As my wife pulled into the driveway at lunch time she noticed two things. I had accidentally left the garage door open, and the interior of the garage was occupied by a pit bull.
My wife opened the car door. As soon as she did the pit bull, with testicles intact, stepped out of the garage and growled at her. My wife wisely elected to stay in the car and closed the door. The pit bull lay back down in the garage.
My wife, hungry for lunch, tried to exit her car again with the same results. Car door opens. Pit bull emerges from garage. Pit bull snarls and growls.
I understand. People who own pit bulls love their dogs just as much as other proud owners of man’s best friend. “They can be so sweet,” is the oft heard refrain of that particular breed’s proponents.
However, you don’t often see headlines that read, “Four Year Old Mauled By Golden Retriever In ICU,” “Fatal Pug Attack Probed As Possible Homicide,” or "Corgi Attack Proves Fatal." If it’s a sweet dog you want, then get one that is bred to be sweet.
Pit bulls have a bad reputation for a reason. There are any number of studies that implicate pit bulls in a disproportionally high number of unprovoked attacks on children, and with a high risk of death from being attacked, as compared to other breeds of dogs.
To quote one study entitled, Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs, published in the journal, Annals of Surgery, “Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs.”
I have known people who have taken on ownership of abandoned and abused pit bulls and they have turned out to be good pets for those careful and responsible individuals. But, from what I can tell, that is an a-typical pit bull owner.
From what I can tell, your common pit bull owner is like the individual I saw walking his pit bull through the park, close by where a number of kids were playing. He was young, male, exuding toughness and had the dog leashed with a chain.
The un-neutered dog was for him, I imagine, an affectation -- an adornment, like a piece of jewelry -- to let people know what kind of person he thinks he is: a virulent, macho, type A, intimidating, dominant, egocentric force to be reckoned with. Heavy on brawn, but light on brains, like the creature at the opposite end of the taut metal chain, I thought. If their image were captured in a photo, it would be called, “Masculinity Without Humility.”
Growing tired of being held hostage by a menacing beast, my wife called animal control. My wife sat and waited in her car for about thirty minutes until the pit bull got up and sauntered off down the driveway. A minute later animal control arrived, but the dog was gone.