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steve blow sunday column

Discussion in 'Dogs - Pit bull breeds specific' started by tuttifrutti, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. tuttifrutti

    tuttifrutti New Member

    Here's the column:
    Pit bulls and patios a bad mix
    Lanie St. Claire found herself at the intersection of two hot topics last weekend. And it got a little scary when the fists began to fly.
    As she puts it: "It was my first and, hopefully, my very last barroom brawl."
    The two hot topics: pit bulls and dogs on restaurant patios.
    I don't expect everyone to side with Lanie on this. But I think you will agree she's entitled to strong feelings on the subject.
    You see, Lanie is a registered nurse who has worked for the last 15 years in the emergency room of Children's Medical Center. That means she has seen more than her share of gruesome, heartbreaking stuff - including too many children mauled by dogs.
    In fact, there were four such cases in her ER the very week leading up to last weekend's incident. ANd in one of those, the little girl died of injuries inflicted by her family's pet pit bull.
    So, yes, Lanie has legitimate cause for concern. And she was highly concerned that Saturday night when a group with a pit bull was seated next to her family. This was ont eh Greenville Avenue patio of Blue Goose Cantina.
    Lanie's group included her 25-year-old son, her 14-year-old daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend. Lanie noticed the dog only when her daughter innocently reached toward it.
    Lanie's heart leapt into her throat. And without hesitation, as quitely as possibly, she called the waitress over and asked for the dog to be moved.
    "The waitress said, 'Oh, he's here all the time. He won't hurt anyone.'" So Lanie asked for the manager.
    "I said to him, 'Please be understanding, I'm not being hateful. But those are very unpredictable animals, and the people on your patio are not safe.'"
    [[This section involves the behavior of the owner of the dog after they were moved, and is not really relevant.]]
    But the incident raises a larger issue. When the Dallas City COuncil recently passed an ordinance allowing dogs on restaurant patios, most of us probably pictured docile labs and cute Shelties.
    Are you ready to dine next to an obnoxious stranger's pit bull? What if you are with small children?
    [[This section is also irrelevant, and deals with dogs in general on the patio as unsanitary]]
    But Lanie can't put safety aside. She has seen the damage any dog can do, but none compares to the bred-in savagery of a pit bull. "They don't just bite a hand or leg. They go for the head and neck. And they don't let go until they have torn flesh," she said.
    Lanie knows that breed-specific bans are a tough sell. Instead, she hopes Dallas will return to an ordinance that simply reflects good manners and common sense: Dogs don't belong at the dinner table.

    If you want to e-mail Steve Blow about this article, the address is: sblow@dallasnews.com

    I e-mailed asking him to please clarify in a later column that not all pit bulls are inherently dangerous, and that it often depends on the owner and not the dog.
     
  2. Piper's Mom

    Piper's Mom New Member

    Do you have a link for this article?

    This really pisses me off. We live near and frequent Greenville Ave often. I have written a rebuttal to send to Mr. Blow.

    Thanks!

    Lisa
     
  3. someday

    someday New Member

  4. tuttifrutti

    tuttifrutti New Member

    thanks! i couldn't find that link earlier
     
  5. Piper's Mom

    Piper's Mom New Member

    Thank you. Here's my post:

    Mr. Blow,

    Shame on you for using your column to promote bad press and instill unwarranted fears into the public regarding the behavior of “Pit Bulls”.

    The health issues that arise from any pet dining on a public patio would be a better issue to take to task than which dog breed isn’t acceptable. However, the Dallas City Council passed this ordinance and some restaurants welcomed the new law. I will compare this ordinance to the Smoking Ban; some agree and some do not. You have a choice of where you dine. If you don’t agree with a certain restaurant’s policies, you are free to take your business elsewhere. It’s that simple.

    Lanie St. Claire’s prejudice is an opinion and only that. I do not read any place in your article that she is a Trained Professional or even has first hand knowledge with any dog breed, “Pit Bulls” included. What I read is speculation and opinion. You state, “In fact, there were four such cases in her ER the very week leading up to last weekend's incident. And in one of those, the little girl died of injuries inflicted by her family's pet pit bull. So, yes, Lanie has legitimate cause for concern.”

