In my ongoing effort to break down the grievous misperceptions around the American Pit Bull Terrier, I’m thrilled to post a link to today’s CBS Early Show. It’s a must-watch for anyone who still associates the breed with viciousness or ferocity.
In the Early Show segment, the correspondent brings viewers up-to-date with the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring. Most are doing beautifully, as the footage proves. Two of those profiled are certified therapy dogs – they work with children and the elderly.
Hector, one of the therapy dogs, sits calmly on the couch on the set of the show. His owner lifts his head to expose the fighting scars still visible on his chest and legs, emphasizing, “The scars are external.”
In 2007, I’d seen those scars in person when I had the honor of meeting Hector, Uba, and Jonny Justice. Dogtime was interviewing BADRAP (where ten of the Vick dogs ended up), and while the prognosis looked positive, I had no idea these dogs would exceed our highest expectations.
Understandably, a few still struggle with fear, but none are aggressive towards people. And the fact that several have become therapy dogs – not an easy certification to obtain for even the most privileged dog – is a testament to their resiliency and their integrity. These are gentle, forgiving, compassionate animals.
Meanwhile, Michael Vick has been playing well this season. So well that my husband, who knows these things, says he may become the Eagles’ starting quarterback. Vick’s former dogs, however, have been performing even more spectacularly. They exhibit a bravery and strength needed for something far more serious than a game. It’s not their careers or fame or fortune that are on the line. It’s their lives – and they don’t even know it.