Wallace

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I have been trying to think of the best way to write down how I feel about Wallace, but there is so much to say and I always get overwhelmed at this task. Just in his last year of life his book came out, he waded in the ocean, went to the Great Salt Lake, met Betty White, rode in a motorcycle sidecar, floated in a canoe, cruised in a convertible, competed in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge regionals, and spent a whole lot of time at home rolling in the grass, sleeping in the sun, and eating good food. How do I begin to describe such a dog and how I feel about him? He thrived. He proved himself. He made us better people. He lived.
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I guess it’s pretty simple. I miss him. I have so many vivid memories and hundreds of amazing photos and videos, but those things aren’t enough. I don’t think there’s another way to say it: He was famous. People came out of the woodwork when Wallace succeeded, when he got sick, when they had a Wallace-related story to share, and when he died they mourned with us. I love all of the connections we made through him and knowing he made positive changes in the dog community. All of that is amazing and wonderful and huge, but what I miss most is my family member, my pet, my boy. I miss his pink pouty lips, his old man waddle, his rolling-in-the-grass happy roars, his super pathetic whining at mealtime, kissing the big divot in his head (though Hector has one, too, and he is getting extra smooches now that Wallace is gone), his happy willingness to go anywhere and do anything from adventures to vet visits, his mild but mischievous nibbles on his only friend Angus (“Wallace, don’t pick on Angus! He’s your only friend and you don’t want to alienate him.”), and I miss being his caretaker– I realized after he died that I really liked organizing his pills and assembling his special food and taking him to acupuncture– I felt important.
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Since this is in fact my art blog, I will mention that one of the things I miss most is his enthusiasm for being in my studio. My space takes up the top half-story of our house and every time I opened that door to go upstairs, Wallace jumped to his feet to join me. It might have had something to do with the giant box of stuffies that many people sent to him when he got cancer, but whether or not I pulled out a stuffy from the closet for him to de-stuff, he was content and oh so pleased to be spending time in the special room.
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The last week or two he started having trouble getting up the steep stairs. Sometimes he could do it with a little coaxing and the other times Roo carried him upstairs. We spent most of Wallace’s last night up in the studio. He slept on the magnet therapy dog bed while we camped out on the floor.
We had a lovely last day with Wallace. He rebounded a bit from the difficult day before. We took him for a walk around the neighborhood with Angus. He stopped in someone’s yard to soak up some rays, catch his breath, and smell the good smells. We gave him some leftover roasted chicken for lunch. He hadn’t had poultry in years because of allergies. His face lit up and he begged like a puppy. It was a beautiful day so he spent a good amount of the day in the backyard. The afternoon came around and it was time for the vet to come over. We said goodbye to Wallace while he lay in his fluffy bed with one of his favorite toys.
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Wallace, you changed my life. You taught me hard lessons about unconditional love. You showed me what is possible. You made me feel needed. You were meant to be ours.

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81 thoughts on “Wallace

  1. Clara, this is so beautifully written…I started reading it at work which was a mistake, as I was crying soon after I started reading. Now that I’m home I can cry more freely. I started to read Wallace’s book a while back, and haven’t wanted to finish it now that he has died, but I know I will. I am so glad for you and your family, and especially for Wallace, that you took a chance on him. What an amazing journey that turned out to be! Thank you for sharing so much of that journey
    with so many of us~

  2. Thank you for for sharing your thoughts. I was o.k. until the very end of reading your beautiful essay and tears started flowing at the descripition of his last day with you and how very much he was loved. and cherished…. So many endless things that are wonderful about his story and life. Thanks for being such a wonderful caretaker for Wallace. I am a veterinarian in the Minneapolis area and I have in the past worked at a humane society. Families like yours give me hope. My 14 year old rescue kissybully is snoring in the sunshine as I write this. Rescued her 3 years ago via Mpls animal control. She was listed as “unwanted”. Thanks for helping to pave the way for other dogs to experience peace, love and acceptance.

  3. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this story. RIP Wallace, so long gone from our lives but forever in our hearts. Hope you are having fun with Cookie, Bosco, Emma, Ophelia, Bugsy & Tessy Jane!

  4. So beautifully written. Clara, thank you and Roo for sharing Wallace with so many of us and for sharing such a personal and emotional experience. Our hearts ache for you and your family.

  5. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt memories of Wallace. Our family lost our beloved dog 1 week before Wallace. We grieve for our Adonis and share in the grief of your loss. The stories and memories will be with you forever. What an impact he has left.

  6. What a touching and beautiful tribute to an amazing dog. As a long time shelter worker I appreciate how hard you worked to help him succeed. Every dog deserves a life like Wallace had. Thank you!

