puppy love and the wiggle waggle walk

This is our dog, Seamus:

Seamus Wheaton


Seamus is in our lives because of people like you, who read my blog and supported Anne and me when we decided to celebrate the memory of our awesome dog, Ferris, and did the Wiggle Waggle Walk for the Pasadena Humane Society in 2009. Anne wrote:

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.

People like you made small and large donations, and within a week we blew our fundraising goal away. When everything was counted up, you guys donated over $13,000 to the Pasadena Humane Society!

Your contributions were so generous and added up so quickly, the Pasadena Humane Society asked Anne and me if we would like to walk one of their shelter dogs in the Wiggle Waggle Walk, as a way of saying thank you. We love dogs, so of course we accepted their offer. On the morning of the walk, we put on our Team Ferris T-shirts, wiped a lot of tears out of our eyes, met our friends at the Rose Bowl, and after a wiping a few more tears out of our eyes, met the shelter dog we'd be walking. He didn't have a name, because he'd only been at the PHS for a week, so I named him DOG, after the giant robot who loves everyone in Half Life 2.

He was affectionate, friendly, happy, and seemed to love every person and dog we encountered. Anne leaned over to me while we were walking and said, "this dog is going to be awesome when he grows up."

Anne and I were pretty convinced that we shouldn't get another dog until at least after the holidays, but during the five hours we were at the Wiggle Waggle Walk, we completely fell in love with DOG (who eventually was named Seamus, even though I really lobbied hard to call him Batman), and we decided that we would adopt him.

Here is the exact moment when I fell in love with this dog.

(Here is the exact moment when I fell in love with Seamus.)

I have a bunch of other pictures on Flickr, if you want to fall in love with Seamus, too. In fact, go look at them, and then come back.

I know right? Isn't he the most adorable dog in the world? Pictures don't capture his personality that well, and I hope you'll trust me when I tell you how amazing he is, and how grateful I am that he is part of our family. Ferris was such an awesome dog, and though we knew we could never replace her, Seamus has been a worthy heir to her spot at the foot of our bed, by my side when I go for a walk, and under my feet when I'm working at my desk.

We never would have met Seamus if we hadn't decided to honor Ferris' memory by raising money for the Pasadena Humane Society. We wouldn't have met Seamus if you hadn't given so many donations, large and small, and pushed us into the top few fundraisers — in less than a week, even — in 2009. We wouldn't have met Seamus if the Pasadena Humane Society wasn't there to save dogs and other animals like him who are abandoned by their owners, and need a safe place to live until they can find a family.

Last year, Anne said:

Seamus was a 7 month old puppy, found running around the streets of Pasadena. He had been in the shelter for a week. No one claimed him and no one asked to adopt him. But thanks to the Pasadena Humane Society, he was safe, fed and protected until he found the right home. Support from people like you makes it possible for the PHS to maintain this care for all of their animals while they wait for their new family.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know how much I love Seamus, and how much he loves being part of our family, so you probably understand how important it is to me to help the Pasadena Humane Society care for other pets like him, so they can find their families, too.

Here's Anne again, to tell you all about this year's Wiggle Waggle Walk:

"We did our first Wiggle Waggle Walk weeks after losing our dog Ferris to cancer in 2009. Ferris was a rescue dog (I found her abandoned at a bus stop, and rescued her myself) so we felt doing the walk to help other rescued animals was a great way to honor her memory.

"People we never met, from all over the world, joined our friends and family to sponsor our team. In less than ten days, we surpassed our goal by thousands of dollars, and ended up being one of the top three individual fundraisers for the Pasadena Humane Society. To thank us for our fundraising and to help raise adoption awareness, the PHS asked us to walk one of their shelter dogs. Of course we said yes, and we walked an amazing seven month old puppy. We choked back tears the entire walk — we missed Ferris terribly — and though we weren't sure we were ready to adopt a new dog, about halfway thought the walk, we'd both fallen in love with the little guy. Wil took the "adopt me" bandana off of him, and one week later, Seamus joined our family.

