Lennox fell victim to what is known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). For those of us dog owners who own dogs such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Canine Corso, and of course, the Pit Bull, many of us now the looks we receive from our neighbors, or when we walk down the street with our pups. It is NOT the dog, but the owner of the dog, coupled with the breeder of the dog, if known, who are responsible for canine temperament and good citizenry. But unfortunately this is lost on many of our fellow citizens who are quick to judge all dogs of these breeds because of misinformation and stereotyping.
The family has waged a battle on Lennox’s behalf since May 2010, with outreach extending across the globe with noted dog trainer and television host, Victoria Stillwell adding her voice in support to save his life. But on September 30, the judge after hearing their appeal, ruled in favor of the Belfast City Council that the dog could be put down, not because of any professionals evaluation, not because he was a pitbull, but because he resembles a pitbull. The family has 21 days left for a final appeal on a point of law. They are hoping that someone with a legal background will look for a loophole in the law that will save their beloved family pet and return him to their home and their daugher. Lennox’s You Tube video can be found here, and you can also visit their website, www.savelennox.co.uk. The petition to save Lennox, with over 107,000 signatures can be found here, http://www.savelennoxpetition.co.uk/ .
And now we move to example #2, current New Jersey governor, Chris Christie. Lately, the swirls of speculation regarding his decision to run or not to run for the Republican nomination have also brought another question to the forefront, and that is, can a fat man be elected President.
Yesterday’s Washington Post opinion columnist, Eugene Robinson, wrote “Chris Christie’s Big Problem“, and claims that his weight is a legitimate issue, because “elected officials perform best when they are in optimal health. Christie obviously is not.” ABC news also ran the story, “Chris Christie: Would worries over weight sink Presidential Bid?”
Obviously, the people of New Jersey made a huge mistake (no pun intended) when they elected Christie governor. Clearly, his weight has made him incapable of performing his public duties, first when he was attorney general, and now as Governor, right? If he doesn’t exercise, clearly un-American. He eats too much, yup, another thumbs-downer. According to Robinson’s column, Christie’s at higher risk all kinds diseases, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc. Yes, those are probably proven facts, But are they valid reasons to prevent him from running for the Republican nomination and perhaps the Presidency.
Governor Christie does not shy away from discussing questions about his weight and his ongoing battles with dieting and weight loss. Slender people smoke, have high blood pressure, drink, etc. Does that make them more worthy as societal members than someone who’s overweight? Perhaps Governor Christie’s best contribution to this season’s electoral, political process may yet be his weight. Whether weight will be and should be a criteria for judgment of his abilities, values and beliefs, experience and knowledge. That outcome will tell us a lot about ourselves, and as a country.