RIP, Walter

Some sad news from Debit:

Today I made the appointment to have Walter put to sleep. He’s been increasingly unsteady and slower to get up and move around. My vet upped the dosage on his current pain meds, but it was clear that Walter’s pain was not significantly eased. But he was still happy, still wagging his tail, still getting around okay.

Yesterday when I came home from work, Walter ate his dinner, but with no enthusiasm. When he walked it was slow and halting. I added another half dose to his meds and hoped it was just a muscle twinge, but this morning he had less of a walk and more of a hobble. He ate his breakfast, but slowly and had to sit down midway through it. When he finished, he walked up to me with his tail tucked between his legs and his head down. And so I decided it was time.

The vet will be here around 1:00. Until then, I’m giving him love and treats if he wants them. When it’s time, he’ll go to sleep with his head on my lap and being told he’s a good dog.

I know you’re on vacation and honestly debated about whether or not to send you this. I hope you won’t let this ruin your time with your lady friend. Obviously I’m sad (currently ugly crying as I type) but I knew this was coming and am honestly relieved that Walter will have an end to his pain.

He’s been such a joy to have in my life. Thank you for rescuing him and then trusting me with his care. I wish I could have given him more time.

Here is my absolute favorite picture of Walter:

That toofy smile kills me. He was a good boy, hit a rough patch for a couple months, but had a great ending. A lucky dog, and I think we were all lucky for having met him. Thanks Debit for giving him such a great ending.






225 replies
  1. 1

    Thank You John and debit for Walter. A ray of sunshine during the time of the Orange Apocalypse.

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m crying and I never even met Walter. You both did such great things for him. Debit, we are holding you and Walter in love this afternoon. RIP, Walter.

  3. 3
    baquist says:

    RIP, Walter. Thank you Debit, and our heartfelt condolences.

  4. 4
    LAO says:

    I’m so so very sorry.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Ohhhhhh. I am glad Walter found him some love and you got some love from him.

  6. 6
    Tom Levenson says:

    Damn.

  7. 7
    Yarrow says:

    For those that have never seen it, the Walter gets fries from 5 guys video is so funny. Such a good boy.

  8. 8

    Aw, sweet Walter. I’m so sorry. But as sad as this news is, it is tempered by the knowledge that wonderful people found Walter and gave him the care he needed so he could live out his days in peace and happiness. FSM bless John for finding Walter and making sure he got to a home worthy of him, and bless Debit for loving the old dog and showing him what happiness is before he had to leave us.

  9. 9
    Lynn Dee says:

    Oh Walter. You good dog, you.

    What a good thing John and then Debit came into his life at the end …

  10. 10
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Sad news, tempered by the fact that you and debit were able to help him, and he didn’t die of starvation in that house. You are good people.

  11. 11

    The best smile is a doggy’s smile. I’m sorry for your loss.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    dr. bloor says:

    So sorry for you and debit, what a good doggeh.

    He left feeling loved and comfortable, which (aside from those fries) is probably more than he dared hope for during most of his life.

  14. 14
    p.a. says:

    I believe a local sports cartoonist here had a set “He Brightened His Corner” memorial when someone notable passed. “They Brighten Their Corner” applies to Walter, and John and Debit, for sure (pls note I dispense w the past tense for the still-active)

  15. 15
    grumpy realist says:

    R.I.P. Walter.

  16. 16
    realbtl says:

    Just, thank you.

  17. 17
    Gindy51 says:

    S very sad but he had a glorious end of life with Debit. RIP Walter and frolic without pain on the other side… Say hi to my gang while you’re at it (mutts Cody, Belle, Meg, Loki and all the rats).

  18. 18
    Just One More Canuck says:

    John, you and debit gave Walter love and care in the moment he needed it most

  19. 19
    hovercraft says:

    I’m so sorry. You and Debit did such a wonderful thing for that sweet old dog, you made his final few months joyful and comfortable.
    RIP Walter, and my condolences to Debit and all of the BJ community, Walter burrowed into all of our hearts.

  20. 20
    tobie says:

    So sorry for the loss, debit. You and John did yeoman’s work rescuing Walter and giving him a good home. He was happy and loved, and made others happy and loving. I think that’s what counts in the end.

  21. 21
    cosima says:

    Beautiful people, beautiful dog, beautiful story. I’m crying too.

  22. 22
    BubbaDave says:

    A peaceful end is the last gift we can give them, and the hardest to deliver. I’m glad that good dog got to finish his life surrounded by the affection he deserved. RIP, Walter, and thanks for all you did for him Debit.

  23. 23
    Dirge says:

    Thank you for caring for Walter and sharing his story.

    Sad day.

  24. 24
    The Moar You Know says:

    OK, fuck, now I have to go cry: but debit, you did the right thing, it was time.

    Godspeed, Walter. See you up there in the Big Dog Park, and say hi to my Hannah for me.

  25. 25
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    So sad to hear it. This seems appropriate for those of us who pray:

    O God, you are infinite, unbounded Love, and will not allow the love which exists
    between your creatures to perish: We pray for those animals who have died.
    Comfort all those who mourn, especially those who have lost a beloved pet. Amen.

    Thank you to Debit, Cole and all who loved Walter and made his last days better.

  26. 26
    J R in WV says:

    Debit,

    Thanks so much for all you have done for Walter. It is best when it must be done to be done quickly. He knows you love him, and will never lose that.

    The last hardest but most important gift you can give the old boy.

    Thank you too, John Cole!

  27. 27
    Betty says:

    A love story. All three of you touched our hearts with the story of Walter and his rescue, so thanks.

  28. 28
    Francis says:

    This has been such a wonderful heartwarming story to follow. I said goodbye to my best four-legged buddy a couple years back and I still miss him. But even through the sadness and tears, I can always remember the pure joy that he brought to my life.

    Bringing a short-lived companion into one’s life means that we are choosing to suffer the tragedy of his passing. But it’s worth it.

    Thanks so much for your Walter stories. My heart goes out to you today.

  29. 29
    delk says:

    “I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time? The misery of keeping a dog is his dying so soon. But, to be sure, if he lived for fifty years and then died, what would become of me?” – Sir Walter Scott

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The last seven months of Walter’s life were paradise for him, and a joy for those of us who knew him through his amazing story, as told through posts and comments and pictures and videos from John and Debit.

    I am aching and crying to learn that this is his last day with us, but so grateful for his wonderful, goofy, appreciative presence.

    Who’s a good boy? You are, Walter. You are.

