Friday, November 04, 2005

A Simple Task...A BIG Dilemma!

Since the Pit bull Ban, things are looking worse and worse each day. It's a complete turn around. The Pit bulls were feared by some, but now the owners are in fear of those that fear or hate our dogs breed. That is, if they even get the breed right.
Shasta has been a God-send to me. She has brought me out of some of the phobias I have had for years before her. She has calmed my anxieties and got me back with the public again. She has increased my health, as I got out more and the more I did with her, the better I felt. She did the things for me I wasn't able to do, such as dragging my heavy groceries home in a sled or a wagon. No longer did I have to wait weeks for someone to take my garbage to the bins by the road. She gave me a sense of independence that without her, I didn't have. She is the part of me that by itself, does not work; like a seeing eye dog to the visually impaired.
But with this ban, comes set backs. I've been sick this week with the flu and as much as I needed medication, I just didn't have the strength to walk to the drug store. Yesterday evening, I decided I just had to get my prescription's filled no matter what.
I got Shasta ready with her muzzle on and short leash and away we went. The fresh air felt surprisingly invigorating and watching Shasta excited about going to the store made me feel some what better.
It was once we got outside the drug store that I realized I had a dilemma that I never felt before. The pole that I normally tied her leash to all of a sudden brought fear into me. What if someone decided to harm her or steal her. She had no way of protecting herself or resisting with the muzzle on. I stood out there with her for the longest time trying to figure out what I should do. I was so scared that I began to shake and I could feel the stress and anxiety taking over and didn't know if I should just go back home and forget about the medication...yet I was right there.
The drug store is huge and the full front is nothing but windows. I thought if I could just get to the cashier's desk, I could keep my eye on Shasta myself. The only problem is the pharmacy section is way at the back where I wouldn't be able to watch her.
I finally walked in the door and quickly came around to the exit door so she could watch me from that side and know where I was too. As she sat and watched me, I stood in line at the cashiers line up, thinking that perhaps she could take my prescription to the back at the end of the day and they could be delivered to me tomorrow.
She must have noticed how terrified I was feeling by this time and why, because she told me to go get what I needed. She would make sure no harm would come to my dog, as she would watch her and make sure.
I was so relieved and as quickly as I could just dropped off the prescription and thought I asked them to deliver it for tomorrow, only I guess I didn't as I had to phone them today to deliver it.
As I rushed back to the front, the girl told me she sat there sweetly the whole time and was very good. I smiled and thanked her very much telling her I wasn't worried about her being good, but that someone could harm her or steal her now with the muzzle. The girl said, she knew that was my fear, but she was fine.
So relieved, I unhooked her leash and that's when it hit me. I could have handed in the prescription, gone outside to her while waiting for it and have the girl wave to me when they call my name on the intercom, but I just wasn't thinking right. It didn't matter, Shasta was safe and what was one more day for me to wait for my medication.
Now with Shasta by my side again and on our walk home I felt happy again. They had just built a new A&W and I decided that Shasta and I deserved a treat. No way was I about to tie her outside while I went in, so I decided to try the drive thru.
I waited until the cars were done and then I knocked on the window. When the girl opened it, I asked if it was ok if I ordered this way as I had my dog with me and didn't want to tie her outside by herself.
That's when Shasta decided to see who I was talking to and stood up at the window sill to say hello. The girl got so excited that she called the others at the front counter to come and see who was ordering. The funny part, was they all came and started petting her head and her loving the attention, that I didn't remark that they were also the food handlers and would be handling peoples food after petting her. LOL I ordered a GrandPapa burger to go for the two of us and thanked the girl for allowing me to use the window. I already know they aren't allowed to do that, but told her next time I bring her, I will ride my bike so at least I had some wheels.
By now my nerves were really calming down and I took Shasta over by a tree in the grassy area so we could sit down and bite into the burger. As I unwrapped the big burger, she immediately started rolling in the grass that she so loves to do. She knows if she begs, she gets nothing, so I let her enjoy herself until I had my fill and then called her to get some.
I needed to give her small bits at a time because of the muzzle and after awhile decided she should do some tricks while I fed her. She sat pretty, laid down, sat, down and roll over, but naturally we couldn't do the catch, as she couldn't open her mouth. LOL We walked back to the garbage can and then headed home.
The problem of walking on the sidewalk is you don't know who likes dogs and especially Pit bulls now and who doesn't, so I try to stay near the edge and she walks on the grass to make sure until we pass. Some people stop to pet her, while others you aren't sure of. You find yourself more observant of people and always on the lookout incase of trouble. So much for pleasant, everyday walks as they used to be. Now the only time you relax is when nobody is around or you can see there are dog friendly people making a fuss over her.
My thoughts the whole time were on her. When people look at her through the car window, what are they thinking? I know they are looking at the muzzle and the one she had on is not that noticeable.
I am going to buy her the wire cage type with the soft leather at the snout to protect her face too, as this type is not good for any longer than 20 minutes at the most and could cause damage to her breathing. She certainly could never wear it while me riding a bike and who knows what the law will say about the muzzles.
Oh! I forgot one very important incident that happened outside the drug store before I got her off the pole. A woman brought out her son, 11 months old and brought him towards Shasta and said, "Look at the pretty puppy!" I told her Shasta loves children as I have two young grand kids of my own. She petted Shasta and finally the little boy gave her a funny little pat the way that babies do with the side to side stroke. I think that was the high lite of our trip.
Once in the apartment as she sat nice while I removed all her 'gear', then came the three cookies (dog treats) that told her she did good, along with hugs and pats. As Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz said, "It's good to be home! It's good to be home!"


