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. Donated on behalf of my menagerie — I have 5 cats and a dog, all were rescued, stray, or unwanted. Ferris was truly a gift that will keep on giving — I’m sorry for your loss, and pleased I could contribute.

  2. Soooooo sorry about Ferris. And as a dog-lover who has adopted both of her un-adoptable black dogs from rescues, I’m there!

  3. Sounds good, Wil. Definitely am throwing a few bucks your way. I just took a peek and you’ve nearly met your goal… in less than twelve hours. Pretty awesome. Your fans really care about you.
    PS, I accidentally bought the Just a Geek iphone app today because I thought it was an audiobook. Whoops. Now I have an electronic copy and digital copy, but still no audio version… will have to remedy that.

  4. I lost my boy to cancer at age 8, as well. He had lymphoma and lived only 3 months after getting diagnosed. It devastated me in ways I cannot describe. I know I don’t have to describe it as you know all too well the feeling of having your heart ripped from your chest in such an awful manner.
    I plan on donating to your cause towards the end of the week (payday) and also invite you to help me spread the word about Canine Cancer. I’ve also toyed with the idea of writing a book about my experience with my boy, Petey, as well as the experiences of others who’ve dealt with this. There are several different roads one can take when fighting this awful devil and I would like to find people who have taken different approaches (i.e.-chemo, prednisone, holistic etc)and tell their story. I did so much online research and I think all of that should be in ONE place for those who need it.
    Just throwing it out there.
    I’ve been where you are and being proactive helps relieve the grief.
    Many hugs to you, Anne and your boys.

  5. I have two boys, Baxter (French Bulldog) & Cosmo (Boston Terrier). Pets ARE family members!
    That’s why I continue to support, annually and on some special occasions, both of the Humane Societies nearest me. I certainly think this is one of those ‘special’ occasions!
    Supported ya via the link above, along with renewing my annual memberships (cause they sent me snail mail last week – I’ve just been putting it off).

  6. I just checked and you’re almost at your 8K goal. I’ve never felt the loss your family has suffered, but I want to have a pet (when I’m in an apartment complex that would let me) and when that time comes, I know I’m heading to the nearest Humane Society.

  7. Wil,
    Your puny goal was no match for the dog-fu of your readers/listeners/fans.
    Nothing will ease that ache of such a loss, but I have been really uplifted today watching that number climb; hopefully you are as well. It’s nice to see there are people out there that “get it”.

  8. Done and done. Donated in loving memory of Bear, the other greatest dog, ever, and Kami, the current ball of energy that keeps me supplied with full hands and big smiles.
    Thank you so much for sharing your stories. You’ve inspired me to write more than once. Keep at it.

  9. Wil – congrats on hitting your goal so fast – just proves there are loads of great people out there. I have 4 cats – all rescues – and loved the story of how Ferris came to your family. Take care!

  10. We’ve had some great dogs too.
    So a little something was added to you walk fund. Even though you are Way Over $8,000.
    Have a Good Walk in honor of Ferris.
    Lisa Harrigan

  11. Looks like you need to raise your goal. How about $2,000 or even $3,000 for each year with Ferris?
    I confess I didn’t donate to your cause directly, but chose to donate to my own local humane association in Ferris’ honor instead. I have gotten 2 dogs and 2 cats from them, and feel an overwhelming loyalty to them. I hope the spirit of this pleases you.

  12. I got my puppy, Peggy-Sue, when I first started to teach on a remote native reserve in James Bay Quebec. It was cold, far north and fly in only. For three years she was my best friend up there and my constant companion. When I moved farther south to a French city with a very small English community, she came with me and was always there. I think I would have died of loneliness without her back then.
    Eventually I was able to come back home and work and I’ve been there since. She came with me and moved from apartment to house with me. Always happy, always my friend, loved by all the friends I made along the way.
    Peggy-Sue died two years ago of cancer. I’ll never forget the last walk we took in the snow together, the pain had been apparent but she bounded happily through the snow with me. I miss her.
    Pets enhance our lives. I miss my best friend and am pleased that you have asked for us to help you to support this cause.

