Proposed HB 79

Well, seems as though pit bulls finally have an ally in the Ohio House of Representatives.  Barbara Sears (R), has introduced HB 79, a bill to amend section 955.11 of the ORC to remove pit bulls from the definition of “vicious dog” in state law.

Section 955.11 currently reads:

(4)(a)”Vicious dog” means a dog that, without provocation and subject to division (A)(4)(b) of this section, meets any of the following:   

(iii) Belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog. The ownership, keeping, or harboring of such a breed of dog shall be prima-facie evidence of the ownership, keeping, or harboring of a vicious dog.

Ridiculous, right?  Ohio is the only state to have state-wide BSL.  But Representative Sears, along with co-sponsors Representatives Skindell, Stebelton, Wachtmann are trying to strike (4)(a)(iii) out of the law entirely.  This is a big opportunity for Ohio pit bull owners to speak up and make a stand.  It’s time for people to stop taking the “well, somebody else will write a letter” approach.  If you live in Ohio and feel pit bulls should not be automatically declared vicious, I STRONGLY  encourage you, BEG YOU, to write letters to your local Representatives.  Not sure who your local State Rep is?  Click here and enter your zip code.  

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is that we all band together and do our part to get this bill passed.  If you don’t live in Ohio but have friends and/or family that do, encourage them to write letters.  Your letters should be free of emotion and quote statistics from websites such as the American Temperament Testing Society and other professional organizations.  Need ideas/assistance on what to write?  Check the American Dog Owner Association’s website.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.  But please, PLEASE do something.


I'm not vicious - I'm a Therapy Dog.
I'm not vicious - I'm a Therapy Dog.

Real classy, Obama.

I’m apologizing for two nights in a row of non-dog stuff, but oooooh I am salty tonight.  Just read an article about Obama’s appearance on Leno’s show.  

While joking on The Tonight Show about his bowling prowess (during last year’s campaign trail he shamefully scored 37 in a game), Obama said he’d been practicing at the White House.

He told Leno that he bowled 129 in the White House bowling alley and said his bowling skills are “like Special Olympics or something.”

Huh.  Nice.  Once again I am glad I didn’t vote for him.  However, my brother (who was a Special Olympian – one of his sports was bowling and rest assured that he always scored well over 200) did vote for him.  Way to support your backers, Obama.

“Make new friends, but keep the old…”

“One is silver and the other’s gold.”  Yep, I was a Brownie/Girl Scout.  We used to sing that in rounds.  It was inspiring.  Anyway, this post isn’t about Inara tonight (sorry!).  

This week I had the pleasure of making a new friend as well as re-connecting with an old friend.  Tuesday evening I met with a new friend and we hit it off immediately.  The more we talked, the more we found we had things in common.  By the end of our evening we had determined we were long lost sisters.  We met up again on Wednesday for lunch and on Thursday evening to work out.  It’s always nice to make new friends!

Tonight I met up with a friend I haven’t seen in about 3 years.  We picked up right where we left off and spent three hours laughing hysterically as we reminisced about the fun/trouble we used to get into.  It was fantastic and we both swore we’d stay in touch better from now on.

It was just a good week.  🙂


This was my X-mas card pic for this year, but I just think it's cute!
This was my X-mas card pic for this year, but I just think it's cute!

I’m exhausted…

I had quite the un-relaxing weekend.  On Friday, around 10pm, J calls me to tell me her 5 year old pit/rott Echo is throwing up (like, 6 times in 90 minutes), lethargic, and just not herself.  So off to the emergency vet she goes, and I meet her there for moral support.  Fortunately the vet there is fantastic and immediately flops onto the floor with Echo while he talks to J.  He didn’t feel anything in her abdomen and Echo wasn’t showing any signs of pain as he palpated, so he recommended bloodwork and an x-ray.  To the tune of $400.  J says of course, do what you need to do.  

