Peace, Love, & Freedom for Pit Bulls

Ugh! I know we need the rain, but every time I wake up and it is raining all I can think is “well Niki won’t walk far today!” What IS it with dogs and walking in the rain? They act like they are going to melt! I really don’t get it. I mean they see nothing wrong with going out and joyously rolling in the big mud puddles the rain leaves behind, but a rain drop will send them flying for cover? I knew I was not getting far with Niki yesterday at all!

We no longer possess a working treadmill.  We had one once, but for some reason it became “the” spot for new dogs to “mark” when they first got here for training. Mechanical things that get peed on a lot eventually refuse to do their job, so out went the treadmill! Now that I have retired from active hands on rescue and only have my “hard to place” rescues and my own dogs left, things tend not to get peed on, so we need to replace the treadmill as a few of our dogs could benefit from using it. It is a great way to exercise your dogs in inclement weather, and it is a great tool to help with exercise regimens for dogs like Niki, that need to lose weight.

Okay, where was I going with this? Oh yeah…rain… rainy days at our house means dealing with keeping a pack of dogs busy so they don’t get themselves into mischief. Niki can be particularly mischievous when she gets bored. She is also a very intelligent dog, and has learned a few tricks on her own we’d rather have had her not learn.

Rainy days send Niki searching for things to do. She can get out of her crate if she really wants to, and what’s more? She’ll then release everyone else while she is at it! If you don’t give Niki a job, especially on rainy days, she will get herself into some sort of mischief. One rainy day I crated the big dogs and made sure the small dogs were secured in their part of the house. I went out and did the weekly grocery shopping. When I came home with the groceries and opened the front door, I was greeted by the entire pack at once! Niki had gotten bored gotten out of her crate and decided she wanted the rest of the pack out too!

I realized early on that Niki was highly intelligent. Okay, I may be a little biased because she’s MY baby, but she is a super smart dog! Knowing this, there was only one way to keep her busy, and out of trouble. Give her a job! Niki became a dog trainer!

What? Yep, I know, now you REALLY think I have lost my mind, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Who better to communicate with a dog, than another dog? Niki really fell into her “job” naturally. New pups would come into our home, and Niki would immediately take them under her wing (so to speak.) She would correct their bad behavior, and protect them from being picked on by the adult dogs in the pack. She’d teach them the ways of the dog pack. I didn’t train her to do what she does, I just learned to guide the skills she already possessed.

Niki used to exhibit the same behavior on walks, correcting bad behavior with a low growl or a shove with her head. All perfectly natural behavior for a dog. Then people said her kind were vicious and had to be muzzled in public to protect others from harm. Now when Niki goes for a walk, she can’t do her job. She must walk alone or with one of her adult pack buddies so that no one perceives her behavior with a pup as aggressive or vicious. Grown men will cross to the other side of the street when they see us coming.  Parents tell their children to “stay away from the bad dog.”

THIS is how BSL has effected Niki, and this is why we are now faced with the task of helping our beloved Niki lose weight. BSL took an active vibrant dog, and turned her into an overweight, slow moving dog whose health is in danger! Really if you want to get technical, BSL amounts to nothing more than government forced animal abuse! By restricting these dogs from being normal active dogs that can interact with society, BSL only causes poor quality of life for these dogs, as well as make them subject to health conditions they would not be subject to if they were free.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know I did a lot to contribute to this mess. I hear you all yelling, but curb your tongues because I know my role in Niki’s weight gain, I have acknowledged my mistake, and my only concern at this point is my dog! Therefore, I would like you all to do me a favor and take an “if you can’t say something helpful to Niki, don’t say anything at all” approach to this issue. Also when you think about this issue, remember that I have other dogs whom are not restricted by BSL, and every one of them is healthy and at optimum weight. The ONLY overweight dog in our household is Niki. She is also the ONLY BSL restricted dog. Draw your own conclusion.

Niki as a nine week old pup…isn’t she gorgeous???

Hope you all have a great day! See you tomorrow!

Peace, Love, & Freedom for Pit Bulls

Janette & Niki