Welcome to Pit bull New Mexico, updated every Wednesday & Saturday, comments and suggestions are encouraged.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Burque Babes & Bullies

For some damn reason, I have yet to give the Burque Babes a mention on this blog. Don't know why I forgot to do this for so long, I see lead Babe, Kassie Brown, every week or so.

A smarter person may have remembered to show them some love a good while ago...thankfully, some say late is better than never.

Long story short, the Burque Babes Crew put together a very cool Calender for 2009. Now I know that we're a good 30 days into 2009, but it doesn't mean that it's too late to buy one of these things.

And if the lovely ladies in the pics aren't enough motivation (and I'm not sure how that could be), and the cutie-pie dogs don't do it for you either....how bout this:

100%(yes, one.hundred.percent.) of the profits go to help out, RAAP, a local pit bull advocacy group. RAAP (Responsibly Adopting Albuquerque's Pit bulls), is always in need of your hard earned dollars - running puppy socialization classes, printing out promotional materials and buying doggie supplies is not cheap.

And if a 2009 calender isn't what you're looking for, not too worry, the girls have got you covered, there is plenty of other cool stuff at their Cafe Press store.

So if you got a few extra bucks, and helping an Albuquerque crew of pit bull advocates keep their programs on the road seems like a good thing - plus you enjoy knowing what day of the week it is - please stop by the BB&B site to make your purchase.
It will be appreciated.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saving Grace.

On the suggestion of an old high school friend, I picked-up Peggy Noonan's latest book, Patriotic Grace. At only 208 pages it's a short book, and can be finished in only a few sittings.

Many may wonder what the hell I'm doing bringing up Peggy Noonan on my pit bull blog. Many may already know.

Noonan's call for maturity and serious deference for the "long view" could not have come at a better time, and I suspect many will agree with me on that point.

And while Noonan wasn't thinking specifically of animal people with this work, so much of what she wrote of relates to dogs: dog blogs. dog forums. dogs in the news.

Of Blogs, You tube, and the internet's overall influence on politics (and subsequently American life), Noonan wrote:

"...nothing good comes without price, and the internet has also unleashed, or rather given a stage to, the polar, and the destructive."

Now while the above quote was influenced by her observations of the internet activity leading up to the 2008 Presidential election, it reminds me so much of the dog blogs and message boards that I frequent.

The rest of the quote goes to show that the childishness isn't limited to the authors of these websites:

"They speak anonymously on comment threads, in e-mails, and because they don't have to put their names to what they say, they don't have to stand by their views. In this sense they are cowardly and should feel shame. But they're also powerful in that they successfully unleash certain toxins into the political air."

Now, she isn't saying anything that we don't already know. That much is known. Yet, I wonder how many otherwise calm, thoughtful people have done such things. To some extent, I have.

Over the years, I have written many comments on message boards, blogs and comment threads, and some of them were full of fire; full of rage; full of frustration.

For my part, some of these posts may have been more divisive than thought provoking; more antagonistic than mature; more inflammatory than instructional.

Noonan proffers:

"What we need most right now, at this moment, is a kind of patriotic grace - a grace that takes the long view, apprehends the moment we're in, comes up with ways of dealing with it, and eschews the politically cheap and manipulative."

At no point in this book does she offer capitulation as an alternative to hard, dedicated, meaningful work. She dismisses the idea that her book is about singing kumbiyah and creating policies that meet in the middle.

Peggy Noonan is not suggesting that anyone abandoned the good fight, or their ideals.

No, sir.

Instead, she is advising that this great country conduct itself like adults, which includes the manner in which we provide and evaluate information.

Without a doubt, there are many otherwise like minded people that write blogs and frequent message boards that are divided in their efforts.

In my way of thinking, this does not bode well for the dogs, and for those working hard to promote a better understanding of pit bulls - and dogs in general.

Certainly, "we" won't all agree on every topic. However, with maturity and trust in the idea that many of our ideas are more alike than not, the BSL, anti-pit bull, anti-animal ownership elements that exist will indeed have less success in getting their agendas written into laws.

I suggest this book to anyone that is disenchanted with the current state of politics; given up on trying to make a difference; running out of patience for those with differing views.

I think it fitting to close with one of Noonan's most gracious moments:

"My resolution is to try in a renewed way, each day, and within my abilities, to be fair."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Six of One, Half Dozen of Another.

Well, now that the buzz has worn-off, it is time to take another look at Vick's Dogs in SI, and the publicity this group of dogs has been given in general.

Based on this post's title, it's fair for the reader to assume that I find the situation to have both an up-side and a down-side, which is nearly always the case in life.

The up-side, of course, is that a major publication (Sports Illustrated) gave the cover story to pit bulls taken from a dogfighting operation; as well as the television show DogTown, which is based on the dogs that went to Best Friends.

Sadly, every year, hundreds of dogs in the US find themselves in a similar situation but do not get the attention or treatment that Vick's dogs have been shown.

