complete strangers that never stayed in one place for more than a day or two, he knew that he had to find a home for Messina. One last goodbye and a wave was the last of her previous owners that Messina saw before she jumped into my father’s truck and made herself comfortable on the bottom bunk bed.

She arrived at our home a few days later, rather confused about her surroundings and wondering where on earth her folks were. We have a Chihuahua, Dude, who is quite dog aggressive, and I must admit that it took us a few days before the two could finally sit next to each other without the Chihuahua growling and the Pit Bull cowering away under the coffee table. I look back and laugh when I see my dogs sleeping together or licking each other now. When my mother met Messina, she was quite nervous and told me that she did not want to be left alone in the house with a Pit Bull Terrier, for fear of being attacked one day. She had once believed the negative stereotypes of this breed, but if you talk to her now, she will laugh and proudly tell you that there is no other breed of dog she would rather own.

It is amazing how much I have learned about the APBT and general dog care after my father had brought home Messina. I would once walk around my neighborhood, often times seeing the street hustlers and what they call themselves “gangsters” walking down the street with these medium sized muscular dogs with heavy chains dangling from their thick necks, and could not help but feel more or less intimidated, no matter how much I loved all breeds of dogs. That changed when I had my own APBT to walk down the street with, minus the heavy chains and ten pound collars. I began to do a lot more research on the breed and realized how misunderstood these dogs actually are. The more I spent time with this wonderful animal, the more I wanted to change people’s views of the APBT, the scapegoat of every negative dog related incident. The more research I did, the more I understood the breed and its history. When people would come up to me and ask me why I would own a dog that could attack anyone at any second, I would calmly find myself explaining to them that these dogs were once bred to fight in pits and were specifically bred never to attack their human companions. There is a huge difference between human and animal aggression that people cannot seem to distinguish. When a dog has aggression issues towards other dogs, people automatically assume that these animals will also react in a similar way towards people, and more specifically, children. This could not be any more of a myth than every other myth that exists about Pit Bulls. Locking jaws, ripping children to shreds, murdering owners by night; all these fictional stories did nothing more than depress and anger me. I would constantly wonder why people had such a terrible view of these dogs, and as I would walk down the street with my dog every day, I began to realize why these stereotypes existed. I would watch scumbag owners dragging these dogs by a heavy chain, never even having bothered to teach the dog how to sit properly. None of these worthless Pit Bull owners would ever pick up after their dogs, and whenever they would walk past me, they would ask whether or not I was interested in breeding my Pit Bull. I could do nothing more than reply that I had fixed my dog and that society did not need any more strays and abused animals. Beginning to understand that most APBTs were simply in the wrong hands, I turned to sources on responsible breeding, and found that most of these dogs, especially in my neighborhood, were the result of “backyard breeding.” The dogs did not have any papers, they had no health checks prior to breeding, and the owners made absolutely no effort to make sure that the dogs were in perfect health and had an exceptional temperament. Furthermore, many of the dogs were bred by these people for nothing more than the money or future use in the fighting pit. Although illegal, nobody could stop these sick criminals from performing the so called “sport” in abandoned warehouses, in the back of an alley, or in their own basements. These dogs had no say in where they would end up and how they would be treated.

I finally understood the differences between responsible and irresponsible dog ownership, and realized that Pit Bulls have a bad reputation not because of the breed, but because of how the breed is constantly abused and exploited by worthless and irresponsible people. Every negative incident that the media covers is not because of responsible and caring owners, but because of scumbags that really do not care about the future of this magnificent and proud breed. I was frustrated after acknowledging that different states in the U.S, and even some parts of Canada were considering or have already banned the presence of Pit Bulls. I could not understand why breed specific legislation (BSL) existed, when the only people who would be suffering and actually obeying these useless laws, are the responsible and caring Pit Bull owners and their dogs. If the laws on dog fighting and exploitation never stopped these criminals from abusing this breed, how on earth would a ban on the breed change anything? There would still be people smuggling and fighting these dogs somewhere in someone’s basement, while every other caring Pit Bull owner would be forced to “get rid of” their dogs, or euthanize them.

