The cable guy was here when I came back from Target (new sneakers for Kate, Oxi-Clean, 10 notebooks for a buck). He was on a ladder at the pole, which looked promising. I came in, and Spriggy was doing the usual jaunty room-to-room trot he does when we have company (company who isn’t eating, that is; for them he sits adoringly at their feet).
“The cable guy likes Spriggy,” Alan said. “He has two Jack Russells.”
When he came back into the house, he told us the story of his pair of terrierists — how the female bosses the male mercilessly, but he defends her like a lion against all intruders. He also has two pit bulls, and the Russells are the bosses of them, too. They like to tease the bigger dogs, taunting them from inches beyond the limit of the chain the pits are kept on.
Then he told us about the time the male Russell was digging a hole in the yard. He moved him to a kennel and covered the hole with an old car wheel. The dog did what any self-respecting Russell would do — tunneled out of the kennel and returned to the hole, where he got his head stuck in the wheel.
“We had to take him to the vet, and there was a crew from ‘Animal Cops’ there. They came out with their minicams, shooting the whole thing, and then they came back a month later to see how he was doing.”
“How did they get his head out?” Alan asked.
“Put him to sleep and greased him up with mineral oil, and it slid right out, because he was relaxed,” he said. “That dog got me seen all over the world.”
“Wow,” I said. “That’s a good story. Is the cable working now?”
“No,” he said. “This is a case for the line tech guys. It’ll be a couple more days at least.”
mary said on July 27, 2005 at 1:02 pm
I find that whole pit bull vs. Jack Russel thing disturbing. Why have chained up pit bulls? Why let the other dogs taunt them? I’m assuming that Jack Russels, being terriers, don’t shrink from a fight, no matter how uneven it is. Someday a pit bull is going to be off the chain and things could get really ugly.
Carmella said on July 27, 2005 at 3:20 pm
Why are pit bulls still legal?
mary said on July 27, 2005 at 8:50 pm
I had a terrier mix with some pit bull in her. She probably weighed about 30 pounds, and was a really sweet dog with people. Let some other dog show an interest in fighting, though, and she was all over them. She always lost, too. She was a tunneler, and if she got out of the yard, I always had to hope I found her before she ran into some dog who felt territorial. One time she came home just shredded. She looked like Frankendog when the vet was finished sewing her various flaps of skin back together. It wasn’t as if her previous owner had trained her to fight, either. We found her and her littermates dumped in a vacant lot, barely alive and too young to be away from them mother. She also had the need to kill any sort of vermin she could catch. Skunks, possums, etc. She didn’t just get sprayed by skunks, she finished them off.
alex said on July 28, 2005 at 1:43 am
My dobe’s a killer�and a big pussy�because she was neglected. Formerly owned by an ice queen, widow of a doctor who wanted a guard dog, couldn’t take her with when she sold off her 50-acre spread to move into a condo. (Or I should say didn’t want to. White carpet and bad taste, you know.) This dog’s been living on squirrel and rabbit and cat for five years and has had more contact with those than with humans. And now I’m stuck with her neuroses.
chris said on July 28, 2005 at 7:52 pm
The reason pit bulls are legal, CARMELLA, is because they are great dogs. It is the a-holes of the world who chain them up, teach them to be guard dogs, and treat them cruelly, who are responsible for the truly aggressive dogs. Get a life, CARMELLA, and stop worrying about pit bulls.
brian stouder said on July 28, 2005 at 9:55 pm
“Get a life, CARMELLA, and stop worrying about pit bulls.”
Sorry Chris – you make an interesting point, but I’m with Carmella 100%.
You argument is a sort of paraphrase of the old saw that “Guns don’t kill people – PEOPLE kill people”…. which is true enough, but that doesn’t address all the “a-hole” people who have guns that are exponentially more dangerous exactly because of the unsteady hands (and minds) that own them.
I have often seen large, muscular dogs practically dragging their ‘master’ along on walks (usually a kiddo who has no business with such an animal) – and on at least two occasions I have had to put myself between my children and the overly-enthusiatic, inadequately-controlled animal.
Indeed – it should NOT be that way – but often times when irresponsible people push things too far, then laws get passed which annoy responsible people.
it’s too bad, really – but there you are, eh?
alex said on July 28, 2005 at 10:43 pm
I agree about fifty percent. Call me wishy.
