One of the most noticeable things about returning to live in the UK is noticing the large number of Staffies (Staffordshire Bull Terriers) on the streets and up for adoption. The Guardian commented recently that
They were traditionally known as “the nanny dog”, because they are so good with children. They adore people. But their reputation has been tarnished in recent years as they are increasingly bred as “status dogs”. Once upon a time, pit bulls held this dubious honour. But the Dangerous Dogs Act clamped down on these in 1991, after several attacks on people. Now, staffies have become the dog of choice for anyone who wants a fearsome-looking animal. Staffies can look mean – they’re stocky, with powerful jaws – but their appearance belies their gentle nature.
Earlier today the Grumpy Vegan passed two young men with their staffies. Men who dress butch and use what they think of as their butch-looking staffies as macho bling to get the mean-streets thug look always look as if they’re on their way to audition for a revival of Village People.
The Guardian quotes Louise Campbell, manager of Dogs Trust Roden, in Shropshire, who says, “The problem is not the dogs, it’s the owners.” The Grumpy Vegan couldn’t agree more. Staffies and their bigger equivalents in the US are big softies at heart. It’s what mean horrible people have done to them that’s the problem.