Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant

Last year I read Wallace by Jim Gorant and loved it. Since it was one of my favorite books of the year I knew that I had to read The Lost Dogs too.

My concern before starting was that the stories of how Michael Vick and his friends tortured and mistreated the pit bulls they used for dog fighting would be too much to stomach. Although there are some horrific details about what some of the dogs went through, it is mostly presented in a manner of what evidence the police were able to collect. In addition, the main focus of the story is not on what a horrible human Michael Vick is, but on how the amazing dogs rescued from his home were rehabilitated. In fact, Vick is not mentioned much at all after the first chapters.

I knew from watching shows like The Dog Whisperer and Pit Boss, reading books like Wallace, and meeting many sweet and gentle pit bulls throughout my life that these are dogs with an undeserved bad reputation. This book solidifies that line of thinking. I was surprised when the author shared that in a litter of 12 pit bull puppies you would be lucky if you could train one to be a fighter because it works against years of evolving as pack animals. Even though their purpose was fighting, the dogs taken from Vick did not need to be rehabilitated because they were aggressive; they needed to be socialized and trained to live in a house with a family.

The story follows the dogs from rescue to rehabilitation, but we also get to meet the army of people who work to help dogs like Vick's every day. Difficult to read at times, this book left me with a good feeling knowing that for every bottom feeder like Vick in the world there are 100 good ones.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, my vicious pit bull friends:

Obi (may he rest in peace)

and Emma. You can stop being scared now.

P.S. This book counts as my Book With Lost or Found in the Title for the What's In a Name Challenge.

P.P.S. I hope the Packers break a sack record today!

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