to celebrate the memory of our awesome dog


This weekend, Anne and I are going to go up to the Rose Bowl and join a few thousand other animal lovers for the Pasadena Humane Society's annual wiggle waggle walk. Every year, it seems, we plan to do the walk, but every year something comes up and we end up missing it.

This year, we're committed to the walk no matter what, and I'm going to turn the blog over to Anne for a minute, so she can tell you why:

Just over 8 years ago, I made a right turn instead of a left out of the Home Depot parking lot. That was a turn that would change our lives forever. In the bushes next to the bus stop sat a sad little puppy. She'd obviously been dumped there with a t-shirt as a blanket, and an empty cottage cheese container that probably served as a water dish.

For the next 8 years, we would have the best addition to our family: a dog who was dumped by someone who didn't care or appreciate what a smart, loving animal they were leaving. Ferris was like a sibling to our boys, a part of the family going on vacations and getting toys in her stocking at Christmas.

Ferris knew she was lucky. She appreciated all the love and care her new family gave her. Not every dog left on the street is so lucky. Some get hit by cars or left to starve. Fortunately, the Humane Society does everything they can to rescue these homeless or lost animals by giving them food, shelter, vaccinations and a chance to be adopted.

A month ago, we lost our awesome dog Ferris to cancer. Her happy face is one I'll always remember. Doing something positive in her honor is something we can all do together.

On Sunday September 27th, we're doing the annual Wiggle Waggle Walk in Ferris' honor. This is a fundraising effort to help the Pasadena Humane Society. Please donate through our site and help us reach our goal of $8,000; a thousand dollars for every year of Ferris' life. No donation is too small. We appreciate each donation. Thank you!

My metrics show that a lot (and I mean a lot) of people read my posts here and at Twitter. If just 3% of you dug out a handful of change and threw it at us, we'd be able to blow away our fundraising goal in just a few days. If you would like to support us, you can get more information here.

Updated at 12:09pm: I just got an e-mail from the Pasadena Humane Society. It says that we've made it halfway to our fundraising goal … in under three hours. On behalf of Anne (who is at work and has quite a wonderful surprise waiting for her when she gets home) I wanted to say thank you. You guys are awesome.

94 thoughts on “to celebrate the memory of our awesome dog”

  1. I don’t have a whole lot, but I can pack a lunch a few more days the next couple weeks, and go without a few sodas or coffee. I’m in for more than a little bit of change. 😉
    I’m sure a lot of other people will be too. Ferris was a bit like family to some of us that got to read great stories about a wonderful friend over the years too.

  2. I would like to make something in remembrance of your awesome dog. Do you happen to have a larger-resolution photo of her? And a P.O. box or something I could send the finished product to? I am @rainnede on Twitter.

  3. I put in some money in honor of every dog and cat I’ve ever had (three dogs, three cats), all of whom were “unwanted” animals who became some of the most important things in my life.

  4. I lost my dog Midnight in January after 16 years. That wasn’t long enough but compared to 8 I feel lucky. I am happy to help you out to honor Ferris and Midnight and all the other lucky dogs out there who won the dog lottery.

  5. I always contribute to two animal charities a year – One Local – Rand Grimm’s Stray Rescue here in St Louis – and one other. I am happy to send some STL animal love (and $$$) your way.
    I admit – I once again had tears in my eyes when I read this – just as I did when I read your blog about Ferris’ passing.
    Walk proud for her this weekend.

  6. Done. I’m so happy you guys are doing something good with the hole in your heart. I just hope one more family gets a dog as awesome as yours (or mine, who we rescued from under a woodpile) through the Humane Society. There are so many loving pets out there, waiting for their chance to be awesome.

  7. Done and done. I’m so sorry to hear about Ferris, having followed her story for a very long time via this blog. You and Anne are so special to take shelter/unwanted animals into your hearts, thank you for doing so – I wish more people were like you!

  8. For Ferris. And Rusty, Mike, Peaches, Ruddy who have long passed. And for some family friends cats…Roo and Sassy-Cat, who were both rescued animals.
    And in looking back at those names, $25 doesnt seem nearly enough.

