I refuse to be one of those blogs that just kind of disappears. I know it’s been a bit since my last update, I’m going to try and be more consistent I swear!
I wanted to make a post about something that is a bit more personal, and a bit less RVA. If that’s not your thing, that’s cool… but you might want to stop reading now. I’ll be back very shortly with another thrilling adventure, I swear.
If you’ve read my tagline, you see that I mention that I’m exploring this city with my camera and my dog. He even made an appearance in my foray to the Church Hill Tunnel.
Sadly, I have to change that tagline now. His name was Walken, and he was the coolest dog ever. Unfortunately, he isn’t with us anymore, but I wanted to post something about him because he was a big part of our life and I miss him dearly.
This is Walken. He was ten, but this is him when he was still young and his color hadn’t faded. Walken was a happy dog, and loved to run and jump. We were always impressed with how high he could jump. It was quite entertaining, except when he would use this talent to jump over fences and run around the neighborhood. He became less of an escape artist after the age of two, but he was never the kind of dog that you could trust off leash. He is the only dog I know that liked to climb trees. I went into the backyard one day and couldn’t find him. He had jumped into a large oak and was looking down at me.
Walken was a bum. If there was food, he was there. He would sit and stare at you just waiting for you to succumb to his puppy dog eyes. He loved to be in the kitchen when you were cooking, hence the flour on his head. I’ve never known a dog so motivated by food.
Walken loved the mountains. He was part mountain goat. Scrambling up rocks and sniffing out deer was his idea of a fantastic time! He also LOVED the car rides to get there. It is weird to be able to say the words “car ride” now and not hear him start to freak out with excitement.
Walken loved the beach. More to the point, Walken loved the things that live on the beach. He was always excited to head down to the sand to run after crabs and the occasional piece of sea foam. He also enjoyed digging holes. It was fun to call him over and paw at the ground a bit, he would inevitably start digging and shove his head into the hole as far as it would go. He would come up with a snout full of sand and huff and puff for a bit. He would then run to the next potential spot and repeat the process. However…
Walken did NOT like the water. An inch, a foot, a river, an ocean, or a bath… Walken did not care for water. He would stand in it looking dejected and start drinking it. It was like he was saying, “I’m only here because I’m thirsty. I do not enjoy this.”
Walken loved snow. And yes, he had a rain coat and a sweater. He tolerated both, but he loved the snow. He would bound through drifts of snow bigger than him. He did not enjoy sitting on my lap as we went sledding in Bryan Park, but he did seem to enjoy jumping off about halfway through. Watching him tumble and race after me was good times for me, my wife, and the hundreds of little kids who got to see it.
Walken was a hunter. If you have never heard a beagle on the trail of a deer, you would be surprised. One beagle sounds about as loud as ten. The first time we ever witnessed this was when he broke his collar in a state park during a hike. (I HIGHLY recommend a good harness!) He ran off into the woods and we followed him for a good 15-30 minutes. We thought we had lost him (this was the first time he had ever escaped!) when all of a sudden we heard what sounded like a pack of 20 dogs. Next thing you know, three big gray deer come running right towards us with Walken in hot pursuit.
Walken loved bunnies. This guy hangs out near our house. I promise to chase him for you, Walken. Walken also enjoyed hunting deer (we’ve covered that already), really big deer (cows), and really, really big deer that people like to ride. (Horses) An opossums, raccoons, snakes, and frogs. He was a bit odd like that. He once brought me the body of a snake. I never found the head. He loved to chase frogs, but never did anything with them once he got to them.
Walken was tireless. He loved to be at the front of the pack, leading the way. One time, through poor planning and a series of wrong turns, we found ourselves unexpectedly on an 11 mile hike near dusk. We were struggling at the end, but Walken was ALWAYS up front looking back wondering what was taking us two-legged folk so long.
Sleeping was another one of Walken’s hobbies. He would often sleep under the blankets with us or, if we were not around, he would jump into bed and sleep on my wife’s pillow or in a nest of blankets he crafted for himself. It was also not unheard of for him to go into the dirty clothes and retrieve articles of clothing to sleep with. I caught him once when he thought I wasn’t home coming downstairs with a pair of my jeans in his mouth. It is weird knowing where all my clothes are and not discovering a pair of underwear downstairs on the couch. Walken also liked to watch TV with us, sitting on the top of the back of the couch in his own special location.
All in all, he was one super cool little guy. My wife and I both loved him very much, and having to take care of him in his final minutes was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. He was a big part of our lives, and we miss him terribly. It’s sad to come home and not have him there freaking out and showering us with affection. I take comfort in knowing that he had a great time with us, and he was one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever known.
Walken, I love you and I wish you could have been with us longer.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I seem to have some dust in my eye or something… I’ll be back shortly with further RVA exploits.
PS: If you are in Richmond and ever find yourself experiencing a veterinary medical emergency during times when your local vet is not open, I cannot recommend the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center highly enough. We have, unfortunately, had occasion to use the one on Cary Street a few times. They are kind, caring, and thorough.
3312 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23221
(p) 804.353.9000 (f) 804.353.9271