Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 2, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 9


At the ripe ole age of 59, I have come 
to appreciate true friendship more than 

Happy Tailsever before and I feel blessed to have as 
many loyal friends as I do. One thing 

by Chris Leclerc

that came to mind for me recently as I 
reflected on this fact, is that most of my 
closest friends are a lot different from 
me. Some are much older, and some are considerably younger. Many do not look anything 
like me; they are not the same color, shape or size and they come from a myriad of backgrounds. 
Indeed, several of my dearest friends don’t even speak my language, yet they know 
me intimately and love me unconditionally. 

You might be wondering how I could have found such genuine friendships in people with 
whom I have so little in common. The answer is simple: First of all, I am naturally drawn 
to diversity in other humans, and secondly, the majority of my friends just so happen to be 
animals! Fortunately the humans and animals I surround myself with are kind and open-
minded enough to accept me just the way I am, and I accept them likewise, so friendship is 

Among my closest canine companions is one that inspired me enough to write this story 
about her. I think her example could help do away with one of today‘s most damaging urban 
myths about her canine breed. The friend I am referring to is an 11 year old girl named 
Chata. Chata has a beautiful, shiny golden coat and matching smiling eyes. She is symmetrically 
perfect from one side of her body to the other. She’s as fit as a fiddle and healthy as a 
horse, with not an ounce of spare fat and plenty of tight muscle to fill out her stature in all 
the proper places. Her bone structure is striking with alluring curvature including a dramatically 
“to-die-for” slim waist (don‘t I wish!). 

Her senses are extremely keen, and her heart is bigger and warmer than that of many humans 
I know. Chata lives quite the life of leisure with her family of 4 humans including 2 
small children, and a 6-year-old Chocolate Lab named Charlie. She is remarkably aware of 
how lucky she is to have been adopted into an incredible family that loves and cares for her. 
When Chata looks directly into your eyes, she melts your heart. She is a true charm. What 
kind of dog is Chata? She is what is commonly known as a Pit Bull, but her official breed title 
is American Pit Bull Terrier. 

Known for their intelligence and loyalty, American Pit Bull Terriers make excellent companions 
despite the bad reputation they have gained due to the cruel treatment and unfair 
press they’ve received. They are often confused with the American Staffordshire Terrier, 
and apparently in the eyes of the United Kennel Club (UKC) they are considered to be the 
same breed, although there are those who disagree. Some AKC (American Kennel Club)registered 
American Staffordshire Terriers are dual-registered as American Pit Bull Terriers 
with the UKC. 

The AKC, on the other hand does not allow a UKC-registered American Pit Bull Terrier to 
be registered as an American Staffordshire Terrier. To be dual-registered, the dog must first 
be an AKC-registered American Staffordshire Terrier and then it can be registered with the 
UKC as an APBT -- but not vice versa. Having said all of that, I am an individual who would 
rather steer clear of canine breed titles and labeling altogether. To me, it is much more important 
that each dog be recognized as an individual, each with his/her own unique personality 
and qualities, the same way we strive to view our fellow human beings. 

My beautiful American Pit Bull Terrier friend, Chata defies all negative rumors about the 
behavioral traits that are “typical” for her breed. She puts you at ease the moment you are 
in her presence, both with her body language and her eye contact. She respects others more 
than most humans do, in my opinion and she is a great “nanny” to her baby brother, Charlie. 
She plays gently with the two youngsters she lives with. She displays humility by lowering 
her head slightly when you first greet her, then she begins her child-like writhing back and 
forth with her tail swiftly whipping from one side of her groin to the other. She lets out a tiny 
whimper now and then when she is excited, as if to say “I am so happy to see you”. 

Contrary to what some people think about her breed, Chata is by far one of the most sensitive 
and loyal canine companions that I have ever known. As humans beings, we have 
learned to be very careful not to jump to conclusions about one another, regardless of color, 
race or culture. In fact there are certain laws that prohibit us from such profiling. Well, I say 
it’s high time that we learned to apply the same moral principals to the way we view and treat 
man’s best friend! 

Many rumors have been spread indicating that Pit Bulls are vicious dogs that are likely to 
attack, but in reality, most are quite the opposite. Although it is clear that they are capable of 
potential harm, it’s all about how they are raised. Again, let‘s remember that each dog is an 
individual. It is well put in the old adage “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Yes, some Pit 
Bulls are unfriendly, but that is typically because they have been either neglected or abused 
by the human. 

The Pit Bull was originally bred to fight, (who’s warped idea was that?) but thankfully, breeding 
dogs to fight has been outlawed in this country. I say treat every dog equally with kindness 
and respect, regardless of it‘s appearance. Don’t be ignorant by breed-bashing based on 
rumors and assumptions. If we assume things about a dog because of it‘s breed, are we not 
breaking our own moral code as human beings, to refrain from judging one another based 
on appearances? Keep an open mind, think for yourself and above all, love and let live. 