  7. Oh, I am crying after reading this. Lost my Dane Mr. Tiny on June 26, 2013, so I feel your pain. But I also so understand his time with you, all you did for him (and vice versa) and his last day. Mr. Tiny’s was very similar. G_d bless you. Hope you find peace. (I hope I do too).

  8. You are both so brave and gracious “parents”, for sharing all of your “families” memories of Wallace! i have such streams of tears running down my face, i cant even see the letters on my phone! tears of joy and sadness and a real warmness in my heart, knowing that Wallace couldnt have had a better life with anyone, anywhere other than the love you both have expressed for him! I just know that he is looking down right now and giving you his “happy dog” look and saving you both a spot!!πŸΆπŸ˜‡ Mans best friend for eternity!
    Thank you again for sharing something so special :)i

  9. Very well said Clara. Pictures and videos are nice but they don’t quite take the place of doggie kisses or nudges on your hand for a rub. Wallace was amazing…..and you are right…he lived. However…he lived because of you and Roo. I hate to think of the alternative. An amazing animal may not have been allowed to live and thrive and change so many hearts. We are all still out here with you and Roo….and……Wallace.

  10. Beautiful story; the book was beautiful too; cried a lot. We had a pit bull so o can relate. I miss Brutus very much. We now have a rescue; an american bull dog, our big beautiful boy!

  11. Your story has touched my heart, thanks for sharing with all of us. Wallace will live on through many of us, and we will continue to help our four leg friend, any way we can.
    I hope time brings you comfort, you have lots of great memories.
    Thank you very much for all that you have done ; )

  12. I can’t believe it’s been a year already, it seems like yesterday I heard of Wallace’s passing & cried like he was my own dog. I lost my 3 dogs within a year and a half of each other (about 3 yrs ago) and it’s just the saddest thing. I still miss them but we did get 2 new rescues & the one is a pit/American Bulldog kind of mix. We don’t know but he looks similar to Wallace. Thank you for writing his book, I feel like I really got to know him through that. And thanks for this amazing tribute to him, we miss him too but thank you for sharing him with us. Take care!

  13. I thank you again for the book. My son Johnny and I both know what it is like and pain and tears that come from loss. Johnny lost his friend Maximillion (Max) from cancer. He suffered for six months. Johnny was just taking him to the vet when he stopped his truck, got in the back seat with him and held him in his arms where he died. He was his best friend the best and loving pitt he had. And it was six months later that Johnny found out that he himself has terminal cancer and is fighting until the end but he always says Max will be the one to come and meet him. I believe that he will.

  14. Your words are so eloquent and they convey all the love and happiness that your wonderful companion brought to you. His shining eyes and happiness were a testiment to his love for you. Thank you for the love you have shared with Wallace and all of us by writing this.

  15. dear clara, thank you for sharing your very personal private thoughts on wallace, I admire you and roo for all you have been and will go through with one of your special boys, most of all thank you for being you and the fantastic “pibble” mommy that you were to wallace and still are to hector you are all still in our hearts and prayers

    thanks

  16. Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy. You and Roo are very special for giving Wallace the BEST his life could be!! His story makes tears stream down my face. Thank you for loving him…β™₯

  17. Amazing story thank you so much for sharing with us. Again Thank you for not only giving Wallace the love he deserved in his life but again also for being a part of taking care of my sweet boy Jimmy our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.
    Jackie

  18. A very heart wrenching tribute to a best friend, a star, a beloved family member, and what so many people think of as a “vicious pit bull”. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world. You had an amazing and talented friend in Wallace, and I wish you thoughts of many happy memories as you go through the healing process of losing a loved one. RIP Wallace.

  19. Thanks for bringing Wallace into your home and sharing him with us. A special boy indeed. We have a pitbull, Apple, and we love her so very much. Such incredible dogs. RIP Wallace.

  20. All my love to you. Wallace made a difference. You both allowed him to make a difference. He was a tribute to his breed. You must heard tremendously, but rightfully so. Wallace made a difference and will continue to do so, always. He left a huge dent in all of us. His memory lives on. God bless.

  21. You said it all perfectly. Wallace was your and our special Angel. Now he is in Rainbow Bridge happy, healthy, and waiting to see you and he adoring fans again. No one will ever forget him. He was a national treasure. God Bless him and you for giving him a loving home. πŸ™‚

  22. Amazing tribute.. Wallace was so special to so many but you nailed it on what an incredible dog does for and means to his family. For me, the pitties are extra special because their very existence and love is contrary to what the rest of the world thinks which opens your eyes and heart to the other things in our society that we get wrong. I learned so much from my Bishop… and from Wallace…

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