Thursday, August 04, 2005

postal scrotum: pit bull redux

First, I'll note that a very superficial scan of Wikipedia's entry on pit bulls led me to the term "pit bull terrier," which suggests that we can speak of pit bulls, bull terriers, and pit bull terriers, though I'm not clear on how we'd draw the Venn diagram.

T'am Gu Ja writes in:

I stand corrected. I inquired of meine sister and she stated that the dog is indeed a bull terrier. I apologise for the error, but must admit that my knowledge of dogs is limited mostly to recipes for sauces and stuffings.

But wait-- we're not done yet! Sperwer takes on the Zen Mama (and, I suppose, T'am Gu Ja's sister):

Gotta weigh in on this one. Having perused the picture, I don't see how Lorianne can state that this is a bull terrier, since it's impossible to get a decent view of its snout. All the other signs indicate that it's probably an American Staffordshire Terrier or a Staffordshire Terrier, which are the breeds most commonly known as a "Pit Bull" - although there are also a couple of American Pit Bull Terrier classifications as well (not recognized by Westminster but I think by the AKC). It has pointy ears, which Lorianne takes to be another sign it is a BT, but these ears look cropped to me. Moreover, it has Staff coloring - note the tan spot on its upper left haunch - I don't think white BT's ever have brown markings - although genetically it ought to be at least theoretically possible, I think that the breeders have done all they can to make sure this doesn't happen. Finally, based on the available evidence - and this is I think the most dispositive item, the dog in the picture looks significantly larger and longer than a BT.

Patton had a BT that one of his staff officers carried around all through the war. It was a notorious wuss, which is pretty much the modern rep of BT's, which early on became "gentleman's dogs" and basically had the moxie bred out of them. Much the same thing happened to most strains of boxers. Anyway, I doubt a BT would ever go after a porcupine, but any "pit bull" most certainly would. When I lived in the country in upstate NY, my boxers used to go after everything they came across - skunks, fox, muskrat, weasel, deer, boar, stoat. They were quite good at getting grouse out of the thickets before the birds could take wing and I had a lot of good grouse for stew and pasta sauce without having to worry about breaking a tooth on a shotgun pellet. Fortunately, the worst they (and I) ever had to deal with was skunk, not porcupine - although I also had a (white) boxer in northern Calif that rather foolishly decided to take on a scorpion and ended up grossly red and swollen and was on the verge of respiratory arrest by the time we got to the vet hospital. I kept him alive with mouth-to-mouth until we got there. Talk about dog breath!

As I wrote to Lorianne earlier today, I wouldn't know the difference between an Irish wolfhound and a chihuahua, so I'll let more knowledgeable folks take their guesses at what breed the dog is. This might be a bad time to ask, but are there pics of the dog from before it got its face rearranged? T'am Gu Ja, is this your sister's dog?

Suddenly curious about Irish wolfhounds, I did a Google image search and found this:

Interesting: the wolfhound on the right has genitals that, if you look at them the right way, bear an uncanny resemblance to a third, much smaller dog.


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