Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: It Could Happen to Us
By Doreen Hammond
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I looked across the room at my best friend sleeping on the couch, quietly snoring, tuckered out from a full day of play. Wrigley, my three year old Pit Bull was safe in my home. But for how long? I wondered.
The headlines in the local newspaper along with national and internet headlines constantly had some form of Pit Bull in the spot light…and not in a good way. “Pit Bull mauled child” however, they never finish the story with the complete details. I daydreamed about how it should read, “Irresponsible Pit Bull Owners Jailed and Fined!” or “Need Home for Pit Bull…Bad Owners Left Dog Alone With Child”
If society put the responsibility of the dog’s behavior back on the negligent owners instead of banishing the dog to death, then there would be no reason for breed specific legislation, since it’s just legalized discrimination anyway. Hence the saying, “Punish the deed, not the breed.”
Generally, what happens is untrained and unaware people get a Pit Bull puppy because they are so cute. But, they don’t have a clue about their nature or how to train them or curb their energy. So, they chain them up, yell at them or just neglect them, leaving them alone with children who can’t contain the animals energy. It’s no wonder what happens next. If you mix an untrained dog and child with no supervision chances are something bad will happen. The end consequence? Dog gets removed from home and euthanized. Always the dogs fault…never the owners. It makes me so angry! Why won’t people see the truth?
Taking a sip of my tea, I tap my fingers on the arm of the chair. Still watching my boy sleep, knowing Wrigley’s silly personality, I’m very careful to keep him on a short leash in every sense of the word but I also know that accidents happen. So, the worry is always on my mind. Not that he would ever intentionally bite someone, but if antagonized, he’d jump at them because, he’s jumpy. And then what? The horror stories I’ve read and heard about run rampant in my mind as I try to imagine different scenarios, I try and stay one step ahead of him and keep him safe and happy.
But, what happens to the rest of the Pit Bulls that don’t get this break? I can only rescue so many at a time. With Breed Specific Legislation coming closer and closer to home, it’s getting harder and harder to save them. And what about Stu? He got caught up in a horrible situation. It reminds me of Pharaoh and God.
Stu, is a Pit Bull/lab mix who got into a fight with his housemate dog, Mauve. Stu got his ear ripped almost off his head. While his owner, Jeff was off helping his dying mother, the dog-sitter made matters worse by not following Jeff’s instructions in getting Stu to the vet. It ended up where Stu bit her out of fear…not aggression. The LA animal control has taken Stu away to euthanize him even after being tested as not being a dangerous animal. Two years later, the case is still pending as Jeff the owner tries to free his beloved, best friend Stu.
This case sits heavy on my heart as it is a situation that could happen to anyone, even me and Wrigley. So, I look at him on the couch, watch him stretch and crack open his eyes. As he sees me watch him, his tail begins to wag immediately. He knows instinctively, my love for him. He stretches again, this time being silly, rolling on his back for a belly rub.
Irresistibly, I walk the distance, rub his belly and pray. For Stu and Jeff but I also pray that we never have to experience the pain they are going through. Pray against discrimination of all types. People or animals…it doesn’t really matter what label you pin on it. It’s still not God’s plan for us. And if it makes us sad and unhappy, don’t you think it also makes him and sad that His plan for us has turned out so distorted?
(This is a true story…to help Stu please go to: www.myspace.com/save_stu)
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