Changing the image of pit bulls - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Changing the image of pit bulls

© iStockphoto.com/Jose Gil © iStockphoto.com/Jose Gil
  • From The Dog DailyMore>>

  • The myth of the hypoallergenic dog

    The myth of the hypoallergenic dog

    Over the past few years there has been a lot of talk about specific dog breeds that are "hypoallergenic" and perfect for families with members who have pet allergies. Is this talk fact or fiction?

    More >>

    Over the past few years there has been a lot of talk about specific dog breeds that are "hypoallergenic" and perfect for families with members who have pet allergies. Is this talk fact or fiction?

    More >>
  • How to tell if your dog is healthy

    How to tell if your dog is healthy

    Since your dog hasn't mastered speaking in words yet, you may wonder how you can tell if your dog is feeling okay. It turns out, many of the clues can come from just looking at your dog and reading his body language.

    More >>

    Since your dog hasn't mastered speaking in words yet, you may wonder how you can tell if your dog is feeling okay. It turns out, many of the clues can come from just looking at your dog and reading his body language.

    More >>
  • The dirtiest pet product you own

    The dirtiest pet product you own

    What item do you grab numerous times a day but rarely, if ever, wash?

    More >>

    What item do you grab numerous times a day but rarely, if ever, wash?

    More >>
By Michele C. Hollow
 
From the first day Emmett -- a pit bull and Plott Hound mix -- came to live with Maggie Marton, she searched for a therapy-dog training program. "Most facilities that did training weren't insured for Pit Bulls," she says.

Maggie finally found a program at the Monroe County Humane Association in Indiana. Since graduating, Emmett visits children at libraries, schools and a mental health facility for children. "He performs wonderfully in all three situations," says Maggie, "but he really shines at the mental health facility."

The first day there, Maggie noticed a quiet little boy sitting with his arms wrapped around his knees, peering out at her suspiciously. "While most of the kids elbow to be the first one to play with Emmett, he sat quietly in his spot," says Maggie. "After a few visits, he still hadn't asked for a turn. So as we went around the circle I asked, ‘Would you like a turn walking Emmett?' He smiled and said ‘Yes, please' so softly that I barely heard him."

"We've been visiting for several months, and a few weeks ago we had to miss our visit while Emmett had surgery," she says. "The next time we came in, this quiet little boy dashed over and said, ‘I missed you, Emmett!' He wrapped his arms around him and Emmett gave him a big kiss."

Despite Emmett's winning personality, he encounters a lot of people who have negative ideas about pit bulls and pit bull mixes. "When people ask me if he's a pit bull," says Maggie, "I tell them that pit bull is actually a generic term, and that Emmett is an American Staffordshire terrier mix. I always add that he's a very friendly therapy dog."

Michele C. Hollow writes the blog Pet News and Views (http://www.petnewsandviews.com), which covers animal welfare, pet care, and people who work with and for animals.

Copyright (c) 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by Frankly