"Our home has 4 rescue pets. Every time I feed them, snuggle them, and play with them, I think of what their life would have been like if a shelter didn't care for them and help find them a good home. It's a daily reminder that these shelters need help from all of us so they can take care of pets who need food, medical care and a chance to live in a loving home. Everyone we know (and millions of people on the Internet) hears stories from us about our awesome pets and how we adopted them. This can happen for other families and pets because of the Pasadena Humane Society, and the generous support of people like you.

"Right now, there's a dog like our Seamus or Riley, or a cat like our Watson or Luna, who is waiting to find a family to love them and care for them. Please join us and help the Pasadena Humane Society — or your local Humane Society — make it possible for them to find each other."

If you can support us at all, it will add up to a HUGE difference. I figure that I reach about two million individual people every day, so if just 1% of you sponsored our team for five dollars … well, math is hard, but you get the idea.

I never ask people to share posts, but please share this post on Facebook and G+, put it on Tumblr, and RT it on the Tweety Box. As of this morning, before I hit publish on this post, we're almost 1/3 of the way to our $15,000 goal. We have the rest of this week to make it, and I know that we can, five or ten dollars at a time, because you guys are awesome.

You can find out more, and join us at the official Team Wheaton Homepage.

Thank you, everyone, for your support.


57 thoughts on “puppy love and the wiggle waggle walk”

  1. Batman would have been an awesome name for a dog. I’m lobbying for Indiana for our next one.
    Vikki, my dog of 12 years, had to be put down due to cancer last year as well. She was with me from high school, through college and into grow-up life. Deciding to put her down instead of letting her suffer was one of the hardest things to do.
    My wife doesn’t want another new dog (we still another one) but this would be a great way to change her mind. Dogs are easy to resist in theory, hard to resist when they are right there, acting cute and happy.

  2. Wil, I LOVE you for supporting rescue animals. What you and Anne have done together is just amazing! I get all warm and fuzzy inside (literally. I should get that checked out) – especially when I think of my own rescue dog, Weezy. (http://twitpic.com/48gqad)
    Like you, I’m thankful everyday that I was able to save him from shelter life and give him a home.
    Seamus is adorable. :) if I lived down there, I’m sure our dogs would be fast friends.

  3. Saw an awesome story this weekend about a professional photographer who started taking decent pictures of pound dogs. They showed the dreadful ones the shelters put up next to the beautiful ones the pro did. She really brought the personality and appearance out. There was a 100% increase in placements with the professional pictures.
    She is now working to train others in how to photograph dogs at other shelters. I would think there were one or 2 competent photogs in the LA area who would be willing to work this sort of magic for the shelters there is someone just asked them to do it.

  4. That is super awesome! I was never a dog person until the boyfriend brought home Diesel. Though not a rescue, we did sort of “rescue” him from someone that was trying to train him to be an attack dog. Diesel has such an awesome personality and just loves everyone he meets its hard to imagine him having a single mean bone in his body.
    Diesel and I recently volunteered with our local trail organization, and I wrote about it here: Diesel Stomping
    Dogs rock! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love this. It also made me cry. My husband and I just seperated and I have to find a home for my dogs. I swear, I’m crying more about losing my dogs than I am about the state of my marriage. I’m finding good, happy, healthy homes for them myself with people I know and trust. It doesn’t matter. They won’t be with me. I have their stockings, their portraits, their paw prints in clay. I love them like family. But, it’s this or throw my children’s lives into chaos and change schools and daycares and move further from family to find a home where I can keep my dogs. I wish this world appreciate these fuzzy knuckleheads.

  6. You’re alright, Wil…But i came to read this because of your dog…
    There are so many great reasons to love dogs…They deserve a good life…But too many of them are thrown away like garbage by unspeakably heartless people…You’re doing a great thing by honoring Ferris in this way…So you’re OK, Wil…But your dog Seamus ROCKS!

  7. our family JUST got a rescue puppy yesterday, two years after our last one passed (rescued as well) it was love at first tail wag and we couldn’t be happier! I live 3 hours away from my family so I won’t get to see him as often, which is making me itch to find a furball of my own.
    Apprently we were told black dogs are almost always the last to be adopted, which explains why all of ours have been black. So show some love to the darker puppies! They’re the smartest!*
    *smartness fact has not been verified by anyone… except for me!

