It’s impossible to even imagine how we would react if we knew wildfires were approaching our home. What would we try to save? And how much risk would we take to save it? But for one woman in Santa Rosa, California, there was no question: She would rescue her four-year-old pit bull Bentley at any cost.
Natasha Wallace, a junior at Santa Rosa Junior College, was driving home from a late night of studying when she spotted flames from the freeway. Despite the fact that the wildfires were headed directly towards her house, she didn’t turn around. Instead, she sped home.
At first, she loaded Bentley in her car and tried to outrace the Tubbs Fire. Unfortunately, that didn’t work. “It was coming faster than I could leave in traffic,” Wallace told FOX 40. Instead, she hurried back home, swapped her car for her bike, and took a duffel bag to carry 70-pound Bentley. “I grabbed my dog and I told him, ‘Hey man, this is serious. You need to just sit in the bag.’ And he hopped right in.”
Wallace cycled as quickly as she could with Bentley in the bag, around her neck. After gaining miles ahead of the flames, a good Samaritan driver — Paul Johnson, our new other hero — picked up the pair, ensuring their safety.
Tragically, Wallace’s house was completely destroyed, and she didn’t have the proper insurance, so now she is trying to raise money on GoFundMe. Yet even while trying to get back up on her feet, she is still putting Bentley first. “This situation is surreal and completely unexpected,” she writes. “I kept thinking I could get my life back to normal alone because asking for help isn't easy but without the proper insurance that is seemingly difficult. Finding a place to live with a bigger dog isn't cheap but that's the top priority next to new underwear and soccer cleats. Literally, anything will help at this point. Love you all and a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far, I am truly blessed.”
Wallace’s inspiring dog rescue story has captured quite a bit of attention, and people are hailing her as a hero and donating to her cause. “I would never part ways with my dog. Ever,” Wallace told FOX 40. “That’s my ride or die.”
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