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I have a very talented friend named Erin. She is a world class musician by day, and by night and weekends she is an animal lover and rescue volunteer extraordinaire. I’m writing about her because even though she is not a professional photographer, she has found a way to use her photos to save dogs. She does cell phone photos and videos of the dogs she rescues –and they’re adorable– but recently she has been using her cell phone to tell a story.
A story of two abandoned pit bull puppies. So young that they had to be bottle fed around the clock by Erin and one of her students until they could eat on their own. When she first started posting their photos on facebook I thought “How clever! Let’s show everyone how cute pibble puppies are!” Now, as the puppies turn 6 weeks old, I’m just shaking my head in amazement. It seems like the whole facebook world has fallen in love with “the girls” and not because of any fancy photography or media exposure –just one very clever, passionate animal lover and her cell phone. Everyone has seen these two adorable sisters grow from wiggly little spotted THINGS, to lovable, adoptable dogs. And no one who looks at these photos is going to think of them as mean, dangerous, damaged or undesirable. All because my friend introduced them to the world and let us all watch them grow.
So here’s the beautiful, simple lesson: one person and one cell phone camera can make a huge difference. Not just for two dogs, but for all animal shelters overrun with puppies, and for all families fostering pit bulls and for animal rescue in general. So don’t get discouraged if your photos don’t look like museum quality art — just tell a story and show the world how much joy there is in saving a dog’s life. Erin has been nominated as a PET HERO. If she wins, she will donate the money one of her favorite animal rescue charities. Read her story here: https://apps.facebook.com/offerpop/Contest.psp?c=136923&u=29960&a=254553244581393&p=187932427898496&v=Entry&id=409048&rest=1
Do you know any Pit Bulls? The shelters around the country are overflowing with them — and you could probably make a case for Pit Bulls being the most misunderstood and the most often euthanized of any shelter animal. For this reason alone, the breed captured my interest. Did you know Pit Bulls are BANNED in 14 states? If you own one, you may even have trouble getting homeowner’s insurance –and forget about finding a place that will rent to you. All because of a few ugly news stories about dog fighting and a certain pro football player.
So I’m launching my own personal campaign to give the breed a better ‘face.’ I’m not alone in this. Many Pit Bull (you can call them pibbles) owners have started working on the public to give these dogs a fair shake. Remember Cesar Milan’s ‘Daddy’? What a sweet loving (and yes, scary looking) pibble! He is gone now but there is a foundation set up to help abused animals in his name.
Basically, I would ask each of you to go to your facebook page and remove any images of mean or threatening pibbles. Just hide them! Starting today, let’s only show them with humor and grace. They are beautiful, loving dogs and if we can just show them that way, the tide of public opinion will start to turn. Every generation seems to have it’s breed prejudices. When I was a kid, everyone was afraid of Dobermans. Everyone, that is, except me –because I grew up listening to my father’s stories about Rex, the wonderful doberman that he grew up with.
So until we can get everyone in America to personally meet a Pit Bull and change their pre-conceived ideas about them, let’s take beautiful photographs that show how loving and smart they are! Deal?