Annnnnnnd….another reason to have a pit bull.

blue

This is Blue. As some of you know, he’s my big goofy dog who I rescued a few years back. I’ve written quite a bit about him and pit bulls elsewhere, but for those that don’t know that,  I’ve made it very clear that I am much more dangerous than him. Yes, I know all the hype and bull shit written about them, but there are many reasons to own one of the sweetest and goofiest dogs in the world.

This story is about another reason that happened today on our walk. It goes like this:

I am accustomed to people suddenly changing their direction when they see us coming. From stepping off the sidewalk to bolting across the street and almost getting hit by cars.

This amuses me. I’ve even had a family stop walking and yank their toddler back when they saw us 20 feet away. I heard her say to the child “That’s a very dangerous dog! Stay away from them!” as the child squealed when she saw us and wanted to pet him. Blue jerked his head up, his tail began wagging because he LOVES children! When he sees them, his nature is to go over to them and hug them.

When I walk Blue, I am aware of everything and everyone around us. There are also tons of people who love pit bulls and go out of their way to tell me and ask to pet and hug him.

Blue was not socialized as a pup and because of that, he doesn’t always know how to behave. This makes him rude to other dogs because he wants to give them a big hug and that can come across as being aggressive. In fact it’s more like your drunken favorite uncle who is so thrilled to see you at Christmas, that before you know it, he’s got you in a bear hug and smothering you with kisses with his claims of undying love and missing you so much.

Rude but well-intended.

Blue is high-strung and fearful at times. He has no “off” switch, so my job is to keep him calm and confident and make sure he doesn’t “go there” and get too excited. I constantly watch his level of excitement and pull him out of, or away from, any situation or person that gets him too excited..

I keep him calm  by my words, my body posture and my tone of voice. I NEVER do anything to get him riled up. No tug-of-war games. No squeaky toys. No high-pitched tone of voice.

Well, no high-pitched tone of voice until today.

Today that changed when the asshole walking towards us decided I needed to move out-of-the-way and not him. Who fully expected me to step into the bushes so he could also have MY side of the sidewalk to pass by. The prick that felt it was his right to physically push me out-of-the-way if I didn’t move.

The problem was, I had no place to move to. I kept to my side of the sidewalk, with plenty of room for he and his buddy to pass by. I had reigned Blue in to be as close to my right side (away from everyone else) and he and his buddy had plenty of room to walk by.

But, no, not this guy. No way he was going to do that. He looked right at me as he was walking and didn’t veer to his right. He fully expected me to back my ass into the bushes to let him pass by.

I don’t think so.

I stopped and stared at him. Blue is learning to sit the moment I stop and he did. This guy was so intent on pushing me out-of-the-way, he didn’t see Blue. He stared back at me and it was like a game of chicken, only he was moving and I was the brick wall he was about to slam into.

He walked right up to me and was just about to push me with his shoulder, so I moved a foot to the left. This made him stop. He looked incredulously at me.

He stopped and glared as his friend kept walking.

It was the Bay of Pigs in Sunnyvale.

He wasn’t going to move and I had nowhere to move to.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I looked down at Blue and said in the highest, most squeaky voice I could muster “YOU ARE THE BEST BOY EVER! YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD BOY!”

Suddenly Blue is jumping and barking and now wants to jump on the guy and say hello.

The guy freaks out, jumps back and…..trips! Landed flat on his ass! I could not have hoped for anything better.

I chuckle, pull Blue close to me and step over the guy as I say “Don’t you ever get in my way again,” and walked away.

Best. Moment. Ever.

 

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9 comments

  1. Excellent post. Also very educational. Yes, you can communicate with your dog using body language, energy, and tone of voice. You are doing great. By the way, you are much more dangerous than you pit bull will ever be:-) That guy was a total idiot. A couple of weeks ago I was walking my Beagle/Boxer dog, Abby, when a lady with a massive pit bull was coming down the same sidewalk and as soon as I realized that she had a pit bull I had a smile from ear to ear, my last 3 dogs were all pit bull mixes, but to my surprised she went across the street. When she got closer I said, “Hi, how are you? Your pit bull is gorgeous.” She had a face of complete disbelief when she heard me say that. She said, “I went across the street because my dog is not good with other dogs.” I currently live in MA and so far almost every single person I’ve seen with a pit bull tend to be quite apologetically because of the breed. That makes me feel terrible because pit bulls are amazing dogs but we, humans, are the ones that damage these beautiful dogs. The best to you and your furry kid.

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    1. Wow! I’m so glad you commented and I found your blog! I must follow!

      Yes I had to fight being apologetic when I first got him. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how he would be and what problems he had, so I had my own shit going on in my head.

      Classes helped quite a bit and I found this “cult” of pit bull owners. We are very proud and protective of our dogs and rightly so. I’ve had people do a u-turn in the middle of the street to swing by and tell us how beautiful Blue is and how much they love pitties. So there’s a whole section of people, like us, who love our dogs and will fight to the death to have them and protect them. That balances it out for me.

      I run into plenty of dogs that are leash reactive and I’ve yet to meet one that was a pit. It’s a problem of that particular dog and not the breed. We all have our own stuff that we deal with. Dogs do too. It’s up to us to help them and take responsibility for them and our actions.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Caught this in a share on G+ and had to track back to read the whole thing. I love pitties but have seen too many people who don’t know or can’t be a good owner. You’re a good owner.

    I have a large Standard Poodle myself (who misses his pitbull girlfriend Mona something terrible) who is also the friendliest thing ever, but as a Service dog for me, has a calm demeanor. I have him because people freak me the hell out (well, people are the scariest thing around). I wish I had your level of don’t-give-a- f*ck! But my dog’s big, toothy grin is usually enough to make assholes back off.

    Thanks for sharing the great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I’ve had lots of dog training – which really is human training – and figured out the best for Blue is to just love him and keep him calm. He can’t make it through an entire class because he gets overly excited in half a second, so walks and as much supervised interaction as possible.

      I’ve learned to say bluntly and firmly to people “No don’t come up and pet him. Just stand there and ignore him” works well. Most people mean well, but when I see Blue’s tail tuck under his legs, everyone need to back the hell away and let him be.

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