Jen Gillen talks Scout, Stuff on Scout’s Head, Ontario BSL

Posted October 21st, 2014 in BSL News, Bull Horn, Prejudice by Josh

scout2

Click here to purchase Scout’s book on Amazon!

00:29 Michael Bryant’s BSL
03:22 The process of adopting Scout
04:28 Enforcement in Ontario
06:46 What happens to the dogs that end up in shelters?
07:47 Scout’s book, “Stuff on Scout’s Head”
10:04 The response to the book
11:08 Are Ontario politicians aware of Scout?
12:49 Getting rid of the ban
13:45 Movement to repeal the ban
14:35 The Buehrle’s move to Toronto
14:58 Take the initiative to show your dog in a positive light
16:59 What does that have to do with my dog?
19:27 Scout’s Great Dane sister
20:09 Traveling to NYC to be on the Rachael Ray show
24:27 What happens if police stop you on the street?/Housing restrictions
26:22 Outreach from the UK and Australia
26:51 StuffOnScoutsHead.com, stuffonscoutshead.tumblr.com

Marcia Mayeda continues to evade the real issues being raised here

Posted October 16th, 2014 in Shelters by Josh

In response to my speaking in front of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors about desiring to get an interview for the managerial position at Carson, Marcia Mayeda recently sent out a totally bunk letter attempting to address the numerous issues that I raised. Below is my response to her reassurances that she very likely sent to each Supervisor. Please now continue sharing and signing the petition, as I want it to be a representation of people’s expression, regardless of whether they continue rejecting my application or not.

Response to Marcia Mayeda on 10/16/2014 by swaylove

Pasadena should consider this before passing MSN

Posted October 9th, 2014 in Community, Shelters by Josh

Before the majority of the Pasadena City Council (Madison, Gordo, Masuda, McAustin, Bogaard) plows forward on a mandatory spay and neuter law for all dogs and cats, they should look at the miniscule amounts of money that the Pasadena Humane Society are spending (or not spending) on “spay and neuter programs” and “education” up to this point. Because they routinely end up with a budget that is more than $10 million per year and carry assets that amount to over $26 million. For example, in 2011 their 990 shows that they only spent $50,307 on spay and neuter programs and another $3,829 on educational programs.

phs

Uh oh. Well gee, if you’d attended any of the City Council meetings and listened to PHS representatives Steve McNall or Elizabeth Campo speak then you would have came away with the assumption that they are doing everything that they possibly can to lower shelter killing, provide affordable and accessible sterilization surgeries, and educate the public. Unfortunately, the realities go pretty much against that narrative and thus against what the City Council are being told and/or led to believe… Those figures amounted to spending less than 0.006% of their yearly $10 million on spay and neuter and 0.0003% on education.

In 2011 President Steve McNall alone made almost 3x ($152,336) what the PHS spent on sterilization efforts for that entire year. That’s more than 39x what they spent on educational outreach! Another point, the “revenue” that is being brought in by spending those allocated amounts on spay/neuter and education is routinely TRIPLE what they put into the programs… So they are making money by voluntarily spaying and neutering, and by doing the little amount of educating that they are doing. Why wouldn’t they be doing it more, and allocating more efforts and funds into those directions? Their return from 2012 shows much of the same proportionally.

Now I’m not suggesting here that McNall should take a pay cut, or anyone else, but rather that they should be putting far more money into accessible sterilization efforts as well as educational efforts. That’s not too much to ask. Especially when they are so quick to trot out the multiple sob stories about how much they are already doing, the lack of funding that they may run into when asked to do more, and the overwhelming need for this law in order to curb alleged overpopulation. What need? The Council was not talking about this law. They shot this same piece of legislation down less than a year ago. This is only now being reinserted as to allow Councilman Steve Madison an opportunity to save face, after his desire to scapegoat all Pit Bulls was resoundingly rebuffed by the community. Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, as told to me by an attendee at the last meeting, stated privately that she “just wants something” to be done. Nice. So whether it’s BSL or BSL-MSN or MSN, what’s clear is that most on this Council have no desire to simply hold individual owners accountable for the actions of their individual dogs.

Commenting to the Board of Supervisors about interviewing for the Carson job

Posted October 1st, 2014 in Shelters by Josh

On June 20th of this year the Carson shelter manager Gil Moreno abruptly “resigned” from his position. 5 days later the managerial position was publicly posted on the county’s website (bulletin #15533BR). It’s still posted as an active and open position as we speak.

