Now that I’ve been volunteering in rescue for a few years, I am finally ready to start considering what type of dog I would get in a perfect world. For the record, I am not yet ready / able to give a dog what it needs; I am merely daydreaming.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my dream dog would be the biggest, baddest, meanest-looking, most horrible dog ever in the world. At least, what the general public believes to be the meanest dog in the world.
I’ve made it two years in rescue, and it is safe to say I have caught the bug. I thrive off taking a dog who is misunderstood and slowly wearing them down to where they are amazing family pets. I have found that the longer the challenge takes, the bigger the satisfaction.
That is why I dream of having a pit bull. Just saying those words widens the eyes of 99% of the world.
There are many dangerous dogs out there, but the pit bull specifically comes with a built-in reputation. Therefore, helping one of these “dangerous” dogs become a healthy, happy, friendly dog would be even more rewarding.
I wish I could have a pit bull because I want a dog that instills fear in others and to show them that they have nothing to fear at all. I would even argue that breed-specific legislation (known as BSL in dog circles) results in pit bulls being more dangerous by putting restrictions in place that make them harder to socialize, but I will save that argument for another post.
What I find most amazing in rescue is that dogs who have been abused or neglected, and sometimes both, still find it within themselves to love humans. Nothing would please me more than to have a pit bull who is a lap dog to show friends and strangers that this dog who was once abused or neglected wants nothing more than to give you a kiss and lay its head on your lap.
I must say that this is a selfish dream. The satisfaction I would get from achieving this goal would send me over the moon. So I guess my biggest target in this article is the reputation of pit bulls and the people who want them for that reputation (which mischievously now includes me—but I have good intentions!).
A truly dangerous dog is one that has never learned the power of its own bite and is owned by someone who does not care about the dog’s well-being. When you look at it that way, it is difficult to see how breed has anything to do with it.
In my view, a ban on a specific breed of dog puts Ontario in the ignorant category of society. Other areas have reversed their bans—most recently, Edmonton—because they are discriminatory. There is a large discussion about the statistics since many bites are by mixed breeds, making it difficult to attribute “badness” to one specific breed.
According to the Toronto Star, “More than 85% of Edmontonians identified improper training, poor supervision and irresponsible dog owners as the main cause for a dog attack.” What do Edmontonians understand that Ontarians don’t? They understand that there is no dog that you can’t get to react any more than there are people who won’t react when they are scared enough.
Anyone who works in rescue knows that my saying I want the meanest, baddest dog ever means that I will probably end up with the least threatening dog ever, a teacup Chihuahua.