The Day I Got Profiled

March 14, 2011  

It was the same thing that happens to dogs

By Wil Willis

I had just moved from Anaheim to Newport Beach, California. I thought I’d enjoy the beach, the weather and the people.

Since I was still the new kid in town, I had a tendency to drive in the right lane because I didn’t want to go fast and I didn’t really know my way around. One day, as I was driving home from the mall, I noticed a police car. No problem, right?

In the next lane, a Porsche and a convertible Mercedes whipped by at around 80 m.p.h. I checked my speedometer – it was right on 55.

I didn’t think the officer would have any interest in me. Boy, was I wrong.

I was pulled over two miles from my house. The reason: Driving suspiciously.

That was the first time I had heard about such a thing. The officer asked me where I was going.

“Home,” I said. “I live up the street at the Coronado Suites.”

He checked if I had warrants and someone with the same name as me had an outstanding warrant.

I was handcuffed for two hours and taken to the station.

Later, they realized they had the wrong Wil Willis.

Five years later . . .

I was visiting some friends for the first time. They invited me over to their home for lunch. When I arrived and knocked on the door, I was greeted by the biggest pit bull I had ever seen in my life.

The dog was big, scary and barking loud. I thought to myself, “There’s no way I’m going into that house.”

My friend Cory called the dog over to him and held his collar. Then I came in.

I would have missed out on knowing a great dog had I not taken that chance.

The pit bull’s name is Moose! Really? I thought a pit bull named Moose says one thing: Don’t come in the house or I will rip you to shreds!

It was strange, though, because I noticed that as soon as Cory called him aside, Moose wasn’t fighting him and pulling to get at me. And he stopped barking.

I wasn’t convinced that Moose wasn’t going to hurt me, and I asked Cory and Jasmine to keep him away from me.

We sat down to eat lunch while Moose sat on the steps, quietly staring at us. Toward the end of lunch Cory and Jasmine asked if I want to pet their pit bull or give him a piece of my lunch.

I don’t know if it was the wine talking, but I said, “Sure, why not.”

They called Moose over and I fed him a generous piece of steak and then he laid his head on my leg while I scratched his ears.

I was shocked to see a dog of this size and breed being this nice.

Moose definitely won me over after that day. I have been back a few times since and, don’t tell my friends, but I think I’m more excited to see my buddy, Moose, than I am to see them.

Today . . .

Pit bulls get a bad rap. Are there mean and vicious dogs? Yes, there are, but Moose taught me that it’s how their person raises them that matters.

I’d heard about the Michael Vick situation, and I used to think pit bulls were all mean fighting dogs, but after meeting Moose, I look at them quite differently.

And I think back to what happened to me in Newport Beach.

That police officer pulled me over for no real reason. He judged me on his impression of how I looked and what I was driving. He profiled me.

But when I met Moose, I did the exact same thing to an entire breed. I wanted no part of this giant dog. I took one look and saw he was a pit bull and said, “No thank you.”

Turns out, he’s such a cool dog, and honestly, he’s my friend. I love that big pit bull and because of him I have changed my mind on how I look at dogs – pit bulls specifically.

This just goes to show you that you can’t judge people by their exterior and you certainly can’t pass judgment on dogs based upon how they look. I would have missed out on knowing a great dog had I not taken that chance.

Thank you, Moose.

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16 Responses to “The Day I Got Profiled”
  1. Kara Kerpan says:

    Thanks for the story- I think its really cool that someone would take the time out to write about a friend’s dog! 🙂 I think its great!

  2. Melanie says:

    Awesome story, thanks for sharing!!! Pitbulls are awesome dogs, are Pittie is currently being enrolled to train as a therapy dog.

    Also fact:

    In December 2010, the American Temperament Test Society showed the American Pit Bull Terrier scored an overall temperament rating of 83.9%, which is better than the 77% score of the general dog population.

    Pit Bulls are actually bred to be affectionate towards people. They have been bred for hundreds of years for strength, agility, high pain tolerance and absence of aggression toward humans.

    Pit Bulls are extremely intelligent dogs and take their cues from the humans who raise them.

  3. Maggie says:

    Fabulous story. Thanks for sharing. I remember, once upon a time, even though we had Pitbulls, I was afraid of Rotties. My brother in law had one, man did I change my mind after I got to know the dog. Since then, we’ve had about 10 as fosters or owned and, they too are such great dogs.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I loved this story, the sad thing is, people and animals alike get profiled all the time. So glad to see a story that tells that part but also about how you delt with it and moved on. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Shirley says:

    Its the same with Rotties. I had the best Rottweiler name Sadie. She could almost tell what you were thinking. Only 2 people in her 10 years of life was not let in the house. And they both turned out to be bad. I lost my baby girl Sadie to liver cancer in Feb. She is greatly missed. And as I said, Rotties are put in a catagory as being bad dogs. Its not a bad dog, its a bad owner.
    Any dog taught right, with love and patience will be a good dog.

  6. Lyndsey says:

    This made my day 🙂

    • StubbyDog says:

      Thanks, we’re glad you enjoyed the story of Moose and Wil….uh, I should say Wil and Moose, (sorry Moose always steals the spotlight 🙂 )

  7. Shawn says:

    Fabulous story! I appreciate the analogy, it is really worth keeping in mind. I used to be terrified of Pit Bulls too…now I share my life with one and I am so glad I have the opportunity to do that. She’s made me a better person on so many levels because now I really get discrimination.

  8. PamMcDowell says:

    Anyone who has ever met Moose would agree! He IS a fabulous friend!

  9. StubbyDog says:

    We agree Pam, Moose is fabulous and really does his part to change peoples’ perceptions of pit bulls.