A “pawsitive” few weeks…

in the press for my breed!

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Fall in love with a dog, and in many ways you enter a new orbit, a universe that features not just new colors but new rituals, new rules, a new way of experiencing attachment.

Caroline Knapp

As a lover of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed my spirits have been buoyed the last few weeks by the press sharing some of the wonderful deeds with these dogs in the starring role. So often it seems that they only make the news when something horrendous happens and sadly I’ve often found the breed in question to not even be the SBT.

The AKC has this to say about the breed “the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known for its character of fearlessness and loyalty. This coupled with its affection for its friends, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, make it first and foremost an all-purpose dog. The breed is naturally muscular and may appear intimidating; however, because of their natural fondness for people, most Staffords are temperamentally ill-suited for guard or attack dog training.”

In Gloucester, United Kingdom,  police Stafford Stella won at the Animal Hero Awards in London for her role in finding 25,000 pounds stolen in a heist. She was a rescue dog fortunate to have had someone take the time to see her potential.

In Sydney, Australia, family pet Stafford Leala is credited with saving her two year old charge after he fell into the water and was drowning. When attempts to rescue him failed she went and got the father who performed CPR for half an hour until help arrived. The boy is making an excellent recovery.

We are quick to judge a book by its cover and often without all of the information that should be required before making that judgement. We rail against that same act when it comes to skin color so why not when it comes to our furred friends?

Sharing your life with a dog brings untold rewards and it is my opinion that when it comes to bad deeds performed by dogs we need to look at the other end of the leash. 

Passing judgement…

based on appearance.

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Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

E. B. White

I have always had a passion for dogs and have lived with them for most of my life. Photographing them can be challenging but when it comes together naturally it’s a beautiful thing!

Several of the breeds that I have owned frequently land between the pages of Breed Specific Legislation. That poorly thought out, often contentious piece of appearance based legislation that targets a growing list of dog breeds purely on how they look. If your breed isn’t on it, don’t be too complacent, once in place it has the capability of quietly growing.

As a photographer and owner of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, I am very conscious of the images that I share of this breed; always scrutinizing them for what someone might ‘see’ in them and choose to tagline as vicious. She could be running joyfully towards me with that ‘grin’ that all owners of this breed recognize but to the uneducated or the one with an agenda, publishing that image might just add fuel to the fire when taken out of context. It is unfathomable to me that there are cities in this country and in the one to my North, where should I venture into those places with this dog, she could actually be confiscated. Did I mention that in England they are called the Nanny Dog, they are especially good with children and that this particular dog lives with a fluffy white kitty?

On this day she sat quietly watching me as sunlight streamed through the wooden blinds and calling out a quick ‘stay’ I reached for my camera which is always close at hand. For me it was a moment that captured the look of prejudice and each time I see it I am compelled to remember never to judge a book by its cover.