A fictional piece that will hopefully motivate those who sit on the sidelines as our dogs are targeted and persecuted by those who wish to see them fade into extinction. I hope this insight into what could be a very frightening future for the breed if we don’t stand up for our rights encourages some of you to pick up the pen and the phone to make your voice heard in any area considering any type of BSL. If we stand together in checking and curring our enemies along with supporting positive outlets such as the conformation and weight pull shows we can be victorious in securing a safe future for APBT. This piece is meant as a fictional creative expression inspired by our breed’s illustrious history and hallmark of courage, heart and Gameness. Not intended to encourage any illegal activities anywhere in the world. Enjoy…. Jaystreets.

“ Release your dogs!” the Referee shouted and the match was on. Ralph turned his dog, Choco, around from the side wall he was facing. In the opposite corner, his opponent, a well conditioned black dog of the same weight, did the same. The two dogs were released from their handlers grip and shot across the canvas. The sound of paws pushing forth off the canvas towards one another was clear as day for the crowd stood in quiet awe awaiting for the first contact. The dog’s eyes met in the middle of the 16 x 16 plywood arena as they raced towards one another. As they collided in the middle, they each took hold as their bones splintered from the impact. Benny was the crowd favorite, having won two fights in short order he was known for a destructive bite. Ralph’s charge was the underdog, who’s family was known for being generally programmed to have a heart of gold at a higher percentage, but was considered to lack the intensity to win this match. As the dogs took grip and danced around the arena, their handlers kept a close eye as well as the referee for any cheating. Ralph laid on the canvas in full view of Choco, giving an occasional shout of encouragement. The other handler, Steven, was nervous since Benny was already in trouble in the first five minutes. Choco had gripped Benny’s shoulder, fracturing it. The crowd erupted in an uproar when blood shot out from Choco’s grip on benny’s shoulder. Bets were flying and the crowd control had trouble keeping everyone in their seats. The fight was longer than expected, having past the hour mark. Many assumed it was going to be a short match, but Choco’s heart was in it for the long hall. The referee calls a handle at one hour and twenty minutes, both handlers moving quickly to separate the dogs. Choco had become fanged and the handle was done at the moment of a hold swap . At this point Benny’s shoulder was broken and bleeding, as well as both his front paws. Choco’s leg was mangled and he had broken some of his remaining teeth. The call was on Choco to continue the fight. The crowd stood up on their feet as the referee started the 10 count for Choco to go across the arena and take hold of Benny, showing that he wanted to continue. The warehouse had become silent except for the referee’s count. As Choco started to cross the box, both dogs yelped and seized up on the canvas. The lights started to flicker and everyone scattered. One older man sitting in the crowd did not budge. Both handlers quickly put on rubber gloves and grabbed their warriors, placing them inside a crate outside the arena.

Everyone fled the warehouse as the lights turned off, running out a back exit. The older man was surrounded by the crowd control guards and escorted into an awaiting SUV, that quickly sped off. In the rearview mirror, Animal Rights militia were storming the small warehouse, oblivious that everyone had already fled. “Another attack huh? That’s crazy right there. Were you at that one?” a vet tech said to Ralph as he was dozing off in his chair. Ralph was confused as to what he was talking about until he looked up at the tv screen. “ Last night there was another animal rights militia raid on a warehouse during a high stakes mechani-canine combat match in a rural area of Legacy County. Gunfire was heard for miles around, but when police arrived there was nothing left except for a bloody arena and empty seats. The investigation continues”. “Nah I wasn’t at that one. Was at a different one early this morning. Good thing because I would’ve choked one of them if I got my hands on em.” Ralph replied to the young man. “Damn right bro. Keep up the fight.” the young man replied as a Vet brought out a small Pomeranian to a nervous owner waiting in the chair next to Ralph. “Make sure to keep up with it’s maintenance, or the fur will dull.” the doctor said as the owner walked out. Ralph thought to himself how close he was to losing Choco to those sick animal extremists, even if he’s not a real dog. He also thought that he could’ve been killed as well, as it’s happened in the past. Ever since the Animal Rights Extremists had eradicated all of the purebreds it’s been an ongoing struggle to just own a replica, even harder to campaign one in the fast lane even though it was deemed legal as these were just machines in the eyes of the law. “Choco had some bad burns from the electrical pulse he received yesterday, as well as some structural damage. Overall he should recover just fine now.” The vet said to Ralph as he led him to Choco who was resting in a rubber encased crate. As the vet walked back into the examination room, another doctor asked “ You think he noticed?” “ Of course not. These guy’s don’t care. I charged him for a complete combat work up, but just cleaned and stiched up stitched up the outside. I gave the mutt a shot of that extended release liquid cephalexin. That piece of junk will be fine.” The vet replied as he marked off some medicine in the cabinet. Ralph carried Choco out to his SUV and drove home, his mind elsewhere on the lonely roads leading to his rural home. As Ralph arrived at his home he heard Choco whining in the back. “That’s weird, I never had one whine before.” he thought to himself as he grabbed a leash and opened the trunk door to take Choco out. He could hear the rest of his dogs barking but he was focused on getting Choco healed and going to sleep, he was extremely tired.