They bring Echo back out and a little bit later the vet calls us back into the room for the results of the testing.  Pancreatitis.  Fortunately a mild case, caught early.  Normally he would recommend a hospital stay with IV fluids but he sensed that Echo would not tolerate an IV.  So he gave her 3 shots and then pumped her full of sub-q fluids before sending her home with strict care/feeding instructions.  J and I had a fantastic laugh over Echo’s “back boobs,” though the fluid rapidly slid down and became “shoulder boobs.” Still great fun.  So, at about 1:30am we left the vet and went our separate ways.  I got to bed about 2:30.

Saturday – I wake up bright and early even though I’m able to sleep in.  Not cool.  At 1 I pick up a lady, L, who had posted an ad on Craigslist begging for a ride to check out some local shelters as her dog had run away.  The first shelter we went to was the local City Kennel.  I’d never been in there, and I will never go back.  It was dark and dingy, and the dogs had a choice of lying on a concrete floor or a stainless steel shelf.  The worst part though was all the pit bulls.  Every size, shape and color, in their own aisle. And all of them are going to be euthanized.  The City Kennel doesn’t adopt out pit bulls (pits are vicious here in Ohio, in case you didn’t know *rolling eyes*) so they hold them for the mandatory 3 days and then euth them.  I almost started crying right there in the kennel.  It was horrible.

Unfortunately L was unable to find her dog at any of the shelters, so she was heart-broken.  I was exhausted.  I went home and napped for three hours.

Sunday morning we had dog school.  I love dog school, but I still had to get up early for it and it’s tiring.  But Inara did so fantastically well!!! That was definitely the bright point of the weekend.  She was walking in between two rows of dogs, maybe 3 feet on either side of her and she kept her eyes on my face the whole time.  It was really exciting.

Sunday afternoon J took me to lunch as a thank you for accompanying her to the e-vet. I tried to explain to her that it didn’t make sense for her to spend money on me after she’d just spent a large chunk at the e-vet, especially since she would have done the same for me.  She didn’t listen, and we had a great lunch.

So that was my weekend.  I was whipped.  Inara was annoyed at having to spend more time than usual in her crate.  And now I’m already ready for the weekend again.  *sigh* No rest for the wicked, I suppose.

Here’s an old (May ’07) pic of Inara and Echo playing.  Rest assured that Echo is no longer a heifer.  J worked hard to get her svelte now, but I don’t have any updated pics of her.  Please excuse the crappy quality – it was with my old digital camera.


Inara being eaten alive by Echo
Inara being eaten alive by Echo

Dog Sports

I wanted to talk about sports you can participate in with your dog.  I’ll do my best to explain those I’m familiar with, and post links to all of them in case you are interested in finding out more.  I’m a big fan of doing things with this breed that gets them into the public eye in a favorable light.  Obviously, all of these sports require a healthy dog that has some standard obedience.  Please talk to your vet before beginning any training program for your dog.

  • Agility – This is a confidence-building sport for your dog.  In it, your dog learns to go over, under, through, around and between obstacles.  It is easy to make cheap obstacles out of PVC pipe to practice/play in your own backyard if you can’t afford to take actual classes.  Lots of fun!
  • Flyball – Flyball is a fantastically fast-paced sport.  It is essentially a relay race with two teams of four dogs each.  Each dog has to race over four hurdles, grab a ball from the special box, and race back over the four hurdles.  It is chaotic and not good for reactive dogs, but if you have a die-hard ball-loving dog this is something to check out.  
  • Weight pull – Have a dog that pulls like a Mack truck on leash?  Contemplate training him/her in weight pull.  Dogs wear a custom-made harness (Inara’s is from The Working Canine) and pull weights on variable surfaces, pulling a sled or wheeled cart.  Pit bulls are amazingly good at this, often pulling thousands of pounds.
  • Dock Dogs – There are a couple sub-sets of this sport, both involving your dog leaping into a pool of water.  In one, the dog jumps out as far as possible, chasing after a toy and aiming to get distance.  In the other, the dog jumps high, trying to grab a bumper suspended above him/her, landing in the water.  I’d love to try this but Inara can’t swim.  It looks like a blast!
  • Disc Dogs – Can you throw a flying disc like a pro?  Then check out disc dog competitions.  It’s amazing watching some of the dogs do flips while catching, leaping over their handlers, etc.  I highly recommend you check out Wallace the Pit Bull’s web page – he’s a national champion and there are several videos on his website so you can see the sport.
  • Search and Rescue – Not just for bloodhounds, you can teach your dog to follow a scent and help find lost people.  Highly rewarding, but a great deal of training required.

