The idea, let alone the reality, of Breed Specific Legislation should worry and anger every dog owner, regardless of what breed your dogs are.
Melvin as you all know was a lab. Labs are the #1 family dog in all the lands. Melvin was pure, unbridled joy and love. That combination did not equate to ‘good around kids’ or ‘good with other dogs’. In fact, Melvin was known as the dog who would take a child’s whole hand into his mouth to get to the cupcake they were holding. In his early days, he’d knock kids down for lollipops. People would ask me to put Melvin in a different room when they came over, because he couldn’t harness his own energy. He was not immediately #1 family dog material. It was my responsibility to put him into situations where he could shine (with adults) and to help him out in situations where his love of food could result in a child having to unwillingly share their snacks. We trained, a lot. It was my responsibility to control his environment.
Jake was the same way. When I first got Jake he would bite the ankles of anyone within reach. I had never had a dog do this and I had no idea what was going on. So again, it was my responsibility to create a world where he could not bite ankles until we could train him to leave ankles alone on his own.
Both Melvin and Jake only liked each other. Other dogs were not welcomed and Jake especially would lunge and attack if given the opportunity. Thus, outside of our yard, they were ALWAYS on leash and we avoided any and all situations with other dogs. On walks, at the vet, no matter where.
Regardless of their quirks, I would have crawled on bloody stumps to fight for their right to exist.
The idea of BSL, affects us all. The idea that a breed of dog can be targeted or destroyed, based on how it looks, by way of a vote. Today its Pit Bulls, tomorrow it might be Labs, or French Bulldogs, or ‘insert your dogs breed here’. In all its forms, it is wrong, misguided and it has proven itself ineffective.
We cannot sit back and say well it’s Canada, what can I do or I don’t have a Pit Bull, so it doesn’t affect me. If you own a dog or love a dog or generally like freedom of choice over what dog to get or have as part of your family, it affects you.
As for me, I am now the…
Doug’s DNA panel came back the same day Montreal voted to ban Pit Bulls. There was never any doubt in my mind what the test would come back as. He is American Staffordshire Terrier and English Bulldog.
Having Doug does not change my approach as a dog owner. I am dedicated to controlling the situations my dogs find themselves in and I am devoted to giving them the tools they need to succeed. Doug is currently in two training classes a week, not because he is a Pit Bull, but because he is a puppy. Puppies believe in anarchy, they need to be shown that there can be boundaries AND joy.
Please take a minute to realize that BSL could affect you one day. If that worries, saddens or angers you, please take action to help the Pit Bulls and Pitt Bull owners in Montreal (or anywhere else for that matter).
As for the winners of the guesses of what makes up Doug: Doug is 63% American Staffordshire Terrier; 25% English Bulldog (which on this test they refer to as ‘standard’); and he’s 12% something else but they cannot identify that part (I’m not really sure why but it is what it is). Since I can’t tell what the 12% is, I am going to exclude it from the guessing (otherwise everyone could win and your cut of the winnings woudl be $4!). So…we are going to say the winners are those that only guessed Am Staff and English Bulldog – and that is Wendy Shoemaker and Maila Page! IF YOU FEEL YOU GUESSED THOSE TWO (only) AND I MISSED YOU, LET ME KNOW! If you are upset about the 12% and how that affected your vote, know that I feel bad about this. I’m just not sure how else to do the voting!
For the winners, you will split the $100 Sirius Republic gift cert (currently $50 per person but if I missed any winners, this amount could change). Email us (at firstname.lastname@example.org) or private message us your email and we will get your prize out to you!
Thanks for playing along!