I don’t know how many of you know about Wallace but he is one of my biggest canine heroes. Yes, he is a pit bull. Yes, he was originally owned by a dog fighting ring. Yes, he was adopted from a shelter after being slated for euthanasia. These are all good reasons to put him up as a dog of note. Most dogs born into the world with those three strikes against them don’t make it through very well. That’s just fact.
However, even if Wallace had come from happier circumstances, the things he has achieved are pretty dang impressive. Most dogs don’t achieve the things he has. Most people haven’t made as significant a contribution to the lives of others as Wallace. I can’t help but admire the heck out of him and his human family for putting so much energy into something they believe in.
Jim Gorant, author of The Lost Dogs, wrote a terrific account of Wallace’s challenging start and his efforts to becoming a disc dog champion. I was a huge fan before I read it and am an even bigger one now – not just of Wallace himself but of the people behind him.
It takes a lot of solid work to claim the success of Wallace and his handler, Andrew Yori. Work and patience and confidence. Reading about their experiences highlighted for me why some people reach their goals and why some never will. It has nothing to do with background or money. It’s the willingness to sacrifice everything else, to find a way despite the obstacles, to shove everything else aside in order to accomplish one’s dream.
I don’t think I have that kind of single-mindedness. I know I don’t. But I am exhilarated by following the lives of those who do.
After watching some cool videos of pit bull weight-pulling contests on Something Wagging This Way Comes I remembered that weight-pulling was how Wallace got his start. While the dog waited in the shelter for his forever home, volunteer trainer Yori had the idea of harnessing him to a tire in order to drain some of his energy. It worked to some pretty awesome results and Wallace was eventually a champion of that sport as well.
Though this was several years ago, I figured there had to be some early videos of Wallace on Youtube and spent a few hours last night looking them up. Naturally, I have to share with you my favourite one. They are all worth watching but the one I loved the most is a compilation of all of Wallace’s achievements in weight-pulling and disc in under two years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!