I have Pit Bulls. That means that I have limitations on where I can live, where I can walk my dogs without muzzles, even where I can drive with my Pits, Hudson and Falstaff. (I was stopped in Colorado once and told I could not pass through the state with my dogs. How insane is that?) But not only am I discriminated against because of my choice to own this type of dog, the dogs themselves are discriminated against, and it makes me mad!
All dogs have been discriminated against since the beginning of time. In the Bible (just to have a starting point), the term “dog” was used to describe unsavory and worthless people. Dogs were compared with swine (not that I have anything against pigs) and were considered unclean and to be avoided. I remember being skeptical of the Bible in my Evangelical youth because dogs were considered pariahs. Dogs are important to me. More important than religion or living in Colorado.
The Constitution covered human equality, but unfortunately America’s forefathers forgot to add, “Dogs are created equal, too.” But maybe none of them were dog people. If dog people had their way today, I’d guess that most would want to elevate dogs from the current position of “property” to something along the lines of “family members.”
Also See: 10 Common Misconceptions About Pit Bulls
The discrimination against my Pit Bulls started with an attempt to enroll Hudson in a doggie daycare class.
There was no mention of breed (or “type,” which is really what a Pit Bull is). But when we got there and they asked what Hudson’s make-up was and I said “Pit Bull,” we were promptly shown the door: no explanations, no concerns about our wasted time or the fact that Hudson used up about six months’ worth of energy on the way there.
We have been banned from doggie playgroups, doggie cocktail hours, stores that allow no dogs and those that allow other types and breeds of dogs, therapy events, dog parks, and dog walks. I’ve been turned away by groomers and even a veterinarian who said Pit Bulls weren‘t “trustworthy.” I doubt he was trustworthy either.
If you really want to see discrimination at work, try to rent an apartment or house with Pit Bulls — or any type of dog, really.
Several realtors in New York City turned me down flat when I mentioned pitties, so I switched that to simply “dogs” — and was turned down by several more. It’s no wonder I’ve resorted to making up a non-bully breed for Falstaff and a non-bully mix for Hudson. I’ve also learned that, if you’re going to tell the landlord you have Pit Bulls, do it late in the game when so they won’t want to go through the trouble of finding another tenant. Is that fair? Ask the Pit Bulls.
Owning a Pit Bull means being scared half the time — and not of the Pit Bull.
I started clamming up about my dogs’ origins when Falstaff was attacked by a feisty Fox Terrier. My instinct then was to run away because, though any Terrier is a fighter, I feared Falstaff would be solely to blame. I’ve made up outrageous stories to cover my dogs’ asses, like when Hudson and Falstaff got into a scuffle and Falstaff’s paw was hurt (he really is a lover, not a fighter). I told my vet that a dog came out of nowhere when we were walking and attacked Falstaff (yeah, right!). This was to avoid a possible report that Hudson had really done the damage. Some states have the three-strikes rule for human criminals; a Pit Bull doesn’t even have to do something wrong to get one strike, which often means “you’re out — for good.”
You’d think, then, that Pit Bull advocates would come to the rescue, but my foray into this arena proved that that is not always so. Continue reading this story over at Dogster >>