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Saturday, April 29, 2006

What are pit bulls afraid of?

A lot of people are afraid of pit bulls. Most of the time I don't like that but, there are times when it is very useful - like a few months ago. I was alone on the beach with Honey. It was dusk and a little cold so Honey was wearing a sweatshirt that hid her pit bull physique. We were playing near a recreation area off a side street that has slides, swings and a basketball court, when I saw a car pull up and park. No one got out but that isn't unusual when the weather is colder - people often watch the sunset from their cars, then turn around and drive off.

Honey and I continued to play. At some point, I noticed a large man got out of the parked car and started walking over. Almost subconsciously, I saw there was something slightly strange about his movements - he didn't stroll, he didn't walk with purpose - I don't know what but it kept me aware of where he was. It was getting darker and more difficult to see distinct features but I could see he moved over behind the slides. I walked a little further away with Honey. In a while, I saw him come around the other side and then start walking directly toward me as Honey wandered. Even in low light, it must have been obvious I was looking directly at him. He said loudly as he walked closer "I'm looking for a little boy that was playing around here. Have you seen him?" Now, I hadn't heard him call for anyone and I can't believe you wouldn't be looking pretty frantically that late in the day - especially, near the beach so, I just didn't buy it. I called loudly back "No, the only one I've seen here is my pit bull" at which point Honey started running toward us since she heard my voice. Well, that man turned right around, got in his car and left. Maybe it wasn't as ominous a situation as I thought it was but I was happy I could exploit the pit bull reputation at that moment.

But, as far as what pit bulls are afraid of, I can cite a few examples. Last year, several veterans would get together to fly kites. This picture is of one of the bigger kites in Oxnard Park:

I was talking to one of the veteran kite-fliers with Honey sitting beside me looking around. All of a sudden, something clicked as she was looking up and she started barking and barking at the cat kite while slowly backing away. She's not much of a barker but this was insistent, as was the pull on the leash to get us out of there. I had the feeling she thought she was keeping us covered for as long as possible but she knew she couldn't last because that cat was not only huge, it was in the air. We got out of there with all the kite-fliers laughing at Honey's reaction. Luckily, there was no permanent scarring - for a couple of days after that, she was still looking around when we went to the park but thankfully, that wore off.

There is also a walk we would take in Burbank where she was fooled a couple of times by an iron silhouette of a dog, similar to this one.

What was funny is she would drag me to the gate to a certain point and then, her two dimensional perception would disappear and she seemed to think the dog had vanished - she would start sniffing, and looking all around the area the flat iron dog was last spotted....

Two final examples of really scary things out there in the world - each causing Honey some real distress where we have to rush past the objects -- a porcupine shoe cleaner:
and a wind wheel:


Anonymous catbird said...

Thank goodness courageous Honey was around for that cat kite! Those things can be VICIOUS! And those little porcupines? Well, they may be little, but man, are they MEAN!
Seriously, I laughed and laughed about this one. Oh, and I noticed this week that my favorite park here in Orlando has the Dogipot baggies. I found myself wondering, "I wonder who I need to see about getting them changed to Mutt Mitts!"
Such influence you have on me! (wink)

10:02 AM  
Blogger Conners said...

I totally enjoyed this post and laughed my head off with everything except that dramatic scenerio at the park with the man.
I too have felt relief from a few scarey situations that were avoided by Shasta breed and good training.
This was prior to the ban when the thought of muzzling Shasta wasn't even considered.
To see a well trained, APBT by my side was all the confidence I needed as she moved from my side to placing me behind her as she watched to make sure I was safe... and they KNEW it! LOL
Good for Honey!!!!

12:50 PM  
Anonymous deDesertKnight said...

Thank you for publishing one of the many stories of our heros.
A Pit Bull will save your life and run from NOTHING in defense of hid master. Truly anyone's best friend and every WOMAN should have a Pit Bull!

My wife is at home now...pritected by our Pit Bull

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

That damn cat is scaring me.

11:39 PM  

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