Dear Pit Bulls,
My own beautiful Pit Bull died yesterday, and I am broken in so many ways. But there’s so much I have to say to her, to you, and to all the people who have you so wrong.
To my Nushka, the beautiful, gentle, noble soul who came to us as the tiny puppy with the purple toy, who overflowed with love and pure happiness till the end of her days: thank you. Thank you for every bit of joy you brought into our lives.
Thank you for bringing us flowers and petals and sticks and leaves every time we came home. For wagging your tail so hard your whole body shimmied. For singing to us for hours on end when we made our pilgrimage from city to coast.
Thank you for always asking so nicely. Your front paws together, your chin up, your proud chest puffed out. It was how you would ask for your supper. Your winter jersey. For us to throw that shell down the beach. Again.
Thank you for snuggling the cats, for licking them so spotlessly clean, and for breaking up the fights whenever they were at each other’s throats. Thank you for letting the bird go so she could fly free.
Thank you for all the memories. Like your tiny mud spattered nose and your wide-eyed puppy innocence when you dug up our entire sprinkler system. The way you’d always come out with us to gaze up at the midnight stars, and how you loved to chase splashes of water and dunk for seaweed in rock pools.
Thank you for embracing your new little rescue Pit Bull brother so completely, for not minding that we had to feed him first, for letting him take your bones and play with your toys. Thank you for keeping him warm at night and for our own little early morning cuddles.
Nushka, you were remarkable in every single way. You inherently knew things we could never have taught you … like your compassion for all creatures and your finely tuned sense of justice. Everybody you met fell in love with you. Because loving you was an easy thing to do. You were so much more humane than most humans. And we are honoured and deeply humbled to have had you in our lives.
To Nushka’s sisters and brothers, I’m sorry you don’t all get to play freely, to run on the beach, to cuddle in the mornings, to feel loved and safe. With my whole heart, I am sorry that you are so deeply misunderstood and so horrifically abused.
I’m sorry that people who haven’t ever even met a Pit Bull are convinced that your kind is cruel and vicious and evil. I see how they step back at the sheer mention of any of your breeds. I’m sorry that they don’t know that it is the human who is cruel and vicious and evil.
I’m sorry that they butcher your silky ears and sever your exquisite tails. I’m sorry they beat you, drug you, terrify you, isolate you, chain you up and throw you into pits where you’re eventually torn to shreds and executed for entertainment. I’m sorry they so maliciously warp your beautiful natures to serve their twisted desires for blood and violence.
I’m sorry that some countries even have laws against you. That they’ve already put down untold numbers of your sisters and brothers – young, happy, healthy dogs – purely because of the way that they look. I’m sorry that even in countries that haven’t made discrimination a law, you sit in shelters waiting for the inevitable needle because people are too biased to look past the myth and give you a forever home.
I am so deeply sorry.
And finally, to all the people who think it’s the Pit Bull who is the monster, my wish is that you meet a being like our Nushka, that you meet a creature of her kind who has not been so savagely destroyed by humans, that you learn how big their hearts really are, how gentle their souls can be.
Because the very least you can do is free them from your own discrimination.