Before being branded as the Al Capone of dogs, pit bulls reigned as one of America's most beloved pets. Petey, the canine sidekick in the "Little Rascals" comedies, was a pit bull. So were the mascots for RCA Victor and Buster Brown shoes. Even the White House welcomed pit bull offshoots under Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. But there were hints of a darker side. Roosevelt's bull terrier almost created an international incident by biting off a French ambassador's pants at a White House function. And Nipper, the bull terrier mix immortalized by RCA, reportedly earned his name by frequently nipping visitors' legs.