Sometimes I get called "Franklin Schlomo" cause that's my "full name." Sometimes people refer to me as a dog, as Lily's brother, as Mommy and Daddy's fur-kid.... Mommy also calls me "Bubba" because that is my nickname.
But I am also called a Pit Bull.
I learned pretty early on that being called a Pit Bull can make people react in pretty strange ways. People cross the street sometimes when we are outside walking. One lady shopping at our favorite store walked out because she "didn't do" pit bulls.
Do you know other pit bulls? Do you remember the show The Little Rascals? Petey the dog was a pit bull.
Have you heard of Sargeant Stubby? He was a decorated War Hero from WW I and he also was a Pit Bull.
What about Buster Brown shoes? Remember his companion?
And now... me... Frankie! I go to classes in NJ to teach children empathy and Pit Bull Awareness, and Mommy and Daddy socialize me, so I get to go to lots of places. and I've heard some pretty crazy stuff! I've heard people say that Pit Bulls have bad "temperaments." But the American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS) conducted a study of 122 breeds. Pit Bulls achieved a passing rate of 83.9%. Beagles had a rate of 78.2% and golden retrievers 83.2%. (You can check out all the breeds at www.atts.org)
People say "Pit Bulls have locking jaws." WRONG!
I had one lady at school pet me for 20 minutes... she was so nice. She asked what kind of dog I was, and when she heard "Pit Bull" she nearly fell off of her chair - literally. The humans that teach the class with me, asked how anything had changed from the time she started petting me until she heard those two words... they reasoned with her, and she went back to petting me. (And hopefully she saw Pit Bulls a little differently.)
I also had a little boy in class who was terrified of me because of my breed. I felt so sad that he was scared. He said that his Mommy and Daddy told him that Pit Bulls are mean and will bite him. I wouldn't bite anyone!!! All the other kids petted me, and at the end of class I stayed extra specially quiet so that he could pet me, too. He was very brave to overcome his fear, and he petted me very softly. My fur tickled his hands. He laughed, and said I was soft. I kissed his hand, and he said "I like Frankie. He's nice. Will he come play with us again?" I was SOOOO happy! I changed his mind!
There are a lot of us who are trying to change people's understanding about Pit Bulls. The media doesn't help us too much!
If you want to read more about Pit Bulls and some of the myths and the truths, there are some good websites. My favorite three are:
And if you actually DO humane education with children, or even if you want to teach your own kids, there is a book about my life called "Frankie's New Beginning." I use it in my classes, and the kids like to see the photos of me and my friends. (You can buy it at this link: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/frankies-new-beginning/15544997?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1
Whatever you do, please help me change the perception of PIt Bulls! I'd love for the words "Pit Bull" to be as well received as "Frankie!"