I found myself missing Wally, the Border Terrier, this morning.

A string of somewhat coherent thoughts cruised through my head and left me picturing Wally. I remembered him sitting by the car one day and shaking, his whole body trembling and his little face set with misery. I closed my eyes remembering dear Wally and the way he trembled in the world, and I sighed loudly releasing air. Longing…

I (still) grieve hard for Mottsu and today I am thinking of his (our) little dog, Wally. ‘There’s only one little Wally” we used to sing to the tune of Guantunamerra, “…one little Waaa-lllll-eeee, there’s only one little Waaa-lly.”

Wally was our dog, he was Mottsu’s dog, a one dog fan club. Let me tell the story behind the memory of him sitting by the car shaking.
Wally - a very special little dog

The day we moved in to the big country house, Mottsu’s dream house the place from which he was going to build a new career and enjoy a tree-changed life, was a day happy on the surface and dark and swirling beneath that.

There was too much invested the house, too much money, too many hopes for a different life, Mottsu was grapsing at a future beyond depression. Maybe he had already lost his centre, I don’t know, I think he was battling the high seas of depression and was helpless to make headway.

The morning of the move, we packed up one house and waited for the movers with their truck. I stuffed the car with loose bits and items, the pieces not secured in boxes. Mottsu drove off, our precious flotsam pushed up against the car windows, he went to get the key, drop off the bits, and was to be back before the movers had loaded their truck.

Mottsu left.
The movers arrived.
The movers loaded up the truck.
No word from Mottsu.

I was overcome with a seemingly irrational fear. A full body wave of terror swept over me and drew everything out, I perched on the toilet seat seasick green, clinging to notion that I was being absurd, and at the same time ill with fear. This was three weeks before he left without coming home again. That sunny Saturday morning, my body sensed before my mind had formed the thought, that Mottsu might not come home again.

Mottsu drove up.

Relief broke out and I laughed, Wally wagged and we all piled into the car and followed the movers to our new house.

We spent the day unpacking, sorting and putting things into place.
Amid the boxes and mess I didn’t see Wally for most of the afternoon, I found him outside sitting close to the car and shaking.

Wally just wanted to go where we went, he wasn’t going to be left behind. The mood of the move was distressing, a big exciting move to be celebrated with an unnamed darkness underscoring it all. Our new home was supposed to be a safe place, with paddocks and views and dreams filling every room. Somewhere below the visible reality things didn’t feel so welcoming.

Wally picked it all up, sensed the shadows and trembled, he wanted to go home, to our regular city home, I did too.

I miss Wally and his big little dog heart, his love and his fear. I love and love, I grieve. Still and on and on. The price for loving well is grieving hard.

That’s just how it is, love well, grieve hard, long and hard – and on and on…