Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Pit Bull Problem & Prospectus at The Preakness

We were invited to the 137th running of the Preakness on Saturday May 19th, 2012.

It was an incredibly perfect summer day. Warm and sunny with just a slight passing breeze to keep you cool enough to stay out in the mid-day sun, (even for those of us under our big hats). We had (almost) the best seats in the house, (we were only outdone by a sheikh in a private glass sided container surrounded by very well-dressed Arabs who were no doubt packing some serious automatic weapons).

Our air-conditioned fully stocked buffet of crab cakes, steak, fennel salad, shrimp, and snack bar tent was right next to the winners circle. We had a view of the start, the finish, the big hats, the horses, and the winners ceremony. You can't ask for more. We also had a wait staff to help keep our gluttonous table clutter-free from the piles of glasses we accumulated from the open bar. It was a day of feeling like we were important citizens in the State of Maryland. (A big "Thanks!"m to our good friends John and Amy for inviting us).

Our tent was also adjacent to the Under Armor tent, which was brimming full of the "real" important Marylanders. I saw more famous people that day then I have seen cummulatively in my last 40. I am pretty sure every Ravens and Orioles  player was in that Under Armor tent.

Beside their tent was every single personality of the Baltimore news and radio. Every weatherman, newscaster, radio jockey was in that tent. It was pretty cool..I certainly felt like was a tiny little minnow in a big sea of important sharks. Aninimity is so much easier with a glass of wine, a party dress, and a big hat. Thank goodness for big hats)..

But true to my blue-blood roots I was happiest in the infield with what our table called, "the commoners" watching Maroon 5 tear up the "other-side of the race track".

At some point in the late afternoon Governor O'Malley walked through our tent, (I am guessing he just mistook ours for the Under Armor's? He obviously meant to be with them rubbing their affluent elbows vs ours). Once the 3 vets in the tent got their eyes on him he had no chance of escaping our queries. We collected ourselves, smoothed out our dresses, straightened our hats and hand-in-hand marched over to the Governor to try to influence the upcoming special session and ask for his consideration in over turning the Pit Bull discrimination law.

As we approached the other 2 looked at me and in 5 seconds from our point of impact with him unanimously elected me as "vet spokesperson." (In all honesty I was the natural choice, I am the only Democrat, the loudest, most opinionated, and I was the most sober).

One of them grabbed the Governors arm and got his attention, (this wasn't my suggestion, I am pretty sure that they don't like tugging?). He turned his attention to us, and I introduced us all as "3 veterinarians in the great State of Maryland."

I then very politely asked him to "please help overturn the pit bull discrimination law as we felt it was unfair to discriminate based on appearance."

He quickly replied with a smile, "like racial profiling?"

"Yes," I said, "exactly." A glimmer of hope flashed through my heart.

He followed up by saying, "But don't a lot of pit bulls maul children?"

OMG, my flash flickered, extinguished, and hope was lost.

I took one last stab at trying to enlighten another mis-informed person. (The governor deserves some educating, don't you think?)

I was met by a spouting on unrecognizable poetry. And a few paragraphs of it at that.

It was his way of shutting us up and reminding us that dogs are waaay down low on the list of politically important issues.

Five minutes into his recital we returned to our free drinks.

Every once in a while that fire in my soul is reminded just how far we have to go. I guess I'll stick to my devoted group of friends and family who know how much I value our collective pets, regardless of their creed, color, or roots.

And as far as our politics go I guess i will  just keep my politcal contributions in my own clinics yard.

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