Alf didn't know how to be a dog when he was rescued from Michael Vick's Bad Newz Kennels.
The pit bull terrier didn't know how to play. He didn't know how to interact with people, rest or even sit down, said his Oklahoma-based trainer and foster owner Molly Gibb.
Instead, she said Alf lived in constant fear — stubby legs poised to escape at any moment. Growing up in the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback's dogfighting operation, Alf didn't know anything beyond a world of cruelty and horror, Gibb said.
But there's hope for Alf. Gibb, who lives outside Arcadia, is teaching Alf to feel safe for the first time in his short life. The 3- to 4-year-old dog will be ready for adoption at the end of this month. Gibb hopes eventually he'll serve as an ambassador for pit bulls and the Michael Vick dogs.
Alf and the other Vick dogs should stay in the public eye, Gibb said. Hopefully, she said, Alf's story will help the public reject the horrors of dog fighting.
"We human beings have really got to get it together,” she said. "We've got reduce this abuse and violence.”
Past remains a mystery
The past of each Vick dog is mysterious, but Alf's is especially clouded, Gibb said. His role — either as a fighting dog or a bait dog — likely hadn't been decided when he was rescued.
He doesn't show signs of fighting, such as scars on the muzzle, chest and legs.