Dust devil scoops up puzzled 70-pound dog in Virginia

WEYERS CAVE, Va. — By all accounts, Duke was minding his own business Tuesday when a meteorological event swept the 70-pound Labrador off his feet in Augusta County, Virginia.

Dust devils are not uncommon this time of year in Virginia, according to local media outlets, but Thursday’s excitement seemed to catch Duke a little unprepared, and his owner admitted that she did not at first believe her children when they told her about his dizzying experience.

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Well Duke the flying lab is ok, thank goodness, and I didn’t entirely believe my kids at first but to see it with my own eyes...can’t deny it. He’s not up for autographs yet, we’ll keep ya posted 🌪🐾🤦🏼‍♀️🤣

Posted by Brittany Wampler on Wednesday, May 12, 2021

“It’s still very tough to imagine that, you know, a 70-pound dog, or close to it, and how you know, you don’t see that every day. How would that have happened? He just kind of looked around and was shaken for a minute, but you know he went right back to playing with the kids after that,” Brittany Wampler told WHSV.

Wampler confirmed that she sought out footage from neighborhood doorbell cameras, so she could see what happened for herself, and found her children to be telling the absolute truth. A neighbor’s surveillance camera clearly showed Duke going airborne and twisting against the stiff wind, USA Today reported.

“The kids were right there and saw the whole thing,” Wampler wrote on Facebook, adding, “It threw [Duke] over the underground electric fence. It definitely threw him down harder than I thought. I was shocked to see it.”

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service confirmed via Twitter the suspected dust devil the following day in response to WHSV’s posted video.

According to WHSV, sustained dry weather with extended periods of no rain set the stage for dust devils, also known as whirlwinds, to form.

Specifically, the TV station stated that on a sunny day with light wind, warm air heats up, and it starts to rise forming a mini updraft. The surrounding area rushes in to fill the void of low pressure, and if just enough of a cross breeze blows, it can form an area of rotation, creating a dust devil.