Hey, Can I Pet Your Puppy? Be the Change For Animals

A happy go lucky pit bull

As a puppy, Ransom was outrageously social, leaping and “smiling” with a big toothy grin at new people and dogs alike, coming into class. Happily, Ransom learned some impulse control, and to greet humans more appropriately. Ransom is a Pit bull. People are wary of large leaping dogs, and often more so, hold preconceived notions of the bully breeds: notions that these social creatures are dangerous fighting dogs. My heart ached reading an account from my client, of puppy Ransom, denied petting from a child. Why did Dad take the child’s hand and walk away? My client, upon inquiry, stated that Ransom was a pit bull. Clearly, Dad possessed preconceived pet prejudices. Clearly, there is a little boy growing up with the same learned opinions.


One of my greatest joys is that of return clients from years gone by. Recently I heard from the Mom of Ransom, now fostering a dog and looking for another class. I was delighted to hear of Handsom Ransom doing well and probably had a big goofy grin on my face as I read. To know Ransom is to love him! I decided to interview my client for Be The Change For Animals. Bloggers unite on given days to educate on matters “near and dear to their heart” as stated by cause champion KIM CLUNE. Am I saddened that folks do not understand the lovely and highly social bully breeds? Very much so: having had the pleasure of many and various passing through my classroom. I find it outrageous and chilling that legislation passes, targeting specific dog breeds as dangerous. Personally, with my pack of labs, there is no danger here. Writing about real experiences with Handsom Ransom will, I hope, galvanize folks to action.


My client has experienced real life events, as typical of that experienced by many bully and other “dangerous” dog breed owners. We live in a region where Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has not yet affected sweeping changes. Here is what we have close by.

Wilmington DE: Pit bulls restricted as dangerous. Restricted, both purebred and mixed. Section 3-16.

Prince George County MD: banned. Section 3-185-01

Further a field, Supreme Courts in 11 U.S. States upholds breed-specific pit bull laws.

To find current laws (and dismaying reading for bully and other “dangerous” dog lovers) go to DOG BANS


Here is what my client has to say, about some of her life experiences with Ransom, sharing also her thoughts and beliefs.

1.  Have you met people who assumed Ransom was not friendly? CLIENT: “Ransom gets looks all the time…..When we told the father he was a Pit, he took the kid and walked away, never letting the child pet a little puppy.”

2.  Are you familiar with BSL? CLIENT: “I am familiar with BSL and I don’t agree with it at all. Every dog is different, just like people, and it is very unfair that they treat all bully breed as bad. I would definitely petition if it was ever proposed in the DE/MD area.

3.  Have you had difficulty finding a place to live? CLIENT: “I have experienced this first hand. We had a hard time not only finding a place that would allow two large dogs but also allowed pits. It is like they are judging before they have even met the dog. “

4.  How have you responded to public encounters of prejudice? CLIENT: “If we are at a dog park, and someone seems afraid, we usually just take our dogs and walk away. I have tried talking to people about it before and it is an argument I am not going to win. People are sometimes so set in their ways that you can’t talk to them in a reasonable manner” (can you even imagine having to live like this, with worry nagging at you?)

5.  Do you think there is a real prejudice about Pit bulls as fighting dogs? CLIENT: “There definitely is a prejudice and that is why people are so scared of them. They are they only type of dogs ever shown fighting. The dog attacks you hear about are always Pits. I know a Chihuahua that has bitten many times but your never hear about it.

6.  How can we best educate people? CLIENT: “I think the best way to educate people is to stop letting the media exploit the Pit bull. People are so quick to believe what they hear on T.V. So I think they need to show more of the good things that the Pit bull does.

7.  Would you describe Ransom as friendly? CLIENT: “Ransom loves every person and dog! We have had many foster puppies and adult dogs through our home, and he has never had a problem with anyone of them. He loves to lick people, and we joke that if someone broke in, he would lick them to death.

 What compelling, heart tugging and eye opening responses articulated by my client; she deserves a medal for giving a glimpse into her life with the loving happy go lucky Ransom, one of the much maligned bully breeds. Who would want to live wondering where BSL would next rear its` ugly head, wondering how to respond to the next cold accusing stare, wondering how to keep your precious pet safe? Many do live like this. Do avail yourself of these resources. Together, we can make a difference. BE THE CHANGE.



Understanding Bullies

Animal Law Coalition

Pit Bull Chat

 Read. Educate yourselves. Be aware. Petition to end BSL. Do not be one of those parents who walks your kid away from the happy social puppy, wanting to be greeted.

 Until next time, Leslie and the labbies.