Thursday, March 20, 2008

Leo's Latest Adventure

What Leo’s up to now?

Leo’s not only helping folks feel better at hospitals and breaking the monotony of work routine with “doggie breaks” (instead of coffee breaks), but he's also affecting change in our community's future generations.

Leo visited a school recently for kids that are in Juvenile Hall who have been in recent trouble.

The kids really loved Leo! They could see that he’s a feeling, loving being - not a “thing” or something “cool” to own....even though he looks pretty dang cool!

While I talked with the kids, Leo made a presentation of his own by communicating through his eyes, his tail wags, and his affection that “only cowards fight their dogs, not courageous people.” Leo’s pretty darn smart.

We covered topics like the importance of spaying and neutering (that was a tough one), and why you shouldn't chain your dog to a tree or abandon him in the backyard all day. Our goal is to fill the void in education about dogs, animals, and especially Pit Bulls, in our community - to replace ignorance and abuse with understanding and compassion.

The kids fell madly in love with Leo and they were very happy that he came to share his story. They even admitted that they learned something, and invited him back for another visit!

A survey of these kids told us that all but one are very interested in learning to train dogs in a positive way. What a success for Leo and for Pit Bulls!

After an amazing day like that, I'm reminded of Leo's courage. He’s so brave - going out into the community despite the agony he's been through and sending a message that we must NOT let the abuse he's suffered continue to take place in our civilized society. How we treat our animals demonstrates our level of intelligence and compassion; it's an indicator of how we likely treat our children, spouses, friends, and co-workers. We can’t let humanity become an unimportant subject.

We want to thank Nicole Rattey who drove Leo out here from Virginia. Leo wasn’t trained yet so I KNOW what a task that was! Thank you Nicole - you have a heart the size of Virginia itself.
We also want to thank Professor Rebecca Huss for caring so much about the correct and proper placement of these dogs. I don’t think she slept the entire time! Thank you for being their guardian angel and truly fighting for the rights of the Vick dogs.
Additionally we want to thank Tim Racer and Donna Reynolds from BAD RAP for the fact that they were part of the evaluations of the dogs. We also want to thank them for the support they’ve given Our Pack and the work they’ve done for all Pit Bulls, not just the Vick dogs, since…..well, dinosaurs roamed the earth!