Monday, September 10, 2012

Wallace: The Jim Gorant

My first introduction to Wallace was this video:

I'm not even sure how I found it or what I was looking for on YouTube. I was instantly taken. I sent it to every friend and relative on my email list. They all fell as hard for Wallace as I did. And we were so impressed with Roo's athleticism as well.

When I heard that Jim Gorant (who also wrote The Lost Dogs) was writing a book about Wallace, it was an obvious MUST HAVE. I cracked it open on Friday and finished it on Sunday. Some might not be fans of Gorant's writing style and I get that. But he drew me in with The Lost Dogs and he does the same with Wallace.

I'm horrible at writing reviews so I'm going to focus on what I love about this book:

1) The reality of this breed. American Pit Bull Terriers are high energy dogs. They have drive. They need to get exercise and they need to work that mind. Wallace is the perfect example of this breed - smart dog, high drive. I think the challenge with this breed (and other high energy breeds) is finding what works for their energy/drive and your lifestyle. Jim Gorant didn't gloss over Wallace's bad habits or his energy level. Roo and Clara were honest and up front about the challenges. They knew he had issues. They knew his issues were workable, though they did wonder sometimes what they had gotten themselves into.

2) The Yoris NEVER gave up. It started when Clara championed Wallace at the shelter. They went to bat for him. They ended up bringing him home. It wasn't perfect. There were hurdles. But they worked through them. They never gave up on Wallace and were rewarded for it. This book is a testament to what dog ownership is all about. This was a young couple who could have walked away, but they didn't. They had the tenacity of an APBT when it came to figuring out what made Wallace tick and what made him happy.

3) It's realistic. This book didn't just focus on Wallace.  Roo and Clara let everyone into their life. I think this book is going to help more people than they realize because they are so relatable. People look up to them. By seeing them struggle (and make it through), we feel not so alone in our own struggles. With our dogs, with our relationships.

4) It's uplifting. Wallace beat the odds. From the day he was discovered with his litter, the odds were against him. He beat them. He had people that stepped in along the way, helping to get him through. But he also had heart. It's that heart that shines through. Everyone loves an underdog (except for President Snow) - and Wallace was that as a puppy, as young dog in the shelter system, as a pit bull trying to make it in the disc world.

I loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who owns a "pit" - whether a mix or an Amstaff or an APBT - and to anyone who loves dogs, loves underdogs, loves to read animal stories.

Lily gives it both paws up. And she thinks Wallace is one handsome dude.

Wallace has a YouTube page here.

You can find his offical website here.

Have you read the book yet?  If so, what did you think?

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