Monday, November 19, 2012

SociaBulls: On why we keep our walking locations secret

 Some people have been wondering why we create such secrecy about our scheduled walking times and locations:
We know a lot of people have strong opinions based on misinformation about pitbull-type dogs, even if they have never met a pitbull in real life,  We love that a 'side-effect' of our walk is that people do actually get to see our pitbull-type dogs walking in a group together with a variety of other dogs in
all sizes:
At the same time, back when the Chicago Tribune joined us on one of our walks, and wrote this fantastic article raising positive pitbull awareness, we still had some 'Internet Trolls' writing negative things about pitbulls in the comments section.
One person even went so far as to threaten bodily harm on our dogs had he known we were 'descending on his neighborhood'.
We know a lot of people can hide behind computers making these types of negative comments, and I'm sure they would never say anything like this if they actually met us in real life.
But...we also know some people are crazy.
 So we never divulge the details of our walks on the Internet. Even if you can pick out certain Chicago landmarks, people still won't know the day, time, or rotation.
We also love that the people who do see our group walking are always pleasantly surprised. We get so many comments about our beautiful dogs, cars stopping and waving, and just a generally friendly reception (we even wrote about it here.) We have never heard any negative comments (except for one woman with an off-leash dog who was offended when we asked is she could please hold her dog and not approach the group).
 To learn more about our group, join our Chicago SociaBulls Facebook page for more photos and updates. And check out the Hikabulls page where we first learned about the benefits of group walking.

You can also read about all the different types of dogs who walk with our group and why they walk: Honor (The Gift of Learning to Relax), Maria (Not Letting Age be a Limitation)Sophie (Finding a Safe Place and Building Confidence), Torre (From Learning about Pitbulls to Developing an Ambassadog),  Estelle (Waiting to Be Noticed)Franklin (A Small Dog in a Big Dog Group)Gordon (Learning to Be Social and Have Dog Friends),  Nabi (A Shy Dog Making Sense of a "People World") Sprocket (Teaching a Dog When it's not Time to Play), Lola (Living in the City with a Dog who Fears Strangers),  Zoe (The Dog who "Loves Too Hard"),  Izzy (Being a good pitbull ambassador while working with an energetic dog) and Maize (Being social with an unsocial pup).


girlpolice51 said...

Just wanted to say you guys are really some of the best ambassadors for these wonderful dogs! So logical and well thought out about their public explorations into the world. No wonder Miss M and Mr B are loved by so many who've never actually even gotten the lucky opportunity to pet their sweet faces! They're mom and dad have done their best for them! thank you on behalf of all us bully owners.

kasia077 said...

You're welcome to descend on my neighborhood, I could descend on all the dogs with hugs and belly rubs!

Anonymous said...

You guys are doing GREAT things! I applaud your forethought and focus on the dogs and generating good will!
Good for you! I took Petey to get shots yesterday at Petco. A nice lady petted him and was quite shocked to find out he was a P B. I pointed out that the sweet puppy ahead of us in line was one also!

Trissi_V said...

I guess I was naive, I thought you kept it a secret to keep the puparazzi away.

It makes me sad to think that people are so ignorant and filled with hate to threaten your walking group. :-(

You do a great thing by having this group and a great job of keeping them safe. Keep up the good work. :-)

Laura and Hans said...

What a shame. I've been going to a dog park for over a year and we have a lot of pittie and pittie mixes there. So far I don't believe one of them has caused a problem but I certainly can't say the same thing for Poodles!! Wilbur refers to them as 'puffy heads' (within the safety of our home)!

Crystal K. said...

Knock on wood, so far we haven't felt the need to be too secretive about our KC Pittie Pack walks. We just ask everyone to RSVP on Meetup first, so that we know who and how many to expect. We walk in some pretty hoity toity neighborhoods and haven't had an issue with people's reactions. Then again, most of our regular walkers tend to be non-bully breed dogs.

How Sam Sees It said...

Yikes! How scary!


dw said...

Sounds like keeping the information off the Internet is a good thing! There are so many good dog people out there and so many non dog owning dog lovers -my puppy and I have run across many on walks through the neighborhood - but there are people who want to do harm just because. Sad, but I think you're doing the right thing.

caitlin said...

Some people are just crazy! Glad you don't let them get to you!

Anonymous said...

That is really smart! I've never thought about keeping locations secret for our safety. We only really announce our locations on Meetup and on our Facebook page, so it's kinda secret! ;)

Rebecca said...

I completely agree with the other commenters. Reading your blog was a huge factor in my decision to adopt a pit bull (Eleanor, formerly Paige from Bully Project in NYC). You are such fantastic advocates for the breed and so thoughtful in your approach to caring for Mr. B and Miss M and managing their positive interactions with the community. I don't comment on blogs often, but please know that I read your blog with absolute joy every single day. Hugs to the pooches and to you! Rebecca and Eleanor

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