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Happy Tail: Wally, the dog who could jump like a deer

There's a special concern among pet owners for proper places burial places for their pets. Adair County CJE Mike Stephens has shared a dream of adding a pet cemetery for Adair County, likely in conjunction with the Green River Animal Shelter. There has be interest from private groups, too. For now, though, pet owners are improvising with unique places to enshrine their pets. This is a story of one of those special places for a very special dog, Wally, short for Wallaby, who could jump like a deer. Peg Schaeffer remembers him each time she's working in the garden, near his final resting place, "Wallaby Crossing." - EW
Click on headline for complete Happy Tail with photo(s). Next Previous Happy Tail:Happy Tail: The story of Kitty & Tippy & a special senior, Angel

By Peg Schaeffer

There have been a lot of dogs in my life and they all have a special place in my heart. Some have an even bigger place in my heart and an Australian Cattle Dog named Wallaby, aka "Wally" was one of them.


Wally came to me from the Connecticut Humane Society. The animal behaviorist, Joanne, had adopted him and after a few weeks at her home she came to the conclusion it was in his best interest if he found another home. She had a Belgian Malinois she was training and she said Wally would torment him to the point she was afraid the other dog would hurt him. Being a puppy and an Australian Cattle Dog gave Wally a huge attitude and a belief that he was invincible. She asked me to take him with the promise that I would keep him and not adopt him out.

The smartest and cockiest dog I've ever had

Wally wasn't a purebred Cattle Dog. He had something else in him, probably hound. He had a smooth coat and long legs. He was probably one of the smartest and cockiest dogs I've ever had. Wally could jump like a deer. We had a fenced in area for the dogs with a fence that was four feet high. Wally could sail over that with ease. Keith and Wally had a competition going and it was funny to see a man and a dog having a battle of wits. So Keith decided he'd build a fence Wally couldn't jump. He spent days building a barricade that would put Fort Knox to shame. It was a six foot high stockade fence. Once it was finished he told me to put Wally in the house. "Let's see him get out of this fence", he said as he crossed his arms.

Before I could get out of the house Wally flew over the fence and then sat proudly alongside Keith looking at him with a big grin. Keith went back to work on the fence, securing it so there was "no way that blankety, blank dog would get out this time." So I put Wally back in the fence and again before I could get out the door Wally leaped the fence and went over to Keith, proud of his achievement. Keith's hard work wasn't for naught - none of the other dogs could get out.

The UPS guy wanted an encore jump

The UPS guy came to the house one day to make a delivery. Wally jumped the fence to greet him. As he handed me the package he exclaimed "did that dog just jump that fence?" "Yep" "Can you make him do it again?" "Sure" So I put Wally back in the house and to the amazement of the delivery driver he jumped the fence. The driver always loved to come to the house just to wait for Wally to jump the fence and greet him.

Wally went everywhere with me. He would sit in the back seat of the truck. He sat right on his butt. Whenever I looked into the rear view I would see him sitting tall and proud. He never missed a trick. When I would get out of the truck he'd jump into the front seat and sit behind the steering wheel keeping guard until I came back.

Wally was too overzealous to be earn a horse loading job

Sydney was always the horse loading dog so I decided I'd have him teach Wally the ropes so he'd have a backup. But Wally was way too eager and determined to load the horses. He was relentless, nipping and biting their heels, and then grabbing their tails. We had to stop using him. People don't appreciate it when you deliver their horse with blood dripping down their legs.

Since Wally was so smart and athletic I decided to take him to agility classes. He first had to complete an obedience class. He was the star student. Always eager to please he learned every command in no time. Come, sit, down, stay, leave it, now - he was always ready to learn something new. He passed his obedience class with flying colors and then started agility.

Agility was right up his alley

Agility was right up his alley. He loved the different obstacles. There was a seesaw, an A frame, tunnels, weave poles, jumps, and his favorite - a barrel with a cloth tunnel at the end. When he went through the barrel he would give a small leap through the cloth tunnel. Often he would be so excited about this obstacle if another dog was going through it he would race over and jump on it while the other dog was coming out. He would fly through each test and couldn't wait to do the next one. I don't know which one of us had more fun - him or me. The instructor usually stood by the A frame while we completed the course so when Wally was done he would race back to the A frame, jump to the top of it and lick the instructor's face. No wonder he earned the title of Teacher's Pet.

Wally's life was cut short by a tragic accident. It was the worst day of my life. Keith was on the road and I was home alone. He died in my arms. I've often said if I was ever granted just one wish it would be to turn back time to that day and change the event that took him from me. For the longest time after he died I'd look into the rear view mirror expecting to see him sitting in the back seat. There have been a few times I'm sure I have seen him. I know he's always with me. His collar hangs from the rear view mirror.

He's buried in the garden, so I can visit him while working there

He's buried in the garden so I can visit him while I'm working there. He has a special place under the lilac bush with mums that bloom in the fall. There's a sign that says "Wallaby Crossing". There's also a headstone that says:
"If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I walk right up to heaven,
And bring you home again"
And I would and I will. - Peg Schaeffer, President and Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

Contact us if you would like to help.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Sugarfootfarm.com
sugarfootfarmrescue@yahoo.com
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675


This story was posted on 2015-04-19 05:39:02
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Wally, the high jumping Australian Cattle Dog



2015-04-19 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
There have been a lot of dogs in my life and they all have a special place in my heart. Some have an even bigger place in my heart and an Australian Cattle Dog named Wallaby, aka "Wally" was one of them. He was probably one of the smartest and cockiest dogs I’ve ever had. Wally could jump like a deer. - PEG SCHAEFFER

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The Gravesite for Wally: Wallaby Crossing at Sugarfoot



2015-04-19 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
Wally, short for Wallaby, is buried in the garden so I can visit him while I'm working there. He has a special place under the lilac bush with mums that bloom in the fall. There’s a sign that says "Wallaby Crossing”. There’s also a headstone that says:
"If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I walk right up to heaven,
And bring you home again"
And I would and I will. - PEG SCHAEFFER
There's heightened interest finding proper burial places for pets. Some even want the laws changed on cemeteries so people can have pets buried with them or beside them. Some, including Adair CJE Mike Stephens, are dreaming of a pet cemetery to serve Adair County and nearby counties. There is interest from private groups, as well. This story is about Peg Schaeffer's solution to the need to pay proper respect and keep a special pet's memory alive. Comments on the need are welcome today, especially of special places pet owners would like to share, including photos. - CM

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