  8. We don’t have a lot of extra funds right now, because we just bought a house, or I’d love to help raise funds. Instead, the bit of extra funds we DO have is going to go to adopting our own doggy dog. We’re still settling in and fixing things around the house, but once we’re ready we’ll be bringing home a shelter dog too.
    Good luck with the fundraising this year! And lots of love to your puppy! :)

  9. I’ve donated some money, but also wanted to let you know there is more on the way. My company matches all charitable donations dollar for dollar so the $25 I donated will actually be $50! The bad news is they take FOREVER to do so, it may be 3 months before the humane society sees the extra $ but it will get there! Unfortunatly there is no way to reflect this on your goal page, so that extra $25 is not counted :(
    I have a wonderful rescue dog (Town Lake Animal Shelter, Austin TX) named Ace that looks a lot like Seamus, all my friends who follow you on twitter joke that I stole your dog. Here is Ace as a puppy https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AIAamouakbn4KXdsnDhfPw?feat=directlink

  10. Thank you for supporting your local animal shelter!
    I started working with a local cat shelter 6 years ago and though times have sometimes been rough I know I am a better person for having started on the journey. My Maizy Loo, a catahoula leopard dog who wasn’t a shelter animal, was Brilliant with my foster cats. She’s always liked cats, but she really just loved kittens. She was so gentle with them when they were terrified of being in a new house. And in nearly every case, even the ones who were fine with people but terrified of her eventually ended up cuddling on the couch with her in a couple of days.
    I lost my Maizy Loo to old age this Spring. I miss her dearly. I’m about to have my first litter of kittens born in my home without her supervision. I plan on honoring her by naming the kittens after her and her favorite things. She’ll also be honored in a dance production I’m participating in about Grief. And whenever I give funds to other shelters and rescues, I always give in her name.
    I hope you exceed even last year’s fundraising.

  11. I got involved in the Seattle Animal Shelter because some friends of mine wanted to wear the shelter mascot costumes at Mascot Night for the Thunderbirds and they needed a handler.
    Needless to say it is rewarding to know I’m helping animals find their forever homes.
    Even if you can’t volunteer or donate, be sure to pass shelter info along to folks who can use it.

  12. No, no, I’m good, I think I just got something in both my eyes.
    The shelters here in Texas are having a rough go of it right now with the fires. There are lots of lost animals displaced by the wildfires we have had. I know California has had to deal with that type of situation before as well. Thank goodness we have a place where people can be united (or even reunited) with awesome pets.

  13. My four dogs and eight cats (plus the three wild ones I feed outside)are all homeless rescue pets. They make the best pets, probably because they have known adversity and therefore appreciate a good home. Each year, my clinic adopts out several dogs and cats that are left on our door step or that owners cannot keep anymore. You are helping a good cause. Seamus looks like he’s a riot, a real happy and fun dog. I just sent my donation on behalf of Team Wheaton, have a good time and I hope you exceed your fundraising goal. David, DVM

  14. I might just be the hormones, but yer getting me all teary.
    (Of course, the end of ‘Mulan’ makes me teary.) Animals bring such joy and I feel sorry for people who treat them like objects and never get to experience that – plus, they might also be dicks. I have a funny story about when we adopted my cat, Cleo – but I’ve told it to so many people that my son has threatened legal action if I keep using his name. (He was 7, it’s adorable. I’m just saying.)
    Anywho. She was 4 then, she’s 17 now…and she’s going to live forever. No, that’s the end of that conversation.
    Other than to say…you’re good people, Wheaton.

  15. Your dogs really are adorable.
    I took your post as an incentive to make a donation to a pet shelter charity that’s local to me (over here in the UK).

  16. Just wanted to congratulate you on finding a great dog. Staffies are terrific snugglers! Be sure to update as time goes on, good rescue stories encourage others to take home a new family member!

  17. Current followers = 1,858,431
    One percent = 18,584.31
    $5 each = $92,921.55!!!
    feeling awesome for helping = PRICELESS
    (OK, I have tried posting this FOUR times!!! For the love of Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Apollo, just ignore any repeated attempts that actually do show up…giving up now)

  18. I went over to Flickr and saw the great pic of you and Seamus on the couch as you read X-Men. You are BOTH lucky dogs… him because he has his forever home and you because you have your forever companion.
    We have a rescue cat who had been abandoned in our neighborhood. She’s been with us four years and she’s a full member of the Craig household.
    A big thanks to you and Ann for your work on the Wiggle Waggle Walk. Every pet deserves a loving forever home.

