BSL is BS

Baby Ernie, the first day I brought him home.

Baby Ernie, aged 5 weeks.

Ernie’s pictured in this post about BSL.

BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) is something I had never heard of before I owned pit bulls. And if I’m being honest, I don’t really remember if I had an opinion either way on pit bulls before Ernie. Sure, my friend had a pit mix (Dexter, who later came to live with me), but I don’t remember having a thought one way or the other about his breed. He was just a big, sweet dog with too-little ears who knew to stay on the porch. Oh, and he let us dress him up. But his canine older brother, Tucker (who was a retriever mix with regular-sized ears), had the same qualities and did the same things.

Baby Ernie (and a chubby Hemo)

Baby Ernie (and a very chubby Hemo)

I fell in love with Ernie when he was two days old; he looked like a little guinea pig. While I was waiting for him to be old enough to bring home, I bought a Pit Bulls for Dummies book and set about memorizing it before he came home.

Cement block-shaped head? Pump handle tail? Check and check. At the end of the book was a chapter on BSL and where it had been successfully challenged, and organizations to contact if you had any questions.

I filed it away, hoping to never have to give it a second thought.

A few months later, Ernie and I were in PetsMart getting an ID tag made at one of those “etched while you watch/wait” kiosks.  Ernie, a few months old at this point, was exhausted from the sheer amount of people, treats, and toys in the store, and was laying at my feet as we waited for his tag to be finished. A woman approached me, keeping a careful eye on Ernie, and asked me what type of dog he was.

Baby Ernie sits.

Do I look ferocious?

“He’s a pit bull,” I smiled at her.

She took a couple of big steps back.

“Oh – those dogs shouldn’t be allowed around people.”

My face flushed bright red with a mixture of anger, shame, frustration, and shock.  How do you even react to that, when the dog, nay, PUPPY, in question is laying at your feet? Does “I’m sorry you feel that way” even begin to cut it?

Then I moved to the small town of Romeo, MI.  A few months after moving there, my step-dad pointed out to me an article in the local paper which reported that the village was thinking about enacting BSL which would ban pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs within it’s borders. I went into full-on panic mode and turned to the “Resources” page of my Pit Bulls for Dummies book. I called about 5 numbers, left messages, and waited anxiously for a reply.  I got a call back from a group that had successfully defeated a pit bull ban in nearby Detroit, and they agreed to send a representative to the next council meeting.

I am not a public speaker, but I went to that meeting clutching pictures of Ernie and a few prepared words in my sweaty hands. Ernie, then 9 months old, was at home and although he obviously had no idea what was going on, I didn’t want to let him down. One of the village trustees described pit bulls as being  “merciless when they attack” and I almost lost it. Another Romeo resident held up pictures of a child mauled by a pit bull and advocated for their banishment. When it came time for me to take the floor, I was so nervous I had a hard time meeting the gaze of any of the attendees. Luckily I managed to stammer out a coherent sentence or two (thankfully quoted in an article in the Romeo Observer* or I never would have believed it actually happened) before sitting down.

Ernie and his cousin, Sadie

Ernie and his cousin, Sadie Lu, after a long day.

The motion was successfully defeated in favor of enacting a more general (and effective) dangerous dog ordinance. But the seed was planted, and I’ll never forget how close I’ve come to losing my boys, and the hatred and fear people can bear for a dog they’ve never even met.

Through this blog, I’ve met (well, read the blogs of) many other pit bull owners and advocates (like Kate at save the pit bull, save the world, Miss M and Mr. B and their awesome owners at Two Pitties in the City, and rescue/educational groups like Bad Rap, The Unexpected Pit Bull, and Richmond’s Ring Dog Rescue) who have strengthened my belief that these dogs have a place in our world and our homes. All of us can’t be wrong, right?

So now that I’ve shared my sob story, I have to ask for a favor.  I’ll be attending BlogPaws West this fall with RichmondPetLovers.com. The catch is that the conference will be held in Denver, CO, a city where Ernie, Dexter, and all pit bulls are not only banned, but would be in danger of being seized and euthanized based only on the fact that they are pit bulls. Maggie at Oh My Dog! has created and is organizing the Operation:Denver campaign to educate Denver’s Mayor Hickenlooper about the facts, rather than the myths, about pits and the people who love them.

