By ClaudineZap |
Try to quickly summon an image of good-with-small-children dog, and
chances are you'll picture something adorably Benji-shaggy. Or maybe a
sweetie-pie golden retriever, or a love ball of a lab. It's not likely, at least
not in today's perception of the breed, that an American pit bull terrier leaps
But not so long ago, pit bulls were brought in as
nanny dogs, the trusted caretaker pups to watch over kids.
Vintage photographs recently posted on a personal
blog show off the breed as
More vintage photos of pit
bulls with children
It's striking--and quite sad--to see such
documentation of how beloved the
now-maligned dog once was. The very same American pit bull is now more often
associated with Michael Vick's dogfights, and stories of household pets gone
bad, sometimes tragically involving kids.
In the case of Vick, who was
convicted of running a dogfighting ring, 47 of the pit bulls from his kennel
were taken to animal sanctuaries or adopted. One rehabilitated dog named Mel,
who moved to Dallas with a new owner, even received an edible
key to the city.
But back to the breed's history as a family dog: Helen Keller had a pit
bull. Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote "Little House on the Prairie," owned one,
too. And Petey, the mascot pup with the black eye patch in "The Little Rascals?"
Overtime, the breed, which was also bred to battle bulls and
fight other dogs, picked up a reputation for a nasty nature. Cesar Millan, the
"dog whisperer" who is around the breed every day, says it's people who should
be blamed, not the breed. He writes on his
website, "Pit bulls get a bad rap
because of irresponsible owners."
Responsible owners include Jon Stewart,
Alicia Silverstone, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, and JessicaAlba.