To think what might have become of this strong, brave, and gentle girl had she remained with the uncaring owner is a scary thought. Since many Pitties are true representations of the way their owners treat and train them one shudders to think about the what ifs. After all with such a devoted personality she’d have tried to make her owner proud.
When Weela was less then four weeks old she and her four siblings were dumped in an alley. Her new family brought them home and found them loving homes when they were ready. Sensing she was special they kept Weela. She proved many times over they were right. In her own way she paid them back for their kindness.
When their son was 11 he was out chasing lizards one day. He was unaware of the dangers that lurked. Suddenly from across the yard she ran and body slammed him with such force he we went sprawling. His mother having seen incident was surprised by the unusual behavior. The dog had always played well with children. To her horror she saw the reason as a rattlesnake sunk it’s fangs into her dog’s face. Apparently Weela had somehow sensed the snake from across the yard and she’d rushed to protect the child.
This isn’t the end of this hero’s story. Luckily this 1993 Ken-L Ration’s Dog hero of the year survived and ended up saving many lives. 30 people, 29 dogs, 13 horses, and a cat all owe their thanks and lives to this amazing Pit Bull hero.
Due to heavy rains in January 1993 a dam broke miles upstream on the narrow three foot wide Tijuana River. Rescue efforts began at a friend’s ranch. Weela and her owners worked for 6 hours through heavy rains, strong currents, and floating debris to get to the ranch and to rescue 12 dogs.
Her family recognized her extraordinary ability to sense things like quicksand, dangerous drop offs, and muddy bogs. Her owner Lori Watkins said, “She was constantly willing to put herself in dangerous situations, She always took the lead except to circle back if someone needed help.”
For a month this 65lb dog crossed the flooded river pulling 30-50lbs of dog food in a harnessed backpack. On Valentine’s Day the 17 dogs and puppies and a cat that were stranded on the island were finally evacuated.
During one of her food deliveries she found a group of 30 people that were attempting to cross the floodwaters. She barked and ran back and forth refusing to allow them to cross where the deep water ran fast. Leading them to a shallower area upstream they were able to cross safely.
She also led a rescue team to 13 horses stranded on a manure pile surrounded by floodwaters. Thanks to her heroic efforts they were able to bring the horses to safety.
Weela is a perfect example of what amazing dogs American Pit Bull Terriers can be.
Ultimate American Pit Bull Terrier by Jacqueline O’Neil
October 1996 edition of Outside magazine