Pit Bull Awareness Month

pitbull awareness month

Two years ago, October was officially dubbed as “Pit Bull Awareness Month” in an effort to spread awareness and education about this misunderstood breed. The “Pit Bull” (“pit bull” is a generic name for three breeds of dogs – the Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and any mix thereof) has deservedly received positive attention in the past few years, with many celebrities adopting members of the breed and bringing beneficial media attention. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Rachel Bilson, Jessica Alba, Rachel Ray, and Kaley Cuoco all proudly walk their pits for the paparazzi. TV shows such as “Pit Bulls and Parolees” and “Pit Boss” have also helped spread a positive image for these dogs, and put a spotlight on the abuse that these innocent dogs go through (and more importantly, the rehabilitation).  An emphasis on campaigns such as “blame the deed, not the breed” and “adopt, don’t shop” has put these dogs back into a much better situation than even 5 years ago, but the work is nowhere near over.  The abuse and mistreatment of these dogs sadly continues, and pit bull mixes still make up the majority of dogs in shelters.

truth2via

As a pit bull owner, I try to live my life as an educator on a daily basis,  but I find that sometimes this is quite a challenge based on my urban environment.  I currently live in a neighborhood where people cross the street when they see me coming with me dog, children scream, and I’ve even had mothers shelter their children while we pass, as if at any second my dog will viciously attack them.

It takes so much strength not to yell at these people or even laugh loudly at their foolishness, as I sometimes really really want to do.  I have to take deep breaths and remind myself that they are not to be blamed for their misconception and fear, that the media portrays dogs like mine as dangerous and deadly everyday, and to remember that they do not know my dog.

They do not know my dog that hides in the bathroom and refuses to come out for hours during a thunder storm. They do not know my dog that runs at the site of cats or small dogs yapping at her on the street.  They do not know my dog that thinks she is human, that curls up on my pillow next to me with a lick and a cuddle.  They do not know my dog that thinks she is small, and tries to climb her entire 60 pound body into my lap while we are in the waiting room at the vet.  They do not know my dog that allows my three small nieces, one with special needs who doesn’t easily understand “no”, to climb all over her and manhandle her, rubbing on her face and pulling on her tail, without even the slightest of protest. They do not know my dog who knows when I am sick or sad, and refuses to leave my side for any reason when she can sense I’m not well.  They do not know my dog, or any of the others of the “pit bull” breed, that everyday are gentle, kind, and loyal to their families.  They do not know the pit bulls that act as service dogs to those living with disabilities, or that serve in combat alongside our soldiers.

Although having an entire month nationally dedicated to awareness is a great place to start, a pit bull owner’s job is never done.  I don’t know that I fully appreciated the responsibility when we decided to adopt Dimona as a puppy four years ago.  Society has made me very much aware of the breed of dog I own, although owning her has made me more aware than ever of the false stereotypes that exist. Every day is an exercise in tolerance of ignorance, and being a responsible pit owner is so important as each and every pit on the street becomes an ambassador for its breed.  Owning a pit is knowing a pit, and I’d like to think that just by owning Dimona, we have brought awareness of the breed to family members and friends who otherwise would have harbored only the image the media portrays, of monsters with locking jaws and vicious temperaments.  And maybe, if I keep walking my dog down the same block day after day, they will begin to see the sweet girl with the blue eyes just out for her afternoon walk, who isn’t looking to cause bloodshed and mayhem.

They do not know my dog, but hopefully someday through education and deeper understanding, they will want to.

Insta-May

Another month has flown by and I am seriously bummed that I didn’t make the time in my schedule to come here more often and share my comings and goings with all of you.  I don’t want to fall into the habit of relying on another social media platform – Instagram – to fill my blog content.  But alas, for this past month filled with moving, weddings, concerts, crazy weather, and everything in between, here are a few pictures to fill you in on everything I should have been blogging about!
Insta-May

  • If you haven’t been to Jackson Heights, Queens, you really should.  Falling in love with the sights and sounds of our new neighborhood…
  • My happy girl, in our her new bed, in her new apartment
  • The Great Googa Mooga festival was unfortunately rained out on Sunday, but we had an amazing time Friday night seeing the Flaming Lips and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with friends, family, and a lot of good food!
  • When the rain cancelled the Googa Mooga festivities, we opted for a Sunday brunch scene at Woodland in Park Slope, BK.  Bloody Mary complete with salted rim featured here.
  • Easy weeknight panini recipe:  Sliced apple, caramelized red onion, sharp cheddar, bacon, kosher sandwich pickles, honey dijon mustard on rye bread.
  • Josh and Dimona enjoying a sunny Sunday on MDW
  • A quick “selfie” we took, waiting for the subway, at our new stop – 90th St/Elmhurst Ave on the 7 train. Think we like wayfarer sunglasses much?
  • Snapshots of 5 Pointz, an amazing haven of graffiti in the city
  • Manhattan skyline showcasing the city swelter of this past week’s 90˚F+ days

Welcome June!