IndyPindy said...

Oh, my mommy and I are so sorry that this stupid law has caused so much stress for you. She understands about being very observant of people on the sidewalk. If the sidwalk is narrow and people are coming toward us, we kind of step off to the side on to the grass, or on to the edge of someone's lawn, and give people room to pass. I heel and sit nicely the whole time. Mom doesn't want to cross the street because she doesn't want to give people the idea that I am dangerous. Some people cross the street on their own, I guess they are just afraid of dogs.

Some people who are dog people can tell my my friendly smile that I am a friendly, sweet dog that won't hurt anyone. Others think I am a wolf, and they see my teeth (my teeth show whenever my mouth is open, and they are big and white) and they just think I'm dangerous becuase I look like a wolf. Nobody better try to hurt Shasta! Tell 'em I said so!

Amstaffie said...

Shasta is such a good girl and a positive influence. People that see Shasta & pet her (same as with Storm) don't realize how much trouble it is with BSL... most people I talk to about it always say "it's the raising" etc. But do they (people that do not have a dog) actually realize how much of a problem BSL is? Anyone that has a dog that is listed on the "dangerous breed" list can understand. It should be a list called "DANGEROUS OWNER", & included could be a dangerous owner of a yorkie, maltese, etc. Catch what I'm saying.

Even when I kept my liver colored husky, Sierra, in the house, the refridgerator repairman came in the house, but he would not go into the kitchen when Sierra was there because he thought she was a wolf too and the reflection in her eyes was red. He was literally afraid of her and she was only about 8 months old at that time.

Faira said...

Conner, Have you thought of checking out someplace in the Country that might allow you and Shasta to take walks on their private property, so that you don't have to use her muzzle and she can romp and play with no stress, no people, no muzzle, no leash. I have a place in the country that I like to take Jengibre. It is a filbert orchard that goes on forever, and we got permission to walk Jengibre whenever we want from the owner of the orchard. No leash, no threat of an unleached big dog taking a bite out of her. It is great!
Start asking around or maybe an ad in the paper? It might bring some peace to you both on your walks!

Sorry I haven't visited for a while, I have what you have! Only I am a bigger baby about it, ha, ha!

Conners said...

What happened to my reply to Indy and Andee???
Bet I got my letters scrambled and it never posted. I do that often.
I took Shasta to the store yesterday with a different frame of mind. It was called, 'confidencd', plus it was in broad day light to there were lots of people around.
To get off the subject just for a sec, I friend of mine was walking her dog and someome screamed at her to walk her dog on the other sidewalk across the road. She ignored the person and continued walking without saying a word. She was stunned she didn't comment, as she's usually the type of person that with talk back.
Well, after that, I thought us Pit bull owners have rights too, and maybe it's about time we let people know about these rights.
So yesterday feeling very comfident, I was prepared for an outburst, but it didn't happen. We were only greeted in a very positive and loving way towards Shasta.
But, when it happens, I'm prepared to tell whoever that, "In the Act it says we are just as much allowed to walk our dogs in public as long as they are muzzled and on the appropriate sized leash as they are. And further more, it also says in the Act that id attacked or harrassed the owner should call the police. You will find this information for yourselve in the Ontario Goverment. ca page if you don't believe me. I will let this pass this time, but in the future I would advise to to not harrass Pit bull owners or they might not be so understanding." If that doesn't shut them up, then I WILL call the police to show them I mean business.
Faira, my g/f has a friend that has AXRES of land and he lets us ise it. The only problem is it is way out of town in another small town quite far from me and I can only go when she goes. She doesn't have a 'restricted dog', so she is able to take her dog anywhere and so to go to that place is a special treat, but I've only been there once.
But there is one more thing they need and that is to be socialized with other dogs that they don't know. This is very hush hush right now as it's too soon into the ban, but we are working on a leash free, muzzle free time for the pittes. Don't worry, our minds are working 24/7 for a solution plus we have our weekly Bow Wow Pow Wow Gathering of the dogs. I put it in the online newspaper incase other Pit bull owners want to join.