[Nyerges is an educator and author of many books, including “Extreme Simplicity” 
and “Self Sufficient Home.” More information can be found at www.]

 Lately, reading and listening to the world news has been challenging. How 

many more people have died today in a pointless war in Ukraine? It’s hard 

to watch! And how much higher will our gasoline prices go here at home? 

It’s hard to drive without fishing every dime out of the seat cushions. And how many drivers 

died in harsh road conditions over the weekend? There but for the grace of God go I. 

And so, while putting out my rain barrels to collect the coming rain, I sat down for just a bit 
to watch the Academy Awards. Oh, not the Academy, the Oscars. What’s the difference? I 
know there’s a difference, but, well, that’s not my point.

 I turned on the TV for just a while, to watch Will Smith crying as he accepted his award, and 
apologizing. That’s funny, I thought. What is he apologizing for? So I looked on-line to see if 
there was something I was missing, and oh boy, down the rabbit hole! 

Chris Rock was talking on the stage, and making some jokes. Chris is one of the fresh and 
talented comedians, who doesn’t mind a bit of controversy. He seems to come from an outstanding 
lineage of talented black comedians, going back to Richard Pryor. And then he 
made a comment about Will Smith’s wife, saying that he’d love to see her in G.I. Jane 2. Kinda 
funny, sort of, and everyone saw Will Smith laughing, though his wife – the butt of the joke 

– showed by her facial expression that she didn’t consider the comment funny. Who knows 
what transpired next between wife and husband, but then Chris Rock is saying “Oh oh,” and 
Will strides up to the stage without saying a word, and delivers an exaggerated slap to Chris 
Rock. Will strides back to his seat, and Chris Rock doesn’t miss a beat, pointing out that he 
just got whipped by Will, and Chris asks, “Really?” 
Many people thought it was all some sort of publicity stunt, but what happened next cured 
them of that illusion. Will loudly heckles back, twice, to Chris that Chris should absolutely 
keep his wife out of any comedy routines, including the unacceptable “F” word in Will’s 

And then, for better or worse, Chris just kept rolling and the show went on. A few minutes 
later, Will Smith wins an award for a film I’d never heard of, and he’s up on stage crying, and 
talking about fatherhood, protecting the family, and also apologizing for what everyone had 
just witnessed. 

What does it all mean? For one, it means that everyone – and I mean “everyone” – was overly 
preoccupied in the days that followed by talking about the slap, and what it meant, and who 

Mountain View News Saturday, April 2, 2022 

Pretty IRIS 

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was right, and who was wrong, and what now. Suddenly everyone forgot that death and killing 
were taking place in Ukraine. 

When I realized what had occurred, I found it to be a sad moment. First, it should be said 
that I never enjoy a comedian “roasting” anyone in the audience, in the harsh manner that 
people such as Don Rickles used to do. It always makes me cringe. And yet, if you’re going to 
be a politician, or have a high public profile, you need to have thick skin. And at first I sided 
with Will Smith, especially when I learned that Chris Rock had gone after Will’s wife before. 
So there was some history and background that I didn’t at first appreciate. Still, in retrospect, 
was the G.I. Jane comment really demeaning, or sarcastic, or degrading? Not really. If I were 
Chris, nevertheless, I would find ways to be funny without unnecessarily hurting innocent 

As for Will Smith, he did the wrong thing, on several levels. Granted, I might have done the 
same in similar circumstances, though I probably would have run onto the stage and tackled 
the comedian while the crowd tried to tear us apart. Just saying. Still, I have had the highest 
respect for Will Smith – and for Chris Rock. I can see that Will could do so much good in the 
world, and that means he must bite the dust sometimes, and be an example. He could have 
just bid his time, and when he won the award and had the world listening to him, he could 
have set Chris Rock straight with a medical lesson. As it is now, are comedians fair game for 
attack if we dislike their “comedy?” I hope not. 

To his credit, after the dust of emotions had settled, Will issued the following statement: 

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy 
Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke 
about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith 
wrote. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I 
am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place 
for violence in a world of love and kindness.” 

That was a good gesture, though I doubt it will be the final word. 

Chris Rock issued the following: “As a comedian it can be difficult to understand which lines 
are to be crossed and which ones aren’t. Last night I crossed a line that I shouldn’t have and 
paid the enormous price of my reputation as a renown comedian. Comedy is never about 
poking fun at or making lite of people with major ordeals happening in their lives. Comedy 
is about using real life circumstances to create laughter and bring light to an otherwise dark 
world. With that said, I sincerely apologize to my friends Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith, and 
the rest of the Smith family for the disrespect and disregard I displayed which was unfortunately 
broadcast for the world to see. I hope that, with time, forgiveness can come of this 
situation and we can all be better, more considerate people in the end.” 

Sometimes it takes a tragedy for good things to come about. I hope and pray that this is so 
in this case. 


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