Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls--One Flying Disc at a Time
The author of the New York Times bestseller The Lost Dogs shares the heartwarming tale of one plucky, unwanted pit bull who achieved international celebrity.
Today, Wallace is a champion. But in the summer of 2005, he was living in a shelter, a refugee from a suspicious pit bull–breeding operation. Then Andrew “Roo” Yori entered the picture. A scientist and shelter volunteer, Roo could tell immediately that Wallace was something special. While on his honeymoon, Roo learned that Wallace was about to be put down. Frantic—and even though they already had two dogs—Roo and his wife fought to keep Wallace alive until they could return home to adopt him.
Once Wallace made it home, Roo knew the dog needed a mission, and serendipity led them to the world of competitive Frisbee dogs. It seemed like a terrible idea. Pit bulls are everything that most Frisbee dogs aren’t: large and heavy with thick muscles that can make them look less than graceful. But that was fine with Roo—because part of his mission was to change people’s minds about pit bulls. After overcoming everything from injuries to prejudice against the breed, the unlikely pair became World Champions.
Movingly told by bestselling author Jim Gorant, Wallace will capture the hearts of animal lovers everywhere—and help rescue this popular breed’s unfairly tarnished reputation.
pocket, squeeze that, and sprint back in the other direction, Wallace hot on his heels. Roo gradually increased the weight, from five pounds to ten to fifteen to twenty. Wallace hardly seemed to notice, but Roo knew that at the very least the exercise was good for the dog. A few weeks into this regimen, Roo’s car needed a tire change. Roo had read that dragging tires was good practice for weight-pull dogs, so he asked to keep one of the old radials being taken off his car. He didn’t know if
passenger seat as if nothing had ever happened. Roo went to work, but he was not allowed to bring the dog inside the park. So he tied her to a post near his car and brought her food and water throughout the day. He had no idea what he would do with the dog. He felt like the shelter was a death sentence, but home didn’t seem like an option either. He asked around; none of his coworkers was interested in a new pet. On breaks, his spurs jangled as he paced. Late in the day, the front office paged
“high-drive” dog for months, but this was off the charts. It was almost scary. Wallace could not simply be. He always needed to be doing something, going somewhere, driving forward. 5 Roo logged on to an internal bulletin board where Mayo employees could post items. In the past Roo had bought a computer desk, a dining room set, and a lawn mower on it. Good deals. Nothing terribly interesting popped up for sale today, but one posting caught his eye: “Anyone interested in starting a disc-dog
stuff across the grass. On their second or third trip Roo and Clara carried a load of crates and bags. The morning was hot and Wallace, who had accompanied them back and forth on each trip, had begun to get flush and pink, as he often did when he got warm. As they passed another guy, who was making his own trips back and forth, the man stopped to say hello to Wallace. “Hey, Pinky,” he said, noticing Wallace’s color. “How’s it going, Pinky?” Clara and Roo said Hi and the three of them chatted for
prize at a lot of weight-pull events was dog food, which Wallace couldn’t eat, so the Yoris gave it to a nearby husky rescue—but maybe, they thought, it was time to do something bigger. Hero Disc, the company that made the discs Wallace now used, offered an interesting program. Anyone could have a set of fifty custom collector’s discs made at a steep discount. Once those fifty were delivered, the company would retire the artwork so the discs could never be produced again. Roo and Clara decided