To the many who are uninformed, a pit bull is probably the last dog they would put on their list if they ever decide to become pet parents. All it takes is one online search to uncover horrendous stories of how this feisty furry creature is more vicious and aggressive than any of his doggy siblings. They allegedly also make the best guard dogs because inside their genetic code is an almost rabid inclination to fight. It doesn’t matter if said pit bull was raised in a loving family—the tendency to attack is part of their personality. What makes it all more frightening is their again supposed practice of locking their jaws on their victim. They bite hard and set their sharp teeth into the hapless man or woman’s body part. Only the familiar hands of the pit bull’s owner himself can pry that locked mouth from the tender flesh because the dog will not accept or respect anybody else’s motion to remove him from his mission.
Closer studies, though, fortunately, show that a lot of the fear and apprehension is based on a few stories. Yes, cases have been documented and reported, but they are actually more of an exception than the rule.
The Canine Humane Network actually debunks the top three accusations that have been hurled against the pit bulls. Studies and tests indicate that pit bulls are NOT more aggressive than other breeds. Nor do they have a more powerful biting capability—and they cannot lock jaws into someone’s flesh or bone for an extensive period of time.
Pit bull parent Jeulie Magaway would certainly agree with the CHN and other animal organizations who refuse to come to a speedy negative summary judgment of their favorite dog. To Jeulie, Duke, her beloved three-year-old pit bull has always been more affectionate than aggressive, friendly than feisty, and warm rather than warrior-like.
Jeulie also says that Duke has a comforting side. Her story might surprise the usual pit bull naysayer: “Every time I feel sad or whenever I cry, Duke comforts me,” she says. “He stays by my side, and he makes me feel that everything is going to be okay. He makes me feel that he will always be there for me.”
While pit bulls in the public eye often bring up images of tough sentinels at the house gates, Jeulie describes Duke as her “comfort zone and my own safety blanket.”
Jeulie also says that instead of being a berserker, Duke actually still acts like her baby sometimes
Jeulie also says that instead of being a berserker, Duke actually still acts like her baby sometimes, even though he is already a teenager chronologically and emotionally by dog standards. “He is a very sweet dog,” she says, “and he still thinks that he’s still a baby. But he is super heavy already.” The playful tussling on the bed sometimes leads to Duke’s accidentally scratching her. “There were scars all over, but we didn’t mind that,” says Jeulie.
Though she intends to bring Duke to favorite places like the beach after the lockdown, Jeulie admits that sleeping beside each other remains a regular bonding experience. “He loves to cuddle especially during the cold weather, so he always encroaches close to me when he gets the chance.”
Duke’s pit bull protectiveness does come out but in a different way. It was Jeulie’s relationship that brought the dog into the couple’s home in the first place—and it is a precious connection that Duke, their PawChild, will defend to the end.
“…when my boyfriend and I fight, Duke stays in our middle. When things get really heated between my boyfriend and me, Duke barks, and I feel that he’s telling the two of us to just stop the fight.”
“My boyfriend and I came to a point where we felt that our relationship was becoming more toxic,” narrates Jeulie. “We had been living together and we fought a lot.” They felt that a dog could bring a bit more harmony, peace, and love into their situation. Not long after their decision, Duke came into their lives. “It’s why we decided to get a dog,” Jeulie continues. These days, “when my boyfriend and I fight, Duke stays in our middle. When things get really heated between my boyfriend and me, Duke barks, and I feel that he’s telling the two of us to just stop the fight.”
“The most important thing that I’ve learned from Duke is that all animals have feelings.”
If Duke appears to be more sensitive and caring than most other pets, it is probably due to his natural empathy. Jeulie tends to agree, saying, “The most important thing that I’ve learned from Duke is that all animals have feelings.”
A pit bull that brings peace into a home and prevents aggression and friction, instead of initiating them. It is a human-pet relationship that certainly runs counter to the negative pit bull myths—and which should encourage prospective pit bull owners to see their chosen pets in a more positive light.
Gallery by The Pet Visuals: Duke