I know I don’t normally post on Mondays, but today is Blogville Pitty Post Day, as started by Oh,Corbin, and while I don’t currently have a Pit, my Smokey Angel, my heart dog, was a Pit/Lab mix. I will have a Pit again.
While I could spend hours and hours telling people all the wonderful things about my Smokey, I think I’ll just talk about what a wonderful ambassador he was for the breed.
For most of the time we had Smokey, we also had our Australian Shepherd, Moree. (We lost them only 16 months apart.) I used to tell people, “I have a cute, fuzzy looking dog and a big, scary looking dog. Guess which one is more likely to bite you?” In fact, Moree was terrible on leash, absolutely awful except while actually in obedience class. Smokey, however, didn’t care if he was on leash, as long as he got to be next to one of us.
Our first house was in a new development with an HOA where the rule said that any dog perceived as dangerous was against the rules. That meant that we always worked extra hard to make sure that people met Smokey and saw him as friendly and sweet. No one was going to ban our Aussie, but it was a risk with a Pit mix.
So, I used to take Smokey to the mailbox with me. It was about half a block up the street. He would walk with me, taking the occasional pause to smell something interesting. Pretty much always there would be a kid out, staring in fascination at my beautiful boy, with a parent nearby, with a worried look on their face.
I would stop at the bottom of their driveway, put Smokey in a sit, and say to the parent. “Would your child like to pet him? He is very friendly.” Most of the time, we would get a cautious okay, and we’d walk a few steps up the driveway, and Smokey would sit again.
At that point, the child would start petting/patting/hitting him, pulling on his ears, whatever it was the child wanted to do. Smokey loved every second of it. He’d sneak in a big sloppy kiss on the kid, and soon there would be giggles all around.
By this time, the parent, who had been nervous at the start, would start telling me what a handsome dog he was, how sweet and well behaved. Now, I knew this already, but it was always nice to hear from the people around us.