Nearly 19 years ago, our neighbors played a trick on my parents. They called and invited the whole family over one random night. What my parents didn't know was that they had rescued a precious little puppy and wanted our family to have him. They knew that if the girls saw him, we wouldn't go home empty handed. It was love at first sight! That little ball of white fuzz and giant ears was instantly ours forever!
Wally was such a talented, sweet, intuitive dog! I know I am biased, but he was the best dog ever! He could dance and sneeze on command, wash his face, give high fives and jump higher than any dog I have ever known. He could jump up and take a treat out of my out-stretched hand. I know I'm not THAT tall, but he was impressive.
If you pointed your finger at him like a gun and said "Bang" he would fall to his belly. Shoot him again and he rolled to his side. One more shot and he put his head down and rolled onto his back. Too funny! (I forgot to put this in originally)
He knew when someone needed some extra love and would come find you and sit with you when you were sad or sick. He also had this amazing ability to render you immobile when he slept on your bed. That tiny little dog would lay down just right so that you couldn't move your legs!
He was also a therapy dog who visited the nursing homes and Alzheimer's Center where my grandma lived. You couldn't help but stop to scratch his ears if you saw him coming down the hall. (Incidentally, he was much less traumatized by this than the parakeet that went there, too)
One of my favorite Wally memories was how he LOVED to open presents. He would attack the presents and shake them in his teeth until he had loosened the paper. He would throw the package and jump on it and start again. It was hilarious! He also knew it was better to give than receive, so we always got great gifts from him for our birthdays- he was a great shopper!
I am glad I have been blessed to share this sweet dog with my own kids and we are very grateful that we had some extra time with him over Thanksgiving! He had been getting more frail for some time and Friday it was time to let him go. It was a very sad day for all of us, but especially my parents who have taken such good care of him the last few years that the kids have all been gone.
When we got to my parents house today, Jenna and Aubrey went around looking for Wally first thing. I told them he wasn't here and that he was in heaven. A few minutes later Aubrey (who has a Snow White-like bond with all creatures) came to me with a very worried look.
"Mommy, I can't find Wally anywhere."
"Honey, Wally died."
"But Mom, I love Wally. I don't want him to die." She started to cry and then I lost it again.
We all love Wally and always will. This may seem over-dramatic to some people, but Wally was a special dog that touched many lives. I am grateful that we were so blessed to have him for nearly two decades.
Good night, Wally Wally!