  31. 31
    sherparick says:

    Thank you John and Debit for all you have done for Walter, a good dog. He gave us all something to smile about over the last year, and now a few tears is a small price to honor him and express gratitude to JC and Debit for rescuing him and giving him a happy home.

  32. 32
    JMG says:

    He found real love to end his life with. No living thing can do better than that. Condolences for your loss, John and debit. Congratulations for your love and making it felt.

  33. 33
    chrisanthemama says:

    @Yarrow: The Walter youtube vids are everything. doG bless.

  34. 34
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    Ugly crying here to…Walter really had the best in his last days. If love could have carried him, he sure had a lot of it from a whole bunch of people he never met. Safe travels to the rainbow bridge and hugs to Debit and John, who loved him best.

  35. 35
    greennotGreen says:

    Okay, new rule. Similar posts should be titled “Sad News,” and everything else should be below the fold so that people like me who are reading this in public are not crying over their keyboards for the world to see.

    I had to put down my 15-yo yorkie mix last week, and though I knew it was the right thing to do, it was still hard. My sympathies, Debit. You did right by him.

  36. 36
    Scott S. says:

    Y’all helped make the end of his life incredibly happy, and good on y’all for doing it.

  37. 37
    randy khan says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    FSM bless John for finding Walter and making sure he got to a home worthy of him, and bless Debit for loving the old dog and showing him what happiness is before he had to leave us.

    Of the many wonderful things that probably will come from Cole buying that house, in many ways this is the best. He and Debit rescued Walter from a terrible fate, and gave him the best life he could have. Thank you so much to both of you.

  38. 38
    Paula says:

    It was wonderful that the last part of Walter’s life was so sweet. His story could have had a much sadder ending.

  39. 39
    scav says:

    Ahh, Walter. Good boy.

  40. 40
    Tazj says:

    I’m sorry, debit. You and John rescued him and gave him a good life.
    I remember a card my brother sent me for my dog. It said ” Stay. Oh how we wish they could.”

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m so sorry, debit and John. I know this seems like a hard ending that came too soon, but the fact that Walter is going to be able to leave this plane surrounded by love and comfort instead of dying alone of starvation is a miracle in itself.

  42. 42
    tofubo says:

    But his last days we’re filled with the exact opposite surroundings of how you found him, for that, you (and debit) have can add +9 to your life score (bad D&D / pearly gates reference, but you get my drift).

    If only everyone can save/rescue, a pet discarded, the pet and you are both rewarded big time.

    Oh, for you John, is this you ?? https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1459105127456678&substory_index=0&id=1095183443848850

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    You and debit made the last part of his life absolutely wonderful.

    You and Debit are good people, Cole.

    Now, I’m going to try and cry quietly.

    RIP Walter.

  44. 44
    Genine says:

    RIP, Walter. I’m glad his last days were happy and full of love.

  45. 45
    chopper says:

    son of a bitch. goddammit.

  46. 46
    WereBear says:

    Who’s the best boy! It’s Walter, yes it is!

  47. 47
    Lizzy L says:

    Thank you, debit. Thank you, John. Goodbye, sweet pup.

    *tears now*

  48. 48
    arrieve says:

    I am so so sorry. But I can’t tell you how much the whole Walter saga cheered me up during the past several months. It was a reminder of the good people out there, and that sometimes the most craptacular ugly situations can turn out all right, even if it’s just for a while. I got so many smiles from the squirrel videos. And that goofy Walter smile. RIP Walter. We all loved you.

  49. 49
    waysel says:

    So very sorry for your loss, Debit. And to you too, John Cole. Ya’ll did a fine and wonderful thing easing that sweet hounds path.

  50. 50
    Miss Bianca says:

    Oh NOES, Walter! I am weepy for a dog I never met. Thanks to Debit and JC for taking care of him. You may only have prolonged his life a little bit past its natural span, but he will die happy and loved – and with a full belly! – as opposed to starving, scared, and alone. And that’s a mitzvah, to be sure.

  51. 51
    retiredeng says:

    Such a bitter sweet story. Tears in my eyes as I remember putting down a devoted friend of 15 years rescued as a puppy. And then, much later, a cat that adopted us and stayed as a constant source of joy until his last life ran out at 17 years old. Condolences to all that have lost a good buddy to old age and illness.

  52. 52
    PaulW says:

    Nooooooooooo

    In life the firmest friend
    First to welcome
    Foremost to defend
    – Byron

  53. 53
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    Oh Debit–I am so sorry. (stupid blurry monitor). As so many have said, thanks to you and John for giving Walter a time of happiness and love. RIP, sweet Walter.

  54. 54
    Sherry says:

    Bless you John and Debit. Debit, I hope it gives you comfort to know that you are doing the right thing and able to stop his pain. It gives me comfort to know that his head will be on the lap of someone who loves him.

  55. 55
    gammyjill says:

    debit and John (and everyone else who helped), you gave Walter a good end-of-life span. We can – and will – do the same for other animals.

  56. 56
    Citizen Scientist says:

    RIP Walter. And debit, thank you for giving oNE of our blog dogs a great home, even if it was for only a little while.

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Son of a bitch, universe, you pile of shit.

  58. 58
    Gustopher says:

    Such a good dog — a complete sweetheart.

  59. 59
    Spanky says:

    Ahhh hell. I can NOT read the comments. I’m sitting at my desk. I need to take a walk.

    Thank you, Debit, thank you, John.

    And thank YOU, Walter. Who’s a good doggy?

  60. 60
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yarrow: I’m sort of partial to Walter and Ellie are banned from the kitchen, myself…

  61. 61
    Frank says:

    I’ve never met you, John (maybe I will some day). And I’ve never posted anything here before. But I’ve followed this community silently for years. You’ve made me laugh and cry, you (plural) have made the world a better place, and I love you for it.

  62. 62
    Trinity says:

    Good boy Walter. Good boy. RIP.

  63. 63
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca: I love them both. I think it’s the french fry slowly appearing from the table that just cracks me up every time.

  64. 64
    AliceBlue says:

    Thank you John and debit, for everything that you did for the old fellow. Godspeed, sweet Walter.

    [tears]

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Farewell, Walter. You were a good dog, now playing in sunny fields, chasing your tail, and that ice cream truck over there.

    debit, [[[hugs]]].

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Sincerest condolences to Debbit and Cole. The girls and I are keeping good thoughts for you. You all did a lot of good things for Walter. Just remember that as hard as it was today’s decision was the last good thing you could do for him.

  67. 67
    eclare says:

    I’m so sorry…You’re doing the right thing in your head, the heart doesn’t agree.

