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Your story about the rehabilitation of Michael Vick's pit bulls makes an implicit point that dog adopters have long known: Canines can learn at almost any age. One of the most inaccurate expressions we have is "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." I hope Vick will also prove that saying wrong when he leaves prison.
I have been blessed to share my life with two great dogs, both pit bulls. I find myself defending the breed on an almost daily basis to people who don't know what loving dogs they can be. Thanks to Jim Gorant's excellent story (Happy New Year, Dec. 29), I hope to be doing less defending.
Most people want cute little puppies; it takes special people to give animals like Jasmine a second chance at happiness.
When I was working at the Connecticut Humane Society, I interacted with thousands of dogs, many of whom were pit bulls trained to fight. In seven years I was bitten twice: once by a poodle and once by a cocker spaniel.
While I enjoyed your article, I was slightly dismayed by the suggestion that the pit bull is a gentle breed with an "image problem." At the age of 12, I was bitten by a pit bull and can tell you firsthand that these dogs can snap without warning. There is a reason that Vick didn't raise puggles, maltipoos or Labradoodles.
Six years ago a neighbor's pit bull killed my grandson. Police shot the beast on sight. The breed should be gassed out of existence.
The NFL commissioner and every general manager and coach should read this story. If Vick is signed, we'll know who thinks winning is more important than decency and justice.
Your story made me go find my dog and spend the rest of the night cuddling with her. You ask whether it was worth the time and effort to save these 47 dogs; my answer is yes. It showed that there still is good in the world, and that from even the worst of circumstances, something inspiring and uplifting can come.