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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Teary-eyed. Thank you. It takes a brave soul to share your loves, joys, and pain so openly. Please know that you and your family -all of them, and especially Wallace- have, in fact, made a huge, positive impact in the world.
Beautifully written. I sit here and read in tears….
Wow. That is all I have to say. I’ve never met Wallace and I’m sad I wasn’t so blessed but you need to know that just knowing him through you and Roo has touched my heart. I’ve read the book 5 times and I miss him. I cry when I read about him…because of sadness and happiness, which is very confusing. It is a different sadness for him than I get when I read about someone else losing a pet….my heart hurts as the tears flow. Thank you for continuing to share him through your words and pictures. You were an incredible family for him. In fact, you were the perfect family for him. Thank you for taking a chance on him and letting him just be the most awesome Wallace that he could be!
What a beautiful piece of writing, Clara. No dog was more loved or cared for.
Tears; I am so glad Wallace had such good parents. Thank you for sharing your boy with the world. He is missed. ~~ RIP WALLACE ❤
Bless you and your family. What a lovely tribute to your beloved furry family member. Thank you for sharing his story.
i so know the feeling…
ooo grace…i so agree. I sit here crying while reading Clara’s blog. I cried so hard the day I read Wallace had passed away. We have recently lost both of our boys…brother….one in Sept of 20ll and Jake this March. I have never been so heartbroken. So like you, I also know her pain. Each time I read about Wallace, or his his beautiful face, i weep. There is nothing like the love of a dog…nothing. I miss my Harry and Jake everyday of every week. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy Clara and Roo. I am so very sorry for your loss of your loved one.
Your posting made me cry. It’s not for sadness, even though I have a 15 years old Pit with arthrytis and the day of saying good bye is getting close. It was because of the truth of your words, I can feel the kindness beyond them and I realize that having a Pit, despite all prejudice and small struggles that come with a strong willed dog made us better. We are better because of them. We feel deeper because of them. They are and they will be the better part of ours.
This is beautiful, Clara. Thanks for sharing your feelings. Wallace was an incredible dog.
im actually crying now. what a touching tribute to mans best friend. i hope i am as strong as you when my dogs time comes. she is 13 now so i fear the day i have to do this. wallace sounded like a great dog.
Thank you. Wallace was lovely. You and Roo are so special and thank God for Jim Gorant, for all he has written and done on behalf of the dogs.
Such a lovely tribute to your wonderful friend Wallace. I miss my little girl too and can feel all of your pain. Thanks for sharing Wallace with us
Should have not read this at the office. Ughhh, how lucky are we that get to love and share our lives with dogs?!
It makes me cry because that bond between a person and these furry people is stronger than any other bond. It’s so because of their ability to be there for us in a way that no other person can be and because the communication is more limited, the act of showing love and kindness on their part is more generous. We do learn more from them because they are selfless, and their unconditional love gives us a glimpse into how we should be but aren’t.
BALLING MY EYE OUT THINKING AND MISSING MY SWEET BOY WHO ALSO WENT TO THE RAINBOW BRIDGE WITH THE DREADED CANCER….
Every time I read about Wallace I can’t help but think of our Mr”P” – We lost him to lung cancer last Oct 2012 – We rescued him at 6 weeks old – a deaf American Bulldog – he was amazing – trained him to hand signals – HIS book came out last summer 2012 – When I started the book we didn’t know he had cancer – It became a whole different project – He made the books debut & came to an event for the rescue we volunteer with – Our world will never be the same – He was a GIFT – he died in our arms – you may see portions of the book on the FACEBOOK page – “Petscapes” – Thank You, for saving Wallace – I can imagine how you feel having been touched by one of these amazing creatures & having lost one – I am proud & honored to have been allowed to call mine friend – – – – – – – Deb
Beautifly written. I could feel every word and my heart breaks with you.
