Bawse is an American Pitbull Terrier. At 16 weeks old, he’s 24 lbs of solid muscle and excess wrinkly skin. He loves his mama and his papa. He knows our pack. He follows our pack. Sometimes he gets distracted, like all small children, but he can behave, is smart, sweet and stubborn. He’s a puppy. He didn’t choose to be born, he didn’t choose to be born a pitbull, but we CHOSE to give him a good home, love, and training.
Bawse goes to puppy school. He goes to puppy day care. He goes to the dog park. He’s socialized with other dogs, small animals, small people, and big people. He knows when to play rough and when to be gentle. Yet despite all this. People judge him by his looks.
“Is that a pitbull?” says a woman rudely, as she hogs two tables outside a local froyo place. “Yes.” I say. She scoffs, and returns to stuffing her face with her large bowl of froyo. I was going to ask if I could sit at her table with her, but I decide against it since she gave off such a stank attitude. I walk Bawse over to the side. Ask him to sit, and wait patiently while daddy gets us froyo.
The stank faced lady’s kids asked her if they could go pet my puppy, and she promptly responds,” NO. It’s a pitbull”. The kids, having no idea what different breeds were, and just saw a small puppy asked, “WHAT’S A PIG BULL?”. The lady just says no, and tells her kids something along the lines of bad dog, or bite you. I only half listened because I was so frustrated and holding back anger.
HOW DARE SHE ASSUME my puppy was bad, or vicious? Does she also assume that I am a no good hoodlum because I am covered in tattoos? I get it. People will always judge. Be the bigger person. Blah Blah, I understand. She doesn’t know how sweet my little guy is. She doesn’t know him. Fear of the unknown is understandable. But why did I get so mad? I see breed discrimination, the same as racism. Small dogs can be vicious, and aggressive (AND they pick fights with Bawse at the dog park) yet no one gives a shit because they are small and people aren’t intimidated. If a rumble goes down at the dog park, and Bawse is anywhere near it, close minded, snotty owners will automatically assume its him. I prefer him to play with his great dane buddies who actually rescue him from the wanna be badasses like the westies that wanna dominate him because he’s young.
Pitbulls get a bad rep. I know this. I didn’t actually think I would face it in my lifetime with Bawse. My friends, and family, all have pitbulls or love pitbulls and I surround myself with open minded people. This lady is not my friend, nor do I know her personally. But she’s raising her kids to be judgmental and presumptuous. Good luck to them, and their future with a mom like that.
I hope that I am making the right choices in training and socializing him. Maybe people will meet him, and realize, that just like human children, it’s all about how you raise them.