Pretty proud of this newest playlist, tbqh.
Hello hi just making sure everyone got this message please send it along to your supervisors and supervisees have a wonderful day
Throw it joyously–then go picking strange & goodly fruits to make a sweet new pot
As probably some of you already know or have picked up on by now based on the constant flood of pup pics, my roommates and I dog sit. We get paid to care for other people’s dogs, it’s a fantastic side-gig.
A few months back, we had an experience that quite honestly was traumatizing for me and I reflected on it a bit last night while reading this tremendous but heartbreaking piece in Esquire.
We’d never cared for pit bulls before when one owner came to us seeking a dog sitter. She explained not to take them to the park, that the male was dog-aggressive and had gotten into tiffs when he’d been introduced to dogs in the past. She understood we lived in a neighborhood where passing dogs on the street was commonplace and recommended taking the two out together, by which the implied understanding was that they would distract each other and keep to themselves. She said to bring treats if they might need to be distracted. She did not mention at the time that the male had escaped once in the past out the door of a house just to chase down a beagle and attack it.
It happened while we were waiting to cross a street. A woman approached, and before I knew it both pits were latched on to her small dog. There was no provocation, growling or warning. I was instantly powerless to control these two 70 pound dogs by the leashes in this attack-mode and end up on the ground, getting dragged on my knees as their teeth dug into this helpless dog. Stupidly I tried prying their jaws off in a last ditch effort. If a good samaritan stranger hadn’t stepped in to help me, I’m not sure how things would’ve ended up. As it was the dog ended up at the vet for a few days—she’d needed surgery but I heard she recovered. I left the scene in tears and covered in blood, in a police car (an unnecessary and incorrect protocol that the cop later admitted and apologized for).
And that night, like the night before, the pair slept nestled next to me in bed, the two most affectionate pups you could imagine.
Some people will read this and vilify me for explaining the details of this story which makes these dogs sounds like monsters but there was an intense moment of clarity for me in the aftermath. I wasn’t mad at these dogs. I was mad at their owner for leaving them with people who lacked both the professional training, the adequate instruction and the historical context to care for them properly.
The pit bull isn’t biologically inclined to kill—but ignorance and lack of kindness makes them so. The issue is that pit bulls are physically *built* in a way that makes them capable of killing which, when paired with unkind people, is a dangerous combination. Cocker spaniels may provoke, they may nip or bite another dog or a child, but the likelihood that a cocker spaniel could overpower you while on-leash or bite so hard they kill is infinitesimal. And so that leaves all the more responsibility to pit bulls’ rescue owners, often so passionate about changing people’s minds about the breed. It may not be their fault the dog ended up aggressive, but now it is their job to manage that aggression with the utmost care, as kindly and compassionately as possible. It is an honorable responsibility to take on, but it is just that—a giant responsibility. And all the while, you cannot fault other dog owners for being protective of their own.
I’ve been told that owner was removed from the website that linked us up and I agree with that move because hopefully it will lead her to seek out more properly equipped boarders in the future. My roommates and I have decided not to take in any dog-aggressive dogs anymore. I admire those that can do so, but I don’t think temporary care with an unfamiliar person mixed with dog aggression is a healthy combination.
And it’s not because any dog deserves to be blamed for the way they turned out, but fundamentally it is because humans themselves are flawed.
insert emoji with the hearts popping out the eyeballs
Oops I forgot to post these last week and then I was at the beach goofing off. Here they are!
— I wrote about the weird, but sort of necessary politics within yoga class relationships. (via Washington Post)