Messina has taught me how to be a responsible owner, and has more importantly taught me that Pit Bull Terriers are nothing more than an exploited and abused breed that instead of receiving sympathy and understanding from the public, have become labeled as the criminals and outcasts of our society. I believe that these views on this faithful and gentle breed can be changed with the proper steps taken by society to make sure dogs do not end up in the wrong hands. Educating the public is what I strive to do with my dog Messina, because both her and I believe that we should be punishing the deed, not the breed.

Thank you Messina, for picking me to help you spread the word about how great how APBTs really are. I love you and always will. You will always be in my heart, and I will always thank God for bringing you into my life, and pray that you may share a very long, healthy, and happy life with me.

By: Violetta (ME!)
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Old October 7th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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Location: Oakville Ontario
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Pitbulliest,I enjoyed your great story about Messina,she sounds like a wonderful dog and I too hope this BSL nighmare will end soon.
I hope you and Messina will have many,many happy years together.
Did you ever show us a pic??
"The cruelest animal is the Human animal"
3 kitties,Rocky(r.i.p my boy),Chico,Vinnie
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Old October 7th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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glasslass glasslass is offline
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I wish all PBTs could have homes and owners like you!
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Old October 7th, 2004, 02:48 PM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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Nice to hear what a loving home your dog has and how much she loves her home. I think there are more pits in loving homes than not. But unfortunately these are not the stories we hear. Have you thought about submitting to the papers for publication or letter to the editor this is something the public is not hearing about.
A dog has so many friends because they wag their tails not their tongues.
R.I.P. Buddy 2002-2008 The best Mastiff ever.
Now owned by Clark the Crazy American Bulldog
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Old October 8th, 2004, 01:47 AM
pitbulliest's Avatar
pitbulliest pitbulliest is offline
Love all creatures
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Thank you guys ..I'll post a pic of her in the proper section for you guys to see.

Mastiff - no I didn't...only because its not that easy to get anything published in a paper these days unless its really really really good...but I guess with all of this pit bull media going around, maybe they would find an interest in such an article? Its not the greatest piece of writing though.
Anyone have any idea how I would go about requesting to have it published...I guess even a not so popular paper would make a difference..somebody is bound to read it..

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Old October 20th, 2004, 04:38 PM
Luvmypit Luvmypit is offline
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Try the smaller papers like 24, metro, mirror or guardian. These are Toronto papers so im not sure where your from. I loved your story. I got some tears in my eyes
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Old October 24th, 2004, 05:17 PM
Pit bull KY Pit bull KY is offline
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Not alot of people realise how good of a dog pit bulls can really be. The ones that you read all the time in the papers attacking people is do to poor training. Simple. It can happen to any dog type, and has many times. Just the media dont think a labador atacking a kid is more interesting than a pit bull. Ive looked up statistics on all this and in fact, there are more other type dogs that end up attacking people. I have a pit bull/ border collie, and it is one of the best dogs ive ever came across. My family loves it. Matter fact it was the first dog that my lil sister has ever came close to. So yea deff good dogs. I love them.
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Old October 24th, 2004, 08:07 PM
Sheriffmom Sheriffmom is offline
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I would also send it to the Sun and the Star. To both their Editorial section and letter to the editor. I thought it was great. Just remember: "If you don't ask, the answere is already No". If you try and don't get it published, thats OK, but you may get a HUGE surprise. You just never know!!
Plus, you seem to be good at getting ppl to do the unexpected (the MPP and Councillor that called and wanted to talk to you re BSL, thats more then most of us got!!)
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Old October 24th, 2004, 09:16 PM
Demon Demon is offline
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Getting it published

Have you thought about sending it in to dog websites? Many of them publish stories like yours.
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