What Sam Cates can teach us about Gameness


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Gameness in the true sense of the word is what the American Pit Bull Terrie is all about. It is something that we should all be proud of. The apbt is not the only gamedog, but there is only a handful of dogs that can be proud to share this noble title.

Gameness is a willingness to please. It’s not an easily identifiable term. It’s about courage, loyalty, tenacity and an immense love of life. It’s about lack of fear. Total trust and unending devotion. In refrence to the APBT, it’s a dog that never questions it’s master decisions and follows them through without complaint. It’s about a dog that would surrender its life for you and sadly its also about those poor mistreated animals who have been abandoned or beaten, yet still find it within themselves to respond with a wag of the tail and loving eyes, to an outstretched hand or a soft word without knowing what consequences their actions may bring.

Haven’t you ever seen or heard of someone attempting a seemingly impossible task and heard someone remark how game they were? Thats gameness the same as our dogs. Do you remember being young and foolish and somebody would want to do something forbidden? Did you ever remark “I am game if you are.”Thats a willingness to please… It’s also gameness. Never condemn anyone for saying they have gamedogs. We should all try to breed our dogs true to type. For if we don’t, they become just another dog. Ask yourself why you own a APBT and if it is for any of the above reasons or if it is just because of the gameness.

You, as owners of these wonderful dogs should try to find the gameness within yourselves to see things as they are and realize that because of this indefinable word, that feeling that lacks description, the sence of knowing that somehow these dogs are different. That special something is gameness and nobody should ever try to change that.

If you can’t live with that word and somehow think it is linked to the breeds dark past, then maybe these dogs were never really meant for you. If you can’t look at your dogs past with a sense of pride and realize that it was his past that made him the dog he is today, then maybe you should seriously  consider owning a poodle. Look at your dogs past…the fighting dog of yesterday standing proud
and tall. He didn’t fight to kill or hurt the other dog, he fought because of his do or die attitude and because he was proud to please his owner… He did it for love.

Open your eyes and see that gameness is all around you. The tiny newborn pup struggling for life itself, soon becomes your proud baby puppy at his first show. Clowning around to hide his fear. Being brave because you are there so it must be ok. This pup soon becomes a strong weight pull dog with muscles straining against the harness, pulling to please refusing to give up even when his body says no. Or the hunting dog bringing down a pig tens of times his own weight. Why they do it? Simply because you set them the task and they will prove they can do it. Then one day comes the time when you prove your own gameness. When he is old and frail and comes to you with that look in his eyes that says “I’m sorry but I can’t win this one”. Then it’s up to you to be the strong one to say goodbye and comfort him and let him know that sometimes it’s ok to lose and in those final moments he will become your hero when in reality he should have always been that way. Don’t wait until it’s too late to realize the truth. Stop and think when you hear people speak of their gamedogs. Maybe they have already learned the truth.

Don’t condemn them for the pride they feel. Try to understand what they really feel and with that understandingcomes appreciation and acceptance of what the American Pit Bull Terrier was, is and always should stay…A TRUE GAME DOG.

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