I love you all this made me cry.I know you all 3 have made things a bit better for all family animals
Thank you for posting this, he was truly a wonderful dog and I can’t imagine how much you must miss him! Time to give my dogs a hug ♥
Wallace’s journey was an amazing one, and could not have been possible without his amazing family. Thank you for sharing your special boy with us and know that through you, he became a part of our families too.
Beautifully written. As someone who has “been there” twice, with my own fuzzy kids, my heart breaks for you. Wallace is missed by many, but not in the same way as he is missed by you and Roo. He was a great boy…. and he had the very best parents.
Thank you so much for sharing the incredible Wallace with us all.So many tears are falling I can hardly swallow.I wish you and yours all the blessings the universe has to bestow. You and Wallace have blessed us all.
Your story is so touching. Following Wallaces life was so uplifting.
I had a beautiful ABT that was my best friend, son, brother to my kids and friend to all for almost 14 years. I lost him May a year ago. His name was Ace. I think of him and miss him every day.
I had never been around a PBT until we got Ace. He changed my life and my understanding of the breed.
Beautiful. Im in tears and ill hug my poodle a little closer today. Wallace will always be with you♥♥
Wallace was Americas dog! He made us laugh and smile and whoo hoo. We followed him and shared his posts and wrote to the Ellen Show. and then we cried, we sobbed when we saw the news of his illness. We love Wallace and you for sharing him with us but like you said he was your boy and we hurt for you and Roo. If we miss him as much as we do I can only imagine your pain. I have lost 2 boys, one that, like Wallace, had that special something that made him shine in our lives like no other. God Bless you!
This was amazing. My heart hurts for you, as I know the pain of losing a 4 legged family member. You are wonderful people and hopefully in time you will find room to welcome another in your home and let him continue where Wallace left off. He will always be missed and loved.
So sorry to hear this bad news, he seemed like a great boy with a wonderful home.
A beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing Wallace with us.
What a wonderful and moving tribute, I have to admit I teared up…I never knew him and yet I miss him. I cannot imagine the hole that his passing has left in your hearts. Thank you for sharing him with us!
Beautiful tribute to your boy. Thank you for sharing him with the world. Wallace will be missed.
Bless his little heart & Thankyou for al you did for him😍 so sorry he has passed but he will be happy & free at Rainbow Bridge x
Your family is amazing. You remind me of my family, on January 4 it will be two years since we lost our rescue, Honey. She was also a pitty who I fell in love with at the shelter I worked at. She was used as bait, and had “issues” she was going to be be to sleep, but my husband and I knew we could not allow it. Honey was sweet, and kind, just needed love and direction. She filled our lives with hope, happiness, she taught us how to forgive. I too miss her divot ( : and her eyes. We too have since adopted two more pit bulls, Humphrey and Bella who was also going to be put down, and we still have our pug phoebe who thought honey and is teaching our new “kids” what it is like to just be a dog. We lost honey to a hemangiosarcoma unexpectedly, we knew her past year there was something wrong, but no one could figure it out. Honestly, I think honey pushed through her last year for us and when she could not fight against it any longer, she went the way she wanted to. We were at the vet not knowing that this would be the last time I would kiss her, I was by her side telling her I loved her, with her expressive eyes she told me the same. My heart was broken,honey was amazing and accomplished so much, she did also become a canine good citizen . We think about her everyday. I am trying to get a book I wrote about her life published to let her continue telling her story. Just know that what you do and did for Wallace takes a certain kind of person and you are amazing. Keep him alive and honoring him by his story.
Such a beautiful post. He was lucky to have had a real mom and dad. Makes me think so much of when my big 158 lb. baby boy died in my arms. Life is tough. Life is beautiful.
It was an honor and a pleasure to meet him. He was a unique character. I’ll miss his drive and energy…..and the surgical precision in which he de-stuffed the stuffies. He was a pretty incredible fella, He legacy will live on. You guys did an incredible job with him. YOU two are incredible.
