My younger sister and her partner have been fostering dogs for a couple of years. They recently adopted a young pit bull, which my sister told me had been at the shelter for several months and was considered “un-adoptable.” When I asked why, she said his former family gave him up after he bit their daughter, and she thinks that, combined with the bad rap that pit bulls get, contributed to keeping him at the shelter. But now, they were rehabilitating him, he was making big improvements, and she was sure he could meet my son “in no time,” hopefully at our next family gathering. I refused. My son is 3 years old, and while we do try and model good “dog behavior” whenever he wants to meet one, he still sometimes gets in their faces or pets them wrong. My husband and I still supervise him vigilantly around his grandparents’ elderly terrier, and I don’t feel comfortable having him around a dog with a history of biting children.
My sister has taken this as a personal insult to her and her partner’s training skills, and complains that I’ve bought into myths about the breed. She says the only way she wants to see us is if the dog can come too; she has already asked our mom if she can bring the dog to her outdoor birthday party (which will be the first time I’ll get to see my mom in months), and she agreed. I let them know I won’t be bringing my son now, and now my mom is begging me to give in and come, saying that I shouldn’t let my sister and her partner’s efforts to save a “poor dog,” in her words, “break up the family.” Am I wrong or biased against pit bulls because I do not want my son around this dog? My sister is taking this really personally, and I don’t know how to get through to her, or my mom. What should I do?