I have had a few people ask me why I haven't written a response to an article in the Vancouver Sun regarding the suggested pit bull ban.
My answer? I have no intention of responding to a story that is riddled with misinformation and fear-mongering.
In fact I've had my fill of writing about the virtues of pit bulls, about how misinformation is spread by the ignorant and ill-informed, and about how it's not the dog but the owner - because the only people who are willing to read or listen already know this.
I'm preaching to the choir.
The other group of people are stuck. They are stuck in their fearful ways of thinking and we all know you can't force anyone to change their minds, they have to be openminded and compassionate enough to do it themselves.
No matter how many times dog trainers, veterinarians, rescue organizations or even Cesar Milan himself preaches the statement, "it's not the dog it's the owner," the closeminded will not listen, they will simply repeat the old ridiculous stories of how a pit bull's jaws lock when they bite, or that they were bred to be killers.
All this bunk just keeps recycling itself through the minds and mouths of the fearful; those looking to find a news story that will grab people's attention just perpetuate the problem. And as long as those stories keep being recycled, the pit bull terrier will be fighting indeed, to prove that it is nothing like those rumours and old wives' tales.
Anyone who has worked with pet animals long enough knows this fact: a dog (or horse) is a reflection of the owner. If a dog, regardless of the breed, is showing aggression you can guarantee that the owner has that behavioural trait within them. When I think of all the hate and fear generated by people towards pit bulls two quotes come to mind.
The first is by Carl Jung: "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
The second is by Hermann Hesse: "If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us."
To paraphrase a little, what is being said is: that which you hate is part of what you are. If you hate someone or something - like a dog - for being aggressive, it is because you are aggressive yourself.
Bet that has given some of you something to bite off and chew on for a while, huh?
The only exception to this rule would be the brave souls who adopt dogs with behavioural problems - caused by previous owners - and are doing their darndest to help that dog. Their compassion and kindness will eventually begin to shine in that adopted dog, in time.
I find the idea of banning a breed a waste of time and taxpayers' money.
I signed the online petition against the banning of pit bulls. Promoting racism of dog species will do nothing to decrease aggressive dog attacks. The irresponsible morons who own dogs and are not training them properly, or are training them to be aggressive, will just find another breed of dog to destroy.
Again, nothing that hasn't been said before and again, something that those who know nothing about dogs but are in positions of authority don't seem to be able to hear.
It is a shame really, that people are so afraid to look at themselves and acknowledge their fearful, hateful emotions.
I find it ironic that the breed of dog that people love to hate the most has the biggest lesson to teach us about ourselves as a human race . . . but only to those who are brave enough to listen.