Around the first week of July I created a 10 minute video explaining all of the ways that I’d run the shelter differently than Mr. Moreno. With that, I also started a petition to have the county of Los Angeles consider me as his replacement. I officially applied for the position on July 22nd and was given the reference #4548409.

On July 31st I received a letter from the department rejecting my application. It stated that I was “not qualified” due to not having 4 years of experience as a level 4 animal control officer. Upon logging back into the county’s website it actually showed a submission status of “application not accepted” as of July 23rd, 1 day after I applied for the position.

Then on September 23rd, 2 months after Marcia Mayeda decided to not even consider my application, people who had actually taken the time to write into the department from back in July (in support of my candidacy) received a letter from Mayeda. It thanked them for their recommendation and told them that I was “welcome to apply,” as the DACC does not solicit candidates. But I did apply, on July 22nd, and my application was officially discarded the very next business day.

So I ask: Can someone outside of the system, outside of the paradigm of doing as little as possible, even score an interview for this position? How does a draconian L.A. County shelter system change if they simply and repetitively hire from within that same entrenched system?

Coincidentally, or not, my 2013 application to become an unpaid volunteer of the Carson shelter was rejected as well. They used the exact same language in the rejection letter and stated that my application was “not accepted.” This, after waiting over 7 months to even hear anything back from them. Shortly after I applied my girlfriend was fired from her volunteer position. The reason? For taking different dogs into the play yard.

Sadly, many who have had their departmental positions protected by the Board of Supervisors continue to behave themselves in the most non-transparent, retaliatory, and obstructionist of ways. At some point I sincerely hope that they become genuinely concerned about this apathetic and vindictive behavior.

What does Bad Rap commenting on the “nanny dog” really tell us?

Posted September 25th, 2014 in BSL News by Josh

There’s many things that irrational dog-hating and BSL-pushing exploitation artists say and do that will never add up, make any kind of sense, or be backed up by actual reality and evidence. That aside, it’s still comical when these persons act in such ways that clearly show their bias and their hypocrisy to the core. I present to you… The “nanny dog” and Bad Rap commenting on the “nanny dog”!

Okay, so let’s see here. How many things has Bad Rap ever said in regards to Pit Bulls that a dog-hating, BSL-pushing exploitation artist would ever agree with? Close to nothing, right? Instead, they’d likely spend a lot of their time and energy mocking and/or trying to discredit Bad Rap and anything that they do in regard to advocating for Pit Bulls… Yet as soon as Bad Rap posted the below Facebook comment from a few years back they were all of a sudden being held up by their mockers as 100% accurate and completely “right” on the topic of Pit Bulls never being nanny dogs.

nannydog

This comment continues to be rolled out by random anti-Pit Bull scaremongers as “proof” that Pit Bulls were never “nanny dogs.” They’ll then try to use this narrative to imply that Bad Rap has had a hiccup of dignity while the rest of us (millions of people) continue endangering all of America by allowing our “landsharks” to walk public streets as the innocent dogs that they actually are.

Let’s unpack this nanny dog topic a little bit, shall we? First off, whoever got the opportunity to wake up 1 morning and unequivocally proclaim that there was even such a thing as an entire breed of canine being labeled as nanny dogs? Did this factoid make it into a presidential speech from the past? Was there some kind of parade that I missed? I mean, they do realize that this term grew from different people referring to their own INDIVIDUAL dogs as nanny dogs, right? Yet somehow this label gets placed on an entire group or breed or characterization of dog as if it was/is 100% fact 100% of the time. Everyone who actually knows anything about dogs, and thus knows that dogs are individuals, knows that this isn’t true. Yet the Pit Bull haters will act as though everyone who has no problem with Pit Bulls believes it is true so that they can then try to discredit those same people through denying this dumbed down soundbite/talking point. See how that works?

All that Bad Rap is basically saying by posting what they did was that you can’t look at any group of anything and state with specificity that all of those individuals making up whatever group are each going to be like “x.” That’s blatant common sense. Dogs are individuals. So to imply that every dog from any breed or group of breeds/types is completely safe left around children unattended would be doing a disservice to reality and thus public safety. Bad Rap is simply saying supervise your kids around any dog! That’s the responsible thing to do. Know your individual dog, know your individual child. Don’t excuse potential recklessness by justifying that reckless with a false sense of security. It’s that simple, and quite obviously.

