It’s no secret that I’m a dog lover. I’m sure you saw me crying into my keyboard when I wrote about the death of my 15-year-old beagle mix in April, and I’m sure you can see me smiling at the keys this summer every time I write about my new puppy. All of my dogs have been rescues, for which I have a particular soft spot. I think it’s absolutely precious to enjoy a rich, lifelong bond with a dog that another person thought it was okay to treat like garbage.
Thus, I’m terribly excited to tell you about the forthcoming book by my friend Jim Gorant. Jim is an editor at Sports Illustrated, which caused a bit of a stir last year when its cover featured the dogs of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. Vick had been arrested on charges of operating a dog fighting ring, primarily using pit bulls. The magazine quoted an executive of the ASPCA as saying something I’ve learned to be all too true with my rescued 5-year-old pit mix, Stella: “A pit bull is like a Porsche. It’s a finely tuned, highly muscled athlete. And just like you wouldn’t give a Porsche to a 16-year-old, you don’t want just anyone to own a pit bull. It should be someone who has experience with dogs and is willing to spend the time, because with training and proper socialization you will get the most out of them as pets.”
Many of Vick’s dogs–which received nearly a million dollars in “restitution” by way of a court order against Vick–have been rehabilitated from their days as forced fighters. Some are now beloved family pets, and others do therapy work with children and cancer patients. They’re proof of what I have learned to be true with my own rescues: If you offer patience, understanding, and love, most dogs–even those that have suffered abuse–will become your best friends for life.
The stories of these rescued Michael Vick dogs are told in Jim’s book “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and their Tale of Rescue and Redemption.” It will be released for sale on September 16, but you can pre-order now via Amazon.com.
Jim is a great writer, and I’m sure this book will bring a smile to the face of every dog lover who reads it. I’m ordering my copy today.