  9. I’d also like to add that your local shelters need your help, too! Here in Atlanta, there are literally 100k+ animals euthanised each year. So, while you are thinking about helping animals in general, please give to your local animal shelters.
    Thanks for doing this, Wheatons! It’s a fine memorial for your girl and it’s really great that you are raising awareness in general. :-)

  10. Hi Wil,
    I want to donate, but the only funds I have available are in my Paypal account and I don’t have a visa card for it yet. I went to donate through your donation site but the only forms of payment are cards.
    Is there another way to donate using Paypal?
    -Naytally (twitter)

  11. You bet!! I work at a animal clinic and can’t tell you how many times we have people bring in dogs/cats that have been abused/ is heart breaking to say the least..sometimes more than I can handle. We need more people like You and Anne in this world..would be a lot more safe and happy animals. Ferris was one lucky dog! Keep up this good work my friend:)

  12. Just donated $50 in memory of our awesome cat, Q.I. She now has kidney disease and we will have to put her to sleep soon. She came from the ASPCA–not from the street but from a family that couldn’t keep her anymore. Couldn’t imagine life without her. Thanks.

  13. Done. Such a great and positive way to honor the life of your Ferris. It sounds like both she and you were lucky to have found each other. :)
    Umm… not to cheapen the giving too much hopefully 😉 … but if I may take this opportunity to mention a similar Humane Society event to your New England fans…
    I’ll be running one of the booths Saturday Oct. 3 at the Humane Society for Greater Nashua’s Walktoberfest.
    Thank you. I now return you to your regularly scheduled WW.

  14. *cries* Anne you have a wonderful way with words. You tugged right at my mommy and animal lover heart strings.
    I really wish credit card was not the only way to be able to donate.
    Warm thoughts to your entire family. I will be thinking of you on Sunday and I hope you reach your goal.

  15. I’m so sorry about Ferris. My donation will be in honor of my furry child, Bridget, who like Ferris was treated like a sibling and not a pet. Bridget passed away on 5/7/08, at 11YO. btw: doggy in photo is not bridget but a furry friend of mine. :)

  16. Every single one of my animals was given up or abandoned on the street. (Most recently, little Miss April: ) They’re all loving, wonderful guys. Even–and sometimes especially–when they get into mischief. I’ve enjoyed reading about Ferris, and I’m glad all of you found each other.
    Donation made.

  17. I’ve donated under the name of my dog Scooter (a rescue), in memory of my other dog Patch, that also died of cancer several years ago.
    I usually try to do our humane society walk each year, but was unable to this year. Happy to make a donation for your cause instead!

  18. Can’t donate at work but I’ll be sure to log in again when I get home.
    It ain’t much but how can I say no to a sweet lovely little angel like Ferris? I mean c’mon he’s a pirate!
    I just love the fact that other animals will benefit even though it’s at the price of losing your best bud.
    I tip my hat to you and your family.

  19. Put in my little bit of change. Just wish I had a little more this month. I hope things are getting a little bit easier and that you blow your goal out of the water.

  20. Ferris would be so proud of you.
    I was happy to give what little support I could.
    For those who don’t have credit cards, I bet there would be local groups who would happily accept cash donations from you. Ferris would be okay with that.

  21. In a similar vein, my local SPCA (Monmouth County, NJ) has a DogWalk/PetFair every October. Sounds like your Wiggle Waggle Walk (only that’s a much cuter name!) I don’t have much money to donate, but my band (appropriately named The Wag) have donated our time & talent (!) for the past, I think, 10 years to the MCSPCA. Linky here:
    It’s a blast for us, we get to play out to a guaranteed crowd, & it helps the animals. What more could we ask for? :-) Thanks, Wil, Anne & family, for doing what you do, not just in this current WWW, but also for Saving Ferris & giving her the best life possible. You guys rock!!
    -Alicia (@AliciaWag)

  22. Happy to donate for Ferris and in honor of my puppies, one of whom was an SPCA gal (the other we took in cuz his owner’s kids were allergic to him)!

