“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
~ Dalai Lama
If the Dalai Lama is to be believed, then my own actions have today indeed brought me happiness in the form of one Wallace J. “Wally” Terry.
Wally and I met Christmas Eve. As I was having my morning coffee, just before what I still thought would be a trip to Tennessee, I decided to have a look at the Lexington Humane Society. There he was at the bottom: “Walley“. Cute, I thought, but I shrugged it off since I was leaving town. No sooner had I closed the tab than dad called with a change of plans. I called Stacy Yelton, and we headed to The Pound. He was two and a half years old. He’d been picked up as a stray. I couldn’t take him with me, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted a dog. I’ve been extremely conflicted since Sadie died almost six years ago. She was/is irreplaceable, and I was/am spoiled by just how good a dog she was. Plus, he’s nothing at all like her. She was 55 lbs; he’s 15. She was a blue merle; he’s white and apricot. She jumped up to kiss you (she really did); he wags his tail. She was a herding dog; he’s a hunter. Nevertheless, I put a $10 hold on him that would last until three o’clock today. I was there when the doors opened at noon.
Turns out there was more to his story. He’d shown up as a stray this time last year, but his owners reclaimed him. He showed up again in August. Again, they reclaimed him. When he made a third appearance, they decided to leave him be. I was ready to walk away after learning this news. He was clearly an escape artist. However, a bit of sleuthing by LHS revealed that Wally never had a fenced yard so, of course he was going to run away. He’s a hunting dog for crying out loud. One squirrel and he’s a goner. By 4pm he’d had a bath, had his nails clipped, met the cats, spent thirty minutes in his crate without a peep, and had a meal. He passed every single test with flying colors. He’s extremely calm. He knows his name. He knows sit and stay. He’s housebroken. He loves to play. He’s a tidy eater. He’s absolutely awesome. Those are all things he and Sadie share in common. I feel like I struck the jackpot. Somebody pinch me.