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March 15, 2013

Pit Bulls at Danger

Roy Meachum

As if they have nothing more important on their plates, Annapolis’ senators and delegates are rife-filled with motions on a single breed; they mean to outlaw pit bulls, as too dangerous for adults to own; a peril to children.


Goethe is bigger. On the last call on Veterinarian Jane Saylor, my Weimaraner weighed in at 92 pounds, almost 50 percent heavier than the subject of legislative discussions. However, the dog the Germans term “grey ghost” has not a reputation as a fighter. Indeed, we sleep in the same bed at nights. When we walk twice a day, because of Goethe’s size people are inclined to avoid him, to the point of hiding behind trees. He spends his “outside” frantically looking for food or whatever; he eats a lot of paper.


The only dog fight I watched was in Ecuador, where the legitimate event brings out wallets and purses; to say gambling is the curse of Latinos might not be far off the mark. But in that single incident, I don’t recall pit bulls as dominating the sport. ‘Tis true I was into the sauce; still I can remember various breeds – including a Weimaraner.


My point, like human children, pit bulls must learn to hate – and bite. I’ve read stories about dogs destroying owners and their children; they were not among the single species. Any animal, including cats, might rise up and slay, given enough provocation or mental illness. They were wild and savage before man decided to domestic them; primarily for his own benefit – even horses have kicked to death stable attendants, owners, other grown-ups and boys and girls.


On North Market Street, we frequently run into pit bulls; they seem to be the pet-by-choice among young men. They never challenge Goethe. He annoys most smaller dogs with sharp voices; the smallest stand up in their leashes and try to reach him. Being a peace exponent, the Weimaraner steps along his way, carefully allowing others space to pass; it works.


We live in an age of such bigotry. For some vague political causes, people rush to claim their bigotries. But when it comes to animals, I must protest! Outlawing breeds condemn them to early extinction. And that doesn’t seem fair to me.


After all, men bred them for a specific purpose, as Weimaraners came into existence for royal hunting of boar, bear and deer. I can’t imagine Goethe living in the wilds. Being put outside on the patio, especially during rain, he piteously cries and half-barks to be let inside the library.


As I frequently tell my best friend, he’s “a good guy.”


Our elected political leaders shunt aside the budget, tax reform and desperate legislative issue to waste valuable taxpayer-funded time on pit bulls that are lighter than Goethe.


Have you no shame, ladies and gentlemen?


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