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Postby Siren » Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:48 am

Hi, I'm Siren. I'm a 26 year old single mom. I own a 5 year old female german shepherd/chow mix and a 2-5 year old german shepherd/sheltie mix. Among many other animals in my personal zoo, that I call home.
A little history:

I was raised to fear pit bulls. Not hate them or anything. Just never pet one. Never take one home. Etc.

When I was 16, I started volunteering at the Humane Society. Mostly with the cats, but I got dog time there too. That's where I met one of the first (and certainly not the last) pit bull, up close. She was a white female with blue eyes and pink skin. She was dumped there because she was deaf, had skin problems, and was "too much work". She appeared to have been abused and not socialized. And by that, I mean, she was scared and not aggressive. Her "skin problems" were due to her pigment. Prolong exposure to the sun caused her to burn, itch and flake. She was meant to be an indoor dog. Keep her indoors, and the problem goes away. I got to know her for that weekend and fall in love with her. I went home and told my mom all about her, but the moment I said pit bull, she didn't want to hear another word. The next weekend, she was gone. Had been put to sleep. I cried for 2 weeks over it. I still think about her often.

On a local message board recently, a friend of mine was raving about a Dogo Argentino she got and how much she loves it. I am very happy for her. But then out of the woodworks comes a pit bull hater. The three of us were spurting out statistics back and forth to fight eachother over it. It was heated, but under control. I found this board and posted the story of the pit bull saving the little girl and said sarcastically, "What an evil evil dog! He was probably just saving her to eat later!". That's when the guy made personal attacks against my friend and I. Said we were bad parents because we would allow pit bulls near our children. Told my friend's husband to please get a pit bull so that it can kill his children pretty much. I know he didn't mean it to look that way, but all the time the guy said pit bulls kill kids, kids, kids. All kids. He said he meant for the pit bull to attack the father (yeah, THAT makes it better, fatherless children are better off, I guess). I am SURE many of you have been there and seen the same arguments.
Then the guy said that I would change my tune if a pit bull mauled my daughter. I told him, frankly, I wouldn't. I've been bitten by dogs, cats, and several other animals wild and tame. I don't hate them. And if my daughter was mauled by any pet, I'd hate the owners before I'd hate the animal. I'd take pity on the animal that it got stuck with idiots. I mean, afterall, if a drunk driver hits you, do you blame the car he's driving? No, you blame the one who is SUPPOST to be in control. Well the guy took that as abuse and neglect on my daughter and that I was endangering her life. It just really angered me when he accused me of being a bad parent because I LIKE a dog that I don't even own.

So there's my pit bull story, or the extent of it.

I don't PLAN to adopt a pit bull. I didn't plan to adopt my other two dogs. I didn't say when I went to adopt, "I WANT a german shepherd/chow mix". I said, "I want a dog that is good with kids, other dogs, cats, and is housebroken.". I even looked at a few pit bulls, but ultimatly chose Myan because she was dumped twice already and was going to be put down.
Willow, the other dog, found us. We had NO choice in the matter.
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Postby dog nanny » Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:41 am

Hi! You made some interesting points. I've only been bitten deliberately once (a Wheaten Terrier) and I wasn't angry or upset at all. I was sad that he felt like he had to do it. I feel bad for people who need stitches or get scarred, (or in extremely rare cases get killed), but life will leave most of us scarred in one way or another, and most of us survive it. Allowing your children to grow up without fearing dogs in general or pit bulls in particular is one of the best things you can do for them, and far from abuse or neglect. I'm glad you have overcome your avoidance of pit bulls, because they are great dogs! :thumbsup:
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Postby sahara311 » Thu Mar 17, 2005 2:13 am

When I was in kindergarten, I went to a birthday party, they had a litter of Rottie pups, while we were playing with the puppies, one of them tore my lip wide open... from my nose to my lip.... I still have a scar 20 years later. Do I hate Rotts? Hell, no, I even owned one. This stereotype is pathetic, but evident nonetheless.... but I am glad that we can add one more advocate to our ranks, welcome to the board, Siren. :))
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Postby tjbsandy » Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:17 am

Welcome to the board!
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Postby Siren » Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:18 am

As they say, "don't hate the breed, hate the deed". ALL dogs learn from us. Not just pit bulls. ALL dogs can be aggressive, depending on how they are raised and their situation.