What a beautiful entry, as I sit here crying over a dog I never met, but felt I knew through your family. He was such a beautiful dog and inspired so many. What a blessing he was to you and so many others, he will always have a special place in my heart, thank you for sharing him with us.
Beautiful words for a beautiful boy. Wallace touched so many lives and will continue to do so from the other side. *HUGS*
What a beautiful tribute to an exceptional dog. Although I never ‘actually’ met him, after reading the book and following you all on Facebook, I feel like I am lucky to have ‘known’ him. But you were the lucky one and it’s obvious that you love and cherish Wallace just as much now, as you did when he was here. I’m sorry for your loss and hope it gets less painful as time passes.
What a blessing he was……and how lucky you have been to have that time with him.
Wallace was so very lucky to have you and Roo!!! You gave him the best life a dog could ever ask for! I’m so thankful that you guys had a FB page for him so we all could follow Wallace’s life. I never met him but I felt like he was a part of my family. I still cry too when I see posts about him but then I sit back and say “he died with a smile on his face from all the love he received”. I lost my 12 year old Boxer in January to a brain tumor so I know what it’s like to walk into an empty room. My house is not the same without him. I still have my 10 year old Pittie but she misses her brother too. She mourned him so much that I was really worried about her. I hope Hector and Angus are doing ok since the loss of Wallace. I send all of you big hugs from me and my Pittie. And again I thank you and Roo for sharing your lives and stories of Wallace!!!
Your love story with your baby Wallace touches my heart in so many ways. My heart breaks for you because I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been thru it before and will someday on a few years withy Pibble Popeye. He could be Wallace’s brother in so many ways. ♥
Thank you for taking Wallace into your heart and for sharing him with the world. I’m glad you took the time to tell the story of the stuffies in the studio. Peace & love to you, Roo, Hector & Angus.
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thank you for sharing i an still cring
Clara, You ARE important! Always has been and always will be. You just needed a little help in realizing it. For all that Wallace and Angus and Hector give to you (and I’m sorry–I don’t know your other dogs’ names) you have given back ten fold. Not only to them but to all Pit Bull type dogs out there and their family’s. Because of you and Roo taking a chance on ‘those’ dogs, there are thousands (tens of? hundreds of?) of people who have opened their minds and hearts to those loveable blockheaded dogs!! Your journey with Wallace was meant to be and I do wish it had been longer for you. Love is wonderful to give and receive and how wonderfully lucky you’ve been to be on both sides!! Bless you!
Beautiful thoughts, summs up what is felt when you loose your companion. heart breaking, bittersweet, knowing that you gave them a good life, a good chance at life, they gave you back so much love, loyalty, you were their whole world. But gone! and they leave such big empty space, which we try to fill with the memories but it is simply not enough!
Thank you for showing other pit owners to do more with our dogs, if you can than just walk them, show the world in the competition ring. This is showing the world their real character and that they are athletes with brains and heart! Thank you for the memories and good examples for the world to see.
Beautiful unconditional love for a family member, a four footed friend! So beautifully written! We should all feel the same way about all our pets and treat them like family! My family is facing a crisis with our 9 year old shelties. Diagnosed last week with a brain meningioma. Having surgery tomorrow and hoping she lives out the life she deserves! 🐾💗🐶
As the owner of a white pit who just continues to amaze me everyday I would like to tell u how sorry I am for ur loss and dread the day I will have to make the same decision.
When you chose to share him with the world, he became our dog in some way. So many tears have been shed for a dog we never met but who represents so many other wonderful dogs who have changed the humans they love. Huge thanks to you and Rori and your pack. I believe Wallace has a higher purpose which lives on and will for a very long time. I hope there is some comfort in that. And I hope that time brings peace to your hearts. (as an aside, I sent my signed copy of his book to Tami Thayne of Dogs Deserve Better in VA. She bought the former Vick property and I thought it only appropriate for the book to benefit the nonprofit which purchased property related to your pack through Hector).
Thank you and Roo for sharing Wallace with us. What a touching tribute. Like many others, I am in tears.