Wednesday, February 14, 2024

All about Wally - bad start but winning finish

Wally at the shelter - redlisted for behavior
Wally was pulled by Reunion Rescue back in September 2023. The shelter in Modesto had him red-listed as a pit bull soon to be exterminated due to fearful reaction. To their credit, a Stanislaus ACC employee brought Wally - he was known by another name in the shelter - into her office where he came alive and blossomed, so thankful for a little kindness and to be away from the noisiest clangiest part of the facilty where animals were brought to their death nearly every hour.
I saw his TikTok created by a shelter volunteer with the story and couldn't get this little man out of my head. I knew he could flourish by using the Reunion Rescue resources we've trusted for years to save animals like Wally. First thing I did was contact Patti to get an animal communication reading. These conversations would go on over the next few months. Into the fray would pop other spirits from the afterworld who've helped Reunion pets over the years.
I had a big surprise this time. Various dogs would pop up from time to time. Pip from Bakersfield is a longtime guide who helps the new kid learn about Reunion and how they will be safe and never ever feel pain or cruelty again. Peanut from Alvin, Texas who'd wound up at the horror house Spindletop and ended up living his life with us until last year when he passed gently into the night from old age. But, the biggestsurprise was Penny. Penny was my mother's dog who'd lived to be 23 years old. Even though he'd passed away
back in the 50's before I was born, the stories my mother would tell my sister and I about Penny were the bright spots in a dark dismal past. Penny told Patti that he'd been with me my whole life, watching over me. He told her about a tree I'd climb and sit after school, where he'd "be with me..." his words. These communications with Penny have opened up a whole new realm for me and I'm writing another book about Penny and all the rescues and animal communication that have saved me and a lot of animals. I have little Wally to thank for that.
So when Wally's time was up at the shelter, I was frantic. What could I do? There was no money in the Reunion bank account as usual. So like our Found a Pit Bull page suggests, I created a Gofundme and stayed up all night contacting anyone and everyone who'd ever donated to Reunion for the past two plus decades. That was a lot of bounced emails, but I was able to raise $775. With that amount, I was able to place a hold on Wally.
The volunteer who'd been so adamant about helping Wally had given me misinformation about how to collect the pledges. I'd been told the donations could not be accessed until a freedom photo of Wally in front of the Stanislaus shelter was taken and posted. I had nobody to pick Wally up and move him to the boarding facility, his only option. A last minute contact of that volunteer was good enough to retrieve Wally, but that's where the buck stopped. When I asked for a photo, no answer from the dude and a sound rebuff from the volunteer. When it came time to make good on the pledges, the volunteer only posted the Gofundme I'd set up rather than our Paypal, Venmo and website donation links as was the policy with all of the other rescue groups and last minute pulls from this shelter. What that translated to was Wally's funds only amounted to the $775 I'd collected on my own as the pledge donors saw the amount and figured that was plenty and their money was needed elsewhere for another dog in need.
Life is a carnival
Life is a carnival - only good things for Wally

