Talk about a complete 180! A canine named Cherry who was one of the 53 pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring in 2007 has more than recovered from his rough start.

Nine years after the pooch was taken from the horrific conditions at the NFL player’s Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia, Cherry’s life not only has improved dramatically, he’s also helping bring smiles and love to everyone he meets.

“When I saw Cherry for the first time, he looked so alone. He just needed somebody there to give him the time that he needed to recover,” owner Paul Fiaccone says in a video BarkPost made as part of its Dog's Best Day series. “He’s overcome so much. … He wants to be happy. He wants to give back. What he wants to do is love.”  

According to owner Melissa Fiaccone, that’s exactly what Cherry does now. “This dog is one of the best family dogs you can ask for,” she says in the video. “He’s like a big brother [to our kids].”

In addition to being a loving family pet, Cherry does community outreach with children to help teach them about animal rescue and compassion.

So to thank the 11-year-old dog and his miraculous recovery, BarkPost gave him a day full of his favorite things, and that included adorable little furballs.

As part of his Dog’s Best Day celebration, Friends of Berlin Animal Control brought several kittens to the Fiaccones’ home so that the pit bull could cuddle with them in his “Kitten Cuddle Fort.”

“Cherry loves kittens!” Paul tells the camera. “He has two cats now. He loves to play with them. Every time he’s around kittens, it just seems like all his stress goes away. He would definitely love to be a kitty nanny for a day!”

The pit bull also enjoyed a delicious dog-friendly ice cream sundae, had a personalized beer made in his honor, played in a beachy backyard setup done just for him and much more.

“Cherry deserves a great day like this because he gives back so much,” Paul says. “He has shown the world that even if you come from a background like he did, you can still go on to become a great family dog.”

“He really is the heartbeat of our family,” Melissa adds.

Watch the adorable video above to see how sweet, loving and playful Cherry is, and how much he enjoyed his special day.

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