Walter: Six Months Later

>> Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's hard to believe Walter has been here for six months tomorrow, August 18th. It's a bittersweet day. Wembley passed away on January 18th. Just typing that out makes my eyes brim with tears. I avoid saying those words. Because of this, Walter is incredibly special to me. Even though we still had Reagan and Quincy during the first month of Wembley's absence, my heart was unbearably empty. Wembley was always by my side, in my lap, pawing at me, laying on me, snuggling with me, and sleeping nose to nose with me. She was my best friend. And this shy golden chow boy popped up on Dogs in Danger.

I never thought I would have a boy dog, but when I saw Walter's face, the thought of him dying alone, disabled and without a family, just destroyed me. By adopting Walter, there would be some sort of silver lining to the tragedy of Wembley.

Now, the odd part of this story is Walter's name. At the pound, his name was "Pops". In January, when Wembley was still alive, my sister took a cat home from work that nobody wanted. She was trying to find a home for the cat, and was taking name suggestions. It was a boy cat, so I told her to name him Walter. The cat ended up being called Guido, but I still had the name Walter bouncing around in my head for some reason.

Flash forward to the 14-hour round trip drive my sister and I made to the dog pound, and we were thinking of names. I tried calling Walter a bunch of typical dog names, like Max, Rusty, and so on, but he didn't respond to any of them. That's when I realized the reason the name Walter was floating in my head for over a month, and it stuck.He was terrified of people, but wanted affection. He had a nasty accident in the car because he was so scared, only a block away from the dog pound, and later repeated this in the bathtub. Walter was scared to eat, but hungry, and shyly ate the heaping bowl of tasty wet dog food I set down in front of him. He was so scared of everything that Alan and I had to actually carry him everywhere for the first night. I took him to the vet the next day, and even then I had to carry him out of the house and into the car, which he hated. On the drive there, I cried and cried, not sure if Walter was even going to make it. The vet concluded he was in excellent health, and just being a stubborn Chow Chow.

Slowly, Walter began being rehabilitated. I don't know if he was ever potty trained, because he had several accidents in the house in the first months, but with a strict schedule and crate training, he is now fully housebroken and crate trained. He is still a little timid with certain things, and carries that dominant Chow Chow trait of not liking a change in his schedule. Walter doesn't like new men, but warms up to them when he knows they're nice. He loves children, and he no longer tries to hide in the dog beds or toy bins when we take him to the pet store.

I hope he is having the best time of his life. We may have saved Walter, but I'll never be able to repay him for what he has done for me. Walter is my therapy dog in this nightmare of losing Wembley. He is loyal and kind, sits by me, snuggles with me, and just loves me the way that only a dog can do: unconditionally. He may have been a reject at the dog pound, but in this house he is a royalty. Our silver lining, and so much more.


April August 17, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

I love the photo of Walter and Alan.
Just as you were an angel that came into Walters life, he was and angel that came into yours. Who says angels don't have fur?


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