Ernie's glamour shot

Ernie's glamour shot.

Maggie is coordinating a postcard campaign to send 10,560 post cards, or a mile’s worth, to the mayor of the Mile High City.  All you have to do is create an electronic postcard (you can download a template for PCs or Macs) and email it to Maggie at operationdenver@gmail.com. That’s it! Just a minute of your time.

Because I feel so strongly about this, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and I’m going to donate $1 to Operation:Denver for every postcard you guys create. That’s right – if it means no more delicious beers for me, than so be it.

So force me into a ramen diet, guys! Create a postcard and let me know you’ve sent it to Maggie by telling me about it in the comments (or copy me [badmuthafudrucker@gmail.com] in the email you send to Maggie at operationdenver@gmail.com). If you need a pit bull image, feel free to use any I’ve posted here or anywhere in the blog.

Thanks, friends. BSL is getting my blood boiling.

—————————————
*The last sentence in this article makes my stomach twist in knots. Is this guy a dog expert? Fuck no, he’s a freakin’ VILLAGE COUNCILMEN. Get a clue, ass.

Hey, that reminds me…

…so Allie at Hyperbole and a Half posted about sneaky rage cycles recently, and I immediately had a flashback to a recent event.  This was me:

*slightly torn, but nonetheless clean

The first sign of trouble –

Weird.

It appears that the elastic in the mattress pad has melted in the dryer.  I have never, in 28 years of life, heard of this problem.  Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock.  Yet I am still not ready to admit defeat.  I try changing positions; using the bed/wall/anything for leverage.
Ok, this isn’t working.  I’m breaking into a sweat.  The animals have fled to the backyard as I grasp the crinkly, decidedly non-elastic, mattress pad in my teeth in a desperate attempt to bend the universe to my will.

OK, ok.  Calm down.  Breathe in, breathe out.

Oh no, you didn’t.
Finally – VICTORY!

Kinda.

She sees you when you’re sleeping…

Attention:  You have been robbed!

Yes, robbed.  All weekend I was busy having adventures and soaking up awesome stories to tell you about this morning.  I saw FERAL PEACOCKS!  I am not even joking about this, friends.  FERAL PEACOCKS.  Just let that sink in.  Oh, one was roosting in a pine tree, while another was prancing on the roof of an abandoned trailer (I am such a tease).

But that’s all you’re gonna get out of me today, because my (thankfully female) coworker pulled me aside after our staff meeting today to inform me that my dress was split up the seam in the back, exposing my flower print underwear and embarrassingly white thighs to whomever chanced to walk behind me.

Holy shit.

So instead of tales of FERAL PEACOCKS (including my friend Kristin, who is apparently a FERAL PEACOCK WHISPERER), I’ll leave you with this:

Imagine the creepiest, most judgmental gargoyle you can think of.  Now imagine it in your backyard.  Now imagine yourself a bit hungover.

BEHOLD!

The media has got it all wrong.  Rabid pit bulls can’t hold a candle to the menace that is Hemo.

Hemo is judging you.

Oh, so you thought you’d make some healthy and delicious oatmeal pancakes for breakfast?  Sounds like a great idea – make a big batch, freeze’em, and pop them in the toaster in the morning for a quick on-the-go breakfast.

You do know that oatmeal pancakes ≠ oatmeal cookies, right?You know oatmeal pancakes =/= oatmeal cookies, right?

Yeah, Heem, I know, but I’ve got this whole canister of oatmeal – I might as well use it.  In fact, let’s double the recipe; I gotta get rid of this stuff.

*sigh* Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
*sigh* Don't say I didn't warn you.

(original recipe – Heart-Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes)

Okay:
milk – strike one.  Substitute coconut milk.  check.
oatmeal – check.
oatmeal flour – wha?  *drags out food processor* check.
baking powder – nope. But it’s optional, so…
salt – check.
egg whites – check.
cinnamon – check. Scratch that.  I had cinnamon – at Steve’s house.  So…cocoa powder? check.

45 minutes later:Dang pancakes - looking good!

Dang, pancakes, you’re looking GOOD.  Let’s have a taste test!

