Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Best of show for Vice President

Pit Bull, Vice President, Walking the dog

Normal 0 Like many Americans, I’ve been pondering lately which breed of dog is best suited to be our next Vice President. Such a relief that we’ve gotten over the sex thing and established that traits in the breeding and character, not gender, suit one to be the President’s first loyal companion.

You may agree with the Republicans that it’s the Pit Bull. But I’m not so sure that’s the best breed for the job. One of our first visits to the libertarian dog park on the County Grounds, a pair of Irish Setter-colored half-Pits took my dog down viciously while their owners ignored them, so I’m prejudiced. I guess I should be prejudiced against the handlers, but it's the dogs that did the damage.

By the way, the real name for the Pit Bull is American Staffordshire Terrier. But that sounds sort of delicate and China dog, not at all the image Pit Bull owners claim. Which is sort of confusing, when you think about it. Do you want us to think your dog is dangerous or not? Make up your minds!

Pit Bull fanciers will tell you we’ve been fed a lot of hockey puck-y about the breed and we shouldn’t believe their reputation. And that is really good advice: don’t believe everything you believe. I went right to the American Kennel Club to get the facts:

The APBT (American Pit Bull Terrier, another name for the breed) is a strong-willed, sturdy companion. It is a breed that is loyal to friends and family, and friendly to strangers. With guidance from its handlers, APBTs are obedient and show a high desire to please. However, when left without direction they can become stubborn and may become aggressive.

In fact, the breed has a better dependability temperament rating than Golden Retrievers: knock me over with a rolling tackle behind the knees (a technique known to both breeds).  Still, you have to be careful.

(They ) have a lot of energy and high prey drive; they need exercise and stimulation in order to channel their energy properly and not become frustrated, bored, and destructive and often display dog aggression, especially towards unfamiliar dogs of the same sex or level of assertiveness.

That’s what I’m talking about: that is one high maintenance kind of dog.

Personally, I think the perfect breed for Vice President is a yellow- or even a blue-dog, American-bred Mutt, like my dog. Idgy, Australian Shepherd-Blue Heeler-Something with a Big Nose that Points, has all the qualities Americans seem to want in a Vice President, without the tendency to get bored and chew off the cupboard doors or someone's hand that feeds it.

She’s very pretty, a great hunter who can field dress her quarry without  knives, helicopters, or high-powered artillery. Even better, she eschews exotic and endangered species, focusing on the common garden pest chipmunk or bunny and doing a community service in the process. She has some hobbies you and I might find unattractive, but what dog doesn’t? And as to her personal life, she said you should mind your own business but there’s not a hint of scandal. I happen to know that’s a lie, and I know where the bones are buried.

What matters is that she’s a diplomat. Every pack is her pack, and she gets things done. She’s calm and loyal, unless there is food to be had or a goose to chase, and then she’s only fickle for a moment. She stands her ground but doesn’t attack first.. And she always tells the truth, except that one time. . .

When it comes to being vice president, all I can say about your Pit Bull is, that dog don’t hunt. But mine do.

If you’re still debating the virtues of the Pit Bull as Vice President, though, a little information to guide your thinking from the Missouri Pit Bull Rescue:

Pit Bulls are strong willed dogs, bred for their determination and tenacity. They need confident and positive leadership, as well as a structured environment. Without it they might soon be running the show in your home and become more problems than fun.

Don't count on a Pit Bull to guard your house or property or you might be disappointed. Pit Bulls were not bred for protection. While your Pit Bull may defend you if your life is in danger, chances are a normal Pit Bull would welcome just about anyone in your home like a long lost friend...

We don't think dogs should have the responsibility of judging a situation and making a decision based on our human concepts of right and wrong. In fact, we believe that as the "leader" of the pack, it is our responsibility to protect our dogs, not the other way around.


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