November 19, 2008

Pit Love

Like the Obama’s, we are in search of a great dog to be the next “spoiled brat” in our family. And just like our President-Elect and the future first lady have stated, we have and will continue to do our research and will make the proper selection once we have settled down from a transition into our new home (ours in Philadelphia, PA). This summer, we had a unique opportunity to spend some time with a dog who we’d hoped could join our happy home. He belonged to someone who thought they might not be able to keep him due to relocation. At first, I was a bit intimidated by this visit. Frankly, I was downright scared. I’d listened to all of the horror stories about this particular breed of animal and a lot of the misinformation helped me to make some incorrect assumptions. Nevertheless, we went forward with the visit and now Rico, the American Pit Bull Terrier has found a permanent place in my heart. All pictures shown here are of Rico taken by me during his short time with us. Not only is Rico and other members of his breed, one of the most gentle, affectionate dogs I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be in the company of, he reinforced the notion that there’s more than one side to every story.

I won’t use a lot of Style Baubles space listing the countless egregious and unfounded reasons people have given for fearing this entire breed but I will tell you that dog ownership in general requires LOTS of research including talking to reputable breeders and trainers, consulting with breed educated Veterinarians and reading as much historical info as possible through legitimate books and online resources. Here are a few sources that I believe give credible information regarding this much maligned breed:

United Kennel Club
American Kennel Club (info on close relative, the American Staffordshire Terrier)
Pit Bulls for Dummies

Responsible dog ownership requires that you balance your desire to own a dog with a great deal of your own life’s realities. As it turned out, Rico’s owner was able to keep him after his move. We were sad but because of our research we also realized that we would not have been the best parents for him anyway. The breed is energetic and also needs space and attention that we would not be able to provide immediately. Our upcoming transition may have been very disruptive for him in the long run. But when Rico comes to visit, we will welcome him with open arms and give him as much Pit Love as we possibly can.

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