What most people don't realize is upkeep for an animal is expensive. How costly you ask? The boarding and food was $850 a month. Wally was boarded for over four months along with pricey neutering.
And, he had no options. I finally in all that time had one longtime adopter willing to foster Wally. She had a pet rabbit and lived hours away from Modesto. We had to rabbit test Wally first. I posted on that same volunteer/pledge Facebook page and was shocked at the response. The same crowd who'd championed pulling Wally at the last minute were first to slam the request asking for someone who had a pet rabbit to agree to a very supervised intro with an experienced handler. Everybody seemed to have an opinion and none of them helpful. I was shocked to say the least.
My only option at this point was to transport Wally here to Texas. I'd just brought the Bakersfield 4 here and was over-full with pitties and dogs, not to mention cats and the birds. A full house but not in the poker hand sense. Like most things I do in rescue, it was a leap of faith. I'd deal with it when Wally got here.
The $500 transport put Wally at almost $5,000. Most people who don't get rescue would balk at this amount, but I knew I had to get Wally to me. I knew he needed me, but I had no idea just how much. The communications with Patti began to illuminate his awful past. Wally had a problem with men. First, the boarding facility owner, a guy, had to warm him up and that took some work. Then the transport driver, another guy, had some issues with Wally. When he got to us, he was not reception to Scott, to say the least. It was growling, fear-based lunging and most of the reactive behavior seemed to be associated with his crate. I'd first had Wally in a plastic kennel, my crate of choice, but not being able to see everything around him seemed to activate his fearfulness. I changed him to a wire kennel and while not perfect, the adjustment seemed to improve matters somewhat. I addressed this with Patti and that was when I found out Wally had been horribly abused. When he got to the shelter, he weighed 33 pounds at a year and half. Someone, a man, had inflicted great cruelty upon Wally. I still don't know exactly what happened and really don't want to. Patti added, "and it was severe." That was enough. We did not want Wally to have to relive his past. It was time for him to have a new life and that's where me and Reunion went to work.

First, I was amazed when Scott pulled me aside and told me I could keep Wally here even though it put us way over the top
Scott refused to give up on Wally
Scott refused to give up on Wally...check out the payoff!
with dogs. This when Wally was still barking, growling and reacting to Scott. This was big. I'd already begun the work to help him move past his trauma. Use of Animal Relief, the flower essences which help move past a horrible experience(s) 

For any abandoned animal, whether feral or residing in a relief shelter

  • Any animal being adopted into a new home, or being given a new guardian or caretaker
  • For loss of the primary caretaker due to death, divorce or changes in the family system
  • During any time of significant travel or re-location to a new home or living space
  • For any animal with a prior history of physical abuse, torture or abandonment
  • For performance or work animals who are exploited, or valued only for monetary worth or reproduction value
  • During times of prolonged illness, or extensive surgery; can be used in tandem or alternation with Magenta Self-Healer
  • For any time of pronounced stress in the animal - such as the prolonged absence of the primary caretaker or environmental disruption due to any natural disaster. Can be used in alternation or in tandem with Post-Trauma Stabilizer

Emergency stock Australian Bush Flower Essence for medical help, this essence will provide comfort until treatment is available. Administer this remedy every hour or more frequently if necessary until the person feels better. It can also be used topically or mixed into a cream.

These items are listed on the Reunion Rescue Health Page published to help others - shelters, pet owners, fellow rescuers - or any animal lover who might be facing issues.
It wasn't overnight, but Wally began to show marked improvement. Another factor - also on the Health Page - is a great diet. The more raw meat that can be added to the diet, the better. There are some great dog trainers out there who refuse to train a dog not eating a raw diet. It's amazing what eating the food intended to maintain the body can do for the behavior, the peace of mind.
The icing on the cake was a big surprise. Wally was a ball dog and a half. He loves it. He's learned to fetch and retrieve from all the way up to the top deck down two flights of stairs to the backyard. Not since Peanut have I seen such a great ball dog. Wally could go for it all day. Since he was so proficient on the ball, I tried him on Frisbee and he took to it like a champ. By the first day he was jumping up into the air to catch it. Wally has the makings of a real Frisbee champ.
He is very treat oriented and wasn't too fond of raw chicken at first, but I began chopping up some raw thighs minus skin and bone and covered it in a gravy of high quality canned and some premium almost raw kibble. He snarfed it up. By the third or fourth try, he was eating bone and all like the other dogs. And you could see the marked improvement. I've fed enough abused dogs to notice the difference in a kibble-fed pet and a well-fed dog. The food choices are a solid element in our E.A.T.S. Empty All the Shelters program. If you want to help us launch this incredible plan, please subscribe to the Reunion Rescue newsletter.

Check out Wally first day with his Frisbee -


  1. What do you need? This breaks my heart. I’m so glad you got him out.

  2. Hey Mandi...please share Wally's story in hopes that other people will take a look at the shelters. There are so many dogs who want a home.