*blech*

*sad face*

Shoot, these taste like oatmeal.  Plain oatmeal.  I need some sweetness in my life!

*rummages in the fridge* How about some blueberries?

Taste test No. 2

Verdict: These things still taste like coconut-flavored cardboard.  With blueberries mixed in.  W.T.F.

*breaks down and adds some brown sugar and vanilla*

I didn’t even try the rest of the batch.  I just cooked them all and threw them in the freezer.  This morning I popped two in the toaster and…

Do yourself a favor – next time just open a can of tun.  At least that won’t go to waste.What did I tell you?

I have not died (but I think my tomato plant is on it’s way out)

HELLO….hello…..hello…

Echo…echo…

Yeah, so, I’m a crap blogger. I don’t even have a good excuse, just an extreme case of writer’s block combined with some serious stage fright. Come on! Have you seen some of the blogs I read? These bitches are funny, and I’ve been having a hard time bringing the funny without falling back on the poop humor that used to kill in third grade.

*Sigh*

Those were the days.

work-poot

And now that I’ve tipped my hand, I should probably refrain from telling you about how I was blissfully passing gas in The Boss’ office as I was making copies of site plans on his big copier/scanner when I was interrupted mid-poot by said Boss. Who knows if he noticed anything (he has a problem with wicked B.O., so perhaps we cancelled each other out), and I think I played it off pretty well. But damn you FiberOne bars! Why are you so delicious? Do you think you are in some kind of gas-inducing face off with broccoli? Because hands down, you win, FiberOne bar. Happy now?

So anyway, I’m back. With gas. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about how my tomato plant is sucking ass.

In which I dream about calling the maintenance man, or Julie Gets a Microwave

Sitting at a friend’s house eating pancakes and sausage for dinner recently, I announced that I thought Julie had gotten a microwave for Christmas, but I wasn’t sure and maybe I just dreamed that. I’m not 100% sure what prompted me to make this announcement; Julie wasn’t even present at dinner. Perhaps it was the wish that I had taken the time to microwave the syrup before I poured it over my pancakes, or maybe it was a random brain synapse firing. I guess it doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that I have boring dreams. I have dreams about regular, everyday things. For example, about 5 years ago when I shared an apartment with 2 girlfriends, I was supposed to call the front office to get someone to come out and look at the fan in our laundry room which wasn’t working. A couple days pass and one of my roommates, A, asked me if I had called, to which I replied that I hadn’t called because our other roomate, D, had called. A few more days pass and no one comes to look at our fan. Why? Because D hadn’t called; I had just dreamed that she did. WTF? Get an imagination, you freak.

I’ve been reading Cake Wrecks for a couple of months now, and I’ve started having dreams about decorating cakes and I now believe I have the skills to appear on an episode of Ace of Cakes. How hard could it be to sculpt the Backyardigans out of fondant? Never having baked or decorated a cake in my life without the aid of my pals Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker, I bragged to my sister Lauren about my imaginary new-found skill with a pastry bag. She, in turn, told my sister Anne, who is getting married this May, about my new calling in life.

Anne and her fiance have very set ideas about how they want their wedding to go down, and are both working at least 2 jobs to finance it. I’m extremely proud of her for being so responsible, even if her job as a manager at a children’s clothing store did prompt her to send me the following email:

To: badmuthafudrucker@gmail.com

Re: Retail rules

Rule Number 1:
I AM NOT A BABYSITTER —
in fact you probably don’twant to just let your kids run around wild in hopes that I’ll watch them. I’d probably let them put a dirty penny in their mouth and watch as you are mortified because you weren’t watching them and they decided to suck on a penny – why not? It’s shiny, they have nothing better to do. I know those evil glances you’re giving as you yell at your child and force them to spit out their shiny metal snack are meant for me, but unfortunatly for you, you cannot place the blame on me in front of the 3 other sets of parents who are looking at you as though you were reading Britany Spears’ memoirs of motherhood (hopefully she doesn’t really write memoirs of her experience as a mother, it may cause further and irreversible damange to her boys as they grow old enough and some stranger teaches them how to read).

Besides, if you leave your kids to me, how am I supposed to pull all the sizes you want to try on in all the colors and outfits you came in here for in the first place?

