Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eagles, Vick, Eagles, Vick......Pit Bulls

It's time to address the elephant in the room. Being a pit bull owner and a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, I continuously get "the question". How do you feel about the Eagles picking up Vick?

What Michael Vick did was inexcusable. He showed a total disregard for not just the law, but a lack of respect for a breed of dog that has people like Vick to thank for their banning in certain areas of the United States and Canada. It tends to be easier to forgive a DUI, possession, even robbery......but this was an act that he knowingly carried out for quite some time. It wasn't a mistake and he wasn't sorry he did it, he was sorry he got caught.

And yet, I believe he should be given a second chance. Call me naive, call me unmoved, call me inhumane if you so desire. This man saw their strength, their loyalty, their commitment to their owners- everything we as responsible pit bull owners see as well. Unfortunately, he decided to see those things, and use them for what he felt was his own benefit, for a sport. He used them for his own selfish needs. And now he can never own another animal. I firmly believe that deep down, he regrets this decision. Even though it was multiple fights, multiple mutilations of innocent dogs and hundreds of dirty money that he "earned", he regrets it. I believe that he wishes he could own a pit bull for all the right reasons, not the wrong. He was sorry he got caught, but I think getting caught might have caused him to think about the lives he's hurt and the animals he's killed.

Pit Bulls were originally bred to fight. But they continued to be bred mainly for their loyalty, intellengence and scientifically proven gentleness toward humans. They are a unique breed of dog, but every breed of dog is unique in its own right. I used to be a veterinary technician, and let me tell you, I'd trust a pit bull, rottie or german shepard over a chihuahua, poodle or jack russell terrier any day of the week. Pit bulls are only has good as their owners. If you are a good teacher, you have an A student; if you are a poor teacher, you have a bored troublemaker.

I have found with my own pit bull that I have to constantly be challenging him. Not so much physically, but mentally. Michael Vick took advantage of his pit bulls' trust and their loyal nature and he used them to bolster is own inadequacies. Pit bulls are fierce. Fierce lickers, fierce players, fierce farters and fierce lovers. All they want, more than anything, is to please their owners. It's not their fault they fight, because that's what their owners want. They only want it because it's what they were taught to want. Pit bulls are born innocent.

This is Peanut (middle) with his adopted brother and sister. Peanut was at the shelter I used to work at for 9 months before he was adopted. He was brought to the shelter because, get this, he licked a little kid's face. Licked. The parents freaked out and got the officials involved. Peanut was the most loving, gentle dog and did not deserve to be at the shelter. Fortunately, his forever home was waiting for him all along. Dogs like this are lost in the background only because of the breed. If we had called Peanut a lab or even a "mix", he probably would've been adopted much quicker. But we were honest to the community, and to Peanut, and stood next to him through thick and thin. The family that adopted him are truely Peanut's angels.

As the family was driving home right after signing the adoption paperwork, Peanut was riding in the backseat with the windows down, his ears flapping in the wind, his tongue hanging out, looking as content as could be as a Bob Marley song played on the radio.

His name is now Marley.


  1. A year on, I still have mixed feelings about the Vick case. There's been a ton of media coverage about what happened to Vick's dogs, and for the most part it's been heartwarming stuff; the natural fierceness of the dogs, as you put it, channeled to love and affection. As to Vick himself, I'm less concerned about him as an individual than with the screwed-up culture that produced him. Until we get a handle on that, I'm afraid this story will just repeat itself with different players.
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  2. Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Jack. This is one of those instances where my personality as being a "lover" not a "fighter" causes mixed emotions. I believe people should have second chances, as Vick has had his, and fortunately, so have the dogs. However, this isn't a DUI case, or something of the like where it could've genuinely been a mistake. This was something planned, executed and thought about, which is why I have a hard time believing his apologies. Anyways, thanks again for the comment, I appreciate that you read my post and thought about it enough to write a comment. :)