I’ve agonised over this post for a week now because despite longing to share photographs from a recent Pit Bull show, I know Pit Bulls are a controversial subject at the best of times. The thing is my blog is the last place I want to entertain a raging debate on the breed, because it’s my space and really intended to showcase life on the tip of Africa.
That said, here in the Western Cape their reputation is often in the spotlight for the uglier side of these dogs: The vicious and brutal world of dog fighting and the added association with gangsterism and thugs, where the breed has unwittingly become a status symbol and mascot. From time to time our local papers also report on fatal attacks on other dogs on our beaches by seemingly well socialised pit bulls.
Add to the mix the fact that I also happen to own one and I adore him despite the baggage he comes with, so I’m going to dedicate one post to him and a second to a couple of other beautiful Pitties I met at the show. In doing so I’m going to nip any debate in the bud by agreeing 200 percent with an animal behaviour practitioner who said in our local paper this week that “owning one requires serious dedication, an ability to accept their limitations with regards to other animals and a willingness to manage the dogs so they are not put in a position where they may cause harm to other people’s dogs”.** Amen to that.
Without further ado, meet Leo.
He came into my life quite unexpectedly as a 6-month old rescue pup when our gorgeous golden Lab left for the Big Kennel in the Sky seven years ago. He’d been rescued in Ocean View by Tears,* who found him locked up in an outside toilet severely malnourished and with broken ribs and a broken back leg.
Despite his horrific start in life, Leo loves people with all his heart and more. But other dogs? Not so much, apart from Sarah our much older no nonsense Staffie who is the Matriarch.
Owning Leo is not a walk in the park so we don’t go (sic). Visiting the Vet’s rooms is a nightmare requiring vigilance, dexterity and strength, but otherwise Leo gives us immense pleasure and an abundance of love, so we micro-manage around his shortcomings. And that’s good enough for me.
Meet all the gorgeous Pitties who showered me with affection at the SA Show Pits event in Part 2.
* The Emma Animal Rescue Society
** Taryn Blythe, False Bay Echo, 16 October 2014