Life with Walter - An Update

by Meaghan McDermott

Walter has been living with me, and my roommate Sarah, for a little over three months now. We always say that we have no idea how we lived without him before. He greets us enthusiastically when we come home from work and is a great heater when it’s time to snuggle up on the couch. His favorite activities are still licking and sleeping, which is accompanied by very, very loud snoring. Walter loves kids, especially because their faces are easy to access for licking.

As for sleeping, he has completely commandeered the arm chair in our living room as his own, despite the fact that he has TWO doggie beds- one on each floor. From his perch in the chair, Walter stares out the window, watches us leave for work, and keeps an eye on the house. When Walter first came to us, he rarely barked or made any noise, but now that he’s been here for awhile, he definitely views this house as his and he is a very vocal guard dog.

Although Walter does growl and bark at strangers approaching “his” house, Walter has never shown any signs of aggression. Aggression was a concern with his unknown background, which likely involved fighting or use as a bait dog, but Walter genuinely loves every human being who comes across his path. He wants nothing more but to greet new people and lick them. I’ve also been working to socialize Walter with other dogs. He is not super playful with other dogs, but again, shows no aggression toward other dogs, which is a minor miracle considering his background.

Walter had a slumber party with my friend Alex and Travis’s dog, Gus, during Christmas. At first Walter was hesitant and ignored Gus’s desperate attempts to play, but after awhile Walter gradually warmed up, and the two played for hours and took a trip to the dog park together the next day. The picture of them is on the right. Since then Walter has made other doggie friends, including my friend Kimi’s 11 pound poodle, Puppy, and lots of dogs at the Canton Dog Park, an off-leash dog park a few blocks from us.

As far as Walter’s health, he has improved a lot when I adopted him from Elizabeth and Justin, and since then he is doing much, much better. His kidneys are going to need regular monitoring, but with the help of the Boston Street Animal Hospital we’ve gotten him on the right balance of food and supplements to keep his kidneys functioning the best they can and we’ve staved off the development of kidney stones.

All in all, Walter is a delight and deciding to adopt him was the best decision ever!