So… I mean, my God, what is wrong with that? Does that mean that all of those vintage photos showing kids and dogs didn’t exist? No! Obviously they exist. Does that mean that those Pit Bulls pictured didn’t serve as nanny dogs in those individual households? No! Obviously many did.

Still, the mentally ill who want nothing more than to see piles and piles of dead Pit Bulls will spin and take out of context and flip and flop and turn on a dime any comment, so long as it allows them the opportunity to fool useful idiots into supporting their scapegoating nonsense. Truth be told, they don’t believe nor have they moved to validate a single thing that Bad Rap has ever said about Pit Bulls… Unless, of course, it aligns (out of context) with something that they already believe! Then they’ll comically move to treat Bad Rap (in this instance) as if they are the grand poobah on the topic… Just picture someone who wants all Pit Bulls banned or dead running down the street saying “see, Bad Rap said it, it must be true!” Um, okay… But yet nothing else that Bad Rap has ever said gets acknowledged as “factual” by these same persons. That’s what we call a confirmation bias. End scene.

L.A. Times article reveals the attitude of select rescuers towards the homeless

Posted September 24th, 2014 in Community, Discrimination, Rescue by Josh

Last week I read a piece in the L.A. Times that really bothered me. It was entitled “Hounding a homeless man into giving up his dogs” and was written by Gale Holland. There were a few local animal rescuers quoted within the article (Jennifer Pryor and Wendy Smith) and their way of dealing with this situation was both ugly and embarrassing.

The article centered around Gerrick Miller, a man living on the street, and his dog Sugar, who had just had a litter of 10 puppies. Shortly after they were born a rescuer (Smith) began videotaping the puppies and prodding others to drop by and photograph Sugar. Los Angeles Animal Services then began receiving email blasts accusing Miller of “operating a puppy mill for profit.” That accusation is just patently ridiculous. Further, the “rescuers” demanded that the department confiscate Sugar and her 10 puppies. Brenda Barnette, head of LAAS, replied that the dogs could not just be seized without cause, which is absolutely correct.

Just think… Do we really need a group of self-righteous animal rescuers deciding who should be able to have dogs and who shouldn’t? How subjective and outrageously draconian would that process quickly become?

Meanwhile, Smith continued videotaping Miller and his dogs, as well as different interactions that he had with a bicycle officer. Her video was then sent to Pryor and used as evidence showing the city’s “inaction.” Mind you, there’s no evidence of the dogs being treated poorly or being abused, and there’s no evidence to show that Sugar didn’t absolutely love Mr. Miller. Regardless, Jennifer Pryor let it be known that she was outraged that Barnette didn’t cite Miller for “breeding without a permit” or for “breaking the city’s spay and neuter law.” Wait, you mean the law that isn’t even enforced across the board? Why should a homeless person be targeted by a law that no one else in the city is targeted with? Where in the hell is your empathy?

Here’s an idea… How about promoting the concept that the city start policing their own ranks before harassing the most vulnerable members of Los Angeles? For example: How many animal rescuers are blatantly violating the pet limit within the city, but then turning around and calling other people hoarders? Any? I know that this number isn’t zero. How many animal rescuers are publicly condemning the concept of breeding but then privately breeding toy dogs on the side for profit? Any? I know that this number isn’t zero. Shouldn’t the department be focusing on them foremost? If a law, any law, is going to be enforced then it damn well better be enforced equally and consistently. Meaning, it damn well better affect everyone and not just target certain classes or types of people. That way we can all have a stake in seeing if it’s a decent law or a terrible one, and then have an honest go at communicating about it.

Jennifer Pryor is quoted in Holland’s article as saying “the homeless have become a serious problem of abuse and contributing to pet overpopulation.” Shame on you, Jennifer Pryor. That is a total misrepresentation steeped in exaggeration and completely barren of specifics. Whitney Smith chimes in that “if people are struggling, homeless and have addictions, another responsibility is not appropriate,” and that “it’s very easy to give a sob story for homeless, but the endgame for the animals isn’t pretty.” One of them also claimed that “homeless people breed Pit Bulls to sell as fighting dogs.” Ugh, total nonsense.

