Hey Mighty Paw Fam, Barbara here again to share a love letter to my dog with you all!
Since Wally & I just:
- Celebrated our 2 year Adoptoversary
- Survived our first emergency vet scare AND
Valentine's Day is around the corner, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to write about my unexpected love for Wally and the unconditional love he offers me in return.
So here it goes!
A Love Letter To My Dog
My dear 3-year-old "puppy" Wally,
First and foremost, kudos to you for winning my Boxer loving heart over and for turning me into a Foster failure! I neither planned on adopting a red & white Feist mix (WHAT kind of breed is that anyways?!), nor on giving up on my Foster adventure as quickly as I did.
I clearly remember the very first time I saw you back in January 2019. I had driven to the home of one of the ladies who run an animal rescue here in NC to pick you up. Not because I wanted to adopt you, but because I was going to foster you.
See, at the time I wasn't ready to commit to a new pup quite yet because I felt like I'd be cheating on my late pup Missy, a Boxer mix. I guess that type of reasoning didn't really make sense, but she had only been gone for 9 months, and I wasn't ready to "replace" her yet.
But since my house also felt super empty without a dog, I decided to give fostering a try.
The rescue was in dire need of fosters too, and Shelli, one of the organizers, couldn't keep you at her place because she already had several adult dogs AND a littler of newborn puppies on her hands!
The First Time We Met
So the first time we met, you were hanging out at Shelli's place inside a play pen.
She told me that you had literally just been returned by your previous adopter a few hours before I came over. That explained your somewhat confused look, but you still greeted me with a polite tail wag and a shy sniffing of my hand.
But your shyness didn't last long! Remember how it immediately stopped when you smelled my jeans pockets?! You couldn't wait to dig into the treats I brought!
Missy would approve of you was my immediate thought! She was quite the food lover herself.
Your tail was wagging happily while you ate your treats, and a few minutes after, you were game to go on our very first walk together to get to know each other a bit more.
You probably peed on every single shrub we walked past, and you quickly showed me that you wanted to chase ALL the squirrels, haha!
Of course now I know that's in your genes. You're a squirrel hunting dog mix aka Feist after all. I had never heard of that breed before, and interestingly enough, it's one of the few that originated in the US, so thanks for broadening my dog breed horizon, puppy Wally!
You're Always Up For A Walk
If you could, you'd spend all day every day strolling through the neighborhood and the nearby woods. I love that about you because I too love to walk!
So thank you for being the perfect walking buddy at all hours of the day, and even on days when it's crummy outside.
As soon as I grab your leash, you're game!
How many walks would you say we've been on together? My guess would be about 1,000+.
You Keep My Feet Warm
You're also the greatest puppy hot water bottle, and I never have to bribe you to come cuddle up next to me...or ON me for that matter!
You're The Most Reliable Early Warning System
Thank you for always knowing when someone's at the door BEFORE they even ring the door bell or knock. No need for an expensive alarm system!!
You Keep Me Company In The Car
You're a super enthusiastic car puppy. You know exactly what time it is when I pull out your sport harness - that's right, time for fun car rides!
You Love Me No Matter What
I love that you love me regardless of how I look or feel! It doesn't matter if I'm happy, sad, tired or if I'm having a bad hair day and not wearing makeup - you always want to hang out with me!
You also didn't mind me when I curbed your peeing-on-the-back-of-my-couch enthusiasm with a diaper for a week. Remember that?!
That "treatment" began on our very first day together at my place, your new home. I honestly can't fault you for it. After all, you'd been passed around quite a bit during your first year on this planet - you'd been surrendered once to the shelter, adopted, and then returned again before I came and brought you to yet another new place for you.
So no, your nervous couch peeing wasn't a deal breaker, although I'm sure that I must have gasped LOUDLY when I saw you lift your leg inside the living room!
If anything, it probably contributed to my subconscious decision of adopting you just one month into our foster adventure. I really didn't want you to have to get used to ANOTHER new home, always with the possibility of being returned yet another time.
I also didn't want you to loose faith and trust in mankind, so one night I messaged Shelli and told her about my adoption plans. She didn't mind my new foster failure status and seemed happy that Pablo found a new forever home.
ABOUT THAT - remember that your first name was Pablo?! As soon as I officially adopted you, we worked on changing that name to Wally because you just didn't strike me as a Pablo. Wally West, to be exact.
Well Pablo Wally, I have to say, you're quite the resilient pup and now that you've learned a few manners, you're a total pleasure to be around - even if you wake us up at 3 in the morning because you're vomiting all over the place.
Yup, that just happened, followed by two trips to the vet and an overnight stay at the emergency vet clinic.
Not having you around that night was ... different. Saddening. It felt like something important was missing, and we were so happy and relieved when we were able to pick you back up the next morning and bring you home.
Despite the $800 vet bill.
Yes Wally, you're worth every single penny of that bill, and then some!
Puppy Wally, I love that you happened to me and promise to continue to care for you, feed you, walk you, love you, and protect you to the best of my ability.
Barbara Rivers writes regularly for Mighty Paw. She is a blogger, raw feeder, former dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.