  68. 68
    cain says:

    You did such a good thing, debit in taking Walter in. You made his last remaining months full of love. Having lost my own Yellow just recently, I can understand what you’re going through. Yellow spared me the decision, but what you’ve done a brave thing.

    Godspeed, Walter. We will miss you.

  69. 69
    Darby'sMom says:

    Another long time lurker coming out of hiding to say how much I have enjoyed reading about Walter. Thanks John and Debit. Wish there were more like you out there. (Going to go cry some more now…)

  70. 70

    I’m glad you found Walter, John. And Debit, I’m glad the universe was finally fair and gave this sweet boy the kind of human he deserved.

    And now my Muppet is whining at the door, so I need to stop crying and let her out, and then make sure she and Iggy have everything they want every moment of their lives because good dogs are that wonderful and deserve all the kindness we can show them.

    Good night, dear little Walter.

  71. 71
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Yarrow: Crying too. So sad but also grateful to even know Walter via the intertubes. Thanks to John and Debit for their love towards Walter and for sharing him with us.

  72. 72
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yarrow: yes, that stealth French fry is a guaranteed crack-up, for sure.

  73. 73
    DougJ says:

    Thank you, Debit

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    My condolences. RIP.

  75. 75
    Felonius Monk says:

    Condolences to Debit and John and to all who took Walter into their heart. Godspeed, Walter, R.I.P.

  76. 76
    gex says:

    Is it okay to ugly cry at work? Because I think I’m going to.

    RIP Walter. I love you.

  77. 77
    ruckus says:

    We all end up in the same place sooner or later. It’s how we get there, how well we face our fate that matters, and to that end, everyone involved did the right thing. John, debt, and especially Walter. Live, love, respect, endure.
    RIP Walter, a great being.

  78. 78
    mardam422 says:

    A companion like that is basically all a person could hope for. What you brought to each other is priceless. I’m so sorry for you, but so happy for you that you had him in your life, an so happy that he had you in his.

  79. 79
    Svensker says:

    Dang. Crying. You guys. Hugs.

  80. 80
    Stardus614 says:

    I’m sitting at my desk crying for a dog I never met. He was such a good boy! Rest in Peace, wonderful doggie.

  81. 81
    jacy says:

    Walter is a Good Dog. Cole and Debit are Good People. (Along with the rest of you lot.)

    He knew happiness and love, and that’s the important thing.

  82. 82
    mr_gravity says:

    RIP Walter. You’re a good boy.

  83. 83
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    Crying right now. Debit lots of hugs. Walter you are so loved.

  84. 84
    K488 says:

    @jacy: Jacy says all I could hope to say. RIP, Walter. And thank you JC and Debit.

  85. 85

    Among the things I love about the Walter story is how willing he was to live in the present and bask in the love and goodness around him. Dogs are sometimes very wise.

  86. 86
    gex says:

    @gex: Also condolences to Cole and Debit.

    Casey is my first pup. I’ve lost many cats over the years, each loved and mourned. But I fear what it will do to me when I lose my pup, though I know that however bad it is, it will be worth it to have had him in my life.

  87. 87
    Sandia Blanca says:

    It’s the crowd-sourced emotions that make Balloon-Juice a real community. We’ve all suffered, then rejoiced, and then sorrowed along with John, Debit, and Walter. Crying real tears, but so thankful for the love that transmits through the intertubes. Walter will brighten another corner of the universe now.

  88. 88
    Barbara says:

    I just wish Walter could have more happy time.

  89. 89
    Emma says:

    Crying a bit, but happy the end of his life was everything he deserved. Goodnight, Walter.

  90. 90
    MelissaM says:

    Everyone involved in the rescue of Walter should have no regrets. Walter himself probably wrote himself off a while ago, so he’s been living the dream since being found in that house. So sorry, and will miss all the toofy Walter updates.

  91. 91
    zhena gogolia says:

    Thank you, John, thank you, Debit, thank you, Walter, for keeping some faith in the power of love alive in these dark times.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barbara:

    We all do. But in my experience, animals don’t have much of a sense of time so, as far as Walter was concerned, once he started living these last 7 months, that was his whole life. Animals don’t spend a lot of time brooding about the past or wishing things were different, and we shouldn’t project our regrets onto them.

    (Okay, I think cats spend some of their time holding grudges, but that’s what makes them cats.)

  93. 93
    muddy says:

    My favorite video is this one, where Walter shows that he not only gets love and care, but gives it as well. Such a sweet dog.

  94. 94
    geg6 says:

    Sobbing and crying my eyes out in my office. debit, John…I can’t say how much I thank both of you for saving that beautiful boy and giving him these last month of happiness and love.

    RIP Walter. You were a very, very, very good boy.

  95. 95
    JPL says:

    I new the day was coming, but it still sucks. I’m sending special hugs to Debit for providing Walter his little bit of heaven. Thank you.
    and what said @Mnemosyne:

  96. 96
    The Moar You Know says:

    But in my experience, animals don’t have much of a sense of time so, as far as Walter was concerned, once he started living these last 7 months, that was his whole life.

    @Mnemosyne: Turns out dogs DO have episodic memory; i.e. more or less like yours and mine. They remember their entire lives. Good and bad.

    Animals don’t spend a lot of time brooding about the past or wishing things were different, and we shouldn’t project our regrets onto them.

    And this is the main difference. Something I frankly envy them for.

  97. 97
    SgrAstar says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Walter’s bittersweet story. He was so lovable- your love for him was transformative. All three of you are in our hearts. Walter now, Walter forever. ❤️

  98. 98
    Another Scott says:

    I’m very sorry, debit and John. Thank you for sharing him with us, and doing so much to give him a happy life. Condolences to you.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  99. 99
    manyakitty says:

    What everyone else already said. What about setting up a fund to sponsor senior pet adoptions? Seems like a good way to honor the memories of Walter, Tunch, and all the other beloved and dearly missed critters. Peace and love, hugs and purrs from me and the cats: Heisenberg, Schrodinger, and Mme. Curie (aka Manya).

  100. 100
    debit says:

    Thanks, everyone. It’s been just about 24 hours and I’m still crying. At the same time, I’m glad I was able to let him go at home, where he felt safe and comfortable.

