I can hear the TV in the other room. The Man is watching the news. It sounds like something really tragic happened in California. A bad man walked into a crowded bar with a gun and shot the cashier and bouncer and then opened fire on the hundreds of customers. It sounds like a brave police officer and a number of innocent patrons didn’t make it.
This makes me so, so sad. Why do humans hurt, even kill, each other? It’s all so nonsensical. What sort of darkness lies in the heart of someone to cause them to kill their fellow humans? I can’t even imagine, and I have a good imagination.
The news has been on the TV a lot lately, and I heard there was an election a couple of days ago. Elections must be bad things, because I heard a lot of different people saying a lot of bad things about other people for the last, I don’t know, it seems like forever. At least the election is over now. I thought that people could start being nice to each other again, but I guess not.
I think people would be a lot nicer to each other if they gave each other treats and played together instead of arguing and getting mad at each other for petty little things. So some people like blue and some people like red. Big deal. I can’t even see red.
Come to think of it, people should be like dogs: colorblind. When I see a person, I don’t care if they’re red or blue or green or black or brown or white. I just see a person… who potentially could have treats …and I wag my tail so hard it almost spins me around and stand up straight. I’m just happy if they talk to me or scratch my ears. And no matter who they are, I am happy to see them.
I think people should just try talk to each other. Maybe they could even give each other belly rubs. Or something like that. Until then, I think I’d rather the Man just watch football. At least there’s never any controversy there.
(EDITOR: Ummm. Oh, never mind.)
Before we get to my football stuff, I’m starting a new section where I share something about my “bully” side. If you remember, a few weeks I told you all about the history and characteristics of my dominant lab side. But I’ve also got the expressive ears and relatively hairless belly and goofy personality amongst other typical characteristics of a pit bull. Now I don’t really know my dad’s side of the family, so I had to do some research on the American Pit Bull Terrier (UKC; the AKC does not recognize that breed).
In this week’s Bully for You – yup, that’s what I’m calling this section – let’s just start with a brief overview of the American Pit Bull. From vetstreet.com:
American Pit Bull Terriers were once an iconic American breed. They were American military mascots, advertising stars, and popular farm and family dogs. But when dog fighters criminally exploited the breed’s loyalty, tenacity and bold nature, the Pittie’s reputation took a hit from which it hasn’t yet recovered.
I’m not a military mascot or advertising star—yet—but I just heard I do make an appearance in the upcoming 2019 Mesabi Humane Society calendar. Thanks to my fan Karen for submitting my picture.
The APBT has a formidable reputation and appearance, but he is meant to be a dog who loves and accepts people. In the hands of loving owners and given the right amount of socialization, training, attention and love, he can be a docile, affectionate family dog.
(EDITOR: Docile. Huh?)
Unfortunately, he comes with societal baggage. Pit bulls can be highly people oriented, but they don’t necessarily like other dogs or small furry creatures like cats. Some pit bulls may become friends with cats in the household and seem to love every dog they meet, but they arguably are not typical of the breed.
I heard of this guy that used to be on TV named ALF. He liked to eat cats. But, though I could easily eat Ninja when he swipes me in the nose, it’s not really fair that I weigh more than six times as him, so I usually deserve it because I’m nothing if not boisterous. Besides, he’s like 253 years older than me—forgive me, I’m not sure how cat years work—and he’d probably be tough and stringy. Really though, he is a pretty sweet guy most of the time when he’s not doing ninja stuff. Quick question though: Did ALF ever say if they tasted like chicken? Asking for a friend, and no, it’s not #askingforafriend76.
The APBT typically weighs 60 pounds or less, and is very muscular. Pitties are powerful dogs and can be a challenge to walk on a leash if not well trained; pulling can become an issue. For healthy pit bulls, it can be a good idea to channel that desire to pull into a dog sport, such as weight pulling or nose work.
Sixty pounds? Pfffft. I weigh more than 90, and it’s all muscle. The Man won’t let Annie walk me on a leash because I weigh almost as much as her. And I don’t pull. I’m just naturally a trail blazer. I will literally run through anything. And a nose job? Puh-leaze. I don’t need a nose job. Mine’s about perfect.
(EDITOR: I think you misunderstood that one.)
