Pit Bulls Out of the DoghouseA long-maligned breed is getting an image makeover. But skeptics say those fighting genes are hard to overcome.
The bar is crowded, but Karen Dawn doesn't hesitate to enter with her two dogs in tow. Paula sports a pink bandanna around her neck; Buster, a camouflage kerchief.
Oblivious to the din of voices and music, Paula and Buster quietly make their way through the tangle of patrons' feet, pausing to bask in the massage of hands reaching down to pet them. "They're usually on someone's lap," says Dawn, who seeks out animal-friendly restaurants and bars like this one in Venice.
Monica Paull, sitting nearby, gushes, "Your dogs are amazing!" She pats the empty spot next to her and Paula hops up.
At this moment, it's difficult to believe that Paula and Buster share a heritage with dogs that have, this summer, fatally mauled a man in San Bernardino County and seriously wounded an 11-year-old girl in a school bathroom in the San Fernando Valley and an 11-month-old girl in Santa Barbara.
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