    My vet was on clinic duty all day, so I called the in home euthanasia service I’d used a couple of years ago for my cat Luther. A very nice lady vet came a little before 1:00 and spent a lot of time petting Walter and telling him how handsome he was. And then she gave him the first injection to put him into a deep sleep. Ellie and Oliver stayed close by, Oliver curled up at his back and Ellie hovering over him and occasionally licking Walter’s face. After about ten minutes, he got the next injection and passed away. It was very peaceful and gentle. Afterward, he was wrapped up in blankets and taken to be cremated.

    I am inconsolable at his loss, and despite knowing it was the right thing to do, am still filled with regret that I wasn’t able to give him more time. When I offered to take him, I fully expected behavioral issues because of his obvious history of neglect and abuse. But he was never anything but a good dog, sweet and gentle and loving to everyone and everything (except squirrels).

    Ellie is obviously affected by his loss as well. He was carried through the back door, and Ellie slipped past me to follow. She watched at the gate as he was put in the back of a SUV and was reluctant to follow me back into the house. She keeps asking to go outside and searches the backyard, then sits at the gate, waiting.

    I want to thank everyone who helped bring Walter into my life: John, who saved his life and devoted himself to bringing Walter back to health, and everyone here who donated for his travel expenses, who sent him well wishes and asked about him, cared about him and worried about him. Walter may have been in my care, but I feel that he was this community’s dog too.

  101. 101
    Dean says:

    A little sidescript.jc thinks more highly of my pup xubie than of me.well vice versa too, and three,i guess. When i first saw the evidence of walter’s misery, i had some, to say the least, unkind thoughts towards anyone who could/would do this.
    When i expressed this sentiment, jc said something like “must have been a troubled time, thus a troubled mind”. That is one small lesson.
    Thx to all.

  102. 102
    HeleninEire says:

    Oh, no. Thanks to John and Debit for giving Walter just a little while longer. I’ve said it a million times here; I did not grow up with pets so I’m not really an animal person, but everyone here has made me an animal person once removed. Thank you all for that and thank the FSM that is was John who found Walter.

  103. 103
    satby says:

    It’s the crowd-sourced emotions that make Balloon-Juice a real community. We’ve all suffered, then rejoiced, and then sorrowed along with John, Debit, and Walter. Crying real tears, but so thankful for the love that transmits through the intertubes. Walter will brighten another corner of the universe now.

    True. Debit, condolences to you and Ellie. You should have had more time, but because of you Walter finally got what every dog dreams of. Thanks for your generosity in taking on the burden of loving an old, sick dog knowing you’d be letting go at some point. It takes a very special person.

  104. 104
    MazeDancer says:

    Look at that picture, just like every Walter picture since his rescue – pure joy. Walter knew absolute love and delight. He was splendidly happy. And Debit and John, you made that happen. Gigantic gratitude.

    Crying like the rest of us for same reasons, I imagine. Sad for Debit (and Ellie). So grateful Walter got to have such a spectaculary sweet end of life.

  105. 105
    Gus says:

    Bittersweet. It’s good you were able to make sure his last months were happy. All the sadder for me because my 14 year old mutt is really showing his age these last few weeks, and I’m anticipating this moment with dread for him.

  106. 106
    satby says:

    @Dean: Yeah, John is a great guy, despite the crabby curmudgeon he plays on the ‘net.

  107. 107
    Mandarama says:

    Such sad news…bless Walter, who blessed all of us.

  108. 108
    zhena gogolia says:

    @debit:

    My heart goes out to you and Ellie and Oliver. We will always remember Walter.

  109. 109
    gbbalto says:

    So sorry. Thank you, debit, John, and this community for all you did for him.

  110. 110
    DaveA says:

    Goodbye Walter. So glad he found such a loving home for the last little while.

  111. 111
    Westyny says:

    Good dog, Walter. Good people, John and debit , . .

  112. 112
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    No words. Bless you, Walter. And bless you, John and debit.

  113. 113
    stinger says:

    Best love to all involved. You done good. Walter!!

  114. 114
    jackmac says:

    So sorry to hear the news. Cole and Debit gave Walter an extended lease (if short) on life and the chance to pass surrounded by love, not the misery he was experiencing when he was found.

  115. 115
    Citizen_X says:

    Ohhhh, Walter! Sniff.

    John, how about you put a nice photo of Walter (that one up top, I guess?) up somewhere in the house, as a place of honor. He is kind of the guiding spirit to your home, isn’t he?

  116. 116
    Dissatisfied Customer says:

    Heartbroken, but relieved.

  117. 117
    Elizabelle says:

    Hugs to debit and JCole. Walter told you it was time. He was a happy, appreciative old pup. Bless Walter.

  118. 118
    Jim says:

    Go gently into the night, sweet Walter.

  119. 119
    VFX Lurker says:

    Hugs and love to Cole, debit and Ellie. My deepest thanks to all who helped Walter.

  120. 120
    The Moar You Know says:

    Ellie is obviously affected by his loss as well. He was carried through the back door, and Ellie slipped past me to follow. She watched at the gate as he was put in the back of a SUV and was reluctant to follow me back into the house. She keeps asking to go outside and searches the backyard, then sits at the gate, waiting.

    @debit: Be prepared for this to go on for a while. Our Hannah, in addition to many other vital roles, was the protector of the neighborhood cats. When we put her down in 2013, they kept looking under the fence and at the back door of the house for over a year. I felt so bad for them.

  121. 121
    Humboldtblue says:

    Goddammit.

  122. 122
    Bex says:

    As we remember Walter, may we love each other more dearly. May we care for all your creatures, and for every living thing as we cared for him. May his memory bless our lives with love and caring forever.

    –from a prayer by Rabbi Barry H. Block.

  123. 123
    SFAW says:

    Thank you Debit, for giving him so much love
    Thank you John, for rescuing him

    Thank you Walter, for being such a good boy.

    Goddam dust in this room.

  124. 124
    Sonoran says:

    John, Debit and Walter revealed so much about our humanity. John got a house, and we got Walter’s story. Thank you for your kindness and generousity.

  125. 125

    I love you, Walter. When you get to Rainbow Bridge, say hi to Tunch for us. And Cody, and Mao, and Smoke, and Quincy, and Megan…

    You’re a good boy.

    (((John and debit)))

  126. 126
    dexwood says:

    Thank you, debit. Walter found so much love in your home and gave so much in return. We do whatever we can for our much loved animals, but in the end, hard as it is, we do what we must for them. Peace and strength. Wag on, Walter, wag on.

  127. 127
    Jane2 says:

    John and Debit, you gave Walter the best time a dog could have in life. He’ll go to sleep feeling loved, and no person or pet could wish for more than that.

