Upfront, I will tell you I'm a dog "parent."
Skeptics will rip me for treating my dogs as well as humans. But they've earned it. They've got souls, despite the nay-sayers ripping those who supposedly imprint human qualities in animals.
Maybe the canines are more human than a lot of two-legged mammals. Just because they can't express themselves in a human voice doesn't mean they don't possess real emotions -- not rote, instinctive actions the animal experts claim is their limit of development. I get a bead on my golden retriever Polly and basset hound Abby every single day through their own special ways of purposeful communication. They're a different species, but we're bonded.
That's why I can never, ever forgive Michael Vick. And I will never pay attention to the hype promoting the Eagles star as the perfect quarterback coming into his duel with the Bears at Soldier Field Sunday. Despite serving prison time for his part funding a dog-fighting operation and his professed support of animal rights efforts after he was sprung from the big house, he can never make amends for his cruelty. He handled his fighting dogs via the kind of human free will the animal experts claim canines cannot possess.
I cannot forgive Vick in the same manner many cannot forgive Pete Rose for gambling on baseball. But perhaps Rose did not have total control of himself. He was compulsive. Vick seemed callous, ambitious and arrogant. In the end, though, humans know right from wrong, as much as they want to ignore that fact. Thou shalt not kill, remember?
I'd love to kick the ass of Abby's original owner if I could ever track down what is likely a country bumpkin, the same kind of person who helps keeps our overall attitudes toward treating our fellow man, let alone animals, 50 to 75 years behind the times (see recent elections). A veterinary exam revealed Abby probably chewed her way out of a cage. Abby ended up a stray on the street, with no hope, until she was gathered up by Guardian Angel Basset Rescue. Now the petite hound, who expresses her love for us in so many ways daily, Abby has the run of the house. She's earned it. But why would a human being even want an animal if you'd abuse it and eventually let it run away? We act like the less advanced species too many times.
Vick is better than ever as a quarterback. For that, we lionize him. All is forgiven if you read the pundits. But include me out. I'm the original skeptic about the Bears and their underwhelming head coach and front office, yet in this case here's wishing they administer Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles a good beating. He is one guy who does not need to be redeemed by the Super Bowl spotlight.