From: David C. Merriam
Date: August 26, 2008 11:35 p.m.
Subject: WALLY’S WORLD
I suppose this might be a fan letter but it really is more a note of appreciation.
Acquired my first bull terrier when I was 14 and for over 50 years always had at least one and at time up to 20 under foot
Bred, raised and exhibited bull terriers for many years with reasonable success
Have judged bull terriers and other terriers from Boston to San Diego, Miami to Seattle, and Tokyo to London and Australia to Austria and yes I have awarded prizes to your friend Rufus
Have judged at Silverwood and this October will judge the BTCA Specialty at the Silverwood weekend
Have served as the BTCA President
Have been Chairman of the Board of AKC and on the Board for 20 years
Have served 20 years on the bench seen police bias and abuse of authority up close
Don't have a fondness for dog stories, not even "Bar Sinister"
Am not keen on sheep or goats
Received a copy of your book from your publisher and would be happy to do a review if I knew where
Am immensely happy that I decided to read it
I live comfortably in semi-rural northern San Diego Country but also have an apartment in Manhattan
I bore you with the above trivia only to note how much of what you wrote in Wally's World found direct contact with my life experiences.
Your book brought me considerable pleasure and for that I thank you.
Hon. David C. Merriam
And a recent blog review from “Calendar Girl” http://nerves-patterns.livejournal.com:80/104588.html
“Wally's World is the non-fiction memoir of a famous Canadian essayist (Marsha Boulton) who writes about life on a farm, in the country, with animals, etc. It's also a love letter to the dogs of her childhood, and to her beloved dog Wally, a bull terrier who saw her through the hardest years of her adult life. As always, I enter into a non-fiction work/memoir with intense scepticism, but Boulton's honesty and candidness won me over completely - she describes unbelievable events with veracity and believability, which is no easy feat. It's kind of like a cross between James Herriot and Erma Bombeck, with some really, truly terrible luck thrown in to make her life more difficult. I'd like to collect the rest of her books at some point in time.”
---- Original Message ----
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:46:26 AM
Subject: RE: Wally
I have to tell you that your book, “Wally’s World” has so enthralled me that I don’t want it to end. I was manning the DLCC booth at Scugog Dog Days yesterday. I had seen your book at the booth before, but had no idea that it was going to be such a heart grabber. I was all alone and there wasn’t a lot of activity, so I decided to buy the book and I had such a wonderful day reading your book and talking to people about our dogs and the frustration of Bill 132.
Marsha, you opened up your life and shared so much about your dogs I feel as though I’ve met you personally. There was more than one chapter where I had to choke back tears. I stopped for dinner on the way home and brought my book into the restaurant with me…couldn’t leave it behind in the car! I think people thought I was nuts because I would occasionally laugh out loud and I don’t think they could see that I had a book in front of me
There were things you spoke of that you’d learned about from other BT owners that I can relate to my Amstaff, Reese. Up until I read about the ‘meditative state’ from you, I thought that maybe Reese had a mental deficiency! <grin> Although not the clown that Wally was, there are a lot of similarities between the breeds.
I’m getting to the end of the book and I’ve slowed down in the reading because as I said before, I hate to have it end, but also because I know that Wally is no longer with you and passed on from a horribly painful condition. I’m getting upset just writing about it.
I remember a post from you about your US release of your book, and that there is a final chapter on Wally. Can you tell me the address of the website where you posted this final chapter; I’d love to read it?
I can just imagine how hard his passing would have affected both you and Stephen. All of our dogs are great, but there are some dogs that burrow holes in our hearts and the heart is full only as long as they’re around, when they pass on, they leave huge, gaping holes.
I read that you now have ‘Monk’ and I’m so happy for you. It never diminishes the memory of a loved pet when another one comes into your life, but rather compliments the predecessor because you did want another pet.
I would enjoy being able to meet you and ‘Monk’ one day; who knows, perhaps when Bill 132 is squashed we may meet at the victory party!!
Thank you for writing such a wonderful book!
PS..I’ve attached a picture of Reese, the meditator and Opal the mole hunter.
Opal, Reese & Andy
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 8:52 PM
Subject: Wally the Wonder Dog
I just wanted to say that I loved your book (plural actually). I really liked your first three Letters...books and although I'm not a dog person, I bought Wally anyway. I'm not able to have furry pets (nor as a child) because I'm allergic to fur. In any case, I loved Wally! I feel terrible about the tribulations you and your partner had to endure and glad you had Wally to support you throughout. If every author in the world had to deal with house invasions etc. every time they wrote about nasty persons, a great many people would be in a lot of trouble. What a waste of governmental energy to persecute someone that has written a book they didn't happen to like. I love my country, but that is just sad.
Hugs to your whole family.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jane C
To: Marsha Boulton
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 1:05 PM
Marsha, I have fallen for Wally hook, line, and the proverbial sinker. Just finished reading his book, and about the difference he made to you and Stephen during that dreadful time -- which is far worse than I had read about. It doesn't seem possible, in this country, that there could be such disregard for citizens' rights.The two redeeming virtues would be, of course, Wally, and the possibility that the RCMP, CSIS, local constabulary and tout le bataclan, might learn from it -- enough to think before doing it again.
I still tend to sputter with rage when I even think about how you were mistreated. Where do you stand now? Is it finished, over with? I trust it is.
Every time I pass by the book, I giggle at that face, and feel better. Particularly after the sixth surgery last week. And I have the Wally postcard by the computer and giggle at him some more. You may want to tell him that he can add another virtue to his list: a healing virtue. That is, if you feel his head won't get even bigger. I'm sure he'll tell Obie the next time they meet -- I might have known they'd get along. Never met Obie either, but I've read about him in his mistress's Globe column.
I hope to ask you to Southampton some day -- the University Women's Club, or the Friends of Saugeen Shores (founded to keep out Wal-Mart) -- paltry honorariums, but good causes.
How you managed to keep your sense of humour through it all boggles the mind. But you did -- and I suppose that means that it will be Wally who writes the next book. "How to Safeguard your Master's/Mistress's Sanity...".
All the best, and thanks for the workshop,
From Selma Mulvey’s Blog Caveat:
I just read 'Wally's World' by Marsha Boulton.
Marsha is a Canadian author who won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humor in 1996 for her 'Letters from the Country' series and has received other prestigious honors for her writing.
The book was wonderful and reading about Marsha's childhood was so evocative of my own I found myself wishing I'd known her as a kid growing up in Toronto during the 1950s.
She tells the tale of Wally, her popular Bull terrier and how he influenced her life. She also touches on how Wally's joie de vivre held her family together as they endured harassment by authorities in Ontario after her partner wrote a book about the infamous 'Deal with the Devil' made by officials during a high-profile Ontario murder case.
I wish there had been more information about this vendetta by the Crown, which created a stir at the time. In fact, author Stephen Williams received an award from US-based Human Rights Watch, believed to be a first for Canada.
There are many anecdotes about city life, farm life, time spent in New York and elsewhere, with Wally the Wonder Dog being front and centre for most of the book. The chapter on meeting Wally and bringing him home took me back to days when a new dog always meant a puppy.
Marsha Boulton writes with warmth and irrepressible wit.
Wally is a lucky dog to have a family that just let's him be himself - and what a self he is!
I recommend Wally's World to anyone who enjoys a good book by a skilled writer who is not afraid to let us into her life, which is an interesting one.