As a foster, dogs come and go from your home on the regular. A dog might be in your home for a few weeks, or a few months, or a few years. But in the end, they find their happily ever after, a family to build a new life with. Adoption brings tears of joy and happiness, and makes the journey with the dog all the more worth it.

But sometimes, we rescue a dog knowing there might not be much time left. There might not be a happily ever after, so instead, you vow to give that dog everything he deserves, and more. Such is the case with Wallace, “Wally” for short. We met Wally at Animal Control, where he was released early because of his age and condition. He was strong heartworm positive, blind in both eyes, hard of hearing, with a mass on his spleen and a broken plate in his leg. But his condition did not concern Jessi Hellmann, a foster for Gateway Pet Guardians. Jessi heard of this pup in need and didn’t hesitate. She welcomed him into her home with open arms.


Jessi and Wally’s time together was short, just seven days. But in those seven days, Jessi showed him the world. He had trouble walking on hardwood, so the GPG community donated rugs to line his bedroom and make his stay more comfortable. He could not use the stairs, so she carried him outside to use the bathroom. He spent much of his time walking around the backyard. He loved to feel the breeze and sniff all the grass. And Jessi learned he loved braunschweiger. She made sure he got as much as his little heart desired.

Throughout his seven days with Jessi, Wally’s condition declined. Since he was blind and mostly deaf, he really had no concept of what was going on around him. He was lost and confused, surrounded by people and smells he didn’t know. But Jessi continued to show him love and doted on him night and day. She recalls: “Though it was hard and sad and I did not know him long, it was easy to care for him compared to the alternative. Without taking him in, Wally would have died alone in AC. No one would have pet his face as he crossed over, no one would have comforted him. Wally deserved that. As Wally crossed over, he had me to hold him, he had me to kiss his face and pet his fur. Yes, it was hard but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Every dog deserves a proper goodbye, and that is what Wally got.”

Thanks to Jessi, this little gray-faced senior dog knew love and warmth in his final days. We do not know his previous life, but we are proud to have given him everything he deserved for his final week. Wallace might have crossed the rainbow bridge, but he touched the hearts of hundreds of people. Some that met him, others that simply heard his story. But he is one dog that we will never forget.