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#1 Pit bulls’ surprising past: Nanny dogs06-10-2011, 11:16 AMPit bulls’ surprising past: Nanny dogs
By Claudine Zap | The Upshot – Thu, Jun 2, 2011
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 loveball of a lab. It's not likely, at least not in today's perception of the breed, that an American pit bull terrier leaps to mind.
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 babysitter.
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?" Pit bull.
06-10-2011, 11:30 AM
Mine is still a nanny dog. Most Pit Bulls that aren't trained and abused to fight are.I feel that once a black fella has referred to white foks as "honky paleface devil white-trash cracker redneck Caspers," he's abdicated the right to get upset about the "N" word. But that's just me. -- Jim Goad
06-10-2011, 12:03 PM
I have a lot of fond memories of my uncle's various pit bulls. All those dogs were just big, old sweety pies. :D
06-10-2011, 12:09 PM
That vintage photo is way cool.
I have heard of situations where scumbag crackmoms/dads have left small children alone with a pit bull to guard them. The dogs have never hurt the kids in these situations, according to the cop who told me about them.
06-10-2011, 12:14 PM
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
- Southwest Michigan (in Exile)
sooooo cute....we had a pit, rot, chow mix...dog was awesome
06-10-2011, 12:24 PM
And let's not forget the Little Rascals pet of choice, Petey.
06-10-2011, 01:46 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
My insurance company went on a war on dogs. I called my Rottweiler "Anne Frank" because I would have to exclude her from the family room when leaving the house, because she would sit in the floor to ceiling window facing the driveway, and the insurance company could get a photo of her. I had already decided that if it came down to her or the house, I would keep her.
06-10-2011, 05:12 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
Pitbulls are fantastic dogs , they just need to be socialised like all dogsAint but three things in this world thats worth a solitary dime,
But old dogs and children and watermelon wine.
Tom T. Hall
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