This is a true story about one of the gamest scratches ever witnessed. A story of a great dog , outgunned, nearly destroyed, but absolutely indomitable. The dog was Toney (notice the “old-fashion “ spelling), purchased by Bob Wallace early in his career. Toney was a great-grandson of Searcy Jeff, and when later bred to Madame Queen (a daughter of Searcy Jeff), Toney sired King Cotton , an ace pit dog that (along with Toney) became the cornerstone for the Wallace Bloodlines. Toney had won prior matches, and after this one he was retired to a luxurios life at stud.
Toney had won his previous matches on heart, as he was not blessed with more than average talent in any category. No one ever dreamed, though, just how much heart this little dog actually had. At least, not until the match in Rulesville, Mississippi, in the early forties. Toney was matched into Slim Emerson’s Ted, a titan that was later to become famous in his marathon match with Corvino’s Thunder.
When the dogs were released, Ted went immediately into Toney’s shoulder. For those who are not aware, a broken bone is a rarity in dog-fighting because pit dogs are just plain hard to hurt. Bob had no way of knowing the shoulder was broken and not just temporarily disabled. Toney gave no hint of it, for his tail was up and wagging,, and he always managed to have a hold some place. But, because of the handicap, Ted was ahead all the way. Toney occasionally obtained an advantage, but it was always short lived ; his enthusiasm for the contest never faltered. Finally, Ted got into Toney’s other shoulder, and this time there was no doubt that the shoulder was broken. At, an hour and forty minutes, Bob picked up Toney, thereby conceding the match.
Torn by the emotion and worried that he had left his dog down too long, Bob nevertheless put him down for a seemingly impossible courtesy scratch. Actually, Bob just wanted to see if he was interested in trying to scratch. Who could have dreamed he would actually make it! Slowly and awkwardly, but with an intensity and determination that brought the crowd to its feet, Toney started his arduous journey across the pit. Inching along, both front legs completely useless, Toney pushed with his rear feet. Two or three times he rolled completely over his back in order to correct his course toward his opponent when his obstinate front end had actually obstructed him. When after a full two minutes Toney finally reached his opponent, he had to be broken off with a stick! Bob, tears streaming down his face, picked up Toney and wrapped him in a blanket. The crowd stood and applauded for a full ten minutes. And Bob Wallace was not the only one who was crying!
R. Stratton “The World of the American Pit Bull Terrier”