Like many other people who were in the path of devastating California fires, Natasha Wallace had only a few minutes to escape. But she did not forget to take the most important thing of her life, her dog:
Wallace, a college student in Santa Rosa, was in the Campus studying as the fire began to grow. As she drove home shortly after 1 in the morning, she could see a huge blaze of flame across the freeway. It was then that she realized that because of the speed and intensity of the fire, her life was in danger, and she needed to escape as quickly as possible.
“It was like a flamethrower,” Wallace said. “I knew how fast the fire was coming in. It was really scary.”
Wallace continued the journey back to her house, and hastily arranged some bags. She put the dog, Bentley, in the car and began to move away from the city. But they could not get very far, since the traffic was too congested.
“I sat in my car for about two minutes and I could see the fire coming in. I said, ‘I’m not burning in my car,'” Wallace recalled. “So I went back to the house.”
It was then that she decided to drive her bicycle toward the safety zone, abandoning almost all her possessions behind, so as to make room for her most precious possession: the dog, Bentley!
“I emptied a backpack with clothes and some of my belongings,” she said. “So I told Bentley to sit in, and he just jumped right in. It’s like he understood the situation, he knew something was wrong.” Wallace hung her 30-pound puppy around her neck and started pedaling.
“Bentley sat like a well-behaved boy all the time. His well-being was the only thing that interested me at the time.”
Eventually a person in a truck saw these two and stopped to give them a hand the rest of the way. They were safe, but like many people in the area, Wallace lost her home and practically everything she owned.
“He was wonderful to deal with,” Wallace said. “When I was in the shelter, all I had was my dog. I literally hugged my dog all the time.”
Wallace and Bentley are staying with family members while they don’t have a home to stay. It is still difficult to understand everything that was lost in the fire, but the woman knows that the most important thing was saved: “You can have hundreds of dollars of material things, but my dog is priceless.”
Despite the fright, it all turned out well for these two …
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Source: The Dodo