I met Quinn yesterday. She is a young bull terrier (about two years old) who was recovered by caring members of a local police department. They contacted Texas Bull Terrier Rescue and I provided one leg of her journey to the start of her new life. One hundred miles on Texas roads in not much of an effort and she was a perfect guest – she slept most of the way.
Bull Terriers are not the ideal dog for everyone. They are idiosyncratic and can be stubborn, (verging on pig-headed maybe?), destructive (when bored), and a bit rough-and-ready. Yet they are also affectionate, loving “lap-dogs” and with children, they are usually gentle and mellow – though toddlers are readily upended when play turns boisterous. The worst thing that ever happened to the breed here in US was when Target chose them as an advertising prop and when Budweiser invented Spuds McKenzie for beer adverts. Both highlight the “cute” aspect of the breed but neglect to show that bull terriers are a 24/7 commitment – like all pets. So, at least in Texas, many people consider a bull-terrier the perfect pet that also adds to their macho image. And, to satisfy that demand, we have a plethora of back-yard breeders who have little interest in the quality and health of the dogs beyond the cash they can generate. The result is a continuing need for rescue organizations to save dogs from puppy-mills or from owners who have lost interest in an animal that depends on them for food, water, shelter and companionship. Quinn is sadly all too common.
I find it tragic that this sort of neglect and abuse happens regularly in a nation that claims moral leadership in the world. The trouble with our claim is that actions speak louder than words. The true guide to status of our country is better suggested by this comment by Gandhi.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
I rejoice when one of these rescued animals is returned to health and goes to a wonderful loving home, never again to be hungry or maltreated. I grieve when rescue recovers these poor creatures too late to save them. The efforts of vets, technicians, foster parents and others are heroic – but the unanswered question is always, “why were they necessary?”
If you would like to help Quinn and dogs like her, I encourage you to check the Texas Gulf Coast Bull Terrier Club and the rescue webpage.
The abuse of a harmless thing is the essence of sin (A.W. Tozer)