Below is a man that my girlfriend met when she happened to be carrying 1 of my cameras in her car. He would usually be very near to where she would exit for work, and he absolutely cherished his dog.

homeless
homeless2
homeless3

Dianne gave him a new leash, and he gladly accepted it and used it immediately. As you can see in the top photograph, he was using a pretty large chain. Should he be demonized for having a chain? Absolutely not. Offer him something to use instead. Dianne was very touched by the connection that this man had with his dog, and he was so proud of his pet. I could cite many more interactions like this and my point is that you just have to treat people like you want to be treated…

Just last week we drove up to San Francisco and made multiple stays throughout Big Sur. It was here where we’d see a woman walking alongside Hwy. 1 with her recyclables attached to her bicycle and her 2 dogs (below). We had to see her about 5 different times in the span of a few days. On our way down we pulled off to talk with her and then met her again at the general store where she was pulled off to get cleaned up. She was making her way to Carmel because she had been offered a job on a farm. Her name was Lisa and she had a little scruffy dog named Sandy and a Pit Bull named Baby. They were both adorable and loved their momma very much.

homeless4
homeless5
homeless6
homeless7

Anybody advocating to take these dogs from their people are authoritarian monsters who should be a million miles away from crafting any kind of policy.

Is there a homeless person out there somewhere in America that is being abusive or sending a dog to a dog fighter? I don’t know, I’m sure there might be. But does that represent 99+% of the people living on the streets with pets? Hell no! So instead of all of that bad energy, where’s the offered resources? Where’s the helping hand? Homeless people are people without a home, but they are still people. How about you give them something else to remember you by other than condemnation and judgment?

Also, when does the collective blaming stop? People do it to different breeds of dogs all the time. People do it to low-income communities all the time. People do it to folks out living on the street and right here is a grand example of it. And these are all just issues linked to a dog issue. Sadly, my fear is that in reading the condescending statements from Pryor and Smith, many uninvolved readers might now move to typecast all “animal rescuers” or “activists” as control freaks or bullies towards the poor. See the perpetuated cycle when people group-blame? It promotes and greases the skids for further group-blame. Obviously they should stop the selective enforcement and move whatever mountain to end that load of hypocrisy. But until that environment manifests itself homeless folks should be the last people Jennifer Pryor and Wendy Smith should be out targeting. Yet they are always the first because they are the easiest to target and least likely to have any recourse to defend themselves. Most importantly of all, the vast majority of these people very deeply love their pets. That love is being reciprocated. So many of these pets were homeless themselves prior to striking up a bond with whatever person. In comparison to you, think about how much more time and attention goes into keeping a pet with you 24/7. To downplay these connections, to look down upon this reality, to take away this possibility is just utterly outrageous and offensive.

Thankfully the article does include a few voices of reason. First, from Genevieve Frederick from Pets of the Homeless

A quarter of the nation’s 600,000 homeless people keep pets. Shunned by many, ignored by most, homeless people live lives of piercing loneliness. These pets provide them with something they need to feel human: unconditional love, loyalty.

And then from Claudia Perez, a skid row rescuer…

The problem is they stereotype all homeless people. Gerrick loved his dogs.

Notice how in Holland’s article it’s revealed that Perez is actually the person that convinced Miller to relinquish the dogs. She told him that they’d all be fixed and vaccinated, and that the shelter would hold them as his. She drove him to the shelter to see how they were doing. None of that access is by coincidence, as he trusted Perez and that’s directly due to Perez NOT judging him or treating him like a 2nd class citizen. Jennifer Pryor and Wendy Smith act in the opposite ways, and make up the “they” that Perez is referring to in the above quote.

The article ends by stating that Gerrick Miller was oddly arrested a few days after surrendering his dogs and is now serving a 1 year sentence in a drug rehabilitation program. Sugar’s puppies will very likely be adopted or rescued. Sugar’s future is unknown but she is most likely still at a city shelter. If you happen to have her ID# please email it to me on Facebook.

This most ridiculous headline attempts to demonize Pit Bulls twice

Posted August 26th, 2014 in Media by Josh

When we talk about Pit Bull demonization and misinformation that gets spread around the internet as if it’s fact, I’d offer up this headline and article as a pretty good example of such foolishness…

phyllisdaugherty

So as you can see, not only does it imply that a Pit Bull’s head can shatter bullets, which it can’t, but it also overlooks the level of force that was rolled out and attempts to blame the dog for the outcome. Look, if you take a head shot then the inside of your skull is going to shatter, not the other way around. What very likely happened is that the cop shot at the dog, missed, and then part of the bullet ricocheted off of the ground and hit his fellow officer. Daugherty wants you to believe that the bullet was shattered over the Pit Bulls head (which lived, mind you) and then parts of it went downward into the ground and back upward into the officer’s arm. Further, she writes her piece as if the Pit Bull is actually to blame for the 2nd cop being shot, as if its head did the shooting. No inquiring into why such force was necessary in the first place, just blamed on a “charging” dog which has been labeled a Pit Bull through God only knows what channels and is now said to have a bionic head. Preposterous. Lastly, why is the dog’s breed or type relevant in this context unless you are trying to paint a dim picture of that breed or type? Phyllis Daugherty is known for this type of stuff, just Google her name.

