A Dog, By Any Other Breed
I believe in dog karma.
What that means is, if I see a loose dog, I stop and call them, and try to gather them up so they aren’t hurt.
I should hope that others would do the same for mine were they lost.
Of the ten or so dogs I succesfully gathered this way, only two ever went home. The rest nobody was looking for, so I found them new ones.
This dog was on my street for four days. Ran every time I casually approached, tail tucked, ribby, frightened. He had a collar though. Most of them that run away do, and I never see them again. The city eats them.
This guy kept coming back. White male American pit bull terrier, classic lines, black mask and ticking.
It’s fate, I figure, when I can’t catch them.
But he kept showing up.
One day, I see him resting in the grass of an empty house. He is exhausted, sleeping in the middle of the day when it’s finally warm. Stomach twisting, hesitating, I think (well, one more time. But he’s a pit.) I don’t hesitate to try and gather up the other dogs. But he’s a pit.
But he’s a pit! What breedism! What prejudice! Why should I even think that? What a monster!
Let me be honest with you. Pit bulls are like soda cans in this town. There are a million of them ghosting through the streets. Most of them I never even get close to before they disappear. They are insanely difficult to place responsibly, and about a quarter of them are wired for dog aggression because we have a thriving illegal fighting community here in Oklahoma that continues to contribute strongly to the population at large. Nobody here wants pits, and the people that do are often . . . questionable. “Dime a dozen.” Some have said. “Trash dogs.” Some have said, more quietly.
But I couldn’t leave him there to get hit by a car or die of infection or disease. He’s still a dog.
I went to go sit by him on the grass.
He sighed, gave me a look of total exhaustion, then came for a treat and let me clip a leash on his collar.
A week later, no hits on his found ads. No hits on the flyers. No offers of “oh, I’ll take him if you don’t find his home!” Either. Just a bunch of nothing, some empty congratulatory words on how I’m an “Angel” for helping him, and the knowledge that yes, he’s at best dog selective because he really despises one of the board and train dogs through his crate bars (though she may, admittedly, deserve it).
Which means he represents significant liability if I place him with another dog and they go at it. Because he’s a pit. Which means if I fail in my management at home, he could take out one of my dogs, though he’s stopped any tomfoolery at the crate door I know that potential is still there.
And he is, of course, wonderfully behaved otherwise, quiet, housetrained, friendly and wiggly and enthusiastic and resilient and not body sensitive and pathetically grateful for food, shelter, affection, and training. He is bright, sweet, and eager.
He is a perfectly sensible, normal dog.
But he’s a pit.
I don’t know what I’m going to do.