These are just a few of the activities available to do with your fuzzy friends.  If I missed any that you love (and I’m sure I did!) feel free to post them in the comments section!

Inara practicing her weight pull

Inara practicing her weight pull

Inara goes to school

Today we started a handling class that is put on by a local rescue.  It is specifically for pit bulls, which is awesome.  There are only 3 other dogs, so it’s not too overwhelming.  It’ll be nice to have a safe place to work on Inara’s reactivity issues.

Today we just worked on loose leash walking.  Always easier said than done, especially when there are other dogs around.  Inara did really well though.  She had one minor meltdown before class started when a super-reactive dog immediately started barking and screaming as soon as she (the other dog, not Inara) entered the room.  Inara got pretty worked up but as soon as the dog left she settled down pretty quickly.  

We took turns walking across the room and back, focusing a lot on eye contact.  Inara really made me proud, bouncing along beside me, glancing up at me frequently.  Near the end of the hour though she was starting to get antsy.  She was tired of the treats I had brought so they weren’t keeping her attention any more.  Next week I’m planning on taking 2 or 3 different kinds of treats.  I’m also going to try to keep her moving more next week, even when it’s not our turn.  That way she doesn’t have time to get bored and start obsessing over her Halti and being dramatic.

On a side note, they are selling hand-made leashes with these phenomenal clasps on them:


These are neat – they actually “lock” by sliding a toggle so there isn’t any possible way for it to come detached from the collar.  They’re very strong but still lightweight.  I’m pretty excited – I never trust “regular” leash snaps.

Inara’s already smart, but hopefully she’ll get even smarter as we attend dog school.  I think it’s 6 weeks long, and I’ll probably sign up for it again, just for the experience.

“Why pit bulls?”

I usually get asked that with a sneer.  There’s no short answer for it, but I’m always intrigued about what got people interested in this fantastic breed.  

Here’s my story.

In the early fall of 2005 I was out with the fugitive taskforce (I’m in law enforcement) searching for fugitives.  At one house I was in the back, making sure nobody escaped through a window.  We had crappy equipment and my radio ended up falling off my belt.  I leaned over to pick it up and the guy out back with me said, “Don’t move, there’s a pit bull right by your head.”

Well, crap.  I’d never met a real pit bull.  I had never even really thought about them.  But I didn’t relish the thought of being scalped by a dog, regardless of breed.  So I moved one hand slowly to my weapon and then lifted my head a bit to see the dog.  The guy with me laughed and said, “never mind, it’s fine.”  I stood up and saw a ball of wiggling mush.  She was white, and chained to a concrete porch.  No shade, no food, no water.  She was malnourished, every rib visible.  She didn’t have a collar on, just a large chain wrapped very tightly around her neck (I couldn’t fit a finger underneath it).  She only had about 2 feet to move, and that was all on concrete with nowhere soft to sit or lie down.  

I stood there giving her lovings until the guys inside were done.  She was so starved for attention.  The guys offered to help me steal her, but I couldn’t.  As I walked back down the driveway she whined and stuck her head through the porch railing, watching me go.  Her eyes broke my heart.  I still regret not taking her.

I called the humane investigators as soon as I got in the car, and told them that if they confiscated her I would take her.  Unfortunately I was never able to get a follow-up from them.  I hope with all my heart that they took her.  Even if they euthed her it would have been more humane than the life she was living.  

I’ll never be able to forget her.  I couldn’t get over how sweet she was even though she was so obviously neglected.  She was “my first.”  After meeting her, I did weeks worth of research online, reading everything I could find about the breed.  It was eye-opening and I decided I had to have one.  The rest is history.

So what’s your story?


There's nothing like the love of a pit bull.
There's nothing like the love of a pit bull.