Breeding’s part of it, for sure. Anything with the tiniest amount of terrier DNA is going to be high-strung, and that includes most pit bulls, which is typically a bull terrier octroon or further dilution. Same deal with dobes. They’re a late-19th-century hodgepodge of Weimaraner, Rottweiler, Shepherd and–you guessed it–terrier. Amazing how mine digs the earth for rodents, jaws like a steamshovel.
But how they’re treated makes plenty of difference. How they’re stereotyped makes even more, perhaps. Like humans, they’re merciless on anyone who gives off fear-omones.
Carmella said on July 29, 2005 at 7:03 am
Well, I’m just wondering how many children and little old ladies have to get mauled before the dogs are outlawed. I’ve read a lot of articles on THAT, but I’ve not read a lot of articles on how Pit Bulls are ‘great dogs’. Just sayin’.
chris said on August 1, 2005 at 8:24 pm
During the early part of the last century, pit bulls (really a misnomer since there is no breed called a �pit bull�) were very popular in this country as companions. (Go on ebay sometime and search �pit bull photo.� You�ll see lots of turn of the century photos � kids and pit bulls – where clearly the dog was a beloved part of the family.) Their popularity became their downfall. The strong build and impressive looks of these dogs have made them popular status symbols with the wrong type of owners: predominately under or uneducated males, who use these beautiful dogs not only as status symbols, but train them to become weapons. Pitbulls are often misused, abused and neglected. They are a very misunderstood breed.
Brian says, �Laws get passed which annoy responsible people.� Precisely. Laws that fail to target the problem: bad dog owners.
I have been around dogs all my life. I have been bitten twice. Once, 40 years ago, by a Collie. Result: no harm (and my parents didn�t even call for �death to all Collies�!). Recently, in my work with rescued dogs, I was bitten by an aggressive little mix-breed mutt, under 20 pounds. Result: 18 stitches in my face. My encounters with pit bulls: lots of slobbering dog kisses.
Any breed has the capability of hurting or killing, not just the �pit bull.� (Most rescue centers I know will NOT place a small dog with a family with children because they know that, more often than not, the child is a danger to the dog and not vice-versa.)
I�m reminded about a story I read recently about a (human) kid, around age 7, who admited smothering his new baby sister to death because the new baby got all the attention and he was jealous. I haven’t yet heard a call for the preemptive �offing� of nasty 7-year-olds. Although . . .
Carmella�s (Sopranos infatuation?) uneducated comments are just not worth responding to � JUST SAYIN�.
Aarion said on August 26, 2005 at 4:36 pm
I agree with Chris… Pitt bulls are underated and overblown breed of dogs. and the saying of guns don’t kill people, people kill people is true, in my opinion. it all depends on how they are raised. if they are raised to fight and that is all they know, then that is what they will do.
I totally disagree with any animals “pitted” against each other. be it pitt bulls, chickens or any other animal. it is animal cruelty and that is what needs outlawed not the dogs themselves.
My brother-in-law has 2 pittbulls one male and one female. both are big babies. the male weighs in around 100 lbs and the female is about 70 lbs.
I myself have a little mix breed mutt that weighs about 35lbs, and he thinks he weighs about 150lbs. when people see my brother-in-laws male pitt next to my mix breed mutt. they always are scared of the pitt and want to pet my mutt. well that is always a bad idea, cause my little “mutt” will attack if he doesn’t know you, if you are in his space and no-one is around it is always best to stay out of his reach. he wasn’t raised that way, we have had him since 4 weeks old. it is just his nature. he minds well, and once you are inside and knows that the person is ok, he will relax and be their friend. but back to the pittbull issue. the Pitt is very laid back and the only thing you have to worry about him is getting slapped with his tail. or possibly him getting under foot and tripping you. but as far as biting he has never once in the 5 years of his life has ever attempted to bite any human. now if a strange dog comes into his territory, yard(like most animals will protect what is theirs) will run off the dog, if he feels threatened by its presence.
growing up my grandmother had a chiwawwa and that little bastard would try and bite me every time I would go to her house.
I read somewhere, that there are more bites from small dogs in the world than pittbull bites. just that you don’t hear about the small dogs cause most of them do very little damage.
what about the german shepards? the rottwillers? the dobermans? the bull mastives? the bulldogs? the collie? the chows? they are all bigger, agressive (when provoked) dogs. they can kill a person just as easy as a pittbull? should they be outlawed as well?
all dog breeds no matter what size, have been known to bite. most will let you know, (by growling)”hey, back up you are in my space a little too much”
if this is the case heed the warning. and back-up off of it. never show fear, cause they sense that. common sense around any animal is just that. common sense