  13. It’s wonderful that you chose to give your support not only to your own community, but to a place that’s directly brought joy into your life.
    You’re right, the spirit of your contribution pleases me greatly. :)

  14. Wow Wil you have some kick ass fans. When is the walk, in 6 more day and you already have $9400+!! NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I say the new goal is $10,000! How awesome would that be!?!?
    Anyway….congrats again to you guys! Ferris would be so proud!!
    Heather V (sn1fan)

  15. I’m sorry for your loss. Dogs are so dear to us because we can have deep relationships with them. Plus, unlike our human friends, they can not talk back to us. Or tell us that we look stupid. So in a way they have one up on our human friends. Unfortunately, I can’t donate any money to your cause because I’m a college student. Glad you reached your goal though.

  16. If I had any money to spare I would definitely pledge some! I’m part of a family of animal lovers, and all but one of our many pets over the years have been rescued (Humane Society or otherwise), and I love the work that they do to help!
    Also, I’m really sorry for your loss… I know how it is to lose a furry member of the family to cancer since a couple years back I had to have my childhood dog Kayla (the sweetest dog you’d probably ever meet) put to sleep to end her suffering from an inoperable cancer that was growing throughout her torso and wreaking havoc on her.
    I’d already gotten the impression that you were an all-around great guy, Wil, but you’ve proven that to be an understatement. God bless you, dude, and God bless those of you who were able to give.

  17. Hello Wil,
    I am so glad that you surpassed your beginning goal. I think that is just amazing. My hubby and I were pleased to donate as well on behalf of our kitties Milo and Neko and our pet rat Nimh.
    Also, I hope you don’t mind but I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell people how they can help animals shelters in other ways besides sending monetary donations.
    You can clean out the clutter in your garage or closet and take that nearly new badminton set, that hammock you never put up, the board games you don’t play anymore (that still have all the pieces) and that barely used camping equipment and take this stuff to the Humane Society Thrift store. That’s right. If you have one of these thrift stores in your area, you can take unused or gently used items to the thrift store where all the proceeds go to the animal shelter.
    Also, animal shelters have free classes that will show you how you can volunteer your time. This usually includes dog walking, bathing the animals, and the general cleaning and maintenance of the animal enclosures. I have actually done the dog walking, and not only did the dogs get exercise, I lost about 15 pounds. :)
    Anyway, I just thought I’d mention other ways people can help out if they feel moved to do so, but they don’t have the extra cash.

  18. You’re absolutely right. There are lots of non-monetary ways to support your local humane society and private shelters, as well. Thank you for mentioning some of them :)

  19. looks like you’ve far exceeded your goal, but I wanted to celebrate Ferris’s awesomeness and add a little bit from me and my husband, in memory of the wonderful dogs we’ve had in our lives as well.

  20. She hunting and barking at Angels now :(
    Regards and deepest sympathy from Germany and some Bucks for your Wiggle Waggle Walk (maybe we’ll organize something similiar here too, our Animalshelter is always short of Money :) )
    Florian and Angela AƟmann
    (Sam and Bonny also say “Wooof”)

  21. Hey Wil, I was hoping that you could make mention of a fundraising event that’s being put on this Saturday by Molly’s Mutts & Meows, a Los Angeles based non-profit Animal Rescue (which is where Marta and I adopted our dog Bix). Info can be seen at Sorry if this is the wrong way to go about this, I just want their event to be a success like the Wiggle Waggle Walk promises to be. Also, I figured you wouldn’t be against helping out another great animal rescue. Thanks either way (and of course I’ll be donating to your cause as well). Oh…congrats on reaching your fundraising goal so quickly! I hope you at least double it! I put a link to your PHS donation page on our website, hope it helps do just that. — Matt

  22. The world needs more like you, Katherine! I’ve been unemployed for about a year and I was (sort of) able to kick up a little something too…I’ll just sell something on eBay to make it up!
    Who didn’t work animal rescue for eight years, but does feel guilty for not volunteering during the past year…it will soon be rectified!