For the most part, dogs involved in dog fighting cases are euthanized, and for many (although not always good) reasons - this is a topic that I'll address at length in the future.

This may be a direct result of several influences, namely:

state laws that call for the automatic euthanasia of any animal involved in an animal cruelty or animal fighting case. (Many times the animals are destroyed before the defendant has been found guilty),


the HSUS and PETA claiming that any dog from fighting bloodlines and/or fighting operations is a dangerous animal. This does not come with a call to evaluate the animals as individuals, only that the dogs be destroyed.

However, the media attention (surrounding Vick's dogs) is showing the world that pit bulls from fighting bloodlines and fighting operations can be absorbed into society.

All in all, I appreciate this aspect of how Vick's Dogs have been handled and concede that many of the results are priceless. I also understand that without the folks that are giving these dogs a chance much of the positive press would not be possible.

Now for what I perceive to be the down side of the situation.

First order of business is to let it be known that I have not put hands on ANY of the dogs that have come out of Vick's operation. Not one. The information that has caused me to see a downside in this situation, is 100% based on a television show and news media depictions...and yes, this practice has been ruin of many a young boy.

That said, I found it troubling that several of the descriptions in the SI issue told of nervous, shy dogs. Additionally, I was also bothered by some of what I saw while watching an episode of DogTown. At least one of the dogs was so stressed by (and scared of) the world that the default setting was to belly-crawl.

Think on it for a moment:

a dog so stressed and scared by the world that it is crawling on it's belly.

Yes, this dog was not raised as a pet. Yes, this dog has probably known very little human interaction in it's life. And yes, this dog was not likely to have been treated with any type of dignity before heading to Best Friend's.

Yes, this dog is terrified of the world.

My concerns are these:

promoting the idea that "saving" extremely shy and un-sound dogs is doing right by the dogs,


normalizing the practice of keeping un-sound animals alive for the sake of publicity and/or the emotional interests of the humans involved.

From the television show, and now the Sport's Illustrated write-up, it seems to me that some of the dogs taken from Vick's property may have been better served euthanized.

Not because they are pit bulls.

Not because they are pit bulls from a fighting operation.

Not because they are a danger to society.

But rather, because some of these dogs are likely to spend their entire lives stressed out by the most novel conditions, which is no way for any dog to live.

Certainly, the idea that a animal can be better served via euthanasia is probably going to be an un-popular perspective.

And in a world of "fur-kids" and "doggie-daycare", many dog owner's and animal lovers, when faced with difficult decisions concerning their animals, are likely to be more inclined to act upon emotion, and disregard reason.

It is no surprise, given Micheal Vick's notoriety and finances, especially when coupled with the recent popularity of "no-kill sanctuaries" and the adoption of "special needs dogs", that even the most un-sound dogs from Vick's property have been kept alive in spite of their obvious stressed existence.

I don't have an eternal axe to grind with Best Friends or BadRap; some of their stances fall in line with my own. And in fact, my blogs link to the Vick Dog Blog written by the folks that adopted Vick's dogs via BadRap.

My contention is putting one's emotions ahead of reason and compassion.

In closing, I recognize that many will strongly disagree with this post and for many reasons. Yet, I beg those that find my perspective to be heartless, ignorant or mean-spirited to ask themselves: is keeping stressed and mal-adjusted dogs alive in the best interest of the dogs?

(note - the dogs taken from Vick's operation have been sent to several organizations and not just BadRap and BestFreinds. The SI story has much of this infomation.)

100% of the profits are used to support RAAP programs

Why Pit bulls?

As I work to provide positive, rational, and balanced information about pit bulls, and the virtues of dogs in general, I am often (read: ALWAYS) asked why I am so taken by this breed of dog. It is a fair question that isn't always asked in a reasonable manner.

In short, I find many pit bulls to posses the qualities that I value in a canine companion: great with friendly people, loyal, goofy, energetic, athletic, intelligent, and willing. To be sure, the run-of-the-mill pit bull is a lot of dog. It is all of these qualities in a medium-sized dog that has me so taken by pit bulls.

Alas, there are many aspects of pit bull ownership that are less enjoyable. Namely, dealing with the many negative stereotypes, and the constant battle to balance the mis-information provided by the breed's detractors.
...thankfully, it only takes is a few minutes of lovin' from my doggies and I am reminded they're worth the effort.

I hope this blog gives others insight into my life with pit bulls, and most of all, provides information on the breed in general; there are a lot of misinformed generalizations about these dogs.

Please contact me with questions or comments pertaining to dogs, pit bulls, BSL, etc..

All the best,

Donovan McBee

And don't forget to visit my other blog, No BSL NM.

The HSUS attempted to fund raise for the care of Micheal Vick's dogs, while at the same time suggesting that the dogs needed to be killed.

And to add insult to injury, they weren't even planning on taking possesion of the dogs.

Contact the HSUS and tell them this is unacceptable!