Nothing has affected me like Wally's death. I sobbed for over an hour. I've lived a long time. Been in the Marines and gone through rough times. My parents died, my sister died, my brother died. I've had many dogs. But Wally took it upon himself to get inside my head. Looking in my eyes, watching me, wanting to be with me. Subtle licks of closeness. He became a part of me, something emotional, not intellectual. He was good, never impulsive, never triggered by thunder or fireworks. He unconditionally accepted me. He was better than me, and our love was unconditional. I am a scientist and a martial artist, but I can't explain my relationship with Wally. Like life it just is - not good, not fair, not evil. Just is. So I am left with the need to recognize to just be here and now. Wally will live inside of me, but the anguish of not contacting his physical being will never go away. I will keep it in a private place.

He was incredibly active and healthy his first 12 years, bringing joy to Sue and me. The last two years he slowed down but never lost the incredible connection of his awareness with us. It was in his eyes. He could hold our gaze until we looked away. And when he lost the vision of one eye we experienced the miracle of his one eye. Wally Eye. Right up to the time I rushed him to an emergency visit to the UofMN Veterinary Service and learned that a large tumor on his liver had ruptured and filled his abdomen with blood. He collapsed on a Thursday evening and was dead by 9:35 AM the next morning. But he'll forever hold a place in my heart and Sue's heart.


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