To My Neighbor Who Has Pit Bulls


Dear Neighbor Who Has Pit Bulls,

I want to give you huge props for rescuing two pit bulls from certain death. They seem pretty well-behaved; I’ve never seen them jump on anyone or even heard them bark. But pit bulls are inherently vicious, so I’m going to need you to get rid of them.

The thing is, neighbor, I was bitten by a dog once. It didn’t break the skin, and I couldn’t tell what breed it was because I had no relationship with the dog whatsoever and wasn’t familiar with any of its history or triggers. But what can I say? I get a bad feeling about pit bulls.

Sure, many pit bulls are valued therapy dogs. And okay, veterinarians have proven that pit bulls do not have locking jaws. And yes, studies of fatalities blamed on pit bulls demonstrate that the majority of those incidents are related to the care and control of the dogs. All those things are stated in publications that fact-check their sources. But I’m entitled to my own opinion.

Remember that time the super’s two-year-old daughter came to visit? She was playing in the lobby when you and your dogs came downstairs. They looked at her with their huge doe eyes and kissed her hand, and she giggled. I was watching from the main entrance, having just walked in from my bi-weekly steak run. And when your dogs so much as blinked in the direction of me and my bloody butcher’s sacks, you commanded them to stay back and they did, obediently. BUT, what if they hadn’t?!

Since I witnessed all that, I’m sure you are sympathetic to the notion that I, a fellow compassionate person who has been known to smile at labs and Dalmatians, still get a bad feeling about your pit bulls, even though they haven’t displayed any behavior I can specifically point to as malicious.

Look, maybe your dogs are fine, who can say. But since I don’t know for sure, I’d just rather be safe than sorry. Think about it, would you be comfortable if I invited over to my apartment Matteo Messina Denaro, a.k.a. Diabolik—the Sicilian Mafia boss? I’m guessing not, but he can’t come anyway because he too has an inexplicable yet still founded fear of your gentle beasts, probably.

Frankly, it’s a miracle our landlord allows pit bulls in this building because just having that breed on the premises hikes up insurance rates (in spite of all that science I disagree with!). Doesn’t matter if your pit bull was raised from Gandhi’s ashes by Betty White, it’s canine non grata. Now that I think about it, you must have had to struggle to find this apartment where you can care for these mutants rejected from Hell for unseating Satan as the champion of human torture.

I’m not saying give up on all dogs. Pet stores always have a fresh batch of puppies you can purchase or just play with!

So if you wouldn’t mind extending me the courtesy of never having to think about pit bulls as nuanced intelligent beings with feelings, desires, and the ability to learn, same as the rest of their species, I would be much obliged.


The Proud Crocodile Owner in #5F

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