My heart is breaking. I can’t really write about it. But I will.

Yesterday Dad came home from the hospital (he’s doing great, overall. Scheming for more food.)

Before he came home, Dad asked Edmund to take his dog, Gus, to the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook (ARL).

Gus was Dad’s pal, his buddy, and Gus went everywhere with Dad. Dad loves Gus. Hell, we ALL love Gus. He’s a fantastic dog. He’s a good boy.

Goofy GusThe thing is, as a Dalmatian mix, Gus needs lots of attention and needs to be exercised every day. My Dad’s life revolved around it. Every day, sometimes more than once they’d go up to the mill and let Gus run around for a bit. In fact, Gus went with Dad everywhere. Whenever my Dad ran errands he’d say, “Well, me and Gus” went here and “me and Gus” went there.

Gus was a rescue dog that Dad adopted in 2006, after Mom & Dad’s dog Grace passed away. When he was adopted, Gus was a handful. Very rambunctious. He was still a puppy, one year old, and he didn’t have a great starter family. Through a lot of patience, care and love, my parents stuck it out with Gus until they got a system that worked for all three of them.

Now, almost in a flash, Dad can’t drive any more, and Mom has enough to handle with taking care of Dad. So Dad decided that the best thing for everyone would be to have Gus go to the ARL.

HelloEdmund and I really wanted to take Gus. We just couldn’t. We live in an apartment and have crazy-ass schedules and although we might have found a way to make it work, we don’t really have a life-style suited toward dog stewardship. Cats yes, but dogs no. And that’s without going through the hurdle of asking our landlord if it was okay if we added a eighty pound dog to our mix [along with the two cats. And need I mention that we live above our landlord?] We want to have a dog, some day. Just not now.

My brother Bill has one high-maintenance dog already, he doesn’t need another one.

I know now why Dad asked Edmund to take Gus to the Animal Refuge League: no one else could have. Bill told me that if Dad asked him to do it, Bill would be the proud owner of two dogs. I am not sure Mom could’ve brought herself to do it without breaking down.

Gus and the BoneI think that Dad wanted it done before he came home because he couldn’t bear to say good bye. And that breaks my heart the most.

I am heartened. When Edmund brought Gus to the ARL he was assured, based on Gus’ temperament that he would sure to be adopted out. He’s a great dog who deserves a loving and active family. And overall, this will be the best thing for Gus. Because he’s a good boy. A very good boy.

When I see his notice on the ARL page I will share it with my social networks.


  1. OK…..this one just did me in. I have 6 cats and two BIG dogs. Three of these came to us for the same reason that Walter had to let go of Gus. This is so painful. I’m sad for Walter and for Gus. If I was there, Gus would now be mine……

  2. Beth Soper says:

    I remember when Walter first got Gus and would bring him to Hillside. He would have him on the leash and Gus would be pulling Walter everywhere. He really turned around and listened to Walter and was very well behaved. I especially liked it when Gus didnt want his bone from us until he had the last of Walter’s coffee. We will miss seeing Gus and I’m sure he will find a family with kids that can run him like crazy and hopefully give him alittle coffee sometimes.

  3. Dot Mithee says:

    Oh, how heartbreaking and so brave and kind of Walter. It is for the best but so hard to even think about. He was such a good dog.

  4. Edmund Davis-Quinn says:

    The staff at the Animal Refuge League all loved Gus and made me confident he will find an awesome home. Sometimes you need a goofy dog in your life to make it better.

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