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My Dogs

This blog entry is part of a personal collection of stories about my family dogs - past and present.

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Remembering Preston

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This coming March 16th (2023) will be three complete years since Preston passed away. I sometimes can’t believe it’s been that long…and I’m still talking about it as if it happened yesterday. That’s what experiencing a significant loss can do for those left behind to pick up the remaining pieces of how they envisioned their lives and who would be there to ride it with. But, instead, you’re left figuring out the best move forward without the luxury of them to lean on. 

The following promotional video produced in conjunction for the “Once In A Lifetime” docu-series is dedicated to “Remembering Preston“, with soundbytes taken from interview with friends, family and others  who personally knew him. 

A Brief Background

I first met Preston on May 15, 2008, during the thirteenth month of researching dogfighting for what was to be my directorial debut, started the day former NFL star quarterback, Michael Vick, was accused of running a dogfighting operation at his Virginia residence.

Preston himself was formerly a dog alleged to have come from this type of environment. He was confiscated by humane investigators from a home in Akron (OH) on July 6, 2006, and taken to the local humane society where he and two other dogs were kept as evidence. Prior to the Vick case, dogs like him were typically destroyed without much, if any, publicity. Oftentimes, nobody even heard about it. 

Even today – in 2023, dogs taken by authorities during dogfighting busts, their odds of survival once the legal system finishes aren’t great. 

That film pivoted to examine Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)

(which later became the documentary film – “Guilty Til Proven Innocent“)

This was also before the Vick case, in a state that had statewide legislation restricting the ownership of pit bull dogs since 1987 (state law repealed in 2012, after 25 years of enforcement).

With all odds against him, Preston’s life was spared due to the efforts of Shana Klein and her Cleveland-based For the Love of Pits rescue, spending weeks at the shelter with him over the course of his court-issued hold.

After receiving a last minute courtesy call on the afternoon of July 28, 2006 that Preston would be euthanized at 4pm that day, Shana scurried to locate a foster home, to give this little black dog with scars on his arms and random bite wounds on his body, his first fair chance at life.

After almost two years in the rescue, and not much serious interest in him by prospective adopters, I met Preston that spring morning in 2008 without any intention of adopting a dog, and instantly fell head over heels madly in love with him and his contagious personality, and spontaneously making it known of my plans to adopt him before leaving that day…which was easier said than done.

Five months later, on October 4 (2008) Preston was officially home. The location of that home changed a couple more times over the next twelve years, until about 9:30pm on March 16, 2020, when he took his final breath at an estimated 15 years old.

While it is true that I was already researching about pit bull dogs before Preston and I found each other, he did inspire the added motivation inside to relentlessly bring the type of energy needed to make “Guilty Til Proven Innocent” (GTPI) possible. He impacted and influenced my personal growth as a human with the lessons he helped teach about why labels are liars.

Once he was gone forever, I knew I had to honor that special relationship with the creation of a docu-series – Once In A Lifetime, that once finished will be the most complete film about the politics of pit bull dogs.

Periodically, from time to time while in production, short promotional videos will be released highlighting Preston’s life. They aren’t trailers for the documentary, just promo videos about the dog who inspired it all.

This specific promo is titled “Remembering Preston“, accompanied by soundbytes from interviews with family, friends and others who knew him best.

To learn more about “Once In A Lifetime“, go to:

Date of Completion: January 30, 2023

Music Credits:
Oleksi Kaplunsky | “Calm Dramatic Piano”

Calm Dramatic Piano by LesFM |
Music promoted by
Creative Commons CC BY 3.0

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