I tend to take Bruno to the puppy store at least twice a week, because every time we go, he becomes a little more accustomed to all the smells, and every time we see another puppy in public and it doesn't result in a fight, that's a good, positive thing. We've made huge progress in just a few months, and just this week I actually got him to sit, with a big German Shepherd only four feet away from him.
That's huge. HYOOGE, I tell you.
Twice weekly trips to the puppy store mean we don't generally come home with much from each trip. A new chew rope here. A bag of goodies there. Today, we went for a frisbee, because Bruno's such an amazing jumper, I figure some frisbee training would put that to good, productive, healthy use.
People, of course, are just drawn to the child like a magnet. So it's good that he likes people. But whereas parents used to just let their spawn dogpile on Max Bear without a moment's hesitation, they see Bruno's ginormous mouth and ask first, which I appreciate.
"Will he bite?"
"Not if you only have two legs," I say.
And as their children are wallowing all over him (and he's adoring every moment of it), the parents always ask: "What is he?"
And since I got his DNA test back, I always give the same answer: "He's an American Staffordshire Terrier!"
The responses are usually the same: "Hmm... never heard of one of them. He looks like a Boxer or a pit bull, though."
I never say much, if anything, to that.
And, of course, I say, "He's an American Staffordshire Terrier."
She scrunches her face and says, "Brutus was a pit bull. I don't know what a 'Merican Haffershur Terrier is."
And I leaned down and whispered in her ear, "It's basically the same thing. American Staffordshire Terrier is just a fancy way of saying pit bull."
And right there, in the middle of the store, this miniature person -- she seriously couldn't be more than six -- frowns up at me and says, "Mister, you should just tell people he's a pit bull when they ask. People don't know what 'Merican Haffershur Terriers are, but they do know what pit bulls are, and they think they're 'posed to eat people. You could show 'em that's dumb by letting them pet Bruno and show 'em that he doesn't eat people and maybe then they'll like pit bulls."
Seriously, when the hell did kids get so damned smart?
You know what, though? I minded her. On the way out, Bruno saw a group of kids he just couldn't resist, and while they were loving all over him, the dad asked -- as all dads do -- "What is he?"
"A pit bull," I said. "He's a pit bull."