PETA ideology showing itself in the concerns over artificial intelligence expansion

Posted August 22nd, 2014 in Parallels, Prejudice by Josh

Speaking to a conference room full of people in Sweden, engineer Nell Watson sought to ring the alarm on the ever-expansive use of artificial intelligence in the future world. She and others believe that droids, once developed to a certain level, could eventually come to kill human beings out of both malice and kindness.

Teaching machines to be kind is not enough, as robots could decide that the greatest compassion to humans as a race is to get rid of everyone to end suffering.

Yikes. That sounds like a national security issue and not a path that any rational person would ever want to go down. In regards to dogs, this concept mirrors the PETA mantra of killing dogs (primarily Pit Bulls) before they ever find themselves in a situation where there’s a chance of being abused by someone, thus “saving them from abuse.” Even though most all dogs won’t ever be abused. But that doesn’t matter to a group like PETA, who will lobby for legislation ensuring these deaths anyways. They will then say that they did it out of the kindness of their hearts. Death is so loving, right? Wrong.

Recording a roundtable discussion with a major focus on community

Posted August 12th, 2014 in Community by Josh

I hope that many of you will take numerous things away from this filmed conversation between Myself, Tino Sanchez from Peace Love & Pit Bulls, Dana Keithly from THAT Group, Kim Wolf from Beyond Breed and Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent director Jeff Theman…

Issues discussed include BSL, anti-dog policy, housing, insurance, judgment, lack of resources, community engagement and outreach, condemnation, poverty, messaging, media, shelters and shelter politics, mandatory spay and neuter, mandatory training, enforcement, animal abuse registries, Michael Vick, dog fighting, owner vs. guardian termanology, rescue rejection, using tools, dog bite-related human fatalities, responding to hit-pieces, protest, verbal delivery, infighting, amongst other things.

The connection one has with their dog is not a trivial thing

Posted July 24th, 2014 in Inspiration by Josh

sway18

I find it really difficult to write about Sway. I’m not sure why. I think it may be because whatever I do write, I have this fear or this belief that it will just never be able to do her justice. To be clear, it won’t. There’s nothing that I could write that could ultimately do her justice, and with that, the concept of trying has left this wake of procrastination that’s kind of stalled numerous ideas and plagued requests that have come in about her from other people. But I also can’t carry that around, that need to live up to this ever-escalating vision of what she deserves, and not try to be vulnerable about how having her as such an important stalwart in my life was an absolutely priceless thing. She was incredible. Both incredible in general and incredible for me, to me, to my life.

It’s often these same conflicts that arise when I speak about her to other people, if they ask me in person or what have you. I rarely let myself go there, so to them it may come off as more of a canned response that leaves them kind of confused. I don’t know. One thing about me is that I kind of have a reputation for being outspoken and opinionated and raw, and vulnerable. But the loss of Sway throws a wrench into all of that. Point is, my emotions are heavily invested and have been interwoven amongst all of my memories that I carry in my mind. That’s all that I have. It’s quite tough to try to unpack my thoughts and this post may read awkwardly or come off as being all over the map. But instead of not saying anything I want to say some of these things that are in my head.

I physically lost Sway 5 years ago today. Sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes it feels so far in the past that I can’t even remember. Both thoughts are scary. Feeling like whatever wounds haven’t even scabbed is scary. Feeling like I have no scabs, like I have no scars, like I forgot something, and thus worrying how much more I’m going to come to forget, is just as scary.