My dog Myan was dumped twice at the shelter. First by her previous owners because she was just "too much to handle". Second by her foster family because she snapped at their son. But they also admitted their son was tormenting Myan.
I looked beyond all this. When I first met her, she was a bit obnoxious. Just barking stupidly, but I see my surroundings. I just took her out of a kennel she had been cooped up in all day. There are dogs in kennels all over, barking. She was excited.
I took her to my van and she jumped in and laid down, like she's been in that van for years. Got her home and after about a hour of just searching the house and seeing all the new things, she was a lump. She is just a big lump. She barks when people come in, but is friendly to everyone, friends and strangers alike.
One day I saw my cousin (who I can't stand), poking Myan in the face, I told her to knock it off or she'll get bit. Sure enough, Myan snapped at her. But it wasn't anything. I saw it all. She mouthed her hand and then walked away. No growl, no bark, no blood. Myan has a lot of restraint.
One thing I noticed at first, she was dog aggressive. She doesn't try and kill them, she is just a big bully. After months of training and socializing, she is much better. She'll try and bully sometimes, but if the other dog bullies back, she gets all submissive. As I said, bully. All talk, no action. But I do wonder if she could have been a bad dog in the wrong hands. She's defended my daughter, my home, and myself before.
A great example on the whole, "I won't hate the breed, no matter what.". I took Myan and my daughter for a walk around the block. Myan was on a 6ft leash, my daughter in a stroller. As we passed by a house, I saw a big black pit bull in a yard by itself and it did not appear to be leashed. Knowing Myan can be obnoxious and bark at other dogs, I didn't want her starting something. So I got her to heel on the opposite side and she didn't notice. Out of the corner of my eye as we walked by, I saw the dog rise. I continued to pretend I was ignoring it. And then I saw it charging. I put my daughter behind me and turned around to face it. Figuring this was it. Either Myan or I were going to be hurt. Or both. I didn't even want to consider what would happen to my daughter. Myan at that point saw the dog and started being aggressive back as it was coming at us. I started screaming, "The dog is attacking me! Call 911!", but screaming it AT the dog. I had heard facing down an attacking dog is much more likely to save you then running from it. It got withing 3 feet of us and stopped. Seeming to reconsider the situation and looking Myan and I up and down. Perhaps it was a bluff charge, I'll never know, but the dog walked away and then the owner called it inside. And then I proceeded to scream every 4-letter word at the guy about what a terrible dog owner he is. I got home and called animal control to have a talk with the guy. I'm good friends with the officers. That day, they had a new officer I never met. He talked to the owner and then came to talk with me. And tried to imply that I have a thing against pit bulls. He told me it wasn't a pit bull, it was a lab mix. He must have missed the huge yellow sign on the fence that said "Pit Bull on Guard". But okayfine, so I replied, "I don't care if it was a pit bull, a lab, or a freakin chihuahua. The dog was offleash and charged at my daughter, my dog and I. It's not the breed I am worried about, it's the fact that an aggressive dog is off leash down the street from me."
They moved out a week later. And a few doors down, another pit bull just moved in. Sweetheart of a dog too. I love her. Big coward is what she is though.
Another time, someone tried to break into the house and Myan was ready to attack them and stopped them from breaking through my daughter's window.

And I'll tell you, my two big dogs are MUCH easier to handle then the little ones. If I tell my dogs to lay down or go to their house, they do. While my grandmother's chihuahua, who also lives with me is a Hell Hound. The household is one big doggie experiment. Myan and Willow both had a tough early life. But with love and training, they are AWESOME dogs. Now my grandmother's chihuahua, Bambi, never had training and is spoiled to the core. To the point that he is one mean bastard. For instance, my grandmother had this knack of thinking she was "calming him down". When Bambi bit someone, she would give him a treat, to "calm him down". And guess what? He's bitten everyone in this house. After a huge, and long explantion that she was training her dog to attack by rewarding him and that HE doesn't see that as a calming aide, she knocked it off. But after 10 years of doing it, it hasn't stopped him. Myan and Willow have NEVER bit my daughter or I. But Bambi has bit her twice and me...more times then I can count.

And one last story, for now...I got a million of them ;)....My sister went to the E.R. one night and saw a girl there with her hand wrapped in a red towel...but with a closer look, it was a white towel covered in blood. They rushed her inside, and then a few moments later, a girl comes running inside the E.R. with a ziplock baggie. Inside the bag was ice and a severed finger. A little while later, my sister saw the family again and they all started talking together. Come to find out...The girl owns a chihuahua and a doberman. The two dogs got into a fight. She feared for the chihuahua's safetly and tried to break it up. But instead, she had her finger clean bitten off......Guess which dog bit off her finger?.......The chihuahua!! After 6 years of working in a grooming shop and 10 in an animal shelter, I've learned it's the little dogs who have the steel-jaw traps.
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Postby Boo439 » Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:21 am

Welcome to the board. I love your name!! :)
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Postby cleokarrot » Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:59 am

Welcome!
Great stories!
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Postby Pitt-terra » Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:06 pm

:hi
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Postby mypitmika » Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:19 pm

Welcome to the board :hi
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