  19. Beautiful dog and intelligent. I saw recently very pretty doberman on Toronto Humane Society website for adoption, and I felt pain in my heart, because we cannot take animals home, my daughter has allergies and asthma.
    In the past I had a Blue Doberman, he was my best friend and family,and he saved my life, and his intelligence always amazed me.
    Once a buddhist monk told me that animals that live near humans, like dogs, often were humans in the past life.
    Thank you for helping animals, Wil.

  20. Happy to donate this year as well, and keep up the annual tradition :) Frantic wags from the other side of the planet – Judeaux van der Mutt, his son Nicky, Cookie the Cat, and the rest of the Family Chitnis.

  21. Times are hard.
    People are losing their homes, which sometimes means they have to give up their animals because the new place (apartment/couch surfing/van down by the river) isn’t suitable for or doesn’t allow pets.
    It also means people cut back on their charitable giving because that money is being reallocated for frivolous things like food & gas.
    Thank you for using your powers of awesome to support your local shelter. I’m sure they need the help this year even more than most other years.
    Seamus is lucky to have such wonderful humans, just as you are fortunate to have such a wonderful dog.
    I just made a small donation to help you towards your cause, and I’ve sent your link out to a bunch of my animal loving friends. Best of Luck!

  22. Wow, you can really see the dane in him in that first picture! We have a big knucklehead great dane named Mouse (Harry Dresden reference intended) with floppy ears intact and he does that exact expression that’s all “Well, hello now- what have we here?”. They are such characters. It’s totally worth getting squished on an hourly basis.

  23. I’ve been an animal lover all of my life. On our darkest days, they bring out the good. You and Anne are such wonderful people to do what you do for these awesome cats and dogs. Seamus is a beautiful dog! He reminds me of a dog I found a home for…I named her Bounce because she jumped up and down all the time…she looked like she was on a trampoline when she was in a cage.
    I’ve worked as a Vet Tech for 7 years, and have seen so many rescue pets come through….knowing they get a 2nd chance to life is the best feeling. How lucky your animals have such great owners like you and Anne. I will definitely donate! I wish you both all the best in the Wiggle Waggle Walk!!! Wish I could do it, too! -Josh

  24. Wil-
    This is Trinity, wabbit’s dog. I told her to donate, and like any well-trained human, she listened to her master.
    On behalf of myself, Hobie, Storm, Molly, and Chubs (and those blasted rescue cats, too) thanks for helping other critters in need.
    Have to run now. Things to chase.

  25. On my Facebook page is a video of our latest foster dog, Moose. Moose is a 14-lb rat terrier; obviously, his previous family had a sense of humor/irony. His family lost their employment, then their house, and had to give Moose up. Fortunately there is a wonderful organization where I live, named K9 Kindness Rescue. My wife found them a few years ago, and we’ve been fostering one dog or another almost continuously since July of 2008. Moose is our 6th foster dog, and we (along with our two fur-ever dogs, Whitney and Jake) give them a loving home until the right new family comes along. I totally appreciate and support what you do!!

  26. I am just absolutely broke as shit, but I promise, come Payday Friday, I will give a portion of my moneys to you and Anne and Seamus and all the dogs I wish I could adopt but can’t because there’s a no-pets clause on my damn lease. :( I love those snuggly, loveable little comedians!

  27. I just wanted to second what Lisa said.
    And Seamus looks just like my friend’s dog Bailey (she’s APBT and Dane)! I’ve worked in a doggie daycare, and both breeds will knock you down in order to sit in your lap.
    Does Seamus do the Great Dane lean?

