Dogs: Mans Best Friend

We have all heard the term “Man’s Best Friend” used in relation to dogs. Have you ever wondered how this term came about?

We live in a day and age where it is expected to see a dog at the side of it’s family. Dogs are revered as members of the family and lavished with indulgences we often do not even afford our children. Veterinary care is as extensive as human medicine. However this was not always the case.

Our ancestors employed dogs to do a job. In payment they became our companions, our guardians. Were given a place of honor in our homes and our families. Dogs did not attack people unprovoked, and people did not abuse dogs. Dogs were an integral part of society.

Today, in Ontario…we have forgotten the gifts that dogs have given us. The names of heroes, that we hate. Dogs like Sgt. Stubby. The most decorated canine in WW1. Possibly the most famous Pit bull in history. This little pit bull terrier foundling alerted the soldiers of his troop to gas attacks, allowing them to get their gas masks on in time. He saved a young girl for being hit by a car, identified, and captured a German spy (by the seat of his pants). Stubby was awarded the honorary title of Sergeant, greeted by at least 2 Presidents and made a special coat by the women of Europe to display his medals!

What about that cute little companion from the childhood classic television show The Little Rascals, or the countless other dogs through out history who have defended and served human beings with complete devotion?

I have recently heard many comments about pit bulls one being their origin. Stating that “they are the only dog that was not bred to do a job. They were bred to fight and that makes them dangerous.”
I would like to point out that this myth is just that, a myth, pit bulls were bred by farmers, to work for farmers. They were ratters, herders, guardians, nannies and trusted friends. Just like any dog they relied on their human packs to guide them and lead them. It was people who failed them and all dogs by mistreating them, abusing, neglecting and ruining them. They were bred to be nimble and tough, to be able to withstand the rigorous work of farm life. This made them appealing to the dog fighters.

Have any of you ever seen a dog fight? Probably not. If you had though you would quickly realize that the dogs being used are not all pit bulls or pit bull type dogs. Golden retrievers, Jack Russel Terriers, Saint Bernards, Labs ect…no dog is safe from the hands of cruelty. Yet we do not punish these breeds.

Recently our family adopted a Cane Corso Italiano (Italian Mastiff) and I have found myself continuously defending her! She is not a pit bull, no she is not even a terrier! This has got me thinking…Why do I have to defend her? She doesn’t even look like a pit bull. She is a much larger dog, her body is shaped more sleek, her head is larger. It has helped me to realize just how paranoid and misinformed the people of Ontario really are. Any dog with short hair and a square head is a pitbull “type” dog. Throw in a brindle coat and that poor dog is done for.

Because of her size it is integral that our dog be extremely well trained and controlled, which she is. Yet how many smaller dogs are not? I can’t count the dogs that go crazy, barking and snarling and growling, while their owners stand there and get annoyed with my quiet, well focused (on me not the ruckus) dog. Then there are the whispers with pointed fingers (yes I do hear/see them) “Look at the pit bull terrier, aren’t they illegal? Someone should report her). It’s ok. I’m not mad.

Ban the deed not the breed! Say no to BSL!

I am very sad. We as a province are on a witch hunt. Only dogs are the witches. It will not end with Pit bulls. Next will be the Cane Corsos, the Presa Canarios, Sharpies, Boxers, Dobermans, Rottweilers ect…until finally there are no more dogs. Man will have lost it’s oldest and most loyal companion. What a sad day for the world that will be!

Are we really so arrogant as to assume the right to play God? To wipe out the existence of an entire breed of dog? Based on what? A biased, and misunderstood set of evidence? Any dog can attack if it is mistreated and mishandled. Any dog that is not of sound breeding and mental state can attack. Any dog that is not properly trained can attack! It does not matter the size of dog, or the breed of dog. What makes the difference is the human in control of the dog!

Please, be a responsible dog owner and respect that dogs are dogs, not people. Treat them as dogs, train them well. Ban the deed not the breed!

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