Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cultivating Gratitude

On this day held aside to give thanks and count blessings, we may sit and take stock of the previous year, spend time with our family, look into the eyes of our gentle dogs and offer a silent 'thank you' to the universe for having blessed us with such amazing Pit Bull-shaped souls. This is the one day of the year where gratitude is the main focus and being thankful takes front and center stage. But in life in general, and particularly in our work as advocates and activists, it can be difficult to cultivate a grateful attitude that becomes a part of who we are and how we live day to day.

We see much pain and suffering we are unable to ease, feel trapped because 'there is only so much' we can do, feel hopeless when the problem seems so big. Focusing on these things can become draining, and too much attention drawn to 'failures' can be defeating and actually undermine our cause and the work we do for Pit Bulls. Sometimes, we begin drowning in the negative, virtually ignoring the life-rafts of our successes which are right within our grasp.

It is important to take stock daily of what we DO have to be thankful for in the Pit Bull advocacy community, and to cultivate gratitude for what we've personally been able to accomplish for the dogs, as well as the wonderful people working for the same causes.

This past year we have a lot to feel grateful for, and we've seen things we never thought we'd see: More groups & individuals than ever working and sacrificing for Pit Bulls; people willing to come together to work for the greater good; the results of a celebrity fight bust which generated more positive press for the breed than seen in the last 1o years combined; a day set aside for country-wide celebration of the breed that seems to be growing more every year; and all the little, quiet successes that you may not hear about - the dogs that have been saved, their wounded souls made whole again. Every single one of these rescues is a miracle and we should all feel a strong sense of gratitude for each and every one.

Cicero said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

Gratitude props us up, and is a platform on which we are meant to use our other virtues. It is a mindset of positivity, of thankfulness, of gratefulness that gives us strength do what we have to do for the dogs.

So today, on this Thanksgiving, take stock of what you feel grateful for. And each day, cultivate an attitude of gratitude for what's been accomplished, for all the success - both big and small - and for all the other people who are doing amazing things for the APBT. Perhaps we can take a lesson from our dogs, who, in many cases despite incredibly hard, abusive, painful lives, show us more gratitude than could ever be measured, each and every day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Introducing the New RPB Logo....and the Dog Behind the Organization

This logo is now available on an assortment of products at our store:

The proceeds from the sales of these items directly benefit RPB, and make great holiday gifts! *hint hint!*

The dog in the logo is Krash, my first APBT and the love of my life. He is the dog that inspired me to originally start the website and continues to inspire the work I do for the breed through RPB. This is a dog that won many friends for the breed, and caused others to seriously reconsider their erroneous ideas on Pit Bulls. He was a people-person to the core and loved everyone he ever met. Many people, upon first meeting Krash, would comment, “He seems like a little person!” and indeed he had an inner quality that defied the simple definition of “dog”. But he was a Pit Bull through and through, my best friend, my heart.

In a way, Krash represents all Pit Bulls, since he was such a typical bulldog: a stoic nature, human-loving heart, beauty and almost uncanny intelligence – these are the qualities the breed possesses, and Krash had more than his fair share.

Krash passed away from hemangiosarcoma in early 2005, but his spirit continues to act as a beacon of guiding light, and it is with great honor that I present to you a logo that captures the likeness of a truly great dog.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh how we love our Pit Bulls!

How do I love Pit Bulls? Let me count the ways!

I love how Pit Bulls cuddle with me on cold winter nights; it doesn't even matter that they steal the covers.

I love how Pit Bulls can make me laugh even when I've had The Worst Day Known to Woman.

I love how Pit Bulls snort and chirp and purr and chortle. Better than having a canary!

I love how Pit Bulls have bionic hairs that are impervious to all methods of sweeping, cleaning, vacuuming and scrubbing of fabrics. OK, maybe I don't necessarily love the cleaning part, but I DO love silken Pit Bull fur, and the cleaning is definitely worth the aggravation just so long as I get to nuzzle a check on a soft, sleek Pit Bull forehead - every day, multiple times a day.

I love how Pit Bulls come in almost every color of the rainbow, and some pretty snazzy ones that don't!

I love how Pit Bulls insist on climbing in your lap, even when they weigh as much as a small pony, or at least feel like they weigh that much.

I love how Pit Bulls do the Happy Pit Bull Tap Dance.

I love how my Pit Bull looks at me with adoration, and I know - just KNOW - from that look that the heart of the Pit Bull is overflowing with pure love.

From top to bottom...Piglet, belonging to Jessica Bernt;
Marjorie Dutra's Kayna; Hazel & Lissa Arsenault; Alexis N Xena, both belonging to Stephanie Morales; Sweetest dreams!