Willa: A Sort of Warning/Endorsement

So long story short (which I am terrible at but I thought hey maybe start there and see if it helps), I spent 2018 in a state of depression and by the end of it had the idea that getting a lap dog would help me to help myself.  I looked in area shelters and at various online listings but all the lap dogs were way out of my price range (or at the time I visited the shelters, non-existent – by a large margin).  In mid-January 2019, on a Sunday afternoon whim, I responded to a Craigslist ad for a litter of Dachshund mix puppies.  I had been hoping to find an adult dog but that had not panned out so what the heck.  I received a response from the seller that the mother was an 8 pound black Dachshund and the father was a Maltese.  This sounded kind of perfect.  I got three pictures of three puppies.  One was scruffy.  I was in love.

I drove in the dark for 3 hours (the only time my phone driving directions app has failed me) and finally got to the Wal-Mart parking lot where we had arranged to meet.  I gave her my cash, she gave me my puppy.  A relative in a second vehicle had followed the seller “because you know, it’s Craigslist” so I decided not to execute my sinister plan (sinister plan TBD).  Anyway my 5 and 1/2 week old puppy was the most precious two pound scruffball ever and I named her Willa.

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First photo, in the car after pickup.

She slept in bed with me that night and the next morning we were playing and I felt joy.  It was like a light, faint but steady, had turned back on inside me.

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Feisty whippersnapper.

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Lap dog.

Willa and I bonded right away and over the next few months, we both grew – mine was more spiritual in nature but hers was literal.  And she kept growing.  Of course puppies do that but I guess I was anticipating growth something along the lines of Dachshund, not giraffe.

So long story short (d’oh!), here is Willa today.

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She’s about 4 and 1/2 months old and A•P•P•A•R•E•N•T•L•Y, she is not a Dachshund/Maltese mix.  She is taller than Newt.

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Had the seller represented the puppies for what they actually were (which is I don’t know what, guesses welcome), I would have never answered the ad, let alone bought the puppy.  And what a damn tragedy that would have been.  I never would have met Willa and I can’t imagine my life without her now.

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Sometimes I call her Monkeyface, obviously.

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Markings like a bird dog, coat like a terrier – whatever she is, she is loved.

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29 Comments

  1. GWEN SMITH

     /  April 27, 2019

    She is a doll! I’m so glad you got her. Sad they were taking them away from their mother so young. 😔👎🏻

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
    • I had the same concern Gwen but the seller said the mother refused to care for them after the first 2 weeks so she had bottle fed them until they were able to eat on their own. I would have liked for the siblings to stay together longer at least but she had already sold most of the litter and her exact words to me were “first come, first served” so obviously keeping the siblings together was not in her plans.

      Reply
  2. GWEN SMITH

     /  April 27, 2019

    Whatever she is she’s a beauty and blessed you found her.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
  3. Janet Gill

     /  April 27, 2019

    Very sweet story. Willa is beautiful – very unique markings. I am happy she has helped to heal your soul.

    Reply
    • At first I was thinking perhaps she had inherited the dapple gene from her Dachshund mother but now, not so much.

      Reply
  4. Kacy B\Krieg

     /  April 27, 2019

    So very happy for you and Willa! She is beautiful!

    Reply
  5. Megan Mason

     /  April 27, 2019

    Welcome back Shirley.Willa is beautiful (whatever she is) So happy she has helped you.Dogs are amazing,good for our souls.

    Reply
  6. Willa looks like a Jack Russell terrier. You can actually have DNA testing done to find her breed origins. Considering that the seller sold a too young puppy for cash in a parking lot would be a major red flag that truth would not be particularly important to her. A very good thing that the puppy went to you, a person who would do right by her. I am glad that Willa is healthy and has brought you happiness, depression is a horrible thing to deal with. Animals are a good antidote. However, I don’t have kind thoughts about the backyard breeder/puppy miller who produced her.

    Reply
    • I have always been naive in the sense that I basically take people at their word. It’s not exactly been an asset and I used to think I’d grow older and wiser but at this point, I’m running out of time, heh.

      Reply
  7. Kimberly Sarcinello

     /  April 28, 2019

    Animals for sale, oops I meant available for a “rehoming fee” on Craigslist make me cringe. I am relieved that tiny puppy that was taken from her mother way too soon is with YOU.
    For the not-so-little-now Willa, she hit the adoption jackpot.
    Depression is challenging enough to live with, especially so for me, since I work with so many rescues. I say that my rescue work is more effective than any of my multiple medications.
    I know Willa will live a wonderfully spoiled and life filled with love!
    I wish all good things for you BOTH.

    Reply
    • For me, meds have improved my life immensely but of course they do not “cure all”. Willa’s curative properties are yet to be evaluated by the FDA.

