According to an email I received from Vanessa, I incorrect identified the World War I dog hero, Stubby, as a Bull Terrier instead of an American Pit Bull Terrier. Vanessa is a defender of the breed and is experienced and realistic about the so-called Pit Bull. She writes that
At one time the American Pit Bull Terrier was America's Favorite Dog. There was Petey from the Little Rascals movie shorts, the RCA dog (His master’s voice), Buster Brown’s dog ("Hi, I'm Buster Brown. I live in a shoe. Here's my dog Tigh. He lives in there too.") and, of course, Stubby.
The American Pit Bull Terrier was imported from Irish stock mostly and they were created by crossing bulldog and terrier to make the ultimate fighting dog.
As gruesome as we see dog fighting today, it was a sport enjoyed at one time, great entertainment for the masses, like bullfighting, cockfighting and feeding Christians to lions. The dogs were bred and trained to fight other dogs and the owners gave them the ultimate in care.
In the fighting pit were two dogs, two handlers and a referee. At any time the humans could pull the dogs apart with their hands by prying open the mouths. How could these men not be bitten? Because the American Pit Bull Terrier is superbly loyal to humans and more trustworthy with humans than most other breeds.
Vanessa has a Siberian Husky who is best buddies with her Pit Bull, but she trusts the Pit Bulls more than any other breed she has known not to bite humans. They can, of course, be taught to get along with other dogs. Vanessa’s Pit Bull loves Chihuahuas!
The reason Pit Bulls are in the headlines today more than any other breed, according to Vanessa, is “because they are ill bred and ill managed.”