My bad: I didn’t proofread and lost a whole paragraph.
If you’ve been around here for a minute, you’ll know that volunteering is big with me and that I love handling dogs at Outreach events in the community. The part that I don’t always love are some of the comments I hear (repeatedly). Below is a compilation of some of the doozies.
1. “I couldn’t volunteer; I’d want to take them all home.” Guess what? You don’t need to justify to me why you aren’t volunteering, but I can guarantee that if you give it a try, you won’t even want to take half of them home. Or are you telling me you can’t visit the home of a friend because you are a chronic pet klepto and you find yourself wanting to take their pets home too?
2. “Is that a Pit?” For whatever reason, that drives me bonkers. Well, that is a dog that you are petting, not some hole in the ground that someone dug. It IS a Pit Bull mix, type, etc.
3. “Is it a Full Pit?” See above on digging a hole.
4. “What is it mixed with?” Except for the rare occasion that we know we have a full blooded so and so up for adoption, we label the dogs as mixes and without DNA testing, your guess is as good as ours. If pressed for an answer, I’ll tell you “sugar and spice.”
5. “What’s his or her story?” He or she needs a loving home.
6. “Will it bite me?” Probably not unless you bite it first.
7. “They get such a Bad Rap.” I know this is meant to be supportive and I truly appreciate your empathy, but sometimes continuing to point out the problem continues to keep the problem out there.
8. “Oh, it’s so sweet! Why is it at the shelter?” Very similar to “what’s the story,” but this time you’re just surprised that the shelter isn’t full of broken, misbehaving, unmanageable animals. True, everybody has a story and a lot of them are sad, but these are just dogs who need homes and with the help of the great staff, will find great homes.
9. And my favorite: you’re on the ground petting a dog, cooing over how awesome it is and ask what breed it is. You recoil upon hearing it is a Pit Bull mix.
Many of these comments are things I hear when I’m out and about with Ray or Julius, but fortunately not as much as many other Pit Bull owners have reported.
The bottom line, though, is I do love the support the community shows in coming to our events and supporting our cause. Just know that if you ask me any of the above questions, I will do my best to answer politely (usually) but now you know what I am really thinking.
“It’s all how they’re raised”…ugh. Like you said, its like people are trying to be supportive but it implies that there are flaws in adult rescue dogs which is of course untrue.
I once had a woman tell me, “Oh, you should have made up something else” after she asked what breed my dogs were and I said pit mix:(
Oh! How could I have omitted that one! Good call.
Yes, yes, yes. Ugh. #1 and #8 get me particularly riled up.
What a great post this is, and what a great person you are. Having worked in a shelter, my least favorite was: “I could never do what you do; I love animals too much.” As if I DON’T love animals?! Super offensive. Sharing this!
Also, just thought of one more: whenever we had a pit bull mix (or, for that matter, any dog that slightly resembled one) that had some sort of injury/missing limb/disability, customers often came to me asking if the dog had been a “fighting dog.” Ugh.