Dog Awareness Day

This past Saturday was Pit Bull Awareness Day and although I have posted a few pictures to Instagram this month with the hash tag #nationalpitbullawareness, I didn’t do much more than give a cursory nod to a whole day dedicated to my boys and to dogs like them.

Pit Bull types like Retriever types like Spaniel types are just a type of dog and though I like to call my dogs funny names, (I called my Rottweiler “wot-weiler,” I called my chow-chow a baa-baa, and I call my pit bulls “pit-bow”) I don’t want them to be defined by a label. They are my baby boys and though I am “aware” of my dogs every hour of every day of every week, and I am very happy to celebrate their awesomeness at any turn, I wonder what a special day really means.

I wondered if any other breed or type of dog has its own special day, so I turned my fingers to Google and found that if I searched Cocker Spaniel and Yorkie Awareness Day, the top suggestions were Puppy Mill Awareness Day. Golden Retriever Awareness Day matches up with PTSD, pet obesity, and autism awareness. If you Google German Shepherd Awareness, you would find links to Service dogs, etc.

What makes the block heads special? On Saturday when Kevin and I were running errands we must have been talking about dogs or something because, although I can’t remember the context of the conversation, I remember Kevin saying to me, “Everyone I’ve ever known who owns a Pit bull seems to be more passionate about their dog than other dog owners I know.”
Though I know quite a few dog owners who are passionate about their non-pit bull dogs, (Adventures of a Dog Mom, Oh Melvin, Online Canine just to name a few) I know what he meant. I know I am personally more passionate about my two boys than any other dog I’ve lived with. Is it because I’m in a different place in my life or is it because these two are so special? I don’t know.

My baby boys, who love each other so much but still squabble like brothers, play like exuberant boys, and cuddle like champions and are both “Pit Bulls” are so similar and so different. Because they are two separate dogs; two dogs who make up that huge melting pot known as Pit Bull. They are nothing special and yet extremely special to their loving mama. The best and most flattering comment I read on Facebook this weekend was from our SPCA Director who wrote that we have “done more to advance this cause, simply by sharing her normalcy,…”

So even though we did nothing special for Pit Bull Awareness Day, we’d love to read about what you did.

14 thoughts on “Dog Awareness Day

  1. I love the normalcy comment! I love that passion and love and dedication is normal and that normal is something people can feel comfortable aspiring towards! At the end of the day, the labels: be it pit bull, allergic, fearful, loving, mutt, neglected, gentle, beagle, aggressive… our dogs are so much more than the sum of any and all labels. They are family. When I heard it was Pit Bull Awareness day, my heart cheered for all the PB owners and advocates I know who love and adore their dogs, who work through regular dog ownership challenges, who celebrate the joy their dogs bring to every day. Those who make it all normal!

  2. I know what you mean about being passionate, I feel the same way about my two. I was really in love with my old dog but she was such a mutt that there was no real breed passion with her. As much as I enjoy getting compliments on Kaya & Norman representing the breed, changing people's minds and talking to other advocates, what gets to me is that sometimes I just want to scream that this is normal for these dogs. Why are they being pointed out as being special or unique like they are the exception. Even if it is a positive conversation, I guess I wish it wasn't a topic at all because they are just dogs like any other.

  3. For me, not a dog owner but a real outsider, it is quite simple. General perception.
    You're not going to like the examples I'm going to give but in this day and age bad news is news and good news is nothing. I do what I can to influence a more balanced reporting but we need, amongst other initatives, awareness days to make the balance shift.

    For example when a German shepperd bites a kid the news headline will be “Dog bites child” (if it is reported at all). However when a Pitt Bull type dog does it the headline will be “Pit Bull bites little child”. And you do not need to wonder if it is reported.
    It feeds into the already present perception. And it runs deep. When the headline is “Dog bites child” you're bound to find this in the comments section: “It probably was a Pitt Bull.” And had the headline in my 2nd example been “Dog bites little child.” and later it would become known that is was a Pitt Bull the comments section would fill with these kind of comments: “What are you trying to hide!” or “We need to be informed!”. Both would be totally absent in my 1st example.

    I see this also in other areas and on more then one occasion I have wanted to tear the hair from my head in frustration because I just can not find a way to turn this kind of thinking around. Any initiative to help turn this I welcome but at the same time you fight against the fact that bad news lives longer then good news. Three awareness days are trumped by one minor incident and you start asking yourself if it is worth it. And then something like a cuddle on a sofa happens and you know it is. It all start by educating people.

    So I think that when you ask yourself why you are more passionate about these dogs the answer isn't solely because you're perhaps in a different place in your life or because these two are so special. I think a large part of the answer is that you recognized the bad deal they got and are strong enough to stand in their corner and try to balance the score.

    I hope this makes sense to you. If not you have my number 🙂

  4. I recently read a blog post that said we need to do away with pit bull awareness because we're emphasizing the fact that they're “different” from “normal” dogs. I disagree for all the reasons your friend above stated. We HAVE to be passionate about these dogs because they aren't getting fair treatment. At least not yet. But with passion, education, top-notch ambassa-dogs, and tons and tons of persistence, it will change!

  5. Makes total sense. I waver between the two sentiments constantly. I want to advance the good perceptions of Pit Bull types while still expounding on the normalcy of them just being dogs. Back in the day, my rottweiler, who was the best dog ever, was sitting beside me in a park and someone approached and asked if he was going to attack. We were sitting there and the dog was ignoring him!!!

  6. I can not get this image out of my head: You're sitting in the park with a dog and a man hesitantly approaches you and asks: “Is he going to attack?” You rise slowly and a softly spoken “No, but I might.” escapes you.

    I've to tell my non-existent grand children the story of how we came to **Debra awareness day** nad why we celebrate it.

  7. I think everyone is a big fan of their own dogs but I think the breeds that sometimes get a bad rap are also the ones that get a lot of positive attention because their owners are such great advocates for them.

    (And, thanks for the shout out, my babies are my everythings!)

  8. As crazy as it is to admit, I didn't really like dogs until I started spending time with “pit bulls.” In fact, I was kind of afraid of dogs as a whole. I always tell people it took pit bulls to make me a dog lover!

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