Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Pit bulls are a dog breed that is fast becoming banned in countries over the world. In 2005 Toronto joined the ban on pit bulls due to an ever increasing attacks on children & other dogs. No new pits are to be allowed & any existing pits have to be muzzled when out in public. Because of the attacks & the ban everyone, including me, had a certain perception that pits were dangerous. Never mind that pit owners protested the ban stating that it's not the dog to be blamed but the owner. If the owner presents him/herself as an authoritative figure, with a firm but gentle & kind hand, pits will not turn out to be so aggressive. The growing attacks are by those dogs who have been conditioned to be watch dogs for their owners, conducive to an aggressive environment. Yeah right! That's what I thought until I met Mya.

Mya (pronounced Maya) was a 8 week old pit that we met about 2 months into our stay here in Bermuda. She was presented to MsStopYourNoise's son as a gift. When I first saw her I thought she was the most adorable thing until I found out she was a pit bull. And then I was wary. One weekend I was on the patio, gabbing away on the phone with LadyBug when out of nowhere Mya came charging toward me. I have never been so scared. I yelled on the phone: I gotta go! I have a pit charging at me. But Mya was all play & no bite. She was a pup after all. A pup that could jump up to your face. Over the period of the year, Mya grew to be our best friend. She'd escape from upstairs & make a bee line to our apartment, sit right outside our sliding door & wait. Wait for us to come out & play.

She was never allowed to be walked & I could never understand why until I was told that pits are banned in Bermuda. Some Bermudians are possessive about their belongings/ property & prefer pits as their breed of choice to guard their property. For the most part, these watch dogs are trained to be aggressive. That kind of behaviour eventually led into attacks which prompted the ban.
Since the ban has gone into affect, no new pits are allowed on the island. But Mya was recently bred on the island & clearly she was illegal & I am sure pits are continued to be bred. Yet for all the wrong reasons. No one knows where Mya came from, so don't anyone come knocking down my door asking.

But, I never thought I'd be training a pit. In a few minutes, we were able to get Mya to sit on cue (bribed with food of course). An amazing feat for Mya because she would never sit still. She was very loyal & friendly towards both Hubby & me. When we eventually started taking her for walks, we'd often get stopped. You see Mya was not only beautiful, she was also one of those rare ones. She had those albino eyes & she was a 'red nose all American white pit'. Or so strangers would tell me. I'd deny it & say she was a mixed breed - that's what I was told to say. But they knew better. They'd smile & nod their heads at the fact she was what she was. But she was my walking buddy & our walks were quite effective. Looking back, I now know that it is really dependent on the owner & how they raise their pits. It is all about being authoritative but kind & portraying that vibe, which dogs can apparently read. Sure, they have some amount of aggressiveness in them but you take them for walks, make them run to tire them out & which slaps the aggressiveness out of them.

Mya was eventually given away once MsStopYourNoise's son went away to college. We still miss her though. Every so often we see a pit like her head out the window,
whizzing by in a car, & we pause & wonder: Was that Mya?


Fernando Olmos said...






Mad Bull said...

Yeah, I know where you are coming from. I have bucked up on some really friendly pit bulls over here, and I am talking about adults.
You do know that they are very numerous over here in Cayman, despite being illegal here too, right?