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Author: AnnaLisa Allegretti
"While some of these dogs are purebred American Pit Bull Terriers (APBTs), the only true "Pit Bull," many of them look the part closely enough at first glance that they are lumped in to a loosely formed concept that is popularly referred to as the "pit bull" or "pitbull." I intentionally use the single word, non-capitalized "pitbull" to refer to dogs under this broad umbrella." This is a book about differences, similarities and assumptions. I started this project by asking people to bring their "pitbulls" and "pit-mixes" to photo shoots in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. I didn't ask for breeding papers, I didn't specify purebred American Pit Bull Terriers, I left it up to dog ownersto self-identify their dogs as pitbulls or mixes, because they had decided themselves or been told by a shelter, a vet, or a DNA test that is what their dogs were. The result is a collection of dogs that look very, very different from one another, and yet, if a legislator or a landlord saw any of these dogs, he would call them pitbulls. The point is that while some of these dogs are purebred American Pit Bull Terriers (APBTs), the only true "Pit Bull," many of them look the part closely enough at first glance that they are lumped in to a loosely formed concept that is popularlyreferred to as the "pit bull" or "pitbull." I use the single word, non-capitalized "pitbull" to refer to dogs under this broad umbrella. The dogs featured here are Boxer mixes, American Bulldog mixes, Dogo Argentino mixes, Whippet Mixes and so many other kinds of breed mixes it will not do to list them all. Some of the dogs that look the most "Pit Bull" actually have the least APBT DNA according to their tests. My own Harrison is a strapping young fellow, robust, blocky-headed, strong, and someone cut his ears, but he is more Whippet than Pit Bull. Laurelai, who started me down this road appears to be purebred APBT. As you go through the book, you may say to yourself, "That's not a Pit Bull" and you may very well be right, but to someone, some landlord, some shelter volunteer, some Breed Specific Legislation enforcer, some fearful neighbor or police officer, that dog IS a pitbull, or pitbull-enough. The misuse of the term is so rampant that "pitbull" has become nearly synonymous with "dog" and while it is true that today's All-American mutt has most of the characteristics that also define a true American Pit Bull Terrier, we are losing sightof what matters most: that a good dog is a good dog, no matter what you call him. The dogs in this book are each unique in their appearance and personalities, but they are united as good dogs, family dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and most importantly, happy dogs. They live with chickens, rabbits, horses, cats, other dogs, babies, cancer patients and humans with special needs. The owners in this book are part of a strong and growing movement of educated dog owners who advocate for education and understanding. These owners come from wildly different walks of life but follow the same road to liberate their happydogs from the crushing weight of societal misconceptions. Hopefully, seeing how different each dog in this project is from the next will illuminate how impractical and absurd it is to refer to them all with one label of any kind. Part of the proceeds from each sale go to pitbull-friendly rescues and dogs in need.