It's oil on watercolor paper. 12"x18"
The title is: "Banned Pit Bull #1,000,023 Enters Heaven"
I get a lot of questions about this artwork, so here's what i had to say to one person doing a paper about BSL:
I only had my pit bull for about 3 years. I had never met any other purebred pit bulls, but i thought they were beautiful dogs, and I had spent a lot of time with "aggressive" breeds as a child, and they were always sweet dogs. I had a Doberman, a Mastiff, an Akita, and a Rottweiler around when i was growing up and all of them were dependable dogs. Also, I had adopted several of a litter of 8 abandoned pitbull/St.Bernard mixes as puppies and had placed them all in homes that they still live in, with no aggression problems.
I got my pit bull in Houston. I traded 2 artworks to a breeder in Minneapolis who flew her out to me. I socialized her really well. She absolutely loved any person, and any dog (not to mention she was very trustworthy will small animals and birds). I can honestly say she was the friendliest dog I've ever had. Maybe because I socialized her so much as a puppy, I don't know. My family owns a lot of Jack Russells and they are way, way more prone to aggression than pit bulls.
Then I moved back to Colorado, and I had her there when Denver passed a ban against possession of pit bulls. Every shelter within a hundred miles filled up with pit bulls, and they were euthanizing hundreds of people's family pets. It was disgusting.
I didn't know what to do with my dog, Genesis, so i took her way up in the mountains where I knew of this no-kill-shelter. When i brought her in they said "no way, no more pit bulls. We have too many, and wont be able to place the ones we have." But I was really persistent, talking to them about how well trained my dog was.
She was crate trained, obedience trained. She would stand still on the edge of a table to have her nails trimmed and ears cleaned out, and she would jump in the bathtub to vomit, instead of doing it on the carpet whenever she got sick.
So the woman who owned and managed that shelter offered to give her a "temperament test". And she took her back and came out with her 20 minutes later and said, "This is a good dog, I'll take her home." And that was it. As far as I know, that woman still has Genesis as her own pet. I heard that the lady has 2 St.Bernards that Genesis lives with, and the only problem they have is that Genesis licks their ears so much that the skin gets dry.
I never had any negative reactions from people in public. I think people don't really know what a pit bull looks like. They don't think they can be cute. They only recognize one if their ears are cut. My dog had her ears and she was really beautiful. and she had very happy, submissive body language. and I would tell people that she was a Lab/Boxer mix, which people believe because if she was a pit bull she would be mean and ugly, right?
I don't think people will ever really understand them. They want to be afraid of things. The only thing that will help is very stiff legislation and enforcement against people who abuse dogs. And also against the breeders who sell dogs to those people. A good breeder wont sell a dog to a person that will abuse it, or fight it. They can tell. They ask lots of questions. If people who abuse dogs had to pay large fines, and the breeders were regulated in some way there wouldn't be this problem.
It wouldn't be difficult to do either. You can go on the website of any breeder and see which kind of dog they're trying to breed. Good breeders select for good temperament. They show their dogs in regular dog shows and events like agility. They get certifications for their studs, like "Canine Good Citizen" and they keep their dogs in their houses, not tied individually in kennels or staked behind their houses. Also, they charge a lot of money per puppy, and ask a lot of questions about the new owner. All of these things are very important.
So that is what is needed to solve the problem, not legislation against the dogs, but regulation of the breeding and selling of the dogs. . . There are ways to do this.
So that's my 2 cents. Hope it's helpful.