Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I've had to face facts

This is supposed to be about Random Thoughts and other writing practice. Well, since Callie is the focus of my attention, she gets to be my random thoughts and writing practice.

Yesterday I wrote about the difference between my dog and Gertie. Night and day. Jim told me that Gertie is never on a leash...she doesn't have to be. He reminded me that Callie is exactly as Ollie was when Ollie was a puppy (Ollie is a Springer/Lab mix). I've had LOTS of people say Callie has Pit Bull in her. I've had LOTS of other people say she doesn't. We will never know for sure. So I've decided to look at the dog. You'd think I'd have been looking at her all along with all the pictures I've taken. :-) I can say that she has some Pit looking qualities. Her ears, her nose, her tail, especially her eyes. I was looking at some pictures of Pit Bull puppies on the web to see if I could see a similarity. It's in the eyes. I saw Callie in most every picture I looked at. Her ears are little different, her nose is a little different, her expression is different, but her eyes are most decidedly Pit. This is not a bad thing. In researching the Pit Bull breed, I learned a lot about a dog I've been mostly leery of, simply because of their reputation. Callie is also a bit of Lab. She has webbed feet, swims, fetches and uses her tail as a rudder, so she's got the Lab in her. I believe this makes a good combination for the type of pet I want.

Here's what I found out about Pits:

The American Pit Bull Terrier has a strong pleasure to please (I have found this to be very true of Callie, she is attentive and responsive, especially when I have a hot dog in my hand :-)).

The APBT has evoked more human emotional, rational, and irrational response than any other breed that exists today. By no means are these dogs people-haters or people-eaters. Their natural aggressive tendencies are toward other dogs and animals, not people. However if they are properly socialized they will not even be aggressive with them. (Callie has shown absolutely no aggression towards other animals, though she wants to play with Abbie and can be rough. She loves other dogs and visited with a cat in the park yesterday. I hope she stays social).

These are truly quality companions for quality owners only! The American Pit Bull Terrier is a good-natured, amusing (my girl is definitely a clown), extremely loyal and affectionate family pet, which is good with children and adults. Almost always obedient (the almost is when I forget the hot dog), it is always eager to please its master.

It is an extremely courageous and intelligent guard dog that is very full of vitality. Highly protective of his owners and the owner's property, it will fight an enemy to the death. It is usually very friendly, but has an uncanny ability to know when it needs to protect and when everything is okay. (I'm always surprised by a dogs intuitiveness, and Callie is not exception, she is simply with the program and just knows...)

The American Pit Bull Terrier can be willful and needs a firm hand (I told Jim that Callie is passive-aggressive. I find myself doing things I don't want to do because she very cunningly manipulates me into them. I see her laughing in her eyes...Gottcha!). They are generally okay with other pets if they are raised with them from puppy hood.

For the most part they are very friendly, but not recommended for most people. (Living in New Mexico was hard enough on me, but seeing Pit Bulls on chains made me that much more leery of them. They were aggressive and mean and just scary. I wasn't fond of many of the people where I lived anyway, they did nothing to assuage my thoughts that they are not good people by how they treated their dogs. There is only one I met who I thought was a great Pit, Red Rhino. He's a pretty dog, well behaved and gentle as can be. He has a good attentive owner).

Excellent with children in the family, they have a high pain tolerance and will happily put up with rough child play. As with any breed, they should not be left alone with unfamiliar children.

A minimum of training will produce a tranquil, obedient dog (Callie is lightening quick in learning a new command. I have never had to be rough with her or horribly firm. Again, the hot dog is strong motivation). Socialize very thoroughly when young to combat aggressive tendencies and be sure to keep the dog under control when other dogs are present. It has given outstanding results as a guardian of property, but is at the same time esteemed as a companion dog. When properly trained and socialized, this is a very good dog and a great family companion. Unfortunately, some choose to promote the fighting instinct in the breed, giving it a bad name.

Accompanying this need to please are remarkable abilities of all kinds. Jack Dempsy, Teddy Roosevelt and Jack Johnson are just a few people who have owned Pit Bulls.

Pit Bulls excel in practically every canine task including herding, guarding, hunting, policing, cart pulling and ratting. A Pit Bull, named Banddog Dread, holds more canine working titles than ANY other breed. The owner's name is Diane Jessup and you can reference her book, "The Working Pit Bull." It tells you all of Dread's accomplishments. These dogs are truly capable of many tasks. (There was a Pit I read about named Popsicle who holds the record for the largest drug bust in Texas because of his sniffing abilities).

All in all, I'm not leery of Callie, she is affectionate, playful, obedient for the most part, and she is smart. Dr. Hoest told me that Pits are SMART. Research I've read supports that. And Callie proves it, she is one the smartest dogs I've ever met. With the program, alert, attentive and an overall really neat dog. If I ever see that inbred redneck that dropped her at Burger King, I'll thank him before I kick him in the nuts for kicking her. He made me a lucky girl.

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