Happy ending for dog rescued from icy lake

Abandoned Dog Finds Forever Home

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) - We often hear of the phrase that a dog is man's best friend.

Dan Berger knows this to be true. When he lost his own dog named Bojangles in 2014, he didn't think any other dog could take his place.

"I didn't look for one I figured one would find me somehow," Berger said.

Until he read about Walter's story on Facebook, exactly three years from the date he lost Bojangles. 

Walter was rescued January 29th by a Sparta couple who intended to adopt him. But they couldn't because the city of Sparta only allows families to have two dogs and their house is already full.

Walter, who was abandoned by his previous owners, was then taken to the Monroe County Animal Shelter.

But it didn't take long for him to find the perfect match.

Berger explains when he saw a picture of Walter on Facebook and read his story, he knew it wasn't a coincidence that Walter found him.

"I just fell in love with him."

It's clear his story of survival touched more than just Berger's heart. When college student Erin Hennessy also learned about Walter's story, she stopped by the shelter, that's when she learned Walter already found a home.

The good news made her so happy, felt she had to do something more.

"And I asked if the adoption fee had been covered and that I would like to cover it if it hadn't," Hennessy said.

Hennessy paid Walter's adoption fee, a kind act from a complete stranger.

"After this, knowing that Dan will have a new best friend, and that Walter will have a home, nothing is more worth it."

This simple act of kindness also brought more than just a dog and man together, it also formed a special friendship between Hennessy and Berger, who will now be visiting with each other.

Animal shelter directors say they hear about a lot of stories, but there is something unique about Walter and his new best friend.

"This case in particular is just kind of one of those stories that's even more special because of all the pieces that fit together the way that they should," said Amber Dvorak, director of Monroe County Animal Shelter.

And it just so happens that Berger's late uncle is also named Walter.

"That was a sign for me to come and let him adopt me," Berger said.

The two now have big plans together.

"Somebody to talk to, and play my guitar to, I think he'll probably like music, country music."


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