Positive Thoughts on a Negative Situation

By now, most of you know about last Friday’s court ruling about “pit bulls” in MD. Because of this ruling, all pit bulls are now “inherently dangerous” – no matter their behavior, personality, or actions.

I think we all felt the same way when we first heard the news: Disbelief. Heartbreak. Horror. Complete shock. Then came the confusion. What does this really mean? What are the consequences going to be? Who does this really affect? Then came the anger. The frustration. Feeling defeated and infuriated all at the same time.

After the news broke and we all spent a good deal of time letting off steam to deal with those initial feelings, the internet immediately blew up with thousands of, “What can we do??” comments.  News stations started picking up the story, and it spread like wildfire. Luckily, things began popping up that kept us busy at the very least attempting to counteract the tone that this ruling set. Station polls needed to be voted on saying NO, pit bulls are not inherently dangerous, petitions needed to be signed, and law makers needed to be contacted.

I have to admit – while this ruling is obviously one of the last things pit bull advocates would ever want, we should pause for a minute and admire what has transpired in our community this past week. Thousands of people have sprung into action, no questions asked. One of the best responses I’ve seen numerous times now is people urging pit bull type dog owners to make sure their dogs are the best dogs they can be. They’re right – this is the time we all need to step up and make sure our dogs are model canine citizens. In fact, I know many people aiming to do just that: get their dogs CGC certified.

What a remarkable way to fight back, no? Instead of kicking and screaming – like I know many of us want to do – the pit bull community is responding in a way that will speak volumes to the part of the public that knows nothing about these dogs. I’ve already seen some rescues and shelters referring to their adoptable dogs as “Pit Bull Ambassadors” in an attempt to show the public that they have faith these dogs are fit to be great members of society. The truth is we are conscious of the fact that each dog is different – some dogs are great for anyone, others have things they need help with, and some are just not ready to face the world – and responsible owners know which category their dog fits into.

It’s scary to watch the consequences of this court ruling play out. Anyone who owns, fosters, or loves a pit bull type dog is on the edge of their seat at all times waiting for something to change – good or bad. But I think we all need to realize that we’re in this together, and we’re all in it until the end. We will continue fighting the good fight and explaining to anyone who will listen why we don’t agree with this ruling, and we will do it using education, facts, and logic – not bullying, slander, or disparagement.

If you want to know more about this ruling, what is currently going on, and what can be done, check out Animal Farm Foundation’s statement, stopbsl.org’s overview, or HSUS’s call to action.

Introducing… Honey Bunches of Otis!

Hi Everyone. My name is Honey Bunches of Otis – Otis or Otie for short. Fostermama says she named me that goofy name because it’s her favorite cereal I am sweet like honey. I would agree except I don’t know what honey is.

I’m not an old dog, despite how wise I look. I’m probally between two or three years old. I’m different than a lot of the adoptable dogs you meet because the last year of my life is well known and is full of a lot of love. But despite how much love I’ve gotten, no one has really figured out what makes me happy. You see, I originally came from this place they call a “hoarder”, and I spent most of my life sheltered in a box. I was safe from everything! So when they broke me out of that place, everything was new and weird to me. Most of the time now when I see something new and weird, I just want to go hide in a box.

They call me a “scaredy cat” – but I keep trying to tell them I am a dog! I like doing doggy things like rolling around in the grass and chewing on toys and galloping through the woods. I may not be as brave as some of those other dogs, but I can wag my tail like the best of them! I’ve learned that a good way to be braver is to find a human to protect you. My humans are very important to me, and I like doing everything with them! I repay them for their protection in snuggles, kisses, and extreme tail-to-body wags.

Do I look familiar? That might be because I have been with fostermom before. Even though the first time I was with her was for a two week vacation over the summer when I transitioned on to my second forever home, she says this time I am not just on a short vacation. She says I am here until I find my REAL forever home – which I guess means the one I will get to live in for the rest of my life. That sounds like a really nice idea. Besides, I like this place for now. It’s quiet and familiar and it doesn’t have many things that scare me. I can finally relax, which is something I haven’t been able to for a long time.

It’s funny how this thing called relaxing is making me feel better already. I don’t have to worry about my big scary sister who would bounce and bark and bully me around all the time. I don’t have to be nervous about little humans running around. I can just be a dog, which is something I’m slowly remembering how to do – and it’s fun! Today fostermom took me to the creek and I remembered how much I love water!

Fostermama says I’m going to remember a lot about being a dog over the next few weeks, and that you all are going to be here with me as I improve. I think I am liking this bloggy world already. So nice to meet ya!