A pit bull’s grooming needs are modest.
His coat needs brushing a couple of times a week to help manage shedding, and his ears need to be kept clean and his nails trimmed.
Notice, they didn’t mention anything about baths. I do not need baths. I clean up the old-fashioned way; by rolling around on my back in the mud.
The term “pit bull” is often applied indiscriminately to APBTs, American Staffordshire Terrier, and sometimes Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a British breed. The term may also be used to label any dog who resembles those breeds, even if he is a lab mix with little or no “pit bull” in his background.
Hey, I’m the last one, the lab mix, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got some bully in my background.
An APBT comes in any color, pattern or combination of colors, except merle.
Merle? As in Haggard?
Celebrities who count pitties as their best friends include actresses Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel and Alicia Silverstone; and cooking guru Rachael Ray.
I knew it. Ladies love us. How couldn’t they? That’s it for Bully for You, my new weekly staple for the next few weeks as we talk about my heritage.
What do you know? I have a little room for my mailbag and to talk a little football. We’re only going to answer one email this week because, well, you guys ain’t exactly blowing up my inbox.
I am a big fan of your column. It cracks me up, especially your escape stories. Tell me, what is your best escape? – #theghostofHoudini
Dear #theghostofHoudini: I’ve always wanted to meet you. The real you anyway. Well, it’s not the 46 ways I’ve found under, through or around the fence and into the neighbor’s yard to visit Buddy or Liam or Mila, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve found every way there is. And it’s not one of the half-dozen times I used my muscles to snap my collar, leash, tie-off or the screw-in hook holding one end of my zip line . There was that time I left the tie-off clipped to itself. But I think my favorite(s) are when I suffer temporary amnesia and forget my name and just take off up the block. It’s not elegant, but it is effective. – Case
Last week the Man and I did a new thing. We picked our favorite Thursday night-Monday night daily fantasy lineup based on DK salaries. And thus the DK Dog Kennel was born where my team goes head-to-head with the Man’s team.
I am sorry to report that the Man nipped me in the butt—I might be saying that wrong—in our first matchup last week. His lineup beat mine 159.06-157.60. His best pick was the Bears defense, which scored nearly seven times their salary. I had the highest-scoring guy of the week in my lineup in Michael Thomas, while the Vikings defense provided the best overall value for buck. That was a lot of fun. I went into Monday night with a chance to beat him, but Cole Beasley was invisible until the last couple of minutes of the game—he was like a ninja!—and I just came up short. Here are our lineups for this week:
THE DFS DOG KENNEL
QB Patrick Mahomes, KC ($7200)
RB Kareem Hunt, KC ($8500)
RB Jordan Howard, CHI ($4700)
WR Michael Thomas, NO ($8100)
WR Devin Funchess ($5300)
WR John Ross, CIN ($3900)
TE Vance McDonald, PIT ($3600)
FLEX Aaron Jones, GB ($5000)
DST New York Jets ($3400)
Salary cap left: $300
Notes: Yeah, I’m going with my guy Mahomes again. The Kansas City Kid (I’m so disappointed this hasn’t caught on) is still slinging it. This time I’m picking his RB Kareem Hunt to go with him, while I can’t quit Michael Thomas either. And this week, it’s my turn to pick the defense that plays Nathan Peterman and the Bills.
The Man’s Mainstays
QB Cam Newton, CAR ($6100)
RB David Johnson, ARI ($6800)
RB Duke Johnson Jr., CLE ($4700)
WR Julio Jones, ATL ($8300)
WR Keenan Allen, DEN ($7100)
WR Josh Gordon, NE ($6000)
TE Vernon Davis, WAS ($2800)
FLEX D.J. Moore, CAR ($4700)
DEF Buffalo Bills ($3200)
Salary cap left: $300
Notes: The Man has some repeaters, too— Julio and D.J. at WR. But I got him this week. I promise!
Hey, have a good week and be nice to each other. Greet everyone by tackling them and giving them a big, sloppy smooch, like I do if I when the chance. Maybe leave out the tackling part…
Case resides with the Man, HTF columnist Brian Miller, in Eveleth, MN. He can be reached at email@example.com. His blog page on Facebook is The Lost Puppy Case.