  128. 128
    Aleta says:

    And when I get to heaven, I’ll tell you what I’ll do
    I’m gonna get my horn and call ol’ Blue
    Yeah Blue, yeah Blue, yeah Blue
    Yeah Blue, yeah Blue, yeah Blue
    Willie Nelson : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CovN4vmr0Vg
    (with violin) Mark O’Connor / James Taylor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss3JiGaFj3w

  129. 129
    Mary G says:

    Oh, so sad he is gone so soon, but happy that he got love and kindness in the end. Thank you for letting us share his life, debit. What a good boy, who held no grudges against the human race despite plenty of pain and suffering at one point. John will have a happy spirit guarding his house.

  130. 130
    Ann Marie says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, debit. He had some bad times before John rescued him and he came into your life, but you gave him the best final days possible, surrounded by love.

  131. 131
    MjOregon says:

    Thank you John and Debit for all you did for Walter. It comforts me in the age of Trump to know of people who are so openhearted and kind. I know that Walter is now out of pain and released to whatever lies ahead for all of us. May he find meadows to run in and kindhearted people to slobber over. Good dog, Walter. Good dog.

  132. 132

    This really hurts. So sorry for the pain and loss, and even more grateful to debit and Cole for Walter’s good times, and story.

    Don’t know if I believe there’s an “after” for people, but I sure hope there is for dogs and cats.

  133. 133
    debit says:

    @The Moar You Know: As I understand it, dogs know what death is, but much like a little kid, don’t comprehend that it’s permanent. We’re going to go on lots of walks, and car rides and she’s going to get lots of love and treats.

    @manyakitty: I would love to be a part of any sort of fund raising for senior pet adoptions or hospice care. And when I’m ready to adopt again, it will be an older animal. I love puppies, but there’s nothing like an older dog. They are full of so much love.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Oh, animals definitely remember good and bad things. In my experience with cats, though, it seems like it tends to be telescoped — they seem to remember things that happened years ago as if they happened recently.

    My example: when he was a kitten, the vet gave me some flea mousse for my late great cat Boris. Predictably, he HATED it.

    Years later, I was shaking a can of hair mousse for myself and happened to glance over at him, and I realized that he knew what that sound was and was convinced it was that flea mousse again. From something like five years before.

    So it’s not that they don’t remember things, it’s that they don’t have the same sense of time that we do. Events are either Now or Before.

  135. 135
    Aleta says:

    Debit and family, John, You brought joy to my life. Very grateful for your example of love and making the world right again for him. My sympathy. (Crying here too.)

  136. 136
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Thanks to John and Debit for your efforts on Walter’s behalf. You are both very good people and serve as a great example of kindness and sacrifice in these, sometimes, very unkind times.

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Also, too, I know debit has regrets about not having more time with Walter, but I don’t think that would bother Walter much. Dogs don’t worry about the past, they just enjoy the present.

  138. 138
    dance around in your bones says:

    My eyes are leaking salty tears but my heart tells me that Walter was such a lucky dog for having Cole and debit enter the sundown of his life. Blessings cover you all, good beings …..

  139. 139
    laura says:

    I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said other than to join the crowd in thanking JC for his immeasurable decency in saving Walter and transporting him in comfort and style to his forever home with a woman I admire from afar.
    Our collective tears could like fill an Olympic sized pool.
    Thank you both for loving a good, old dog when he needed it so, right to the very end.

  140. 140
    artem1s says:

    can their be a better epitaph? a gentle ending for a good dog. good dog. thank you all for sharing Walter, the good dog, with us.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    And since I’m on a roll, a funny Boris memory story:

    For the first trip back to Chicago that G and I took, we boarded Boris and Natasha at the vet, where they were both stuck in the same not-very-large cage. Boris HATED it, obviously, though the vets said he was his usual sweet self all week, if a little subdued.

    So, when we got back, we picked them up and brought them home and Boris stretched out on the bed for a nap. After about an hour, he woke up with a start, looked around, and I swear I could see him thinking, “Oh, thank god, being in a cage at the vet’s was all just a horrible dream! I was at home the whole time!” And he fell back to sleep purring.

    I should probably say that Boris was not a very smart cat. The sweetest cat I’ve ever owned, but not bright.

  142. 142

    RIP, Walter.

    Thanks to John and debit for the care they gave him.

  143. 143
    Percysowner says:

    I’m so sorry Debit. I know you loved Walter. You can take some comfort in the fact that you gave him a good life and that he was happy and loved and fed. He was lucky to have you and I know he loved you very much. Peace.

  144. 144
    Shell says:

    I think it’s the french fry slowly appearing from the table that just cracks me up every time.

    I know. And the look on Walters face like, “Where have YOU been all my life!”

  145. 145
    Betsy says:

    Rest easy, sweet Walter. Thank you, Debit and Cole, and the other helpers, who made his life sweeter and easier at the end.

    This place (blog) is an inspiration.

    Hope this choked-up feeling will lead to more good deeds by us all.

  146. 146
    ruemara says:

    Rest in Peace, Walter. Thank you Cole & Debit for giving him the love & care he deserved.

  147. 147
    Drunkenhausfrau says:

    May Walter find friends across the rainbow bridge… bless you, Debit and Cole. You are good people!

  148. 148
    mai naem mobile says:

    Debit and John, Sorry. Don’t have much to add to all the other comments. I am sorry you didn’t get much much more time with Walt. What a sweet doggy.

  149. 149
    Olivia says:

    Debit, I am so grateful to you and John for giving Walter a wonderful and loving last few months.

  150. 150
    RoonieRoo says:

    Thank you so much Debit for giving our Walter his final home filled with so much love and happiness. You are right that he was this community dog and I know we will forever be grateful for the fact that you and John made him the Balloon-Juice dog.

  151. 151
    something fabulous says:

    @debit: Thank you so much for on top of everything else you did and gave for Walter, sharing with us this update too. We are all crying. Best wishes to you and Ellie and all your family, and thank you for being so generous in sharing your time with Walter with us. Much love.

  152. 152
    MomSense says:

    We all loved, Walter. So grateful to all the humans, especially John and Debit, who made his last months so beautiful.

    Sending love and hugs to Debit, Ellie and the rest of Walter’s family.

  153. 153
    The Moar You Know says:

    So, when we got back, we picked them up and brought them home and Boris stretched out on the bed for a nap. After about an hour, he woke up with a start, looked around, and I swear I could see him thinking, “Oh, thank god, being in a cage at the vet’s was all just a horrible dream! I was at home the whole time!” And he fell back to sleep purring.