      Reply
  8. Lou Ann

     /  April 28, 2019

    Soooooo happy for you! She is absolutely adorable and just what the heart needed! Glad to see Newt, too!! Keep us posted! ❤️

    Reply
  9. Jerry Edelman

     /  April 28, 2019

    I can certainly understand being held prisoner to depression. In Oct 2017 my beloved dog Tyson passed after a long journey through illness. To say the least, I was devastated. I’ve had a number of dogs in my life that have filled me with great joy and all were special in their own way, but Tyson was different and special in so many ways. He had come into my life in 2009 at a very unexpected time, I had lost 2 dogs that year, one was expected due to age, the other was a young dog, and several months after the passing of the old dog suddenly got cancer. To say the least, I was devasted losing 2 in one year, and they both were very special for different reasons. But then Tyson came into my life and everything changed. After a number of months, I retired from work and got to spend 8 incredible years with my special boy. What was particularly special was that he was the first dog I ever had that I was able to spend my entire day with and boy did we have fun, with many special journies and memories created along the way. All that changed when he passed and I fell into a depression of both mourning and sadness that I frankly didn’t know how to recover from. I knew I would eventually get a new dog, but as the months of depression moved on, I felt hopeless in being able to make the commitment, although many friends kept telling me I needed to rescue another, and that Tyson, himself a rescue would have wanted me to be happy again and save another as he was saved. Ten months of severe depression was really starting to wear on me. I just seemed to be sad all the time, without any solutions or motivation to end it. Then one day I walked into my local shelter, not intending to adopt a dog, but just wanting to be around dogs again. I walked down a row of kennels with some beautiful dogs, some barking and some wagging their tails at me as if to say please notice me, and then I saw a GORGEOUS brindle MASTIFF MIX, as soon as I walked over to his kennel he immediately started wagging his tail and pressing his body against me as if to say please pet me. Something snapped in my mind and after a few minutes touching him through the bars I found someone to let him out of the cage and I took him for a walk outside. Love at first sight, TOTALLY. I somehow knew that this guy was special. After spending about 20 minutes with him I knew this dog was sent by my Tyson as that special one to help me heal and smile again and boy was he right, but honestly, I did not really know just how special he would turn out to be Several days of wait time until his stray hold period was over I adopted this incredible boy whose was named BUDDY, in honor of my mom whose first dog was so named. It has now been 8 months, and I cannot even begin to tell you just how special he is and how much joy he has returned to my life. Every day with him is a new adventure. An incredibly loving, funfilled, sweet boy who simply loves living and meeting new people as well as any dog on the street, all he wants to do is play. I have yet to hear him growl at ANYTHING. Even dogs that come up to him who seem like they want to tear his head off, he simply wags his tail at, looks at them as if to say, why are you barking at me, I just want to play. Not one bit of aggression in him, although because of his size he looks quite menacing, LOL. Clearly, my depression is a thing of the past. I am so glad that getting a dog has cured you as well. That is the amazing thing about having these awesome companions in our lives. They have the ability to alter our lives in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times, yet all the while we just think we are saving them. Thank g-d I found a way to listen to my heart because I could not imagine living without my BUDDY. I am so looking forward to my new journey as I know you are with your WILLA. She is GORGEOUS and I hope you have many wonderful, loving years together. PS, as you can tell, I am NOT good at short stories either, LOL

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your story Jerry and I’m glad you and Buddy found each other.

      Reply
    • Loran Watkins

       /  April 29, 2019

      Your story is incredibly touching, Jerry. I’m glad you were able to give Buddy the home he deserves and he was able to help you heal.

      Reply
  10. jan

     /  April 28, 2019

    glad to see you back!!I lost a very dear friend to depression last year and it rocked our world.. glad to see you better and Willa is wonderful in fact I call her Willa the Wonderful..not all dog sles that that place in parking lots or other seemingly horrible places are bad.. This is a perfect example She looknhappy and is bringing you joy and that’a a good think

    Reply
  11. I think there is a force in the universe that matches humans in need with the perfect dog for them. You just proved my theory. This is a beautiful story.

    Reply
  12. Michele

     /  April 28, 2019

    I am glad your situation worked out but I am deeply concerned about this person who is selling puppies at 5 1/2 weeks. It is against the law to sell puppies under age 8 weeks so I hope you will turn this person into the authorities as she should not be able to continue this practice.

    Reply
  13. Btw, I weighed Willa this morning and she was 17 and 1/2 pounds. She can still fit on my lap, with a little folding.

    Reply
  14. Willa looks delightful and plays well with others. I’m so glad you rescued her and she rescued you back. Tall for a Jack or Parson, but certainly worth a DNA check. Or not: she’s doing her job! More time to grow. Will be interesting to see how she grows up. Good to hear from you.

    Reply
  15. Theresa Bergeron

     /  May 6, 2019

    Whatever she is, she’s adorable! And you’re lucky to have found each other.

    Reply
  16. mary frances

     /  June 21, 2019

    It’s my great happy today to read you write as only you can “Willa can still fit on my lap, with a little folding.” (you got that writer gift and so much more, depression unfortunately tags along sometimes with smart good people, I think) You and Willa gave me a much needed boost of hope today so,

    Thank you and Willa for sharing.

    Reply
  17. David kimker

     /  August 16, 2019

    Thank you for supporting back yard breeders. Without them, bad shelters would be out of business.

    Reply

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