The time has come to announce the existence of my new business partner.

His name is Wally. He’s a former “shelter dog,” because I got him from The Animal Shelter of Texas County – which gives him something in common with his predecessor Jamie, who came from a shelter in Oceanside, Calif.

Together, Wally and me will soon be teaming up for a column series called “Welcome to Wally’s World,” in which he travels, learns and experiences life, and shares his opinions, feelings and knowledge. My role as his sidekick will be to record his wanderings and wonderings in sentences and photographs (and keep him in line as much as possible).

And for what it’s worth, Wally knows he’s in no way a replacement for Jamie; he’ll simply pick up where the Big Lug left off earlier this year.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison

Anyway, Wally’s an unusual mutt, which of course makes him well suited for his role. He’s a cross between a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Wire Fox Terrier (a.k.a. wire-haired Terrier), so I like to say he’s either a “Corgified Terrier” or a Terrified Corgi” (I guess it depends on your viewpoint).

Only a little over a year old, Wally kind of looks like the work of a mad scientist. He has many classic Corgi characteristics, like a long-and-low body, big ears (that are usually vertically positioned and can move in every direction like periscopes or weathervanes), and a stub at the end of his end that makes his whole rear move when it wags. But he also has unmistakable Terrier attributes, like coarse, wiry fur from head to toe, a bit of a beard and massive eyebrows.

Put all of his physical qualities together, add a perpetual series of silly (almost smiley) facial expressions and a generous helping of energy, and it’s basically like having a cartoon for a pet.

But a good ol’ funny cartoon, like Yogi Bear or The Flintstones.

From the moment Wally set foot on the front lawn of the remote Texas County high country outpost where my wife Wendy and I live, he got along fine with the other canine member of the family, our young female Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Gertie (the Permapup). Thankfully, Wally also got along well with the rest of the veritable zoo-full of various species of mammals and birds that hang out at our place. Perhaps most importantly, he passed the test of not being a chicken chaser with flying colors. In fact, our little English Porcelain banty hen, Slippie, took an immediate liking to the hairy newcomer and literally followed him around as he explored and sniffed every inch of his new surroundings.

I’m pretty sure she couldn’t believe there was such a thing as a living, breathing Brillo pad. To some extent, I agree with her; it’s like we have a giant piece of steel wool or one of those big, rotating car wash brushes for a dog.

We’ve had Wally about three weeks now, and in that relatively short time he has already proven to have tons of personality and numerous talents – both Corgish and Terrish.

For example, he came to us already possessing the knack of catching food tossed his way (which is totally a must for dogs living in our abode). Yep, Wally can – with the best of them – snatch a piece of cheese out of mid-air, snag a chip just before it touches terra firma or clamp down on a piece of bacon as it sails near his head. And the delivery doesn’t matter – you can launch goodies toward him from above, sidearm or backhand and his snout will make the grab.

To go with his good looks, Wally has an extremely diverse vocabulary, highlighted by a big, deep (and loud) bark. But he also speaks fluent Corgish, and makes cool, soft sounds to match different circumstances that resemble mini-howls and even words (like woowoo-ooo, wow-mower-mow and more-now-wow).

Wally is also a master of doing figure-eights on the kitchen floor and lays down perfect sets when he’s about to be fed, or – oddly enough – when me and Wendy are hugging. I’m sure he knows why he does it, and maybe he’ll share that some day.

This myriad of actions and sounds has already earned Wally many nicknames. There’s Walter (his you’re-in-trouble full name), Wallington (his formal name, worthy of his royal Corgi heritage), Uncle Hairy (born of his obvious fur-bearing appearance), Ralph (for his, well, I’m not sure), Henry (because he looks way older than he is – nothing personal to all you Hanks out there) and WWW (for World Wide Wally).

In the time I’ve been fortunate enough to spend with him so far, I’ve noticed that Wally loves history and old-timey stuff, is quick to speak and cares little about what others think of what he says, and has a passion for trivial knowledge (sounds a lot like a Pembroke I used to know). I figure that should help as the two of us go out and about in search of adventure and then sit down to document it.

Truthfully, I’m looking forward to what Wally comes up with and I anticipate witnessing plenty of wondrous and wacky moments while sharing his world. I’ll do my best, and God willing, I’ll be able to keep up.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.  Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

During his first hour of living at his new home

During his first hour of living at his new home, Wally, right, sits with his new pal, Gertie (the Permapup).

Wally – Corgified Terrier, or Terrified Corgi.

Wally – Corgified Terrier, or Terrified Corgi.

Wally chills at his new home at a remote Texas County high country outpost.

Wally chills at his new home at a remote Texas County high country outpost near Houston, Mo.

Wally.

Wally.

 

Wally's World

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