    @Mnemosyne: Last cat I pulled that on gently pulled the top of the blanket off my bed, shit on it, and then put the blanket back. I didn’t notice until I got into bed.

    I was far too impressed to be mad.

  154. 154
    Michael F. says:

    Oh no! Rest in Peace, sweet Walter. Thank you so much John Cole and Debit for giving him the love, care and attention he he so desperately needed. I just sent my 15 year old Malamute mix to the bridge two weeks ago. It hurts so bad and it never gets any easier. Four more are waiting there at the bridge for me and I will see them all again very soon some wonderful day. When I look at the world today with all of the cruelty and sadness that’s happening, I think that wonderful day cannot come soon enough. Sending you all wishes comfort and healing.

  155. 155
    Rob Lll says:

    RIP, Walter. And thank you to John and Debit for giving his life such a lovely third act. Condolences to both of you.

  156. 156
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    He left us surrounded by love and that’s not a bad way to go. RIP Walter.

  157. 157
    Pogonip says:

    @debit: “When the body that lived at your single will/ With its whimper of welcome is stilled (how still!)…”

  158. 158
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    John and Debit: is either of you in touch with the guy who drove Walter from WV to MN? Can’t remember his name with checking the archives — Sam, maybe?

    Anyhow, he and Walter bonded so powerfully that I’m sure he’d want to know how happy Walter was in his final months, and what a good dog he was.

    Also, who’s the BJ commenter who writes children’s books with the lovely watercolor illustrations (Bill’s Balloon, and a recent one he mentioned just a week or so ago)? Properly handled, Walter’s story (The Good Dog) might make a good story for young readers, and the illustrations based on a wealth of John and Debit photos could be lovely.

    Just a couple of random thoughts….

  159. 159
    debit says:

    @Michael F.: I had dinner with my parents a couple weeks ago and we were talking about pets. My dad is a guy who keeps his emotions on lock down, but when he talked about having our first family dog, Lassie, put to sleep, he started sobbing. That was over 30 years ago. So, yeah, I don’t think it ever stops hurting.

  160. 160
    debit says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    John and Debit: is either of you in touch with the guy who drove Walter from WV to MN? Can’t remember his name with checking the archives — Sam, maybe?

    Anyhow, he and Walter bonded so powerfully that I’m sure he’d want to know how happy Walter was in his final months, and what a good dog he was.

    Tim. I still have the transport company in my contacts. I’ll send an email and ask the dispatcher to pass it along.

    I’d love to talk about a book based on Walter, but not quite yet. But it’s a great idea.

  161. 161

    Jesus, this sucks. Somebody may have already brought this up, but did you ever catch up with the shitbag who left him caked in his own shit to die alone? That guy needs a serious talking to. Or worse.

  162. 162
    Elie says:

    RIP Walter and blessings to all who made his last days filled with love and caring. No matter what other bad things happen in this life, to have that love on your way out is not always something any of us can expect. It is wonderful when it happens and I send along my good thoughts and happiness that he had this mercy and benediction in his last days. Blessings and benedictions as well to all who loved and helped him… may you also receive it back someday…

  163. 163
    Isua says:

    Another lurker ugly-crying here. All the doggy biscuits to you, Walter, your story and photos made me very glad when not a lot else did. Thank you to debit and John and everyone who supported Walter and loved him.

  164. 164
    MaryRC says:

    RIP, Walter, you big goofball you. Debit and John, you did such a good thing.

  165. 165
    HeidiMom says:

    So sorry, debit and John. Thanks for the wonderful care you gave Walter, who was a wonderful dog.

  166. 166
    Fnarf says:

    I’m not a cryer but I’m crying now, in this restaurant no less. You were a good dog, Walter,and I’m glad to have known you, even if it was only from 3000 miles away.

  167. 167
    Ajabu says:

    Sorry to be on the back end of the comments but I join with the rest of the family in celebrating Walter, John & Debit. You all DONE GOOD!!!
    I don’t believe in sky fairies but I do believe this:
    “You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
    Anne Lamott

  168. 168
    The Moar You Know says:

    My dad is a guy who keeps his emotions on lock down, but when he talked about having our first family dog, Lassie, put to sleep, he started sobbing. That was over 30 years ago. So, yeah, I don’t think it ever stops hurting.

    @debit: My father is very similar. Never a crack. Until he called one day and I told him we’d had to put Hannah down. He just sat there for about thirty seconds, and then said “some things leave a black scar on your heart that will never, ever go away. And this is one of them.”

    You could have knocked me over with a feather. And damn it all, he was right, too.

  169. 169
    Michael F. says:

    @debit: No, the hurt never goes away but it does diminish some over time. Thankfully, I have had at least 3 years between the terrible tasks of having to let them go to let myself get back to normal. We’re down to one dog now but in a few weeks, when we’re ready, we’ll go down to the Humane Society and rescue another one or two. Our remaining dog needs another friend. Bless you and Cole.

  170. 170
    Msb says:

    Thanks so much to John, Debit and Walter for being blessings to each other, and to me. Love the idea of a book about Walter and fundraiser for adoption of senior pets, would love to turn this learning and grief to practical good.

  171. 171
    Ohio Mom says:

    What can I add after 169 beautiful comments, commending John and Debit and celebrating Walter’s life? Every one of them gets a “This.”

    May Walter’s memory be for a blessing, always.

    ETA: 170 beautiful comments…can’t keep up with this totally deserved outpouring.

  172. 172
    Dave in Ohio says:

    We had to have our wonderful dog Kimo put down last month (cancer) so I know just how you’re feeling right now. Like so many others here, my sympathies go out to you but I’m also thankful that Walter had a loving home at the end of his life. Thanks to John for nursing Walter back to health and finding him a loving home.

  173. 173
    ruckus says:

    Just a bit of noise to add to the post. I’ve lost two very good friends so far this year, one of them l’ve known for most of my life. Now Walter. It seems like, I don’t know what. I just feel old, and I’m not liking it a whole lot.

  174. 174

    RIP Walter. He was lucky to have you and Debit, you were lucky to have him, and we were all lucky to bear witness to his story. Sad that he’s gone.

  175. 175
    Keith G says:

    This has been such a satisfying story to follow. Walter had such a rough time and then finally got to know the love we all need.

    Thanks, Debit, for giving Walter all that love.

  176. 176
    TriassicSands says:

    I’ve been dreading this post.

    I’m currently lying in a hospital bed and this was not the news I wanted today (or any other day for that matter but it was obvious it was coming sooner than later. I wish it could have been much later.