  23. Donation sent. I will also send an equivalent amount to our local Humane Society in Ferris’ honor.
    You are raising money quickly so I doubt you’ll have a problem reaching your goal. If not, update us again and maybe we can all dig a little deeper.

  24. That’s actually one of the last pictures taken of Ferris. Our friend Atom took it the day after Anne’s birthday party in August.
    I just love it. Ferris wasn’t crazy about putting on a pirate hat, but she did it anyway, because it made us all smile.
    I miss her so damn much. It really means a lot to me that so many people loved her from afar. She was the most awesome dog in the world.

  25. In for.. okay, well it’s not actually much but I’m not even working right now and I scraped up some dough. If I can, none of y’all have an excuse not to throw at least a few bucks towards a good cause.
    It is worth noting that our shelter rescue cat “helped” me enter my card information at the donation site. She was ever so helpful.

  26. My husband and I had a beagle who was very special to us die of cancer. We definitely understand the loss that you feel and are happy to support this good cause.
    Wish you and your family all the best!

  27. This is so sweet and wonderful. I recently lost a kitty to what I think was age-related kidney failure. She was 16. It’s never easy to lose a pet. My one remaining cat became rather depressed. After mulling over it for about a week, I went to an adoption clinic held by a local animal rescue group. There, it seemed that a little young calico adopted me. So I brought her home. Blue Sh*t (the older cat) is still getting use to having her around, but at least there hasn’t been any hostilities between them.

  28. Over the years, my family has had at least four rescue/shelter pets – two dogs and two cats, who my mum rescued from a horrible looking market. I also looked after a rescue horse for three years, who was terribly abused by her previous owner. It is a very special bond to care for an animal that was not treated well by other humans, and it is hard to say goodbye to them when they are ill or old. However, you have done something very special to honour Ferris’ memory and you should smile in remembering her fabulous personality. :)
    I gave a little to help – good luck with the rest and good luck on the walk!

  29. If anyone wants to give a little something, but isn’t sure how much to give, may I recommend giving $18? It’s a Jewish tradition that represents giving a gift of life.
    The Hebrew word for life is חַי (pronounced “chai,” with the ch as in Bach). In Hebrew, as in most ancient languages, letters were also used as numbers, so each letter has a numerical value. If you add up the letters in the word chai, it adds up to 18.
    That’s why I made an $18 donation, to give life.

  30. I’m so glad you’re doing this and it’s amazing that in only a few hours so many people have gotten you so close to your goal! I sent some of my change to honor Ferris and all the animals I’ve loved. My little beasts Zola & Persephone send their best, too.

  31. Done! I will be posting a link to this blog on Facebook as well. A few of my friends will see this on their own anyway :D. I wish I could do more but I know $25 is better than nothing. I am an animal lover and this is really great that you guys will be doing this in honor of Ferris. She was one lucky pup to have you guys.

  32. @jramboz: Too bad i read your post _after_ donating, it’s a nice idea. However, 25$ amounts to about 18 Euro (if i include the fee for foreign spending), so it somehow is true anyway.
    In loving memory of Donka, dead for more than 15 years, but still loved.

  33. I am in Illinois and donate regularly to the humane society.I just lost my “best Friend” Jordan a month ago. He was a Flat Coat retriever who lived with renal failure for 6 years! When I adopted him he was 72 lbs, and after a good home and some medication he gained 15 lbs and turned into the most incredible dog I have ever had. I feel your loss…My next dog will come from a shelter, when I’m ready.

  34. I am pretty sure I remember reading your original post about bringing Ferris home. While I don’t feel his loss as acutely as someone who spent many days at home with him, I am still saddened by his loss. I want to thank you for the opportunity to do something in memorium of him.

  35. Donated on behalf of Bo, our 18 year old puppy (because he’ll always be my puppy) that passed away last week.
    Seems that too many I know are losing furry friends these days

  36. The PayPal Plug-in under “Products & Services” in your PayPal account allows you to generate single-use virtual credit cards that you can use to donate here, provided they accept MasterCard.

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