    This incident is indeed a tragedy. However there are many unknown’s in the above incident left for your readers to speculate about. To pass judgment on any situation you are not 100% knowledgeable about is wrong. It is human nature, but it is wrong.

    What are the other three dog breeds involved in the cases mentioned above? Has it been “confirmed” that the fourth case did, in fact, involve a Pit Bull? It has been proven over and over again that dogs originally identified by the media as “Pit Bulls” were in fact NOT “Pit Bulls” at all.

    Please allow me to clarify for the record: A “Pit Bull” is not a dog breed, it is a term used to describe three different breeds with similar qualities; the American Pit Bull Terrier (ABPT), the American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff/AST) and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Staffy/SBT).

    Humor me and take this challenge, please. Can you identify the “Pit Bull”? http://www.pbrc.net/poppysplace/games/A ... ll_v4.html
    How many times did you pick the wrong dog? Now can you understand how easy it is to misplace blame?

    Quote: “Lanie's heart leapt into her throat. And without hesitation, as quietly as possibly, she called the waitress over and asked for the dog to be moved.
    "The waitress said, 'Oh, he's here all the time. He won't hurt anyone.'" So Lanie asked for the manager. "I said to him, 'Please be understanding, I'm not being hateful. But those are very unpredictable animals, and the people on your patio are not safe.'"

    Let’s take a look at a few common dog breeds tested in the American Temperament Test Society’s 2006 published statistics: www.atts.org/stats3.html

    (Actual chart removed from this post - it was not copying correctly)

    Do you see your family pet, former pet or neighbor’s pet on this list? If so, what do you of it think now? If your pet’s breed ranks lower on the list than 83.9% (the lowest score of the three Pit Bull breeds), are you suddenly afraid your family or neighborhood “are not safe”? Based on Ms. St. Claire’s remarks, you should be. I urge and encourage you NOT to believe such foolishness just because you read it some place. Do some research on your own – you may be very surprised at what you come to find out is the “truth”.

    Quote: “But the incident raises a larger issue. When the Dallas City Council recently passed an ordinance allowing dogs on restaurant patios, most of us probably pictured docile labs and cute Shelties. Are you ready to dine next to an obnoxious stranger's pit bull? I have to ask: Are you stating that owning a Pit Bull automatically makes one “obnoxious”? Wow.


    Quote: “But Lanie can't put safety aside. She has seen the damage any dog can do, but none compares to the bred-in savagery of a pit bull. "They don't just bite a hand or leg. They go for the head and neck. And they don't let go until they have torn flesh," she said. I realize she sees many things in the ER. However, how many times has she been with the victim and seen first hand, “the bred-in savagery of a pit bull.” They don't just bite a hand or leg. They go for the head and neck. And they don't let go until they have torn flesh"? These are the “facts” you want us to believe. How many times has she substantiated the results of a confirmed “Pit Bull Attack”? The truth is - this would be very hard to do, because it is a very rare occurrence for an APBT, AmStaff or a Staffy to attack a human being. Human aggression has been bred out of the breed from day one and was NEVER tolerated. (Do some research on the original dogs bred to fight – you’ll see.)

    Are there bad Pit Bulls? Of course there are. Are there bad dogs in any breed? Of course there are. Are there bad children running around in public with no manners? OF COURSE THERE ARE. In these cases, you need to look at the owners and the parents – PUNISH the DEED not the BREED.

    I am a 38 year old Park Cities resident and a proud mother of two. My family eats on the various Greenville Avenue patios often. We are blessed to share our home with two wonderful APBT’s. My dogs play at the Dog Park and attend Doggy Day Care once a week. We take them to Home Depot, PetsMart and the various other stores around town which are “dog friendly”. My dogs and my children have manners; they know how and when to use them. I admire a parent whose child sits quietly at the table next to ours while out dining. I admire a pet owner (and their pet) who can take his or her dog out into public. It brings a smile to our faces and I believe it is a great lesson for my children to learn. The more time, effort and love you put into your family pet – the more you get out of it.

    I ask that you please stop encouraging the public to believe vicious and inflammatory gossip which inspires hatred, prejudice, discrimination and breed profiling.

    Again I will state: Punish the deed (and the bad pet owner), not the breed.


    Sincerely,

    Lisa
    University Park, Tx
     

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