As the owner of a dog who resembles a pit bull, I guess I can live with Wichita's new animal ordinance. The requirements -- microchip, spaying and a limit of two -- shouldn't greatly compromise my active senior lifestyle.
Especially since I don't have a pit bull. The dog currently occupying the recliner downstairs does possess some of the characteristics spelled out in the city's ordinance: "deep brisket, well-sprung ribs and slightly-tucked loins"-- but then, so do I. No, our dog is bull boxer mix, or, if you prefer, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. She's not a collie. She's not a chocolate lab. And she's definitely not a pit bull. Just want to put that on the record.
Because people always ask. Yesterday in College Hill Park a guy walking his own mutt assumed a defensive stance 20 yards away and shouted, "what kind of dog is that?" The tone didn't convey friendly curiosity, so I shouted back: "Pit bull!" I was just pulling his chain. I thought he was going to pick up his little dog and sprint in the opposite direction. Bull boxer mix just doesn't have the same impact.
My dog Bella doesn't have any of the aggressive characteristics people associate with pit bulls, probably because she isn't one. That's too bad, because if she were a little less submissive I might be able parlay her appearance into a lucrative dog-fighting franchise. Instead, the only benefit I get is the exercise from the long walks she has come to expect. She does a few tricks, although rarely for free. I'm trying to teach her to poop less frequently, too, but that's not going so well.
Which brings me to my only real beef with the new animal ordinance. When I walk Bella, I always take a couple of plastic bags to pick up after her. Judging by the sea of glistening dog turds that is Cypress Park, I'm the only person in east Wichita who practices this quaint custom. How about a law mandating draconian fines for the slobs who don't? It needn't be breed specific.