Oh, the pressure. I knew this would be a two-part post, but I didn’t exactly have the second part written. Actually, I had started this and trashed it several times, but since I’m running out of time, I’ll give this a shot.
Deuce is listed as a Dalmatian/Labrador mix, but it is apparent by his pictures and by my interest in him that there is more to him than that. He has some sort of Pit bull type in him, of that I’m sure and though I’m considered by many to be a Pit Bull advocate, I still try to lean toward being a dog advocate who loves Pit Bull types.
We live in a community that is still emerging as far as breed equality goes. We have a Pit Bull Coalition and both shelters adopt out Pit Bull types, but we are still treading a very thin line. If I had a dime for every time someone in this community says “they just get a bad rap,” I’d be on my way to being wealthy. I almost feel like every time someone says that, they are propagating the “bad rap” itself.
Anyhow, we all have a handicap or a stigma about us. For some of us it is internal, for some it is external but we each have memories or situations which have shaped who we are and make us “different.” For me, growing up I was the only ray of sunshine in the box of pale crayons that was my school. I always knew I looked different and if I somehow forgot, there was always someone there to remind me.
That brings us to Deuce and the Tent Event. Deuce is now and forever will be considered a reactive dog. A reactive Pit bull type dog which makes everyone tread that much more carefully regarding him. When I heard he wouldn’t be able to attend the Tent Event, I made it my mission to not only handle him but let his true colors shine through.
Overseeing the event
As you can see from the photos, Deuce and I set up camp a few yards back from the rest of the goings on. I had a camp chair, a couple of weatherproof blankets, a portable water bowl, several cool bottles of water, a can of squeeze cheese, a dental bone, Zuke’s treats, a tug toy, a stuffie, Ray’s elephant collar and bow tie, and poo bags. I figured we could hold court a nice distance away from the fray. While back there, we witnessed several barking dogs, several dogs “correcting” other dogs, at least four volunteers who conveniently forgot poo bags, a few dogs playing nicely with each other and a huge crush of humanity under and around the tent.
At no time did Deuce lunge, jump (except on those whom he already loves), growl, over fixate and the only time he barked was when a truck with two barking dogs drove by. Deuce was calm, relaxed and feeling secure, so he was able to shine as the loving, sweet, playful, smart puppy that he is. He was the featured dog on the radio station that was broadcasting from the event and we even had a gal tell us that she heard about him on the radio and came to meet him. Those who were savvy enough understood that our distance was in an effort to give Deuce some space and only one woman had to be told three times to give us space. It was space I had asked for, but Deuce was still showing signs of relaxation and calmness. At the end of the day, he did get an application, but whether or not his true forever family has found him yet remains to be seen.
Until then, I and the scores of folks in his corner will continue to love and care for him as he deserves. So if you know of anyone in search of an 8-10 month old LabraPitmation, please send them our way.