Sunday, July 06, 2008

real-life confessions of a sudden dog junkie

So we all come to crossroads, which by definition present a choice: do we, for example, pursue a higher calling when the move necessarily means stepping outside the ethical bounds of our profession? That was my big question. See, I was raised by two solid, strong parents, both highly principled. And my father retired not too long ago from lifelong service to the New York Times as a pressman and die-hard union leader. I've always admired much about him, not the least his commitment to the written word, to journalism, to old-school reporter principles.

One of those principles is objectivity--in part, the will to resist identifying too closely with the subjects of one's stories. Well Dad, skip this post. Because I have fallen for pit bulls. Most of you who follow this blog read my recent story on the dogs rescued from the Michael Vick compound. My analysis of their story ended up fortifying what had been a growing dismay regarding the reputations these dogs have endured as a class of dogs, an entire breed of canines maligned for the errs of a menacing minority.

It's in that spirit, then, that I've gone from "objective journalist," a term my father and I have long debated, to an engaged advocate for change. I'm so committed, in fact, that I'm doing a triathlon to raise money for a program I think will be especially effective in transforming some down-on-their-luck and slim-on-manners hopefuls into model dogs. In this way, I like to imagine I'll be all the more active in bringing about the kind of change I hoped to foment with the news story. Someone needs to retell the story of these brave, goofy dogs and well since I can, I will.

I'll be sending out a mail, but in the meantime, have a look at the site we've put together for the Team Pibble fundraiser. We had a good time building it. We're having a good time training for it. Hope you'll think about pitching in. A movement only spreads when people get big and brave enough to help out. My parents taught me that too.