Friday, September 30, 2005

Promoting our dogs

On Sunday, the Lions Foundation of Canada is putting on the Purina Walk For Dog Guides. Shasta and I have sponsors and are walking, as it invites people of all ages and friendly dogs on leashes to attend. Matter of fact, there are several of us, that I know of bringing their pitties. It's definitely a great cause, but also a good time to show the public that our dogs are not like those they have stereo-typed in their minds due to the bad press.
It seems in all I do, I do for the right reasons, but also with an alterior motive, which is promoting a positive image with Shasta, to show that the pit bulls you hear about in the media, are NOT owned by responsible owners. The more we get the word out and people see with their own eyes, the better hope we have of repairing the nasty reputations of the pit bull breeds. An aweful lot of people need to see proof with their own eyes, rather than listening to responsible owners talk. I know Shasta will live up to her natural self and draw positive attention to herself as she always does. She just has that type of personality that warms her Mommy's heart and melts the hearts of strangers. Often I wonder, why am I so lucky to have gotten such a sweetheart like her?!
The bonus part of participating in this walk is that I will be able to talk to people that train the dogs for the disabled and the hearing and visually impaired. It's as if this walk came right at the right time as these are the questions I have been seeking questions to, having Shasta certified as my Service dog. It's like everything that is happening is coming together all at the same time. I don't know what it takes to qualify, nor if Shasta and I can even get that certification, but hopefully we will. I don't want to get too excited and then be distraught if things don't work out, just like with the St. Johns Ambulance Therapy Dog Program once Bill 132 was first announced and we were told no Pit bulls allowed in the program anymore. That was heart breaking as I really wanted to share the gift Shasta had brought to me with the seniors and sick kids.
You may have remembered me posting a blog way back about me being asked by my property manager to bring Shasta to the office more frequently as she had a big fear of dogs and was hoping to face her fears. While the media was rip roaring with Pit bull attacks, St. Johns telling me no more Pit bulls and how ironic it was for someone with a fear of dogs to approach me asking me to bring in Shasta. But, it all paid off as now she thinks nothing of coming towards Shasta to give her, her pats and yesterday she was all excited telling me she got herself a little puppy. What a HUGE accomplishment!!!
Shasta has eliminated to many people the fear of Pit bulls. Through her and me talking and educating people, many are realising that it isn't bad dogs that are the problem, but bad owners. I tell them that Shasta, although very special to me, is very typical of the pittie breeds. They will go out of their way to be lovable, comical and definitely loyal just to be praised for their behaviour and knowing they are pleasing you. Their greatest reward is having your love returned to them, and that's what people need to see to realise that the true nature of the pittie breeds is to feel loved. A loved dog does not promote fear.
As responsible owners, we need to educate the public as often as possible and if we all work together, eventually we can break the stigmatism attatched to our dogs.


Amstaffie said...

Wow, that's cool. I love it when we can take out pitties in public to show that they're not all bad and help educate others that it's not every pit that's mean. Plus it's for a good cause.

Unfortunately today at the Dogtoberfest, there were a couple of pitties, but one pit attacked 2 dogs (a wiener dog & a jack russell). Can you believe that? Had it been my dog, the first attack, I would have taken him out of there, partly because I would have been embarrassed and secondly, that's a no no. And of course the other pitties, including Storm were perfect. But do you think people remember them??? No, they'll remember the pit that attacked the 2 dogs. *shame*

Conners said...

Obviously that dog (pit) was not being properly trained or under control. It's the owner at fault with all irresponsible owners. That's all it takes, is an irresponsible owner. Where are their BRAINS? I hope you're wrong and they do remember Storm and the other one, but chances of that...well, people will think they can change at a drop of a hat and turn on you. Grrrrrr...that makes me MAD! Why did that person not leave? Why did that owner not have control? WHY? WHY? WHY? Then THEY wonder why our dogs have bad reps.
I would have told that owner off! I would have stood my ground firm (all 5 feet of me) and told that owner that it's irresponsibility of his/her negligents that ALL pitties owners and dogs get such a bad name. Let the others see that a responsible pit owner does not approve of irresponsible owners neither and has enough guts to say so. At least that way, They would remember this little 5 foot, nothing, 80 pound woman with the nice pittie go after someone I assume is a LOT bigger than I am. We work so long and hard to promote the positive that all it takes is one STUPID one to take us 12 steps back again! grrrrr....
As for my day, Shasta and I couldn't have had a better time and as usual, she drew a lot of POSITIVE attention to herself. People were even telling others that she was a pit bull...meaning like, see these are the ones you don't read about in the papers. She was the only full pittie there and she minded all of her manners and behaved like the angel she is.
The President of the club complimented me on my training of her and her manner. He couldn't believe how calm she was and he's the one telling people that she is a pit bull.
When I went up with her for a prize I won, he gave her a little brownish red stuffed puppy that looked a lot like her. *giggle* That was soooo sweet of him.
I'm happy to say, I was amongst some of the best trained dogs in Canada, and you wouldn't have known except she didn't wear a full body vest and harness like they did, that she wasn't trained by them. The only difference was when we were all relaxing and listening to speakers, she sat on my lap on the grass while I hugged her and she would occasionally slip me a cute little kiss, whch I would do the same to her. Nobody can deny we certainy love each other and together we are one. I think that's why the President came and gave Shasta that little stuffed puppy as a gesture of being such a good girl.
Every part of my body kills now, but it's worth all the pain and tiredness I've got, as if we had to do it all over again...we WOULD!

Amstaffie said...

I knew Shasta would be a shining star! And of course her mommy too! Shasta is a crusader for all the pitties being attacked by BSL. She is such a blessing for you and you for her.

Speaking of blessings, we had our poochies prayed for at the fest yesterday, it was pretty neat, they had a little doggie church and gave out purple "blessed" bandanas.

Conners said...

Wow! Little purple blessed bandana's. We got banada's too, but ours weren't blessed and they were while with the Purina Logo as they were one of the sponsers. *giggle* The whole event sounded like a fun time. A doggy chapel and everything. SOOOOOOO COOOL!
You know...we need more of our dogs blessed. Perhaps this should be a world event.