I didn't have to explain.
I didn't have to apologize.
I didn't have to acquiesce.
Instead, I got to be around the best dogs I've ever met, handled by the best owners, trainers, and advocates I've ever met, behave in the best ways I've ever seen dogs behave. I got to speak the language not just of dog, but of justice. Justice for an animal that for some reason cannot be taken on its individual merits and has become instead the repository for all our medieval fears and hatreds and hysteria.
You should have seen us: tattooed and business suited. Black and white. Old and young. Lawyers and stock brokers and artists and welders. Animal control officers and policemen and politicians. A melting pot, that's for sure, and maybe none of us would have gotten along at a dinner party, but for three days, we were united in one clear cut, unequivocal belief: this is America, fer cryin' out loud, and the last time we all checked, we have the right to our property. We have the right to pursue our happiness. And we're doing it responsibly, so leave us the hell alone.
The atmosphere was rareified, indeed.
Because when it all ended, and I was sitting in the airport waiting to go home, forgetting that I was still wearing my "My Best Friend is a Pit Bull" button (we pit bull people, we're all about the bling) and a woman sat down next to me and read it and then said, "Pit bulls ought to be outlawed." and stormed off in a huff, I was reminded all over again of where I really live.
In the really real world, where ignorance and fear creep in on jack-booted feet.
And right now, the only thing I can say in defense is:
Get over it.