Monday, May 17, 2010

Daily Walk: Positive Pitbull Recognition

I've realized that I've been writing a lot about the frustrations of having a stereotyped breed of dog, and I haven't been focusing as much on the daily affirmations we've been getting during our walks. Maybe it's because we live in a more diverse neighborhood. Or maybe people's perceptions of pitties really are changing. On the average walk, many people will tell us what beautiful dogs we have. They will also stop us to pet or talk about our dogs, and whole tables in the outdoor seating area will crane their necks to check out the pooches. You would think we were walking goats the way the people in the outdoor dining areas stop and stare.I decided to keep track and this is what happened on one of our hour-long walks just this weekend:
Two passing cars yelled to us about having "beautiful dogs"
Four passing people told us we had "beautiful dogs"
We were stopped twice by people asking what types of dogs they were.
A child asked if she could pet them and the pooches proceeded to give her kisses.
We heard 3 different people refer to them as "twins".
A man stopped us to start a conversation about his 6 year-old pitbull.
Another man stopped us to tell us how he had a dog that looked like Mr. B, he ran back to his car and produced a puppy mini-Mr. B.
Mr. B was referred to as a "monster" and a "beast", but I think the people that said it actually meant that as a complement.
Three different times people did some type of gasping in fear and running out of our way.
And fortunately, today, no one tried to buy them or solicit an "indecent proposal".
I realized while we did have some negativity, we had so many more positive interactions. It's nice to see such a positive response to our pitties.
I'm just not sure if this response is because of the area we live in, or if the overall perception of pitbulls is more positive. What does everyone think?

14 comments:

mayziegal said...

Well, of COURSE they told you that you had beautiful dogs. Cuz you do! And of course, when you own such beautiful dogs, of course there's always gonna be peoples who are gonna say and do things cuz they're jealous and stuff. But I likes very much that you kept track of all the good things people said cuz I thinks it helps to focus on the pawsitive.

I thinks we're pretty lucky where we live cuz it's very much different from that Denver place up the street. We've got some jealous people here, too, but there's lotsa times peoples wanna pet me before they wanna pet Brudder Ranger (which kinda makes HIM jealous...haha!).

My mom says to say thank you for the very nice comment you left on her postie yesterday. She said she hopes the "tide really is turning" and that maybe if we all just keep doing what we're doing, maybe peoples won't be so jealous anymore one day.

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Muchadoaboutnothing said...

I think people tend to respond more positively, regardless of what breed they think the dog is, if the dog is well behaved. Of course, good looks don't hurt either and Mr. B and Miss M are quite gorgeous!

Mack said...

They are exceptionally beautiful creatures. Like me!

Sugars,
Mack

Mack and Mia said...

I'm not sure if its related to the area. I think as long as we educate one person, and then they in turn educate another one, then soon EVERYONE will be educated. We can only hope for something so great!

We think they are both very very adorable and sweet and we wants to give them big smoochies on their big ol' heads!

MUAH!

Wags and Woofs,
Mack and mia

Dory and the Mama said...

I am going to go with the glass half full and HOPE that people are seeing them as beautiful, good, well behaved dogs with out any negativity because of their breed.

I hope so anyway :-)

Rescued Pittie Family said...

Now that Greighson and Haleigh have gotten used to our new neighborhood and have stopped announcing their arrival to everyone they meet things go much better.
We take ours out for car rides a lot and I have found that Greighson is a magnet for old rich men.
I have had little old men in Mercedes and Porches pull up and tell me how pretty he was while his big, 'ol goofy head is hanging out the window.
I don't get it.
I think Greighson looks like a total goofball but everyone we "meet" tells us how pretty he is.
I think Haleigh Anne is the pretty one but no one pays much attention to her.
Maybe it's because she seems to annoyed to be drug out of her little dog house and off her "throne" (aka the living room couch).
We were worried how it would go over in our neighborhood with us moving in with 3 pitties. One of our neighbors was a little snippy but actually apologized and now is fine with our dogs - he actually lets his daughter play with LuLu so I know we're making progress.

The funny thing is we got more negativity when the kids were little.
Now that they're adults we have not head anything "bad" about them.

I think a lot has to do with the humans they're attached to.
If you present yourself as a law-abiding, respectalbe member of the communtiy you probably would be just fine even if you were walking goats around.
I look at the person before the dog because that's going to be the true indicator of the dog's personality and temperment.
So you must be pretty good people!

Mary said...

I try to focus on the positive comments too. I have often thought about writing down all the comments we hear about Levi and saving them for posterity, or a multi-million dollar book deal. But I'm too lazy for that. You have to admit, it never gets old hearing how gorgeous your dogs are, does it?

Luci's Mama said...

I love it when people stop Luci & I for pets and smooches...it really makes my day :) That's why I stop and do the same to other pibbles and their owners!

Benny and Lily said...

aaahhhh bet you guys are loving those compliments and the attention. Hope you had a nice walk
Benny & Lily

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

I'd like to think that people are becoming more open minded about the breed. I'm not 100% convinced this is the case... but I'd like to think it :)

Since having dogs I have realized this: Most people can't tell the difference between one breed and the next.

Also: Most people would like to think that they are experts on breeds.

I'm not exactly sure how these 2 ideas inter-mesh, but there is something in there. Overall I think people are underinformed about the breed, but as pooch purchases become more savvy as to the importance of adopting, pitbulls are being invited into more and more responsible homes.

Maybe as time goes on there are more excellent ambassadors for the breed? So, even if most people can't tell the difference between a pittie and a boxer, most people *do* love dogs. So, when they see a "big tough" well behaved pitbull the dog lover in them sighs and can't help but appreciate the "beast" trotting down the street.

Maybe people are unwittingly becoming fans of pitbulls because more pitbulls have good owners and therefore more pitbulls are good dogs. That works for me. We can hit "society" over the head with "knock it off with the close minded crap" later :)

dw said...

Well, I'm kinda biased here, but they sure are cute pups. I sure wouldn't cross the street to avoid them!

houndstooth said...

Well, they ARE beautiful dogs! No wonder people stop you and comment!

I feel like there's a bit of backlash now from BSL where people realize how wrong that is. I can see different reasons for it, but whatever it is, I see more and more people willing to speak up and say they don't think it's right.

mastertealc said...

Hiya - Tealc's mum here...

I would love to think that peoples opinion changes but unfortunately I don't think it is the case :( It is all about the area you life in and the education of the people around you... Where we live people LOVE Teal'c but 2 suburbs down the road it looks differently. And it is, as we all know and can't change, due to stupid people owning the breed, criminals using them to look even tougher and the media that makes sure every attack they write about was by a Pitbull or Pitbull cross. :( AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY!
Sorry for the negative input here but I'm living in Sydney while my husband spends most of the year in Singapore and you know why?! Because every breed is allowed in Singapore but nothing that has any terrier in it... Ahhhggggrrrrrrrrrrrrr... Ok, back to work!

Sue said...

Springfield recently enacted Pitbull legislation making it difficult and expensive to own them. My vet vowed that if it went into effect he would change all his records to make every Pitty patient a Boxer.

It did go into effect, but I have not seen anyone following the restrictions and we have met some of the sweetest Pitties lately being great ambassadors for the breed.

We get lots of recognition now since PWDs have become more recognizable. People ask if they are Obama dogs.

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