The Pit Bull Who Inspired a Book

May 6, 2013  

StubbyDog chats with Wallace the pit bull’s guardian Roo Yori about “Wallace” the book


Q: Let’s start at the beginning. Can you tell us about how Wallace came into your family?

A: Wallace wasn’t doing well in the shelter environment. Many were intimidated by him, and some thought he should be euthanized. Fortunately, we were able to take him in as a foster. Having him in our house was interesting at first. If we weren’t keeping him occupied, he would go off and find something else to satisfy his playfulness. We basically brought him into our home because we didn’t want him euthanized. Honestly though, at the beginning, the saying “no good deed goes unpunished” rang true a little too often.

Q: How did you get the idea to get Wallace into disc competition?

A: I looked into disc competitions for one of our other dogs, Ajax. Wallace was living with us at that time and loved his tugs and squeaky toys. My wife Clara noticed that when he jumped up for a toy it looked like the flips the disc dogs were doing in the online videos I would watch. I took him out in our backyard and gave him a chance with the disc. He was in heaven.

Q: What are some of his career highlights?

A: I would say Wallace’s biggest titles are that he was the 2006 Cynosport Games World Champion and the 2007 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Champion. He’s been highlighted in media across the world. One of my favorite experiences was being a featured guest on “It’s Me or the Dog” with Victoria Stilwell. Most importantly, I think Wallace paved a path for others to follow. There are now more pit bulls in the sport, and a lot more people stepping up with their dogs in many other areas as well to let the dogs’ actions speak for themselves.

Q: How can people tell if their dog is a potential disc dog, and how do people get
involved with the sport?

A: If your dog likes to play fetch, that’s an easy one. Other indicators are if the dog likes to chase things and/or play tug. If that’s the case, you can usually develop the game of fetch pretty easily. If you’re lucky, you have a club in your area to help you get started. If not, you can do what I did and learn from videos and contacting people online.

Q: Now on to Wallace’s new book “Wallace.” How did the book come about?

A: I’ve always thought that Wallace’s story was a book waiting to happen. Wallace has faced an onslaught of obstacles throughout his life. He doesn’t simply endure them, he faces them with joyful abandon. He doesn’t know he’s supposed to fail, and as a result has achieved more than anybody thought was possible – a true underdog story in every aspect. I was fortunate enough to adopt Hector who was rescued from the Michael Vick dog fighting case, in which Jim Gorant wrote a great book about the situation called “The Lost Dogs.” We were interviewed for that and I got to know Jim as a result. I really liked his writing and was impressed by how he handled the topic. I knew Wallace’s story was a great one and wanted it to be told in the best way possible, so I pitched it to Jim. He hadn’t planned on another dog book to follow, but Wallace’s story proved too good to pass up.

Q: What was the process like (of him writing the book)?

A: It was a lot of time on the phone. haha I’d tell my recollection of things. Clara would tell hers. Jim talked to others for theirs’. It was great for him when everybody agreed, but if not we’d have to do more digging to find out who was right. It was nice that Jim, Clara and I were all on the same page to be real about everything. That’s sometimes easier said than done though. I learned that when you’re opening up for somebody to write about your private life for everybody else to read about, it’s good to be secure about what happened and have somebody you can trust doing the writing. Fortunately both were the case for us. There are things in the book that people close to us probably don’t even know – until now that is… It was sometimes hard to remember everything, but also fun to relive Wallace’s rise to stardom.

Q: What is the book about? What’s the most moving part, in your opinion?

A: It’s pretty much Wallace’s life story, all that he has overcome himself and all that he’s helped others overcome as well. The most moving part for me is that we got to delve into the details and imperfections of the journey that never got told. Wallace is an amazing dog and his accomplishments have been well documented. However, I think through the book, people will see that Wallace isn’t perfect and that it didn’t matter. None of us are perfect. None of our dogs are perfect. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do good things and shouldn’t be refused the chance to do so.

Q: Where is it available?

A: It’s available wherever books and e-books are sold.

Q: What’s next for Wallace and your family?

A: Wallace is enjoying an extremely well-earned retirement. We’ll be promoting the book to help change the state of the dogs for the better. I feel there are a lot of people that need to be exposed to his story, to help other dogs like him have a chance as well.

Q: What would you like to tell other pit bull (or potential pit bull) parents?

A: Talk less. Do more. Opinions don’t change people, but good things that you and your dog do will. Just make sure you take pictures and video of it to post online to barrage people with the positive imagery. For potential pit bull parents, go to Petfinder.com and adopt one.

To learn more about the book, visit wallacethebook.com.
(last photo by Josh Grenell)

This article was originally published on September 4, 2012.

« « The Stubby Store Is Now Open! | Why Are You A Rockin’ Pit Bull Parent? (Part 2) » »

Comments

11 Responses to “The Pit Bull Who Inspired a Book
  1. Thanks for putting in words what Wallace means to you & allowing the word to see how awesome this breed is!

  2. dogwalker2012 says:

    great story. i love your answer “talk less”. they say a picture is worth a thousand words. i am a pit bull advocate and the more good pit exposure the better. 

  3. ReneeMKeller says:

    Wallace!!!  I always love to see a story on Wallace!!  I cried like a baby when he won the 2007 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge!!!!  While all the pictures are great, the last one says it all.  You can see the love the two of you have for each other xoxoxo Thank you for all that you do!!! xoxoxo

    • StubbyDog says:

      ReneeMKeller We love that last photo too. Wallace has been having health issues, he’s coming home soon, so keep him in your thoughts.

      • dogwalker2012 says:

        StubbyDog ReneeMKeller  done. i also practice reiki, (universal energy used for healing) will send him some. what are his health issues? the thing with reiki is i don’t need to know to send some, just would like to know.  thanks

        • StubbyDog says:

          dogwalker2012 StubbyDog ReneeMKeller Wallace had a mass on his spleen and some bleeding. The mass was removed, he is having his levels checked. He did have some mild seizure like episodes, but he is improving and going home to his family soon. Thanks for your healing thoughts.

        • ReneeMKeller says:

          StubbyDog dogwalker2012 ReneeMKeller Ive been saying all kinds of prayers for Wallace!!!  Heal up Super Pup xoxoxo

  4. dogwalker2012 says:

    Glad Wallace will be home with his family soon!

  5. sillyfox4lyfe says:

    As soon as I saw this I went on Google Play and bought the e-book, I found myself rooting for Wallace the entire time! It was a great read! I love you Wallace, you’re my inspiration!

  6. dogwalker2012 says:

    🙂