No bullshit, I cannot watch the video that I made of her, the one that sits at the top of the right column of my website, without absolutely losing it. That doesn’t stop me from watching it. I usually watch it really late at night, and my reaction is silent, but it is a massive reaction, and still. I also cannot listen to those songs, even though they are some of my favorite songs, without gazing out of whatever window is nearby and deeply missing her. To be totally honest, I cannot even write what I just wrote without crying. This is the weird thing. After losing Sway I became more hardened in a sense that I cried less. I’m a sensitive person and somebody who isn’t scared to show my emotions, but for years after losing Sway it was damn near only the topic of her that could make me cry. My work in and around shelters, and the bonds with the shelter dogs, brings with it some really difficult pain. As much as I cried for those incredible dogs with the slanted fates, and still do, I could’ve cried triple. It’s like you power on through. Same goes for the non-dog-related issues of life in general, and there’s plenty of that to cry about, but my bond with Sway has this unique way of always cutting through. And that’s the odd thing, even now, that it’s like a faucet of immediacy. I miss her so much. For example, when I was last back home I had asked my mom to sit down and talk about Sway on video. I had a few questions for her and I sat behind my camera and asked them. I was watching her eyes well up with tears because she was seeing my eyes well up with tears. Rather quickly I literally couldn’t breathe because I was sobbing from how much I missed my dog.

How does this happen? It’s been 5 years, right? I’d just say that it speaks quite loudly to the connection between a dog and their person. What else can it say? That I’m crazy or unstable? I’m not. That I love animals more than people? I don’t. It simply states that dogs are extremely important to most folks, that they have a gentle and subtle power about them, and that their relationships with their people are not to be taken for granted or made to seem unimportant. And no matter what breed or mixed breed they might be!

But to keep going, a little over 2 years after Sway passed away I wrote an article for StubbyDog about grief. It’s still very tough for me to read. I’m very proud of what I wrote, but this grief does remain in part. It’s changed, I’ve come a long way with it, I’ve tried to turn it into many positive things, and that’s all that you can do. I imagine that it will always be tough. But love does give you the strength to always keep trying, to always try to find a way to make a difference, and love will always be the light at the end of the tunnel when you are having a really bad day. My dog certainly helped teach me that, and I’d say that that’s a pretty instrumental lesson to learn.

Speaking of bad days, I’ve had a lot of those lately. My life is in a different place than it was 5 years ago, and I’ve really expended a lot of energy trying to do all that I can do on the dog-related issues. Many other areas of my life have changed, some efforts have taken back seats to others, and this world keeps going full speed ahead regardless. I hope that my choices do make a continued difference, and will be something that will eventually propel me to a better place of comfort. It’s tough TRYING TO DO the good and the right instead of the passive or the easy. We all fail at times. I just know that with my own life I want to be able to continue to follow my passions and not have them be tossed into a ditch. It’s doubly tough to compartmentalize whatever efforts you are making and not have the consequences of those efforts trickle into your day-to-day unrelated life. But I only want that comfort if it comes aligned with doing the good and the right. To avoid having turmoil erupt while trying not to stray from that premise is an equally difficult thing to try and maneuver. So amidst the turmoil I often think back to my life with Sway, before all of the advocacy and becoming really tuned in with what goes on, and I wish that I could just lay down on the couch with her or go to the beach and watch her chase her football around. That would certainly lift my spirits.

To close, I couldn’t even fathom being deprived of having Sway in my life. That would’ve been such a shame. I am so grateful that we crossed paths and that she was able to live out her life as a loved dog and not anything less than that. Sway was a dog, and an amazing one at that. She was a great friend to our family cat Rufus and a great friend to my nephew Jaelon. She was a conduit for a personal experience, a changer of minds, an integral part of our family unit, loved by many, and my absolute shadow and friend. Those are the facts. No one can change that.

It breaks my heart that there are actually entities out there that make it their obsessive objective to render these dogs as caricatures of the worst possible thing imaginable. This aims to disregard and end connections like the one that I’ve had, and this is happening every single day. They do these things while ignoring all of the rules of the universe, the golden rule, the concepts of freedom and individualism, and the power of love. To wade through that delusional hate is a tough ask in any number of ways. It absolutely can challenge your senses. But at the end of the day it’s an easy choice to make because they are wrong.

I remember holding a picture of Sway up to the Pasadena City Council on the first night that I spoke in front of them, asking them not to scapegoat dogs that they will never know. Telling them how important she was to my life. Simply telling them that she existed. She was not a stereotype, nor was she a soundbyte, nor was she a news headline. She was a wonderful dog that lived a loving life and made a positive and multifaceted impact on the universe. The news normally doesn’t want to cover that kind of thing. But if for some reason they ever did, lord knows there’s enough examples out there for them to choose from.