  28. That’s perhaps the best description ever, and it’s extra-awesome that you’re rockin’ out with a bully breed! (We have a house full of AmStaffs here, and love seeing pit bulls everywhere. :D)
    (It’s possible my wife’s fancrush on you increased several notches. 😉

  29. Great post, Wil! Our Izzy was at the local pound and on her tenth day (meaning her last day before they put her down) and a wonderful rescue snatched her up to find her a good home. I’m so grateful to them for the amazing work that they do and for seeing that Izzy (then called Muffy, as in Scruffy Muffy) had the potential to be a wonderful dog for a family (which she is!) It breaks my heart to think how some people treat their animals but to hear your story, which is so similar to ours, really makes my day!

  30. What's the lean? He does a thing we call the "bow" where he stretches out and puts his head to the floor while keeping his back legs straight. Is that it?
    He's also convinced that he doesn't actually weight 80 pounds, and is therefore exactly the right size to climb up into your lap on the couch.

  31. The lean is a thing some dogs do where they walk up next to you and press as much of their flank as possible into your leg. I have a retired racing greyhound and he has all but bowled over unwary guests with this. He’ll also press against your back if you’re sitting or kneeling on the floor.
    Some breeds just seem more prone to doing it, and Danes and greyts are among them :)
    By the way, we just adopted two new cats from a local rescue and the male looks so much like your Watson, it’s amazing. We named them Leela and Nibbler because the female only has one eye.

  32. Oh, THAT. Yeah, he does that, but not that often. My favorite Dane behavior of his is how playful and dopey he is. He gets his toys, and just prances around the house with them forever, occasionally stopping to drop them, look at one of us, bark, and then dive at the toy before starting the whole thing over.

  33. I just wanted to tell you that I think your blog is great, and that it’s really awesome of you to connect with your fans like this. The first thing I saw you on was Big Bang Theory (I came late to the Star Trek party), and then The Guild, and now Eureka so you’ve always been so evil on TV that it’s nice to see that real!Wil Wheaton is actually a really cool guy who saves puppies :)

  34. Yeah, it makes me really happy that you love animals and have rescued yours. I rescued my cat Bonehead from a school many years ago, when she was a tiny little kitten and had gotten herself stuck on a ledge. She was completely feral and her family had been living under the school. She came to love me and sleep next to my head on my pillow every night until she died last year due to infection and complications. She was nine years old.
    My dog Rex is a Siberian Husky that was pulled from a kill shelter by a rescue group before he was killed. I adopted him from the rescue group and he has made my life almost immeasurably better. There is nothing like the love of a rescued pet, an animal who knows what it’s like to be abandoned and homeless. He is the best thing in my life.
    If anybody’s interested, you can see his page and hundreds of pics and some movies of him at http://www.facebook.com/rexthehusky . You don’t need to be a member of facebook to see it, it’s a public page.
    You’re a good man for supporting the PHS, and the PHS is a good organization.

  35. I can’t helped but be touched by this blog…
    Because we adopted “Suzy” who was an abandoned stray…i got 15 years with a faithful friend…I was 5 years old when she found us…And she became a cherished part of my childhood…There is no amount of money we could have paid that could have bought a dog that was more perfect for me than Suzy…In my life i never thought of her as “just a dog”…She was my faithful friend and constant companion in the adventures of my youth…I’d be a lot less of a human being had i never known her.
    I highly recommend that people check the local animal shelter first when looking for a furry friend…Saving a dog or cat from an undeserved death…can lead to a better life for you as well as for the pet you save.

  36. Since you’re already in Utah, I STRONGLY recommend you take a trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, in Kanab near the AZ border. If you like you can call ahead and volunteer for a weekend, they’ll put you to work walking dogs, feeding them sometimes, cleaning up, washing dishes, but mostly you get to hang out with a whole bunch of amazingly awesome dogs that are all available for adoption.
    You can even take a dog on a sleepover with you. It is an amazing experience, so much so that I even started a blog about my few visits there, and you can see it here: http://xaqtly.com/bestfriends . Read it if you’d like an idea of what it’s like to volunteer there. If you want to browse Best Friends’ site for dogs that are available for adoption, go here: http://adoptions.bestfriends.org/
    Best Friends is the largest no-kill shelter in the US, and it’s where the National Geographic show “Dogtown” was filmed. I’ve volunteered at Dogtown a number of times and I can’t recommend it enough. The downside, of course, is that you can’t take them all home with you, which is what I wanted to do every time I got in my car to go home.

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