Like I occasionally do, I was flipping through a silly magazine when a headline grabbed my attention. Like I rarely do, I read that article under that headline in that silly magazine:
Should Michael Vick be allowed to own a dog again?
Vick stated he would like to own a dog. Someday. If the court allowed him after serving probation.
When I read the short article, this news bothered me immediately, because I am a dog lover. The acts Vick allowed on those dogs - dog fighting - was vile. I remember how mad I was when I first heard the news. The anger I had and sadness I felt made me physically ill.
At the end of the article, a question was posed:
"Even if he's a changed man, should [Vick] be granted the privilege of pet ownership?'
And it made me think: Should Vick get that opportunity? Doesn't everyone want a second chance? Should we give others a second chance, especially if they have been through rehabilitation, if they have served time for their crime, and if they are seriously remorseful?
There are only two choices, in my opinion: Yes or No.
Since Vick was released from prison over 19 months ago (after serving 23 months in prison), he has been on probation (3 years, slated to expire Nov. 2012), agreed to federal authorities' request to provide $1 million for the care of the confiscated dogs, and as part of probation, volunteering for the Humane Society.
Remarkably, he has become a spokesperson for the Humane Society against the atrocities of dog fighting; an anti-violence advocate.
|Courtesy of The Humane Society|
The American dream can mean many different things. Usually what comes to mind, for example, is the boy who grew up in the projects only to become one of the best National Football League players. Such as Michael Vick.
The American Dream can also mean redemption. Getting a second chance after falling. Falling hard.
We see it often in Hollywood. Such as the drunk actor who makes antisemitic remarks only to come back with an award winning movie. Or the songstress who goes off the deep end only to come back with one of the best selling (and listening!) albums of her entire career.
We see it in ourselves. I look back on my erroneous ways and I can't even count on both hands how many second chances I have had in my own life. I see in myself the imperfections. And when I have fallen, all I want is a kind guide to lead me out; to learn from the mistake; to be forgiven, and to be granted a second chance to prove myself. I think now, where would I be if it wasn't for my parents, my friends, my employers, my husband, if they hadn't given me a second chance; if I hadn't forgiven myself; if I hadn't taken to their help to guide me to safety? Who knows! But I probably wouldn't be in the safe haven I am in now. I don't take my mistakes for granted. I am grateful for my falls, grateful for getting up, and grateful to learn and move on.
So there are two key ingredients, I believe, that give my "Yes" if Vick wants a companion dog:
- Vick has to learn from his horrific mistake (& that will only be between him, God, and the Federal Judge) and doesn't do it again.
- Like you, you, me, and all of us, Vick deserves a second chance.
We are not worthy to judge him.
And just like we have come back from the bottom and done good for others, I hope that truly happens for Vick and that he sees the real beauty between man and dog.
Have an opinion on this matter? Share with me what you think:
If Michael Vick is a changed man, should he be granted the privilege to own a dog/pet?