The majority of the public may have moved on from the dog fighting that landed Michael Vick in jail over 4 years ago, but that doesn't mean Vick has been able to move on from the legal ramifications.
That will change on Friday.
According to Bob Grotz of the Delaware Times, Vick's 3 year probation sentence will end on Friday. Due to the terms of his probation, Vick has been unable to gamble, had some restrictions on his travel, and was subject to drug tests. To the public, however, the most important term was that Vick was unable to own a dog.
Vick has said publicly since his release from jail that he would like to own a dog again, both to complete the healing process and for his children. Whether that is a good idea, however, is debatable.
In his upcoming autobiography, Finally Free, Vick talks about the obsession he had with dogs while he was still in Atlanta.
"Back when I was involved in those activities, I may have become more dedicated to the deep study of dogs than I was to my Falcons playbook. I became better at reading dogs than reading defenses. That’s just so sad to say right now, because I put more time and effort into trying to master that pursuit than my own profession . . . which was my livelihood . . . which put food on the table for my family."
In another interesting excerpt from the book- which is set to be released September 4th- Vick speaks about the impact he has had since his release.
I think I made a lot of changes for the better and I think in my quest to be an advocate against dogfighting and working with the Humane Society, I’ve helped more animals than I’ve hurt, and I continue to do that.
Should Vick get a dog? That is a hard question to answer on many levels. Vick has shown no signs since he arrived in Philadelphia of reverting to his old ways. He has walked the walk, and if he feels owning a dog would be a good next step for him, he should be allowed. The law didn't ban him for life from owning a dog.
From a publicity standpoint, however, it might not be worth it. The image of Vick walking a dog or playing with one will just stir up the people who will never forgive Vick, and will bring back all of the old horror stories that made him one of the most hated athletes in America.
Still, Vick will never please everyone, and should not make decisions trying to do so.
What Vick decides to do on after Friday will be very interesting. But the fact that he has even made it to the point where he can decide is a great accomplishment.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks