I like warm bellies. A hand placed right over the rise and fall of the belly button, the lungs right above that fill it full of breathing. A belly feels like the most alive part of anything, and it’s comforting. It’s my most favorite of parts. This applies to everything and everyone, but the warmest bellies I’ve ever found on the planet belong to dogs. I was raised to sleep with my animals. I was taught that dogs are softer than blankets. When I was being shown what’s what, I learned: pets are family. This was a good thing to learn as a child. My bed was a nest of fur and human, and it was perfect.
Fact: As an adult, I would really like a Great Dane.
Fact: Many other people would not.
That’s fine. There are probably a great many good reasons why this is so – Danes are rather large (that’s a lot of good belly, there). I can understand how something that is large and with teeth is intimidating. But not everyone is simply thoughtful or practical. My Great Dane dream is often sullied with reasonings based on fabrication. On stereotypes. Reasons that are not reasonable; reasons that take seed from bias and unfortunate misconception. Basically: malarkey and boloney.
We do stereotypes with each other all the time – painting other humans we encounter with some kind of preconceived tint or another – but it’s our other and mostly-four-legged fellow creatures that seem to bear the brunt of our bias. Enter, here, the maligned and misunderstood Pit Bull – colored as ruthless, heartless and utterly savage. And enter, also, Ken Foster, his brood of four dogs and a stack of books that couldn’t prove our “common knowledge” on this breed faultier.
The author of several books advocating the Pit Bull, including the popular memoirs The Dogs Who Found Me and Dogs I have Met, Ken Foster brings his latest release to Carmichael’s Bookstore this Sunday, January 27th to further his cause. Titled I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet, Foster’s newest book functions as a tribute to the breed, combining history, stories and photography to paint a truer picture of a dog that has been unfairly harpooned by negative press for years. Foster, whose own family includes dogs Brando, Zephyr, Douglas and Bananas, is also the founder of the Sula Foundation – dedicated to promoting responsible ownership of these animals.
Join Foster starting at 4pm at the Frankfort Avenue store as he shares copies of I’m a Good Dog and proves that malevolent myth is simply just that – myth.
Also: I’m going to get a Great Dane as soon as I can afford to feed her. There will be so much warm belly going on in my house, that the very foundation will breathe right there with us. Even the naysayers will notice.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue. For more information, visit the event page  or call the Frankfort Avenue store at (502) 896-6950.
Image: Courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore website www.carmichaelsbookstore.com