“Hey, wake up,” I said, gently shaking Anne’s shoulder. Her iPhone buzzed and chimed on the nightstand beyond her, out of my reach.
“What are you doing?” She mumbled, pulling out one of her earplugs and pushing her eye mask up onto her forehead.
“It’s 630. Your alarm is going off.”
“I didn’t hear it,” she said, the tone of her voice changing as she woke up.
“It was probably your sleep cocoon,” I said as I pushed the covers back and sat on the edge of our bed. On the floor next to me, our dog Riley lifted her head and looked at me. “Good morning, Piles,” I said. She sighed and went back to sleep. On the foot of our bed, Seamus and Marlowe snuggled next to each other. Seamus snored softly. Neither of them moved as we got out of bed.
I walked out into the kitchen and began to make some coffee. “You know what’s going to be awesome?” I said, “the nap I’m going to take in about six hours.”
“Oh yeah, we’re going to take the hell out of a nap,” Anne said.
We made breakfast and drank our coffee, and got ready to take Marlowe down to the Rose Bowl for the Wiggle Waggle Walk.
It was so early, none of the animals quite knew what was going on. After we’d been awake for about a half hour, Marlowe and Seamus came out of our bedroom, looking as confused as dogs can look. “You have no idea what a big day you are about to have,” I said to Marlowe as I pet her wrinkly little head, “you’re a very big deal, you know.”
She wagged her tail before laying down on the living room floor next to Seamus, who was still trying to figure out why we were up so damn early.
“Man, I suck at mornings,” I said to nobody in particular.
Montage: Anne dries her hair, I shower, we put on our shoes, realize we’re wearing almost identical clothes, try to change them, realize that we have a lot of dirty clothes, feed the dogs, put Marlowe in the car, drive to the Rose Bowl, meet up with our friends.
It was an absolutely beautiful morning. The cool, clean air of early autumn wrestled with the lingering heat of summer beneath a brilliantly blue and cloudless sky. Thousands of dogs and their humans excitedly walked around a park, waiting for the official Wiggle Waggle Walk to begin. I saw everything from giant Great Danes and tiny teacup Chihuahuas, and a ton of seriously adorable dogs in costumes. My very favorite was the one dressed up like a taco. Tons of people came over to us, so they could meet Marlowe (she’s pretty popular, thanks to the video I helped her make last year, and she was chosen to be the dog on this year’s T-shirt). She was such a good dog, so excited and happy to meet everyone. (I wished that Seamus and Riley could have been there, but Riley is too old and cranky to make the walk, and Seamus gets overstimulated easily, so Marlowe was the only canine member of Team Wheaton in attendance this year.)
We walked with our friends Pixie and Brady, Mari and William, and Jenna, Bobak, and Rileah. Pixie took all the photos for Anne’s calendar, and she took some really great shots yesterday, too, which was awesome. Jenna got to walk an absolutely adorable shelter dog named Barkley J. Peabody, who we’re all trying to help find his Forever Home — he’s part Ewok, nerds — and how can you say no to this face?! We also walked with our friends Troy and Marie, who brought their rescue dogs Digby and Ziggy. Digby is a PHS alumnus just like Marlowe and Seamus.
By the time we got all the way around the Rose Bowl, the lingering heat of summer had pushed autumn into the shadows of a few trees. We all got to have a beer from Stone Brewing Company (Stone very generously donated beer for the volunteers and some of the fundraisers), and then we went to lunch with all of our friends, where Marlowe made even more new fans.
We walked into the house about 8 hours after we’d left it. Marlowe went directly into our bedroom, hopped up on our bed, and fell asleep. A few minutes later, we joined her … and we took the hell out of a well-earned nap.
Yesterday was a very big day for Anne and me, the culmination of months of hard work on her part to make the celebrity pet adoption calendar, and the celebration of the kindness and generosity of a lot of people who made contributions large and small, totaling just over $42,000 to help Team Wheaton help the Pasadena Humane Society.
All I want to do with the time I have is make the world a little better, and you who supported our team and the PHS made it possible for us to do some really good stuff. Thank you, from all of us humans, cats, and dogs in Castle Wheaton, for making this the most amazing Wiggle Waggle Walk we’ve ever had.