Nice piece in the Boston Globe about the Vick dogs’ recovery at Best Friends:
Take the case of Little Red. Three years ago, she would race to the nearest corner and cower, her face buried against the wall, at the sight of any human or dog. Or Ellen, who would growl at anyone who came near her, especially if they dared glance over at her food dish.
Both dogs had such bad problems, experts said, they’d be better off dead.
These days, though, Little Red wags her tail a mile a minute and is almost inseparable from her new, best buddy — a cattle dog mix named Google. And Ellen, a tannish-brown bundle of energy, still loves her food but loves her visitors even more — smothering them with kisses as soon as they walk through the door.
These dogs and 13 others are rehabilitating at the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, a world away from where their lives began, chained in basements and forced into dogfighting rings as part of the business bankrolled by Vick, the Eagles quarterback who has been out of prison for more than a year, and just this week received his first paid endorsement deal since his release.
On the one hand, the Vick dogs are all success stories — on the road to recovery and serving as ambassadors for a breed that has been widely derided as too dangerous.
In another respect, though, their recoveries are slow and sometimes painful, many filled with diseases, injuries and skittishness that manifested themselves under their stewardship of Vick.
“Some people might say, ‘Three years, that seems like such a long time,'” said John Garcia, a manager of the dog operation at Best Friends, who has done extensive work with the Vick pit bulls. “But we measure their progress in baby steps, especially when they were on the other side of this for as long as some of these dogs were.”
Bad Rap has done some great work for these dogs, too.