26 April 2011

The strange conversations we have - Part IV

T2 and I were out in the yard this weekend as I tried to get a leg up on our garden before the flowering weeds (known as wildflowers to some) begin their treacherous assault on the flowers and herbs I actually like. We did not own our house last spring, so this is our first opportunity to make some sense of what's there, what gets to stay (nice flowers that don't irritate my allergies, herbs, rose bushes) and what must be relocated to the trash bin before it has a chance to turn on us (about 75 percent of what's growing there).

I was up to my elbows in dirt and phlox while T2 worked on their tans on the deck. We have a bit of privacy from the street, so people on the sidewalk, though they have a clear view of the deck, cannot see me as I work in some parts of the garden. Because if they could have seen me, the woman walking by with her husband, two small children and a set of grandparents would have had more sense and manners (I hope) than to say, "Oohhh, look at them. They look mean." 

Now, I imagine that at some point in my life it would not have ever occurred to me that anyone could say anything disparaging about the people or animals I love so dearly. At some point. But I have pit bulls now and I am always ready with a polite response when misguided, ill-mannered people say horrible things to my face about the clearly loved-and-cared-for dogs at the end of the leashes in my hand. So of course, I knew this woman was talking about my sweet girls and I knew it didn't occur to her that they would never be left out in the yard unattended (who worries about their vicious dogs being stolen, right?).

Up I popped like a marionette. I felt ridiculous even as I was doing it. I could not stop myself and yet in my head I thought, "Well, that's it. You've become that woman. There's no turning back now."

"Nope," I said, as if I were already a part of their conversation. "Not mean at all. In fact, they go to daycare each week to play with other dogs and they're great with children. Actually, they're the most affectionate, well-behaved dogs we've ever had." I could see the grandparents smirking a little, though I am not sure if it was at me for being a crazy dog lady or at the woman for being called out in her remarks.

"Oh. Um. Are they pit bulls?" 

"Yes they are. Really stellar family pets when given the opportunity to live in a loving home. No different than people."

"We have a friend who has a pit bull. It's a really nice dog."

"Right. So you know what I mean, then. Have a good day."

That's what I said, because that's how I have chosen to handle people's rude behavior toward my girls—with a chipper voice, a big smile and a firmly positive message.

In my heart, though, the conversation goes more like this:

"Oohhh, look at them. They look mean." 

"Huh. Your kids look stupid. I guess we're even."


  1. hahahaha! I love it. kudos for NOT saying her kids looked stupid, if they did it sounds like they may have taken after their mother. ;)


  2. I always wonder, when people in the street ask if my dog bites, do they do the same for all the chihuahuas on my block, or do they really mean "You have a bully breed so I'm going to assume the worst from the get-go". Sigh.


  3. Bwaaaaa ha ha! I admit it, that conversation cracked me up, but then when I got to the end, I was rolling! Good answer!

  4. Don't feel ridiculous, that was perfect! What if she had said, "that house is ugly?"

  5. LOL you showed great patience...I might have resorted to the last conversation.

  6. Oh, snap! Nice.

    Also nice: that pic of T2 in profile.

  7. Ha! I love the way you popped up like that, as if you were unable to control yourself. Your response has become reflexive! Bravo for educating these people about how pit bulls are wonderful dogs if given half the chance in loving homes. Love the picture. Your girls look so beautiful and proud.

  8. if you lived closer, i'd come right over to your house and give you a big hug right now. you are so fabulous.

  9. BAH!!!! I love your positive defense - it's definitely the most effective. Although, your inner voice is FAR more hilarious. I'm quite sure she felt like a horse's arse...
    Maybe that's a new blog idea - what your "good" side says about breedists and what your "bad" side really feels ;)