Sunday, February 8 Sunday wasn't my best day. A couple of days earlier I had stubbed my toe and it was really giving me problems. It had become quite swollen and I could barely walk. But we had been in Hawaii for our fourth day already and hadn't gotten around to checking out the Waikiki strip, visited my grandparents' graves, or gone to Pearl Harbor yet. Plus, it was Pro Bowl Sunday and the night before Richard and Jerry told us that the Pro Bowl NEVER sells out and we could probably get tickets if we wanted to go. The thought of doing ANY of that with my foot hurting like it did just made me want to stay in my room.
We headed over to Ala Moana for a bite to eat. Bryan and Jenny went off to get their own breakfast, Karen went over to Zippy's to get herself a plate lunch, and as for me, it was a third straight day of Arby's. Mmmm. Those Arby Melts are sooo good. I could eat Arby's every day of my life and I'd never complain.
I met up with Karen at Zippy's. While I was in there a saw a guy wearing a t-shirt protesting a proposed BSL bill. BSL is short for Breed Specific Legislation. It basically refers to any law that targets specific dog breeds, Pit Bulls to be exact. As most of you know I have become a passionate defender of the much maligned Pit Bull. I had to have one of those shirts for myself. I walked up to the guy and asked him where he got it and he informed me that there was a protest across the street in Ala Moana park. I had to check this out.
As we entered the park we saw large groups of people wearing the same t-shirt. What a great opportunity to not just network with some Pit Bull defenders, but to actually meet some face-to-face. I noticed two groups of tents. I walked to the closer group. I talked to some people about the proposed BSL bill, signed a petition, looked at some homemade signs showing pictures of little kids smiling and playing with their Pit Bulls. No one had any t-shirts left, but I felt good having met with them.
That good feeling went away as I approached the second group. One of the tents had a banner that showed two large angry-looking Pit Bulls with a giant set of brass knuckles, another boasted "Power Pit Kennels". There was an event poster that looked more like a fight card than anything else. My heart began to sink. Reality was starting to dawn on me. They were, at the very least, breeders, if not worse.
Believe it or not, breeders do more harm than any other group of people, even dog fighters. While thousands of homeless dogs wait to be adopted in shelters these people choose to breed their dogs, adding to the already overinflated number of dogs in this country that have no permanent home of their own. Consider this, if you were looking to add a dog to your home and had a choice between some unwanted stray at the pound and an adorable little baby puppy from a breeder, who could resist the puppy? That poor shelter dog doesn't stand a chance. It's just not right.
I walked back to the first group of tents feeling a sense of outrage. I asked one of the nice ladies, "Are those BREEDERS over there?" Her answer floored me, "We're pretty much all breeders." I was stunned.
"But why breed when there are so many great dogs in shelters already?" I asked her.
"Well, people that buy from breeders are looking for certain qualities." Certain qualities. I couldn't go on any further but I would have loved to have heard what her answer would have been. What qualities? Like the ability to fight another dog? I walked away bewildered. Could I be fighting on the same side as dog fighters and breeders? It seemed like that could actually be the case. It was a very disappointing experience.
We parked at the other end of Waikiki and were finally going to explore the Waikiki strip. But now my foot was absolutely killing me. Bryan drove me back to the hotel while Karen and Jenny hit the strip. Karen's friend Dana who just came back from Hawaii herself had recommended a burger joint on Waikiki so she and Jenny had themselves a drink there. Karen said they'd had a good time there and they had gotten a little bonding session in, too.
We had planned to take Mom out to dinner that night, but it turned into a family get together at a Korean barbeque. It was one of those places I'd like to frequent more often if I knew where to find them. They put a hot plate in the center of the table. You go up to the buffet bar and get various kinds of raw meat and cook it yourself at the table. It was very good. It was filling. But probably the best part of the evening was that we got to spend some time with our cousins that we see far too little of.