My name is Anthony Washington, I'm 41 and I grew up in North East Portland. I am a former gang member and drug dealer. I want to share my personal experiences with you. My mother was only 16 when I came into this world. She was still a child herself, and needed to finish school. Now that I was here she needed to support me, and that required her to jump into the work force. Since my Mom was busy with work and school, my Grandmother, who I affectionately called Momma raised me. I spent the majority of my time with my Grandmother until I was 11 years old. My Grandmother was an amazing woman who helped develop and mold me during some of my most influential years.
March 15, 1987, Spring Break, I was a student at Fabian
Elementary School. I didn't know that
this day was going to change me for the rest of my life. I was picked up at the bus stop by my Great
Grandfather and my friend Mike. That's
when I received the most devastating, life changing news. They told me that my Grandmother (Momma) had
been murdered. I took the news really
hard. After all she was my MOMMA. I felt responsible for her death. The night my Grandmother was murdered, I was
supposed to sleep over, and didn't. This forever haunts me. My grandmother's death changed me
Being a boy only 11 years old, and losing one of the most important figures in my life. This trauma had me emotionally terminated. I began running the streets of Portland, to escape the pain I was dealing with inside. This is when I started selling drugs and accepted the Structural Gang Culture. It was a way for me to express my displaced anger and find acceptance with a group of like minded peers. By the age of 15 I found myself facing a Murder One Case.
While in McLaren I took advantage of all the tools and programs that were available for my personal growth. I decided that I wanted to make a change and become a better individual. I realized that what had hurt me (murder) I had become (murderer). I was able to participate in programs that helped me develop Victim Empathy.
Through it all, my personal experiences with Pitbulls has taught me a great deal of compassion and being empathetic. I now share my love for Animal Therapy, which I consider Emotional Support Dogs, with Young Men. My ability to use Art and Emotional Support Dogs is allowing me to connect with Young Men and develop Maturity through Responsibility, Work Ethic and Unity. Attending the ABKC, American Bully Kennel Club, Dog shows has been a therapy sanctuary for me.
What inspired me to envision something more grandeur, was when I was
handpicked by Joan Dalton, the Founder of Project Pooch. Presently the reason
why I want to start my own Animal Therapy Program focusing on using Pitbulls
and The American Bully Breed is to teach life lessons. Being a Youth Encouragement Coach has brought
a purpose in my life.
ANIMAL PLANET video Project Pooch- featuring Anthony Washington
The positive affects I see in the Young Men, creates a culture and community of connectivity through Pitbulls and The American Bully Breed.
Animal Therapy Works....Jacob went from being intimidated by dogs, to having a passion for the breed!
Bloods and Crips.
The passion we have is Therapeutic and Spiritual.
Damontre Washington has embraced the dog culture whole heartedly, and is a big reason why the GreySkull Blood line continues to move forward. He was the first young man that I worked with on a daily basis, and a testament to how Animal Therapy Works!
"It has been a pleasure growing up and having you as a role model in my life! You've taught me a lot which made me learn so much from a dog, that it's crazy. It's something amazing how some dogs can change a person or bring 2 people so close! I Appreciate EVERYTHING you've done for me!"