I have a special place in my heart for Willie Wonka Walker. Willie the English Springer Spaniel belongs to my best friend Cicely. Although, if you asked him, he’d say that Cicely and I belong to him. I first met Willie when Cicely became my roommate in college in Virginia. When Cicely moved in with Willie, I was overjoyed. I had always been a dog person with no dog. (My parents refused to get us a dog. My chihuahua died when I was 6 and apparently I was traumatized.) I spoiled him to death. I gave him treats so often that Cicely called them “all-the-times”. I bought him sweaters, which he loved. Dogs love sweaters, even big dogs. Trust me.
When Cicely moved to North Carolina, she left Willie with me to keep me company. Willie was my constant companion. I was even able to bring him to work with me from time to time. When I moved to California, Willie returned to Cicely. He never forgot me. Every time I visit her, Willie does his little happy dance and follows me around like a shadow. It’s nice to be THAT loved.
I came to Houston with a specific purpose. I wanted to see Willie and a do a photo shoot with him. Cicely knew of a bluebell field near her house. We did a very short photo shoot. The shoot lasted 20 minutes. At 17 years old, Willie had very little energy. Despite his hearing loss, cataracts, and other ailments, Willie was able to muster up a few smiles. For extra entertainment factor, Willie ran into a nearby pond and I accidentally stood on a fire ant hill.
Here are some of the photos Cicely took of me in action.