Almost all the obituaries we receive for publication are for people. But every once in a while, there’s one like this:
“’Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.’” – A.A. Milne
Romeo’s Simple Twist of Fate, “Wilhelm”
August 21, 2007 – October 28, 2023
When Wilhelm came to live in West Seattle from Packwood, Washington, at seven and half weeks of age, he was smaller than the two resident cats, Emily and Gryphon, at his forever home. The residing dog, a big black lab mix named Tynan, took little speckled fluff ball puppy Wilhelm under his charge and became the perfect big brother. When Tynan passed away in 2010, it was Wilhelm’s turn to big brother it up! Wilhelm soon showed off all he had learned about being an exemplary sibling from Tynan when troublemaker adventure cat, Amelia, handsome corgi, Brychwyn, and big-hearted collie, Huxley, joined the family. While big brother Wilhelm was always smaller than his siblings, what he lacked in stature he made up for with smarts and heart!
Wilhelm did not just charm fellow animals as he was also fond of and adored by many, many people. Throughout his years of long walks from Morgan Junction through the Alaska Junction to the Admiral Junction, up and down Alki and Harbor Aves and Beach Drive, Lincoln Park to Fauntleroy Creek Park, and the Longfellow Creek Trail, neighbors stopped to say hello and pet super soft and friendly Wilhelm. Although Wilhelm took his walks, as well as stops at his favorite shops very seriously, and viewed behaving on them as one of his jobs, he especially liked visits with younger neighbors – there was no such thing as getting petted for too long or by too many kids!
Perhaps Wilhelm’s enjoyment of the company of children was in part because he was always young at heart and he loved and enjoyed the great big world as a child might. On travel adventures to 19 states and 2 provinces, Wilhelm appreciated the simple things, often closing his eyes and sniffing the breeze as his ears blew back. Wilhelm and family tent camped across the country once, and flew a second time. Despite having hiked the entire south rim trail at the Grand Canyon and twice visiting wonders like Niagara Falls and the Golden Gate Bridge, local travels were likely Wilhelm’s favorite. He followed snowshoe tracks up the Glade Trail on Mount Hood multiple times, walked First Beach from jetty to cliff dozens of times, and dipped his feet in the Columbia River at multiple Washington and Oregon stops. Yet through all Wilhelm experienced, nothing compared to simply crunching through the fallen autumn leaves.
Wilhelm, also known as Wilhelm von Dachshund, Wil, Willie, Wee Willie Winky, Little Bone, Dapple-y Dan, Little D, Pup ‘n’ Stuff, Captain Puppy, Man Bone, and so many more, was preceded in death and met over the rainbow bridge by Emily, Tynan, Gryphon, and his baby brother Huxley. Wilhelm is survived by Amelia, Brychwyn, his new kitten Amari, and his resident humans. Not only did Wilhelm know all of his nicknames but he was a Canine Good Citizen and therapy dog. He held titles in Rally, won ribbons in obedience, and took agility and nose work classes. Wilhelm’s release cue upon completing a task was “all done.” For 16 years, Wilhelm gave his whole big heart and small, fluffy body to being an outstanding brother, neighbor, travel companion, and giver of smiles to all he met… “all done, Wilhelm.” Thank you.
“…Felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate…”
Wilhelm’s family is grateful to the caregivers at Cascade Heights Veterinary Center, Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle Cardiology, Lap of Love, and Resting Waters. Actions in memory of Wilhelm should be to sniff the breeze, crunch in the leaves, and stop to say hello to your neighbors.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)