A Blog from Tim Racer about his impressions of the courtroom and street scene on sentencing day:
Jumping off a redeye - sans sleep - and into a courthouse line to see the biggest pit bull-related case of the millenium is a sure way to catch a dose of the surreal. Although it was Vick who was the bad guy and American Pit Bull Terriers were - for once - understood as the victims in this drama. All the events of this day were oddly juxtaposed to create a very dreamlike quality: It was gorgeous weather and excitement filled the air, but people were gathered to witness a superstar sports hero lose everything he had...PETA volunteers held posters of tortured pit bulls, however none of them that I asked, realized their own organization's stance of advocating for the extermination of the breed....Answering a reporter that "Yes, I want to see Vick receive the maximum sentence," yet I don't believe in our failed penal system... And listening to a federal judge so kindly refer to Vick's pit bulls simply as "dogs." I really must be dreaming.
Above ESPN set up a stage for the day's big sports event. Peta supporters carefully positioned themselves in front of their cameras.
The only thing that made complete sense to me was Vick's attorney's assertion that "Michael is depressed" (which is why he self medicated). That's okay Michael, you just go on right ahead and be depressed, because you have every right to be depressed. You pissed your life away because you couldn't give up your dog-fighting addiction. At least you won't be stuck behind bars for eight solid months in an overburdened shelter without getting out once to see the light of day. At least you will have a toilet in your cell and won't be forced to live in your own filth until someone comes and hoses it out with you in it. At least you will be able to take a walk.
Michael Vick said he was sorry, but words are just words, and people who really work with dogs understand body language. Vick was not remorseful about his actions, he was just upset that he got caught. Like the day months ago that he made his public apology, again, Vick mentioned his apologies, but failed to include the dogs. He again never even mentioned the word "dog." So how can he be remorseful? Judge Hudson gave him near the maximum recommended sentence because he too recognized that Vick was "not taking responsibility for his actions." However he did knock off one month due to the fact that Michael gave money to his church.
Back to surrealism. Nicole and I decided to end the day by taking a trip to Moonlight road. Vick's house is up for auction - just call us curious. When we got there, we saw that directly across the street from the house was a church. A church! The boys were fighting and killing dogs across the street from a chapel for six years. Wow!
Dogs were baying in the woods and metal was being thrashed around and echoed in the trees. We needed to get away from the creepy feelings we were both having, knowing how many dogs were unearthed on that property and wondering how many more tiny skeletons might still be there. We will always be haunted when pondering how many dogs never made it out alive, because we all know that the eight dogs that they killed in April were just the tip of the iceberg. Then our car alarm started randomly triggering (eek!) so we decided the best way to shake it was to go work some dogs.
We've been providing interim care for many of Vick's dogs (but they really aren't his anymore), so we headed over to pay a visit and run a dog. It was the best way to close a strange day, because after all - it is and always will be about the dogs. ~ Tim Racer