Warning: Do not start to read this post or the links included without a large box of tissues nearby. Animal lover or not, I think you will be deeply and emotionally touched by this story.
A Facebook friend who lives in Portland Oregon owns a miniature schnauzer named Harvey. This individual has long followed the Facebook page of Tom Ryan, a journalist who owns Atticus M Finch, another miniature schnauzer. The story of Tom and Atticus, along with their great adventures, has been compiled into a book written by Tom and entitled Following Atticus.
On occasion, my Facebook pal has shared posts from Tom’s page. They would catch my attention at times, and I began to notice that they were typically centered on Tom’s second miniature schnauzer named Will. Tom never planned to become William Lloyd Garrison’s owner. He details quite clearly in his blog what led up to his taking Will into his home.** Be warned here-the blog posts you will encounter initially not only explain some of Will and Tom’s background, but also make it quite clear that Will has reached the end of his life as Tom posts about plans for the last few days with Will.
This past Friday marked Will’s goodbye. Friends of Tom and Atticus and Will took over many of the updates and posts at Following Atticus in the last days and weeks. Tom has also shared some of his own emotions, along with pictures and videos of Will.
This story is heart-wrenching, yet just as heart-warming and triumphant. I have had to stop at least four times since beginning this post to breathe and fight back tears. I have not been able to read much of what has been posted, nor can I watch the videos of Will in his last days. Tom’s words are profound and filled with love for an animal that was once a throw away.
I will let you read as much or as little as you are able, and discover for yourself the story of Tom and Atticus and Will. It will be a story that I think you won’t forget.
After posting of his last moments with Will, Tom shared that he has begun a campaign, working in conjunction with his local animal shelter, to honor Will by seeking donations for the shelter. While not a unique idea by any means, it seems a wonderful tribute to a good friend.
Tom also shared in one of his updates that he has long had the desire to own some land, and begin a shelter for abused and unwanted animals.
The name Tom has chosen for his new farm/rescue home: Sweet William Farm.