    My condolences, Debit, and thank you for giving Walter the best ending he could have hoped for.

  177. 177
    Woodrowfan says:

    I am so sorry. i’m glad he had a happy, safe, loving home with friends at the end..

  178. 178
    Laura B says:

    Thank you so much John & Debit for every little bit of news, every word, every picture and video you’ve shared. Thank you for making me cry of the horror, sadness, redemption and later joy & sense of peace from the Walter chronicles.

    Rest in peace Walter, will never forget your toothy smile.

  179. 179
    Zelma says:

    Another lurker who is in tears. My sympathies to Debit and John. You are both such good people. Walter was very lucky to have you both.

    The Balloon Juice community is a very special place. It has been my favorite brog for over eight years. And the reason is the people who care so much. Walter’s story touched us all.

  180. 180
    MomSense says:

    @debit:

    Now I’m ugly crying thinking about poor Ellie waiting st the gate. Please give her some love and skritches from me.

  181. 181
    Riley's Enabler says:

    Oh, all the feels. I knew this would come. Debit and John, thank you for giving that sweet boy a magical few months. Pure love, pure joy. Thank you for giving us all a slice of that joy as well. I’m so sorry that he’s gone, but comforted that he went surrounded by love.

  182. 182
    SWMBO says:

    @debit: Love and light to debit, John and Ellie. We are all going to miss him terribly but none as much as the ones who knew him best.

  183. 183
    debbie says:

    I don’t care if this was inevitable, I still hate that the time has come. I am so, so sorry.

  184. 184
    CaseyL says:

    I can’t be reading this at work, sitting at my desk in tears. So so sorry to hear about this, and echoing what’s already been said: you gave him the most wonderful life anyone can imagine.

  185. 185
    Barry says:

    Thank you for taking care of him.

  186. 186
    Yarrow says:

    @debit: Oh, debit. Now I’m crying again. You did so much good for Walter. He was so lucky to have found you in his last months. Please give Ellie lots of love, poor sweet girl. She misses her Walter, just like you all do.

  187. 187
    Aleta says:

    @debit:

    I feel that he was this community’s dog too.

    Thanks for sharing him. Each picture and video made a sunny spot here, and all the other places. It’s kind of amazing to think of Walter’s influence that way. I got some bags of good senior dog food and treats to take to the shelter tomorrow for a nice communal chow down in Walter’s honor.

  188. 188
    SectionH says:

    Hasta la vista, Walter. You were a wonderful boy. Like the rest of us, I’m so grateful to John for rescuing him, and to debit for making his life so happy since then.

  189. 189
    newdealfarmgrrrlll says:

    Damn. It’s always so hard when that moment comes. Adding my thanks to JC and Debit for showering Walter with love and kindness, and letting us all share in good moments.

    Such a good doggy, Walter! Romp in those Elysian fields free of pain, and say hi to my beloved old 3-legged German Shepherd Lulu (hmmm, her leg is probably restored to her now).

  190. 190
    Kristine says:

    Damn.

    But so glad that Cole saved him and debit gave him a great home.

  191. 191
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @debit:

    Just say, when you’re ready. The biggest {{{hugs}}} to you and Ellie.

  192. 192
    Left Handed Lizzy says:

    Like Frank, I’ve never posted, but I’ve been following for a long time. My deepest condolences to Debit, John and the rest of the community who did something wonderful for such a sweet dog.

  193. 193
    Quinerly says:

    Just seeing this. So sorry. RIP Walter.❤💜💚💙💛

  194. 194
    daryljfontaine says:

    Godspeed, Walter. You were a good boy.

    Hugs and sympathy to debit, John Cole, and the community at large.

    D

  195. 195
    Manyakitty says:

    @debit: I will contact John to get his thoughts, then proceed accordingly.

  196. 196
    Feebog says:

    I’m celebrating the fact our blog host is such a decent caring person, and that this community has such wonderful members like Debit. Giving an abused dog a loving and caring place towards the end of his life is an uplifting and happy tale. Goodbye old fella, so glad your last days were peaceful and secure.

  197. 197
    debit says:

    @Feebog: John gets more credit than he knows. I’d had dogs most of my life, but the very painful loss of one in particular made me reluctant to have another. And then John adopted Lily. After reading about their relationship and seeing how much caring for her brought him joy, I was utterly susceptible to a pair of pleading brown eyes and a timidly wagging little stump of a tail at a local shelter’s adoption fair. And so I adopted Chloe, an elderly Jack Russel mix. And a few years later, Ellie, an elderly black lab mix. And then, of course, Walter.

    I don’t know if John realizes that his simple act of kindness had a ripple effect, but I’ve been keenly aware of it and hope that Walter’s journey has a similar one. I hope that maybe someone who hadn’t considered a senior dog might just see a greying muzzle and cloudy eyes and decide to take that dog home.

  198. 198
    No One You Know says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): It’s raining on my face. Thank God by any name or all 99 of ’em for our fur family. When they pass, we can only mourn the loss of what they being, and celebrate their lives. I am so sorry, and yet so grateful, that Walter was walked through his ordeals with such love.

  199. 199
    TriassicSands says:

    I said thank you to Debit, but I should have included John in that, too.

    It’s always great to see people who really care about critters and not bad when you can find an American who cares about people, but impossible, or nearly so, to find a Republican who does.

  200. 200
    SectionH says:

    @debit: Bless you again. And second your encouragement re adopting elderly dogs – and cats (I love dogs too but cats fit our condo situation and my bad knee.)

  201. 201
    debit says:

    @SectionH: I love cats too and would probably be the crazy cat lady of elderly cats if not for my two current cats who are utter bastards, Lovable (you can’t be mad at them!) but still bastards who would make an elder cat’s life miserable. Maybe when they’re old and cranky too I’ll be able to fulfill my crazy cat lady dreams. .

  202. 202
    martian says:

    I’m so glad for Walter that, in the end, he got the life he deserved and the chance he always should have had to live in joy and to give joy. They aren’t with us for so very long, our doggie companions, so six or seven months out of twelve or so years is really a long time. I hope Walter felt it was so. I hope he felt like he’d been happy for years and the sunshine of his days pushed all of the shadows away. He deserved that. Walter was a good boy.

    debit and John, I am so sorry for your loss, and I thank you and everyone who helped Walter find happiness. My condolences, also, to everyone in this thread who has shared their own losses and is perhaps feeling them anew today.

  203. 203
    columbusqueen says:

    Bless you, Walter. May heaven be full of tasty treats and squirrels to chase. And god bless you Debit, and John too–what a gift you gave the old boy.

