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The Dog Santa Refused

Don't judge one dog based on the fear of a breed, including a pit bull named Pup Cake.

Don't judge a pit bull based on fear. Photo by Sue Mack, Thinkstock.

The little girl waited through the long line at a California mall to see Santa. Beside her stood her service dog, a handsome pit bull named Pup Cake.

The girl has autism and waiting in lines is difficult for her. But she was able to do it because of the dog at her side. Pup Cake kept her calm and provided emotional support.

Pup Cake, a pit bull and a service dog. Photo courtesy Julie Miller and the Santos FamilyWhen finally the girl’s turn arrived, the mall Santa took one look at the pit bull and demanded that the dog be removed. “Those dogs eat people,” he is reported as saying. The family even offered to take Pup Cake off to the side while the little girl sat on Santa’s lap, but Santa turned them away.

It’s true, pit bulls are strong and muscular, and news reports frequently document frightening and devastating attacks on children and others. It’s wrong, however, to judge every dog based on a fear of the breed as a whole.

The temperament of a pit bull–or any dog–generally has more to do with its treatment from its owners. This particular pit bull–Pup Cake–had never been aggressive, in fact, was faithfully and compassionately serving a little girl with a disability.

In the same way, how often do we judge others based on our preconceived notions?

Do we assume that person we see waiting next to us at the bus stop or standing in line in front of us is ignorant because of the way they dress? Has a fiery temper because of the color of their hair? Is incompetent because of their weight?

Dear God, Please help me to see others the way You see them. Show me how to treat animals humanely and with compassion. And how to treat all people with the kind of love You have for us. Amen.

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