Wall-e is a 3-year-old Havanese with beautiful silver and black coloring. Simply put, he is adorable from his little wet nose and soft brown eyes all the way to his pom-pom tail. Wall-e is hard to win over, but once you’re on his good side, his affection knows no bounds. Thanks to a newly relaxed household policy and a pocketful of tasty tidbits, my husband and I have won him over. This is a good thing because a dog can never have too many friends, especially now.

Wall-e is an only dog who has had the full and ample attention of his humans for his entire life. This is about to change. Oh, he knows something is up. As always, every aspect of his well-being, health and entertainment has been considered, but still… strange things have been happening. First, it was the redecorating of that room that used to be off-limits. One day, out of the blue, the door was flung open and in came paint and shelves and some stuffed animals that he was not allowed to play with. Very odd. Since when are toys brought into the house that don’t immediately go into his basket? Some strange furniture went in there too: a funny box-shaped thing with bars going up and down. It was unlike the cozy furniture he was always invited to share, but it is not altogether without merit. It has been proven to be a great hiding place and napping spot. His humans went in that room often, bringing more and more things in—things he wasn’t allowed to play with. He was allowed to give everything a good sniff, though, and their foreignness was intriguing. Sometimes he goes in that room just to sniff things, and it’s getting more and more familiar.

“What else could he do but help himself?”

A chair was the last thing to come in, and when he jumped onto his human’s lap, it moved. It slid back and forth in a pleasing way. It was so surprisingly relaxing that Wall-e fell sound asleep. It’s not quite as interesting when it’s empty, so whenever he sees one of his people sit in it with that dreamy look on their face, he jumps up and enjoys being rocked. Once he heard them say that he was the exact size and weight of a baby, whatever that is.

Wall-e’s people seem to be waiting for something. He thinks it has something to do with his human mom’s belly. It is warmer and rounder and makes a heartbeat sound that reminds him of being a puppy. Sometimes when he’s laying his head against that belly, it moves. He kind of likes it, even though it changes all the time. His human dad spends a lot of time with his hand on it and when it moves, they celebrate by making happy noises. People are weird. But, what the heck, they’re his people.

Recently, Wall-e’s humans came home after shopping and put the bags down on the dining room chairs, like they do every time. As always, Wall-e knows not to nose around in those bags. People are funny about those things. But, he noticed right away that there was a fluffy toy in there, and they were taking a long time to present it to him. He posed beautifully, awaiting his prize. His people didn’t notice. He adjusted his stance and whined a little, but they still didn’t notice.

Surely they meant for him to have it, and it smelled delectable with hints of vanilla and lavender, which he really liked. Wall-e barked but they ignored him. Not only did they ignore him, they left the room without a word, heading upstairs with arms full. He watched as they disappeared into that new room. He waited at the foot of the stairs, but they didn’t come down. He considered going up there, just in case one of them was sitting in that rocking chair, but he couldn’t get that toy out of his mind. What else could he do but help himself?

Wall-e was not disappointed. Oh, how soft and fluffy this toy was! It was shaped like a lamb, smelled wonderful up close, and now that he had it in his mouth, its softness was surprisingly pleasant. Wall-e was so excited with his new toy that he dragged it up the stairs. It was a little awkward because of its dangling legs that kept tripping him, but he managed it. When he reached the top stair, he charged into the new room, shaking the fuzzy lamb with all his might. He added a couple enthusiastic effects: a growl and a robust toss, followed by a high-pitched yip when he let it drop. The yip was meant to be a thank you, but it wasn’t received that way. When they caught sight of the scene, Wall-e’s humans freaked out and snatched the toy off the ground. They told him “No!” loudly and firmly. It made no sense at all.

The human dad scooped him up while his mom whisked the lamb away into the bathroom to clean it. The dad took Wall-e downstairs where he fished around in another bag. When he removed his hand, it held a lion. It had a big head and a pudgy body, perfect for gripping in Wall-e’s mouth. He gave it a squeeze and it squeaked in a very intriguing way. Wall-e squirmed and whined. He wanted to get hold of that squeaking fluffball more than he could express.

“This is your new special toy, Wall-e,” his human said. “This is for you.” He moved it close enough for Wall-e to grab in his mouth. And then he put him down. Wall-e squeaked that lion, put it down to examine and sniff all over, and then picked it up again. This was more like it! He ran to his favorite corner, his pom-pom tail wagging jauntily. He wanted to be alone with his new toy. His mom came down and praised him. Even though the lamb debacle happened, Wall-e felt very special that day and every day since. For whenever he is feeling like things are too tense, he remembers his special toy and fetches it, gnawing his stress away to the lovely tune of squeaky lion.

Wall-e’s humans are waiting for something. He can sense it. They keep talking about due dates and plans, and they take long walks. Sometimes the walks are a little long for Wall-e. His legs are only 4 inches long, after all. But when he gets tired, they scoop him up and carry him. His humans are waiting, so he is waiting. He will be Waiting Wall-e until the wait is over.

Side note: This author’s daughter, Natalie and her husband, Ben, are awaiting the birth of their first child. The due date has come and gone, but by the time this article is published, we hope to be happily embracing our new grandchild. Godspeed, Grandchild. And may Wall-e keep finding comfort in his squeaky lion.