When it comes to being the poster pup for resilience, there may be no other dog worthy of the title than Leo, one of the fifty dogs confiscated in 2007 when authorities raided Vick’s Bad Newz kennels. Leo may have begun his life in a dark place, but he was redeemed under the loving guidance of Marthina McClay, founder of Our Pack Pit Bull Rescue.
After his rough start, Leo went on to be a bright light in the lives of the sick when he became a therapy dog, earning the nickname “Dr. Leo” from hospital staff for the healing joy he brought to cancer patients (and hospital staff!).
Leo gained admiration from patients but also from the media, from CNN to to Fox News to a cover story in the Washington Post.
So it’s with a heavy heart that dog lovers learned that last week Leo went to live on God’s farm in the sky (as we call it at our house). Leo suffered from a severe seizure disorder.On the Our Pack Facebook page, McClay writes:
“Just after arriving to us, Leo quickly turned inhumanity into humanity. He gave love that wasn’t even given to him … Please join me in remembering the good that Leo has done and pass it on. We’ve suffered a great loss but we’ve also received a wonderful gift in the time we were lucky enough to share with him. Leo accomplished so much in so little time. Thank you Leo, I love you so much and you will never be forgotten….Ever.”
Let Leo be an example of the truth that we are not our history, that from the darkest places come hope and love, that no matter how beaten down you are, God has a plan for you to bring joy and light to the world. RIP Leo, and thanks for the loving example.
You can learn more about the Michael Vick dogs in Jim Gorant’s book, “The Lost Dogs“. Learn more about Our Pack Pit Bull Recuse on their website.