  23. Hi Wil,
    Hope $10.00 will help – the recession caught me and I am unemployed at the moment. But for Ferris and all the fuzzy ones we have loved and lost I can do without for a good cause. They don’t know what a recession is and still give us the love and affection that makes it bearable. Jeanine

  24. Wanted to throw a measley but affordable $10, for Ferris, but they don’t take paypal, and I’m one of those great unwashed masses who doesn’t have a credit card.
    You’ve got my donation in spirit Wil. I only knew of Ferris from your blogging of him here, but there’s no doubt in my mind of the place he had in your hearts.

  25. I’m glad to pitch in. I found an emaciated, wonderful dog last winter and absolutely could NOT take her in on a permanent basis. I had a terrible time finding an organization that could help. In fact, I didn’t! Craig’s List to the rescue! So, anyway…I’m glad to help out an organization that provides such much-needed service! And glad to do it in memory of an awesome dog.

  26. Wow! You are all unbelievably kind and generous! I’m the VP of Development at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA. On behalf of everyone here, I want to say thank you so very, very much to all of you, and to Wil and Anne. What a wonderful show of support!
    We have heard your comments, and have added information about how to make a gift by check to our website. For reference, you can mail checks (payable to the Pasadena Humane Society) to: Wiggle Waggle Walk, 361 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena CA 91105. Be sure to write “For Wil and Anne Wheaton” in the memo field.
    Thank you all once again for caring for animals.

  27. Ferris looks like my dog Samantha, who I lost a month ago Thursday. Same coloring, same eyebrows, same floppy ears, and same “I have the best family in the world” smile. In fact, we had her for about 8 years, and we took her in from a neighbor who had found her abandoned. Sounds like our dogs had similar lives.
    I love the fact that your family is doing something special to honor your dog. I don’t have any money to donate, but I am so glad that you reached your goal. Much love to your family, especially your kids, who must still miss her.

  28. I have a small request… could we see some pics of the walk after? – I have to admit I myself was pretty stokked to see the goal bypassed. Good luck on the walk.

  29. Although the walk is finished and you and Anne have met your goal and beyond, I added to the pot for your fundraiser just the same. It was only $5, we can’t afford more, but we can afford that.

    Almost every animal we’ve ever had, from the time I was a baby, was a stray, dumped, or otherwise rescued. My Grandmother’s Siamese and long haired tortoiseshell cats Sheckel and Eurydice, rescued by my uncle; our silver tabby cat Purrl; our kitties Blacky and Flashy, who were dumped, with their mother, a block away from our home; our dog, Gypsy, dumped, who was an AWESOME dog; our orange tabby Sherbert, stray; our kitty Belle, a stray living in the dryer vent of our apartment’s laundry room; our shorthaired tortoiseshell Dax (yes, as in Jadzia–the markings you know), a stray kitten; our dog Jefe, adopted from the Animal Aid Society. May the Pasadena Humane Society live long and prosper.

  30. Thank you for supporting us, and thank you for rescuing animals!
    I have a blog post in my head, as well as lots of pictures on my camera, that I have to share.

  31. I was going to donate a lesser amount, but the page wouldn’t let me.
    Hey, I’m unemployed.
    Maybe a Paypal donate button as well? I don’t think they place a lower limit on those.

  32. Sorry to hear about Ferris, Wil. I know that you guys considered her to be a full-fledged member of your family, as any pet should be. My heart goes out to you, Anne and the boys. Beautiful dog, too. I lost my Smokey a couple of months ago and I was devastated. She was sick and in pain for a few weeks before we had her euthanized, so it was the humane thing to do. It still sucks when you lose a fur family member, though, no matter what the circumstances are. You guys gave Ferris a great life and after all of these years, the way you spoke of her made me (and a lot of other people, I’m sure) feel as if I knew her, too. She sounded like a really cool dog. My sincerest condolences go out to you and your family right now. I didn’t come across this post until after the fundraiser that you and Anne sponsored was over, but I donate money to my local Humane Shelter and have done so for years. They’re a wonderful organization and I think that it’s great that through your grief you were able to sponsor a fundraiser for them.

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