Posted by Melanie Coy, appeared yesterday in the online version of the Southeast Missourian newspaper, 10/2/2011
Fall has always signaled the imminent close of another year for me. At this time of year training sessions begin to wind down because the days are getting shorter and the activities of the educational front begin to take center stage. I use most invitations to fund raisers as an opportunity to show what Pit Bulls should be and allow the public to have a glimpse into why I am so dedicated to this breed.
This has been a long and stressful year. I have had to take major steps to re-prioritize how I live and how I think. There have been ups, and more than a couple of deep downs, but it has been a good year in many ways. Much of my long trip back to the land of the living has been because I am blessed by the presence of some very good people.
I shared an entry earlier this year that introduced an amazing dog training talent named Tyson Kilmer. Throughout this past year he and another talent from the world of photography, Michael Brian, have shared their insight and their gifts with me. The combination of their words with the artistry of their photographs has been powerful in ways many might not understand.
The fight to save the American Pit Bull Terrier has been long and hard. I still remember the satisfaction of enjoying this amazing dog before there was any reason to fear for their safety. Those are memories that have been endangered by the constant barrage of negative press and the photos of the carnage human beings can inflict in their ignorance. Those are the words and photos no life should be violated by and yet, it has been a daily assault.
There is a new movement on the front lines now, in the form of people honestly dedicated to changing the face of Pit Bulls in our society today. Mr. Kilmer and Mr. Brian have taken their places in this battle to share what they see when they interact with these incredible dogs. The results are some of the most powerful images I have had the pleasure to witness.
For me, it has been a renewal of hope that these dogs will not be eradicated due to misinformation. I have long held the dream that sanity would again reign over our society and I would see in my lifetime the change in attitude toward the dogs I love. I was honestly losing faith in the cognitive powers of my fellow human beings. It seems we take one step forward only to be knocked back ten.
Breed bans, restrictive legislation, the genocide of a breed of dog are all the products of human irresponsibility. Dogs only do what we allow, what we teach. In the beginning precedent was set targeting Pit Bulls but today no dog over 50 pounds is safe. It is time for all dog lovers everywhere to take a stand and refuse to give in to this hysteria.
Educate yourselves and your dogs. Do not fool yourself into believing it can not happen to you because all it takes is one person to make a noise about your dog and you could also face the very real possibility that someone will knock on your door and demand you surrender your pet.
Dog training is not rocket science. It takes a little time and dedication on the owner’s part but the rewards are priceless. Do your homework… know all there is to know about your breed of choice to insure you can properly present the best companion. Even mixed breeds answer to a genetic code. Know what your dog’s instinct is telling it, so that you can best teach it to live in our society. That is the only way we can restore peace to an animal that has walked at the side of man since the beginning of recorded time.
I invite you to use this link to explore the world of Pit Bulls with a man that has dedicated his life to wiping out ignorance http://dogzlife.ning.com/. This is the link to Michael Brian Photography http://www.michaelbrianphoto.com/. The first words you will see when following this link will be “Be Extraordinary“.
I could not say it better…