He clipped the leash to Choco’s collar, watching him limp inside the house. Ralph lead him to a spare room he used to put healing dogs in. Ralph thought the warmth of the house helped them heal faster, even though inside he knew it may be all in his head, them being machines and all. He put Choco in the crate and wrapped a quilt over the top for extra warmth. He got him some food and water and put it inside with him which he quickly lapped up. As Ralph walked out the room and closed the door, he could hear Choco whining again. Ralph thought there may be something wrong with him or maybe he needed to rest and recharge. Ralph went out back with his push cart of food and water. As he came out he sighed deeply, looking out at the eight Pitbull dogs he had bought and collected. Each one on a long 12 ft chain jumping up in the air at his sight or playing with a toy he had given each of them. He wondered how authentic they were to the real thing, as he never got a chance to see one live before. He watched the dogs repeat programmed actions in a loop such as barking at each other and jumping up high in the air in the same fashion over and over. As he went to each spot he scooped their crap and fed them. Each one was a mechanical canine he has purchased from some of the top programmers in the country. Each had their own signature fighting style and look, hallmarks of the programmers they came from. Ralph had been considering programming his own dog from two of his best, but he still needed time to see who was worthy. He smiled as he thought about Choco, who so far was the best fighting dog he had.

Ralph went back inside, kicked off his yard boots and feel asleep on the couch. An uncomfortable pain in his neck woke Ralph up from a deep sleep and a perverted dream. He sat up and rubbed his neck, wondering why he didn’t have two women sleeping next to him in real life. He looked over to his right and saw the reason for the soreness. Choco had been laid up against him on the couch. Ralph and Choco’s eyes connected, Ralph not really sure what to make of it. “Why would Choco come lay next to me?” He thought to himself. Maybe he has programming damage or something Ralph figured, as he grabbed a leash and hooked it on Choco’s collar. Choco looked up at Ralph with almost a grin, as he lead him back to the crate. The door was open and Ralph must’ve left it unlocked in his haste to rest. He lead Choco towards it and he put up a fight to stay out. Ralph couldn’t understand so he looked in the crate to see if it was dirty or wet, maybe making Choco uncomfortable. Once he saw it was clean, he scooped Choco up and put him inside, closing the door and locking it, double checking to be sure. Choco whined again as Ralph closed the door behind him. Early the next morning the sounds of tire on gravel could be heard outside Ralph’s home. Not expecting any deliveries, especially that early in the morning, Ralph grabbed the shotgun he kept for protection, making sure it was loaded and ready for use. He crept over to a side window and looked from behind the curtain, seeing a familiar SUV parked in his driveway. A knock at the door startled his inquisitive stare at the license plates. “Hello? Anyone home?” an older man’s voice shouted from behind it. Ralph walked over to the door, looking through the peephole to see who it was. He recognized the man from some of the matches he had been to, sitting in the crowd observing. Ralph knew the man was an old time pit dog fancier but other than that had no clue who he was and why he was there. “ Yes can I help you?” Ralph said as he opened the door. “ Good Morning young man. This is Solid Game Kennels ain‘t it?” “ Depends who’s asking. Who are you?” “ son, you already know who I am, and if you don’t you need to open some history books.” the older man replied with a chuckle. “ Well you’re a familiar face yea, but I don’t know who you are.” “ you gonna be rude or you gonna let me in?” the old man said as he pushed past Ralph. He walked inside, took a look around the room and sat down on the couch. “ Ralph, I’m James Fontibeaux. I’m sure you’ve seen my name in many pedigrees and some of the older vintage pit dog books.” he said as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it. Ralph immediately knew the name and was amazed to have a living legend in his home, and at the same time embarrassed he didn’t know who he was. “ My apologies sir for the talk at the door. My mind is still asleep. Make yourself at home. Can I get you anything to drink?” Ralph said but James just waved off his offer.

Ralph sat across from him in an old beaten up armchair. As he pulled long drags on his cigarette, James flicked the ashes onto Ralph’s floor. Bad manners, Ralph thought to himself but said nothing to him. “ You know, I used to get up at this time everyday years ago to feed over 80 pit dogs. Real ones, none of that mechanic trash everyone has now. All of my own family bred from my father’s stock. And here you are still droolin’ on the pillow.” The old man said as he let out another chuckle. “ So you had real ones before sir?” Ralph said, eager to hear more. The old man’s eyes lit up. “ You damn right we had the real ones. All flesh and blood with hearts filled to the brim with courage and gameness. None of that wiring and computer chips under synthetic blood, muscle and skin. They were as real as the leather on my boots, and the hair on your head. Each one had their own personality and would be a treasure to feed.” They sat there together for hours, Ralph listening to all the stories James had of the authentic dogs. It was exciting to Ralph, he had always wanted to know how the real ones were. James went to his truck and brought back some old vintage books that were printed before he was even born. James showed him photos of himself as a young man in numerous dog yards posing with famous foundation dogs. “ You know son we been here for a couple hours talking dogs and that’s all good and all, but why don’t you show me your dogs out back. You gotta feed them no?” James said as Ralph lead him to the backdoor. They went around to each dog, feeding them and cleaning each spot. Ralph explained how each one was programmed and where it came from, trying to impress the old man with his dogs. James didn’t seem impressed at all despite Ralph’s enthusiasm. Yet, Ralph realized why would he be? He had the real deal one time, these are just mechanic replicas. When they finished, Ralph asked him, “ So Mr.Fontibeaux what made you come out here to my yard?” and they stopped walking. “ Actually son I came here to talk to you about the dog you matched the other night when those extremists messed up the action. I didn’t seem him out here. Did he make it?” the old man said with a concerned expression that surprised Ralph. “oh okay. Yea he’s inside recovering quietly.” With that said the old man smiled and darted back to the house with Ralph quickly behind him wondering why Choco of all dogs.

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