I’m deviating from my norm of posting about running and triathlon to tell the story of Willie. My four-legged bestie. And the only character on this blog that gets to use his real name!
The Story of Willie…
When I get an idea in my head to do something, I usually can’t stop obsessing about it until it’s done. I think that’s why running stuck with me. I said I was going to run a half marathon and I did. I said I was going to run a full marathon and I did. I said I was going to become a triathlete and I did.
In January 2014, I told Mr. Neon I wanted a dog. He rolled his eyes. But he knew by the end of 2014, we would have a dog. Mr. Neon lives by the rule “happy wife, happy life.” I wanted a dog, and I was going to get a dog.
I have a pretty good gut instinct. It’s what makes me a good mom. I know when my kids are take-them-to-the-doctor sick vs. lay-on-the-couch-and-watch-movies sick. I know when a situation feels wrong. I know when something is a good deal, and we should go for it.
So I started looking on the Kansas Humane Society website in January 2014. I scrolled through the pictures every day waiting for my gut to kick in. There were lots of potentials, and we almost made the trip to look at a dog a few times. But it never felt 100% right. Until March 25, 2014…when I saw Willie.
I was at work on a Sunday. I scrolled through the pictures and there he was. He was 16 months old, weighed 12lbs, and his name was Willie. He was listed as a miniature pinscher, but he had gigantic ears and a curly chihuahua tail. When I got home from work, I showed him to Mr. Neon who rolled his eyes. I told him that if he was still on the website on Tuesday, my day off, that Tiny Boy and I would go up and look at him. Guess what…he was still there on Tuesday.
I really wish I had that original photo saved, but I don’t. The only picture I have is this one. The first picture I took of my Willie dog.
Tiny Boy was only 5 and very nervous around dogs. He sat perched on the chair the entire time and refused to get down on Willie’s level. Willie didn’t jump on me. He sat and let me pet him. He sat in between my feet. I wanted him, and he wanted me. I had found my dog.
Mr. Neon was at school and hard to get in touch with except for an emergency. I called my mom who had volunteered at the humane society before. She told me to pay the $30 hold fee and then bring Mr. Neon and Runner Boy back later that evening to check him out before we made a decision. So that’s what we did.
I finally got ahold of Mr. Neon. I remember that conversation vividly.
Mr. Neon: How sure are you about this dog?
Me: Really sure. He’s adorable. He’s sweet. He’s scared and wants a home.
Mr. Neon: Is this the dog you want?
Me: Yes, please.
Mr. Neon: Ok, then we better go back tonight and get him.
When the bus dropped Runner Boy, then 6 and in 1st grade, off after school, I told him we were going to go see a dog and maybe bring him home. I remember this conversation vividly too.
Runner Boy: What’s his name?
Runner Boy: Like Willie the Wildcat?! That’s perfect! We have to get him!
We made the trek back up to the humane society. When the volunteer brought Willie into the room, he ran right up to me. He must have spent the last five hours waiting for me to come back. We finalized the adoption and picked out some stuff for him and brought him home.
A lot of people say their dog is the best and they are just plain wrong. Willie is the best. I don’t know where he came from or who owned him before us. I like to think he was always supposed to be ours. They were just holding him until he could find us.
Happy National Dog Day, Willie! Thanks for making walking into the door of our house always an event worth celebrating!