Insta-April

A look back through April, as told by Instagram:

aprilgram

  • We started off the month with a fabulous vacation in the Dominican Republic.
  • On a grey day upon our return, I snapped a shot of the Empire State disappearing into the fog.
  • Josh and I treated ourselves to dinner at a fantastic BBQ place near our home in Port Washington after spending a full day packing.
  • Packed up the U-haul, and headed to Queens (and yes, I drove!).
  • This lone yellow tulip in our yard really symbolized the coming of spring.
  • Free Arts NYC held a benefit auction last week, where Richard Phillips was honored to raise money for inner-city art programs.
  • Dimona enjoyed the nice weather when her bed was moved outside to the deck.
  • Her mother enjoyed the nice weather this past weekend in Central Park with some friends.
  • A final shot of the Port Washington harbor, as we prepare to start May in Queens. It will be missed!

I hope you all had a beautiful April, and are looking forward to May as much as I am! xo

30 Days of Thankful (November Recap)

November in Pictures

A central theme across social media this past month was to give thanks every day of November.  I had many friends and acquaintances post on facebook, twitter, their blog and/or instagram each day about a part of their life (big or small) that they were grateful for. I’m not dedicated enough to have posted every day, but since this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Thankful”, I thought I’d take this opportunity to incorporate the things I am thankful for with a recap of November via instagram pictures:

1. Sunday, November 4th – Taken at the Giants vs. Steelers game tailgate, with one of my best friends since age 8.

*I am thankful for sunny days spent outdoors, even as the weather turns colder.  I am thankful for lifelong friendships and playful rivalries.

2. Friday, November 9th – Taken at a dear friend’s family’s cabin, early in the morning.  I have a wonderful group of friends who continue to make time for each other, and we have a fabulous host who brings us to this serene location at least twice a year for long weekends.

*I am thankful for upstate retreats and catching up with college friends.  I am thankful for a few days a year when I can pretend, and act, like I’m still 21. I am thankful for peaceful mornings and the nostalgia that an image can create from years and years of wonderful weekends.

3. Saturday, November 10th – Also taken at the cabin: my fabulous bloody mary, with a slice of bacon.

*I am thankful for “make-you-own” bloody mary bars, and bacon.

4. Monday, November 12th – Taken at home with my family the night after we got our power back following Hurricane Sandy.  My step mom made this fabulous cake and it was made even more delicious while we celebrated heat and the ability to use the oven.

*I am thankful that my family stayed safe during Sandy and that there was no damage to our home. Although two (freezing cold) weeks without power were difficult, I send my prayers to those who do not have homes to go back.

5. Friday, November 16th – Taken along the waterfront in my town on Long Island at sunset.

*I am thankful that I live near the water and get to enjoy beautiful images – such as sailboats along the horizon during sunset – every day.  I am thankful for God and nature and all the elements of the universe that I will never understand that work together to create a sky such as this.

6. Sunday, November 18th – Taken in my living room of my dog (the princess) sleeping on her fort of pillows.

*I am thankful for the privilege of being a dog owner and taking care of the sweetest girl in a world that judges her based on her breed first.  I am thankful for how much I have learned about myself and my spouse, and how our relationship has grown, since we decided to raise a pet together.

7. Sunday, November 18th – Taken in our kitchen as Josh creates the “ultimate” pulled pork sandwich.

*I am thankful for great recipes that are easy to make and that can satisfy a hungry man.  I am thankful for dinners at home together, and amaaazing cookware wedding gifts (yes, that’s a Le Creuset dutch oven!)

8. Thursday, November 22nd – Taken in our Aunt Leslye and Uncle Richard’s home Thanksgiving day as three different generations of men carve the turkey.

*I am thankful for tradition, for family, and for love.

9. Friday, November 23rd – Taken at a local sushi place in town during a lunch & movie date on Friday when we had the same day off.

*I am thankful for the small things that bring great joy, such as seeing a movie in a theater and eating in a restaurant.  I am thankful that I get to wake up and look at that face every day for the rest of my life.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends, and wish you so much happiness during the coming holiday season.  I am VERY thankful for my readers, who took me to over 60,000 hits this month! xo