My name is Tanner the Pit Bull. I was living on the street when a kind lady took me to the shelter, the jail for dogs. I was supposed to 'go to sleep', but then Lou and Eugenie showed up and took me home. We've written a book about it, GIMME SHELTER. We're hoping you'll drop by from time to time to learn what's new with us and our friends. We'll be talking about rescue dogs, especially Pit Bulls, anger issues, and things we love, like movies, books, travel and karate.
Because today is National Pit Bull Awareness Day, I thought I'd give a shout out to my breed and some of the more notable 'bullies' who've made headlines thorohg the years. As many of you know (and as we pointed out in our our last post), 'pitties' were and still are known for their agreeable and loyal temperaments. It's what lead to us being labeled 'nanny dogs', because we are so gentle with and protective of the human young in our packs. Helen Keller had this to say about her beloved Sir Thomas: "Whenever it is possible, my dog accompanies me on a walk or a ride or sail. I have had many dog friends - huge mastiffs, soft-eyed spaniels, wood-wise setters and honest, homely bull terriers. At present, the lord of my affection if one of these bull terriers. he has a long pedigree, a crooked tail and the drollest 'phiz' in dogdom. My dog friends seem to understand my limitations and always keep close beside me when I am alone. I love their affectionate ways and the wag of their tails."
Helen Keller and Sir Thomas
Buster Brown, a popular cartoon character and the mascot of the eponymous shoe company, had a pit bull named Tige. During WWI, a pit bull named Sergeant Stubby distinguished himself in combat and became America's mot honored and beloved war dog. (read our post on Sgt. Stubby) And, or course, their was Petey, the black-eyed canine star of the Our Gang Comedies.
On a more contemporary note, a certain, strikingly handsome pit bull plays a pivotal role in GIMME SHELTER, the story of an angry man who finds salvation when he rescues an abused, homeless pit bull. So what's the takeaway here? Whether he's a pit bull or some other fabulous dog, be sure to spoil your pooch tomorrow, and every day. Our dog lives are short, and all we want from our human partners is affection, exercise, and lots and lots of treats and toys! A small price to pay for all the love we send your way.
While I usually write about dogs and, then, chiefly pit bulls, the L.A. Times recently ran great piece about a champion calf roper who needed a new partner and took a chance on a rodeo washout named Bruce. It's the kind of feel good, 'underdog' (in this case, under horse?) tale that makes you want to go out and hug a steed, and maybe a cowboy.
Bryce Runyan and 'Bruce'
I don't want to crow - a whole flock of the clever birds hangs around outside our condo hoping we'll toss them some stale bread - but Cesar Millan recently posted a list of the 'Best Dog Breeds for Kids'. Care to guess which was number nine, ahead of poodles? Here's what he had to say about my kind: "The media pays a lot of attention to pit bull attacks - way more than other breeds - but these pups are actually great with kids as long as you do a good job of training and socializing them early. Luckily, pits are smart and highly trainable - plus they really like pleasing people. Couple that with the fact that they're energetic, playful, and solid enough to put up with a lot of roughhousing but don't need a whole lot of exercise and you have a wonderful dog for children. Plus, who's going to mess with a kid who has a pit?"Since I'm on a role, a recent Instagram post from @pitbullstagram claims that, according to the American Temperament Test Society, in tests involving 400 or more dogs, pit bulls rank second in temperament (the test covers aggression, panic, avoidance, and other behavioral traits), behind only Labrador retrievers and ahead of their golden cousins.
What, me worry? Only if we run out of margaritas!
If you follow this blog, you'll know that we're big fans of Best
Friends Animal Sanctuary, a super cool rescue group that sponsors the twice-annual
'No Kill LA' mega adoptions. Their recent newsletter contained the wonderful
news that that deaths from euthanasia at L.A. County Animal Services
shelters continue to plummet. The story notes that: For the fiscal year of 2014-2015, the six
LAAS shelters recorded historically low killings and euthanization: 11,737.
That number is a decline of 8 percent from the previous year’s number of
12,683. The overall save rate for LAAS has increased to 78.5 percent, or 88.4
percent for dogs and 68.7 percent for cats. The threshold save rate for a
community to be considered “no-kill” is 90 percent. “These numbers reflect the
hard work of a lot of groups and individuals coming together to save shelter
pets in Los Angeles,” said Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal
Society and one of the architect of NKLA. The next mega-adoption is right
around the corner, November 7-8 at the LaBrea Tar Pits, so stop by, take home
a BFF, and help make the City of Angles a 'no kill' zone.