So, obviously dogs are a big part of my life. Not only do I live with two (one of which is always a temporary resident, but a resident nonetheless), but I see at least 10 others are a regular basis in training classes, several others on a daily basis in the neighborhood, and manage the lives of one or two others who are living in other Bully Project foster homes. So when I meet new people, I feel it’s only appropriate to start off with the fact that they “must love dogs.”
My dogs are a huge part of my life – I never imagined that the bonds I would form with all of them would transcend everything else I knew. So when new people (friends or otherwise) get added to the mix, I automatically think, “Will they like Lucy? How could they not? I love Lucy!”
I don’t think I am the only dog owner who feels this way – and that’s not really my concern. The real question I think my mind is asking is: “Will they like my pit bull?” With all the sensationalism of pit bulls that happens, and the misconceptions and ignorance, and judgment, I start to get defensive about my pups. I feel the need to protect them from people who wont give them the respect and love that I know they so deserve.
Of course, not everyone is a dog person – it’s not about my dogs, just dogs in general. And I understand that. But my life has dogs in it. I can’t help but think that I can’t have it both ways. So how do I maintain the human connections that we all depend on as social beings, avoid alienating new people in my life who might be uncomfortable with my dogs and remain as loyal to my dogs as I know they would be to me?