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.
While we might sometimes question the causes
they fight for, we owe our gratitude and respect to the men and women who put
their lives on the line in service to our country. Among my personal circle of
heroes, here’s a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for dear friends Joe Simone, Dan Cohen,
and John Dellasala, and a prayer that
our leaders will think long and hard before putting any our fathers, mothers,
brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters in harm’s way. While not nearly as numerous as two-legged servicemen and
women, war dogs continue to play a key role in our nation’s defense. As Josh Weiss-Roessler noted in a Cesar Millan's recent newsletter, after
months and sometimes years of rigorous training meant to hone their already
keen senses, canine soldiers are tasked with guarding installations, capturing
the enemy and detecting explosives and other contraband. But what happens to
these warriors when their hitch is up? In the past, they were ‘retired’ –
euthanized – when they became too old or unable to perform their duties.
Thankfully, a law passed in 2000 allows for the adoption of phased out war
dogs. Prospective adoptees and their would be owners must both be evaluated to
insure a smooth transition to civilian life, which means creating an
environment that provides lots of structure and discipline. Interested in
taking on the challenge? Contact the Warrior Dog Foundation.
Thank you all!
On a related note, two paws up to canine recent
police academy grad Kiah, who will now team with Officer Justin Bruzgul working to
detect drugs and locate missing persons for the Poughkeepsie, NY Police
Department. While the vast majority of
law enforcement dogs are either German shepherds or Belgian Malinois, pit bulls
are a rarity. As the recent NY Post story rightly points out, the breed’s reputation
for violence is “undeserved” and the result of human ignorance and
neglect. Recent studies have found no
correlation between dog breeds and dog attacks, and they have shown that
specific breed bans (BSL), like the one being considered in Montreal, fail to
reduce dog attacks.
Kia and partner Officer Justin Bruzgul
Sadly, many military and law enforcement personnel
can suffer from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition that
sometimes affects their canine partners as well. But even pampered pets, whose
closest brush with danger is a feisty squirrel or a TV shootout, can fall
victim to the disorder. Writing for Cesar's Way, Nicole Pajer says, “Dogs can be thrown into a state of extreme stress over
a variety of different experiences. Common causes may include weather - natural
disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, car accidents, Household accidents,
and physical or emotional trauma during interactions with people or other
animals.” Indeed. For nearly a year after he joined
our home, Tanner couldn’t stomach (literally, as the gallons vomit flowed) riding in the
car. Why? Our best guess is that he’d been abused – perhaps as a bait dog for a
fight ring – and associated the abuse with the motor travel. Even now, after years of patient rehabilitation, the July 4 fireworks evoke a
yearly nightmare, along with popping champagne corks and gusty Santa Ana winds.
They were blowing the other evening and Eugenie woke the next morning to find him missing from his
normal spot on the bed in my office. Instead, he was precariously perched on the desk,
his facing the corner. Scratching her head, she helped back him down. He spent the rest of the day looking tired and out of sorts, wrung out by his encounter with the 'devil winds'.