I don’t have a dog, let alone a pit bull, but many of my neighbors do. Luckily, I’m not afraid of them; probably the rambunctious Dalmatians who shared my childhood home have something to do with that.
For instance, while jogging last week, I noticed an older man with his pit bull just a little ways down the trail. She (yes, a female) was straining at the leash, anxious to make some kind of contact with me. I asked the gentleman if I should go the other direction so I didn’t upset her, and he said “No, she’s fine.” Then she escaped from her collar and dove for me.
Did I experience a moment of panic? Yup. I admit it. Especially since he shouted at her. If he’d said “Don’t worry, she just wants to lick you” I would’ve been fine. But his surprised reaction, his voice tone…that’s what set me on edge.
And my fear wasn’t because she was a good-sized pit bull. I like to think that a strange dog escaping her collar and bounding with unknown intention directly towards someone might create a little bit of concern for most people.
But of course I needn’t have panicked. She may not have had the best doggie manners in the world, but her intentions were purely sloppy friendship. She climbed up my legs, licked my face, wagged her tail wiggled her butt. You know, all those happy canine mannerisms. But what what I found interesting was the relief her human expressed. He was worried! Maybe he himself had bought into the “dangerous pit bull” idea circulating around. I may never know. I haven’t seen them again. But if I do, I’ll go right up to her and give her the petting she obviously was asking for!
I recently designed 2 new new pit bulls…they’re still at the caster, but by the time this is read, it may be on my website, so take a look and let me know what you think of them.