Oh and if you ask me to put in a movie for them to watch I will probably be more interested
in that (no matter how many times I’ve seen Ella Enchanted in the past week) than catering to your every need.

well i hope you enjoy this and it makes you pee your pants a little bit.

————————————————-

Ah, the pleasures of working in retail.
Anyway, a recent phone call between myself and Anne goes down like this:
Me: Hey Anne!
Her: Hey. Lauren said you wanted to make my wedding cake?
Me: Well, what I said was that I have mad dream skills at decorating cakes.
Her: So you’ll make my wedding cake? We just want something simple. All white. With roses.
Me: What if it comes out looking like vomit on a plate? But it still tastes good? Will you hate me forever?
Her: Probably. We want red velvet. I’ll send you a picture. [click] dial tone
Me: Wait…

So she wants this:

[image credit: http://www.uniquecake.co.uk/]

But I’m afraid she’ll get this:

[image credit: http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com]

Looks delicious. Anyone have a good Red Velvet cake recipe?

I am the anti-Rockwell

For some reason, I think I am invisible when I’m in the car. I have no problems picking my nose and flicking boogers out of the window, or going for a quick crotch scratch. I don’t know why; my windows aren’t tinted, and my car sits pretty much as low to the ground as you can get and still clear speed bumps.

Come to think of it, I think I am invisible much of the time. Stain on my shirt? Who’s looking close enough to notice? Wacked-out hair? Well, I’m just going to Food Lion, nobody really cares. The flip side of this is that I look at people non-stop. Not that I’m necessarily judging people, but I look at and take note of food stains, signs of poor hygiene, unfortunate clothing choices, etc. Let me reiterate–I am not judging. I’m wondering about the thought process behind strangers’ appearances. I can understand that comfort might prompt that lady to wear sweat pants to pick up a gallon of milk, but I’m baffled by the high heels. I want to know the thought process.

I mean, I have an excuse a story for the dirt on my pants. Ernie jumped on me when I was on my way out of the door. I don’t know about you, but I don’t budget an extra 25 minutes to find a backup outfit in the morning. Once the clothes are ironed, on the body, and have passed the mirror test, I’m committed. I can’t go through the whole process of imagining an outfit, combing my dirty clothes hamper closet for the necessary articles, assembling the appropriate undergarments, and ironing twice in one morning, simply because I drooled some toothpaste onto my sweater. Who’s going to notice, anyway?

ALSO, LBluca77 is continueing the Pay It Forward Contest, and the last day to enter is TOMORROW. Go check it out and leave a comment to be entered.

I didn’t check the crawl space

Yesterday was not a good day, internet friends. I came home from work to find 3 police officers on my porch and the front door wide open. My first thought was that something had happened to the dogs. As I raced up the porch steps, Dex came waddling out of the front door. Before they could get a word out, I asked the officers if there was another dog here. They told me they had put Ernie in the spare room because they weren’t sure how friendly he was.

The police officers said that they had received a call from a neighbor that my front door was wide open. When they arrived, both dogs were in the house, and nothing seemed amiss (other than the cushions being off the couch, but the dogs do that all the time). Either I didn’t close the door all the way when I left in the morning, or someone came in to the house and the dogs scared him off. I’m 99% sure I locked the lock on the doorknob, but I know I didn’t deadbolt it. The officers walked through the house with me, checking behind every door, in every closet, and under the beds. Once I was satisfied nobody was there and nothing was missing, I packed up the dogs and went to a friend’s house.

During the whole ordeal, I was mainly upset that something could have happened to the dogs. I’m surprised they both stayed in the house (which is not to say they didn’t go roaming and come back, but it was a little chilly yesterday). They could have been hurt–shot or kicked by some desperate drug addict. I thought back to the guy who cut my grass a couple of weeks ago. What if they had tried to attack the police officers as they came in the house? I wouldn’t blame them if they did, but others might not have been so understanding.

It’s got me really shaken up today; I didn’t sleep very well last night and I’m dragging ass today at work. I just want to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate in the middle of an Ernie and Dexter sandwich. I’m proud of the boys for being so good and staying close to home, but I feel like I’ve let them down by not keeping them safe.