I was there the day my parents picked him up.
The puppies were all in a pen together, and there were a few laying calmly in a corner and a few jumping and barking and wiggling and generally being little wild things. I voted for one of the laid-back puppies, but my parents only had eyes for the crazy wild puppies.
Walter’s enthusiasm charmed all of us, and I’m happy to report that he jumped and squealed and wiggled his whole life. He never outgrew his puppy-ness.
His favorite spot was up near the house on the mulch. He was a terrible guard dog–he rarely barked and was mostly deaf. I’m pretty sure if a burglar had appeared in the yard, Walter would have trotted out to greet him with slobbery kisses. He loved to be in the backyard with my parents, hanging out when they were working in their flower beds or filling the bird feeders. He never liked having his head scratched, but he loved having his belly rubbed.
No one loved Walter as much as Moo. His name was one of her first words, and she loved to run out to the garage and give him cookies. He was a huge dog, so she never got too close, but she loved him beyond words.
She used to stand outside the fence and wave for him to come to her. And he would jump up on the fence and wag his tail and she would squeal in delight. Walter was Moo’s favorite (after Grandma, of course).
He was a sweet boy, and we will all miss him. But I know that when crossed the rainbow bridge, he was greeted by Sundance and Mickey, our other two goldens. But for now, it’s hard. We will miss all of his unique little quirks: his unbelievably stinky ears, his gooey tennis ball, his tendency to “share” his toys with the dog next door, the way he carried his leash in his mouth when you took him on a walk, the way he wiggled and grunted his way down the hill when he was trying to scratch those stinky ears.
Rest in peace, Walleye. We love you very much and we’re so thankful for the 11 years you were with us.