Sam has been unpacking boxes in the new apartment like it is her job. I will be completely honest while I might have pulled a few muscles moving stuff into apartment she has really done a lot to make the apartment actually looked moved in to. With that said she had been filling up boxes of things that she and I no longer want or need; this includes clothes, books, knick-knacks, and the ilk. Essentially as we have been unpacking we have been repacking our past lives so that it can be deposited in used clothing and item bins throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties.
One afternoon, I was moving several of these boxes out to my car so they could be relocated. Agatha and her dog, Max were outside. I have exchanged about fifteen words with Agatha. According to Tony, Agatha is the white girl being used by Shane, her black husband.
Max is a light brown pit bull with white spots. Dante and he have not made very good friends. Shane assured me that Max is as gentle as a lamb. That pitbulls, like Max are misunderstood; that there is no such thing as bad pit bulls just bad owners. He told me a story about how he and his friend took their pit bulls to the beach and one of their dogs was bitten by a dog like Dante. I am sure his point was “Don’t judge a book by its' cover” but it came out as “we as rational intelligent human beings should fear your chunky thirty five pound terrier mutt and not my lean seventy pound pit bull.”
I was taking out these boxes and placing them on my stoop outside so I could close my front door and retain some heat in the apartment. Max is watching my every move from about 20 feet away.
I get the last box out on the porch and close the door. Agatha is starting walk to her apartment next door to mine. Max walks past her door and is pulling Agatha seemingly effortlessly towards me. Max is looking me right in the eye, a low growl was becoming audible. Agatha is leaning back into the leash with all her weight and Max is just pulling her one fumbling step at a time. Straight towards me.
She yells. “Max!” Then for the first time since I came outside turned his head away from me and he looks at Agatha and wagged his tail briefly. A doggy "JUST KIDDING!" Agatha pulls him towards her apartment and goes inside.
I stood in there for a moment as I digested the most involved interaction I have had with Agatha since I moved in. What if Agatha lost her footing or her grip on that leash? What would have happened then? I really don’t know Agatha and Shane but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are not training this dog to attack people. I am not sure If I will say they are spectacular pet owners but I would certainly not qualify them as bad pet owners. The presence of a new born child in the house I would hope they are not training this dog to be more aggressive.
I can say that while that dog had its eyes fixed on me it was not currently Agatha’s pet on a leash being walked around to urinate. Max wanted to harm me. He was not pulling Agatha over to me so that he could be pet by me or to simply sniff me.
A few weeks ago McDonald’s got some flak because they put out a commercial which stated eating chicken nuggets randomly off their menu is safer than petting a stray pit bull. It implied that there was some danger associated with stray pit bulls. I feel the hell-storm McDonald's received was a bit unfair. Who seriously thinks “zero threat” when they read the words “stray pit bull”?
I have to first make the concession this was not a stray dog. This was Max the pit bull next door. The pit bull who Dante wants to have a conversation. The pit bull who’s shit I step in when I am outside walking Dante. He wasn’t a stray at all.
Breed bans are stupid. But, there is a reason these dogs end up on breed ban lists. When we were apartment hunting, we came across several places that had these bans. I think it’s different having a pit bull in an apartment versus having it at a home. I think its important to have a yard for the dog to run around in, for the dog to deposit its massive bowel movements and I don’t have to fear stepping in it. But more importantly, a yard obviously provides boundaries. If I walk out of my apartment I should not ever have to wonder, even for a moment, if there is a dog outside who may or may not be able to be controlled by its owner. Just like that dog really should not have to wonder if that shady looking dude with a beard just feet from his owner (he loves deeply) will suddenly snap, drop his boxes full of Goodwill donations, and attack his owner.
I will say this about McDonald’s chicken nuggets I only eat them maybe once or twice a year. There is a level of desperation associated with me eating at McDonald’s. At worst, a chicken nugget could kill me. I could choke on it, get food poisoning so bad that it kills me. I’ll even entertain a fantasy where I consume the one perfectly golden fried processed chicken food morsel which suddenly elevates my cholesterol level to the breaking point and I have a fatal heart attack. None of these deaths would compare to the death provided if I was attacked by a pit bull and killed. Zero of my chicken nugget fatality scenarios do I hope they kill me quick and not tear me apart slowly while I am still alive screaming for it to stop.
I welcome a debate on breed bans. If anyone would like to convince me of the threat that exists of a chicken nugget so vicious that it will tear my throat out only because it wants me to stop making so much noise as it kills me I will gladly hear it.