A BATTALION OF SORROWS…A GREAT TAKE ON BSL

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions.”  (Shakepeare, Hamlet, IV, 5) 

With just over four months still to go, 2015 has unleashed a battalion of losses on our small corner of the world. We’ve lost two close friends to the ravages of diabetes, including Tanner’s  trainer Tony Rollins, and another was recently diagnosed with a serious, neurological disorder. Several older relatives are also battling deadly maladies. The dog world has taken some hits, too. Tanner lost Ceba, one of his long-time buddies, and two other canine pals are suffering from serious ailments and advanced old age. The latest blow came last Saturday when our dear friend, Roberta Deutsch, passed away while awaiting treatment for a bone marrow disorder. Together with her husband, Carl, another dear friend, Roberta was an angel for all sorts of worthy causes. A supremely talented dancer and musician, who worked on dozens of TV shows and films, including West Side Story, where she was a fetching Jet girl, Roberta fervently supported diverse charities like SHARE, the Professional Dancers SocietyHomeboy Industries, and dozens of programs to help children in need receive early childhood intervention, and education in the arts, especially music and dance. She and Carl also established our weekly Course In Miracles meeting, a program that has helped me recognize and handle my sometimes crushing anger issues. Although she faced some long-standing, debilitating health problems, Roberta never lost her wicked sense of humor, or her impeccable style and grace. She leaves behind sweet memories, and a hole that will never be filled.

Roberta with Janie

BSL, or Breed Specific Legislation is an ill-conceived, ineffective effort to ban certain breeds of dogs, like pit bulls and Rottweilers, deemed ‘inherently dangerous’. Based on fear and bogus science, several cities and some states (yes, you, Maryland) have implemented BSL as a knee-jerk reaction to fatal dog attacks, which almost always result from the mistreatment of the offending dogs or  owner neglect. Nearly all canine experts, and President Obama himself, consider it a wrong-headed, ineffective tactic. Tanner and I consider BSL to be is just BS, and we have railed against it in the past. I recently came across a novel, funny take, by a lawyer who specializes in HOA law, on why scapegoating pit bulls makes no sense. In his weekly newsletter Adrian Adams, of Adams Kessler PLC, posted the following: QUESTION: Our condo association is plagued with prostitutes, drug use and pit bulls. I’m a non-voting member of the board and want to know what we can do about the pit bulls. RECOMMENDATION: I noticed it’s a class of dogs that bothers you, i.e., compact muscular dogs with great jaw strength such as pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and bulldogs. If your board were to get rid of the prostitution and drug use, I suspect most of your pit bulls would join the exodus. The task will be daunting but your board should work with the police and legal counsel to clean up the development. Or, in the alternative, you could designate yourselves a “sanctuary association” for drug dealers and prostitutes and then apply for federal subsidies. You could be eligible for truckloads of money.

Eugenie and I with Roberta and Carl at the Professional Dancers’ Benefit, 2007

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