Woman Saves Dog from Euthanasia, Soon Learns She's the Fastest Dog in the Land


When people visit a dog shelter or a humane society, usually what they see looking back at them is sad stories in the faces of defeated dogs.

Some dogs have been dropped off by owners because they were too much work, too old, or simply unwanted. Others have spent their lives foraging on the streets and have never had positive human interaction, grooming, or a full tummy.

It can be difficult to look at this ragtag assortment and see a future, but it’s possible. And some dogs, like Stitch, speak through their eyes.

In a day and age where most available animals are seen online, one glance is all most dogs get. That was all this American Staffordshire mix needed.

Stitch, whose former name was Bunny, caught the attention of Millie Sawyer, who looked into the pup’s big brown eyes and knew she had to help.

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Being a “bully” breed, Stitch had probably been passed over by well-meaning but cautious potential adopters and was due to be put down the next day — only two days before Christmas.

Fortunately for her, Sawyer was an accomplished foster, having fostered 70 dogs in 30 years, and was able to take in Stitch until a permanent home could be found.

Kaitlyn Johnson was just the person for Stitch. They got along great, and soon Johnson discovered that this former death-row pooch had some major skills.

Stitch could run. Really run. Johnson began to train her to compete in Flyball.

Flyball is a highly competitive sport where speed and accuracy are crucial. It’s not quite as well-known as agility, but has become more popular in the past decade.

Flyball involves teams of four dogs competing against other teams of four. They run a relay, one at a time, where they must clear four hurdles, launch and grab a tennis ball, and run back over the four hurdles.

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Staffies aren’t exactly known as speed demons, but Stitch surprised Johnson. Within a month she was running clean in just over four and a half seconds (which is plenty respectable).

But she wasn’t done impressing yet. At one point she surprised everyone.

“I turn around and my whole team at that point is screaming,” Johnson said. Stitch finished in 4.117 seconds, the fastest time recorded for her particular class.

“Every time I set a goal for her she just leaps over it,” Johnson continued. The two are planning to continue competing.

Stitch is a wonderful reminder that when you adopt a dog, you not only get a companion for life, you may just be looking at a future champion.

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