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

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."

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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!