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. Thanks for promoting the adoption of homeless pets. It saddens me to know that there are people out there that can look a helpless and affectionate puppy in the eye and then leave them by the side of the road.
    Just this past month someone I knew had a puppy dumped on their property and they fed it, but were going to re-dump it if nobody took it. They justified it to themselves as giving him a fighting chance by feeding him before ‘letting him go’. In TX that just means he’s a fatter coyote meal.
    So knowing he had nowhere to go, and never having fostered a dog before, we took him in and contacted the local humane society. Long story short, he was the happiest puppy we’d ever met and he did more for other other two dogs’ socialization (also rescues) than 100 days at the dog park ever did. As of last week, he has moved in to his forever home and we wish him a happy life, but won’t forget him.
    Seeing the effort the humane society volunteers put into saving the lives of even the biggest, most intimidating, potential lifelong friends was truly the remedy I needed for the circumstances by which we began working with them. These dogs all met with an unfortunate situation and have no hope of understanding why, just that someone cares enough to feed them and tend to their needs.
    Thank you so much for helping save the lives that a segment of the population sees as somehow undeserving.

  2. My furry baby was thrown out of a car in front of my house. My niece ran to get me, right after it happened. She was starving, every rib visible. She was so weak she couldn’t lift her head, but as I approached, she wagged her tail, and I was hooked. It’s been 6 years now.
    She was fortunate in that she literally fell into her forever home…but not all animals are that lucky. That is why I’m grateful, and support the Humane Society and Animal Shelters. They give animals a fighting chance.

  3. My husky (who is pure bred but got from a friend) does the lean mainly after long walks.Like 1 1/2 miles is long for a Siberian Husky (3 miles round trip) even with the stop at the dog park (my dog park now serves beer and wine which ment longer for Kahlan). How can I make a donation to the Fulton county GA Humain society in Farris’s name where you can see?

  4. I’m a sucker for the pets. I can’t visit an animal shelter without coming home with one, and am happy to support such a cause from a distance with my credit card.
    My family and I have rescued dogs from shelters and poor home situations since I was a kid, and will never feel like I can give enough back to those who help animals. My little girl (who isn’t so little anymore) was adopted at 2 months old from a home that couldn’t afford to feed her, or any of her siblings (yet refused to get the mother spayed) once they were weened. I fell in love with her when the Facebook plea from a friend of a friend to take free puppies appeared – and my cat still hates me for it.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/34325046@N06/sets/72157624889590463/ Her face can tell you more than I ever could.

  5. Sorry for the late post Wil, but your post recently inspired my wife and I to take in a rescue dog. My professor that teaches network and computer security had let us know in class that he was trying to find this dog a home, and we let a week pass by before we decided to take in Ruby, who’s a Boxer/German Shepard mix. This was her first weekend at home, and other that one of our cats being killed by one of the other dogs we have … it was a great weekend. Thanks for inspiring us!

  6. My 9 month old beagle/rat terrier mix was a rescue from the local shelter. He was 6 weeks old when we got him and is about as adorable as they come. Lt Reginald Barclay, or “Barclay” for short, has made our lives complete. Though if you ask my cats, who are 10 and 11 years old, they might disagree, lol!

  7. Good heavens, Seamus is absolutely gorgeous! So unique and so friendly looking! We have a rescue Lurcher who is just fabulous. And a Whippet. and a Jack Russell. I’m stopping at 3 dogs unless we move to the country which is highly unlikely. Good on you for rescuing Seamus; I wish you many happy years with him.

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