  204. 204
    Chat Noir says:

    I’m so sorry, Debit. I know what the feeling is like to make that decision. Dog bless you for giving Walter the life he deserved and for making his last months happy and secure. You and John Cole are good people.

  205. 205
    Emerald says:

    I will read this blog as long as it is available solely because of the animal rescue and the good hearts here that work so hard to save these precious innocents.

    Sleep well Walter, because you are a good dog. Can’t get much better than that.

  206. 206
    Steve Alcott says:

    Few deeds greater than giving an animal companion a good life and a dignified end.

  207. 207
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    He was a good dog. You are good people.

  208. 208
    SectionH says:

    @debit: Awww. Don’t know how old your current cats are, but I’ve been amazed at how often younger cats sniff the really old ones and go “Is it a cat? Maybe not. It’s not a threat anyway.” Srsly. Might not work for your little bastards, but old enough cats never seemed to bother my younger cats, at least when they were younger. ;-> Our 2 girls, one we’ve had since she was meowing at our door when she was 6 months, and Ziri (see below) aren’t friends. But they tolerate each other. Sadly, I’m pretty sure Ziri might be friends, but Layna started with us as the 5th cat. And, interestingly, she was young enough that the clowder sniffed her a bit and said, Whatevs, she’s no threat. That was impressive to watch.

    We’re coming up on the 4th anniversary of adopting Ziri, the “unadoptable” cat we convinced the shelter to let us adopt. She was 12 then, and actually fairly traumatized. She’ll always be fragile, but watching her bloom has been so wonderful. I feel kinda guilty mentioning this because… well, yeah, Walter should have had longer with you, dammit.

  209. 209
    Juju says:

    I know this is late, but it’s been a long busy day today, and I couldn’t bring myself to read through things until now. I’ll miss reading about Walter, and sad that Debit didn’t have as much time as she wanted with Walter, but Debit, I know you gave Walter the best time of his life. It also makes me miss Martha even more than I already do. The older furries are so very special and dear. Hugs and sympathy to you and Ellie.

  210. 210
    Amir Khalid says:

    @debit:

    Ellie is obviously affected by his loss as well. He was carried through the back door, and Ellie slipped past me to follow. She watched at the gate as he was put in the back of a SUV and was reluctant to follow me back into the house. She keeps asking to go outside and searches the backyard, then sits at the gate, waiting.

    This was just heartbreaking to read. I know Ellie will need much consoling over the loss of a friend who didn’t get to stay long. Rest in peace, Walter.

  211. 211
    Ruckus says:

    @debit:
    You are so right about rescuing an older dog. I did a few yrs ago, a 10-12 yr old cocker spaniel. Onery old bastard, I will miss him forever. He provided me with companionship, friendship and even warmth on cold nights. I did my best to provide him with the same. I’m not sure which one of us needed the other one more. If I ever get the chance to have another dog, it will be an older rescue, two birds of a feather and all that.

  212. 212
    Darkrose says:

    Walter will be missed, but he was loved, and that’s what matters Thank you debit and John for all you did for him.

  213. 213
    Calming Influence says:

    John and debit, after a hellacious existence you both gave Walter at least small taste of heaven in his final days. Love, comfort, companionship; as good a sendoff as any of us can hope for. Thanks for your efforts, and condolences.

  214. 214

    You guys, who gave Walter a final year of quality life with love, have earned enough good Karma to see you through several cycles of rebirth. I write this with tears in my eyes. All who love their animal will understand.

  215. 215
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Walter gave us as much joy as we gave him in his last days. Watching him heal a bit and get a bit of heaven in his last days was a respite from the horror and a reminder that there was still great good in the world. It was a joy seeing him be able to play, chase squirrels, eat well and just be able to live a good life. RIP, Walter, and watch over us as we go on without you.

  216. 216
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    enplaned says:

    Take solace in having done the absolute best for him.

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    bluefish says:

    Thank you, debit, for letting us know. I felt too sad yesterday to write you even though I knew this was coming. I’ve been lurking here at Balloon Juice for many years and write in only infrequently. When John told us of Walter’s rescue last summer, I was so touched — and so happy to follow his travels to your lovely house. All these months, Walter and the humans who loved him have been like a beacon of light — and I’m not prone to this sort of thinking, typically — but, yeah, Walter, the thought of Walter being saved, travelling to your house, feeling the deep comfort of real, daily love and care, finally!, has given me sweet solace. I wanted to say thank you, send you a hug, and let you know, that I think of this story every day, several times a day quite often. I just go to it without realizing sometimes I need to be there. Thank you so much for all you did for him — and for me, really. I wish I could leave a nice casserole on your doorstep. I know how sad I feel — but, my goodness, what a tale of love and redemption. And how badly we need to be reminded of such essential grace and courage at this dark time in our country. RIP Walter and all hail Cole and debit. As long as I live, it will make me happy to know that this sweet dog experienced such affection and kindness in his last months on the planet–down to the very end. This is what makes the world go around and one needs to be reminded of this over and over and over again. Be well and, again, thank you so very much for being who you are.

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    Miss Dashwood says:

    Vale sweet Walter – run free at the Rainbow Bridge. Sending healing love to Debit and Cole for giving Walter such a wondrous life after his rescue and for loving him to the very end.

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    99leadballoons says:

    This post reminded me to flip my Balloon Juice calendar to March, where I was greeted with another Walter pic. Good boy.

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    Creature_NYC says:

    I don’t de-lurk often, but for Walter I will. RIP, Walter, you were such a good boy.

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    Exurban Mom says:

    Same story as many of you: I don’t post often, but I read this blog every day. Come for the animal rescue stories, stay for the John Is A Klutz And Will He Ever Find The Mustard? Tales. I have told my family all about Tunch and Walter. Walter’s rescue was such a moment of sunshine in a bleak autumn. Big blessings to John, Debit, the driver, Ellie, and everyone who helped Walter along. Thank you, John, for creating and maintaining this special community.

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    bigfatdrunk says:

    So much love and appreciation to Debit and JC. Walter’s story has been incredibly uplifting. RIP Walter. Good dog.

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    Dogs don’t know how long they live, only how well they live. You and Debit gave Walter a great life for his last months, and the whole BJ community is grateful to you both.

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    narya says:

    Yet another lurker (except for Mayhew’s insurance posts), crying over a dog I’ve never met. I’m so grateful for the kindness and love that you all bring here (along with your ferocity!). Thank you, John, and debit, for your simple acts of love and compassion.

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