Story told by Rebecca McGinn.
Wally was purchased from a (back-yard breeder) in the newspaper. He was 5 weeks old. The prettiest pup I had ever seen. Wally was shipped to Toronto Canada, for a birthday gift for a family's little girls. Wally stayed with me for 2 weeks before he moved to Toronto. I did not have a dog at that time, and having the pup for 2 weeks convinced me I did not want one. Was he ever cute! Things were great with his new home and little girls, they adored him. I went to visit them when Wally was 3 months old. He was very well trained, a very smart pup. He stayed in their pool swimming all the time. Wally remembered me, just from being with me 2 short weeks, I found that amazing. I visited with them for a week, Wally always with me. There was a bond between us.
Now the sad side of Wally's Story. At 6 months old Wally's family decided they did not want him, I should not say they, It was the Mom, the girls were busy with school, and Dad worked alot, they also traveled alot, I guess what I am trying to say is Wally did not fit into their fast paced life style. So of course I could not let Wally be without someone who loved him. Wally came back to South Carolina and to my family. He now had a family that would never let him go. Wally was very smart and handsome. We have a commercial fish house and boats that fish for us. Every day Wally went to work, he loved to (go to work). Wally would swim several hours a day in the river. He was always on the boats and loved the fish. He learned to catch fish in the river. People would come to see the fishing dog. Thus the name WALLY the WONDER DOG. He was incredible, no leash for the big dog, he did as he pleased. Wally was very happy, a very busy boy. Lots of friends, everyone knew Wally. Wally was neutered at 7 months old. At one year old Wally was 100 lbs, getting vaccinations when the vet said. Heart worm pills monthly, flea treatment monthly, the proper food from the vet office. I thought I was doing the best for him. He went to puppy school and graduate top of his class. Wally grew to 132 lbs. and thats not wet.
We really enjoyed the good life until spring of 2002. Wally started limping on his left front leg. We went to vet every week or ten days for recheck, I was given every lame excuse in the book for his limp.", Too much exercise, Bored, too fat, too heavy, put him on a diet, feed him processed peanut hulls, licking syndrome, GET HIM A PUPPY" He always had a temperature of 103 or higher. His leg developed a lump in August 2002, I demanded an ex ray of his leg, he was in alot of pain he could not use his leg at all. August 2002 I changed vets. She did 3 x-rays in 1 hour, she told us for sure Wally has cancer. The other vet never mention cancer for 4 months of treating his leg. Dr. Swanda scheduled a biopsy the next day in Charleston SC. The surgeon was afraid to take a biopsy of his leg for fear it would break. He went in to do biopsy of lymph node and had to remove the entire node. It was the size of an orange and, the surgeon had never seen a tumor with these characteristics. Wally stayed in the hospital until the next day. The surgeon would telephone with results in a week. He put Wally on morphine and Clavamox.
Wally had a very hard time recovering from the surgery. It took 3 weeks for the diagnoses of Malignant Histiocytosis/Histiocytic Sarcoma. The Surgeon in Charleston SC, would not do amputation on Wally's leg and shoulder. He said this type of cancer was a death sentence. There is no treatment or cure. Just keep him on morphine until the pain gets to bad. He said only weeks Wally had to live. He commented so many times Wally is too fat, heavy to be a tripod. Dr. Swanda made Wally an appointment with NC State Vet Hospital, to have him evaluated for amputation. We had to wait 2 weeks for Wally's appointment at NC State. They did a biopsy of Wally's leg same results came back a week later. They tested Wall's heart to see if he could be an active tripod. He passed the test. 3 days later NC State did the amputation, Wally stayed on at the hospital for 3 more days. They treated him with chemo on the second day. We returned each week for chemo, 1 treatment. They put him to sleep to administer chemo each time. After 4 chemo treatments, they said the chemo was not working. Take Wally home to die. So much for NC State. Wally felt great with the painful leg gone but the chemo took a toll on him.