|Community is the Geography of the Heart
Dear Bay Weekly:
Several months ago, due to a very strange and sad set of circumstances, I was suddenly wrenched from my lovely Bay-front home and the serene, familiar surroundings of Southern Anne Arundel County. During the three months of wandering it took me to find my temporary digs in Annapolis, I felt disoriented, homeless and isolated. My familiar and comforting routine was gone, my day-to-day bearings turned topsy-turvey.
Bay Weekly became a real friend to me in this upsetting time. I was comforted each week by familiar names and notices of local events. I found poignantly that "community" means more than just geography and an address. I was among friends no matter where I chanced to pick up the weekly.
Years ago I told you folks that reading the delicious words in your paper was like eating fine chocolate. Topsy-turvey, I find that some things are still the same.
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Burton's cat Frieda ["Farewell, Frieda: With My Cat, My Comfort Is Gone," Vol. IX, No. 2: Jan. 11-17]. On seeing the notation "Farewell My Cat, My Comfort" on you cover, I knew immediately not Frieda!
Bill's article brought tears to my eyes, and with them a recognition that though Frieda was a friend I'd never met, I was graced by her life nonetheless.
Thank you, Bill, for your years of sharing her with us.
Thanks Bay Weekly for being a lighted buoy for me these past few months. Strengthened is my realization that "community" is really a geography of the heart.
-Kathy Johnson, Annapolis
It's Not the Pit Bull; It's the Bully
Dear Bay Weekly:
Bill Burton's recent article about a breed of dog called pit bulls ["Old Saws Don't Always Cut True" Vol. IX, No. 3: Jan. 18-24] hit a raw nerve. I live with two American Staffordshire terriers, a larger type of pit bull, and I cannot imagine a circumstance under which these animals would attack a child. I can't say the same if a burglar, or some other person with evil intent, invaded my home.
I have a grave concern over the public perception regarding this wonderful breed. Mr. Burton attempts to present an even-handed debate, but he fails, leaving the impression the breed is inherently flawed. I believe this is untrue. My dogs are good dogs. They are beloved family pets and are good citizens of the canine world.
I am conflicted because I recognize these dogs are the lucky ones and other owners are not as diligent as we are. Many pit bulls wind up in the hands of cruel ego-crazed human bullies. Any animal, when terrorized, has the potential of becoming a menace to society.
Some of these dog owners belong to gangs that make large sums of money organizing illegal dog fights. When the fight is over, the loser is badly bitten, dead or dying.
An irresponsible and negligent owner who had been cited over 10 times by animal control is responsible for what happened to that poor child. He should face severe legal and financial penalties for his failure to contain his dog. In addition, animal control was lax in enforcing existing laws.
In order to save this breed from these abuses, part of the solution would be limited breeding and selective ownership. A beginning would be banning the breed from residing in inner cities. Existing dogs could be grandfathered only if they meet certain criteria, and only after examination and a formal recommendation by a licensed animal behavioral therapist.
-Donna Nicholson, Deale