Wheezy is a miniature dachshund. She lives in East Texas. And this past week, when she turned a remarkable 20 years old, her family and friends all came to celebrate.
“Some people think it’s nuts to have parties for a dog,” says owner Pattie McClung. “But she is more than that to me and my family.”
Wheezy, the very senior birthday girl, once belonged to McClurg’s mother, who passed away six years ago.
“The very last thing my mom said to me was, ‘Please promise me you’ll take good care of my little Wheezy,’ ” McClung told KLTV. “I told her, ‘Mother, you don’t have to worry. I will take such good care of that little dog.’ And I’ve tried very hard every day since.”
Many years ago, after Wheezy was rescued from a puppy mill, she found a loving forever home with McClurg’s mother when her original owner could no longer care for her. The pair was inseparable. Then McClurg’s mother fell ill. Not long after, McClurg’s husband got sick, as well.
“My mother and my husband were in hospice at the same time,” she says, admitting it was a very difficult time. Wheezy, she says, helped her through it.
“We went through everything imaginable together. I couldn’t make it without that dog. She loved me when I didn’t love myself,” McClung says.
So when Wheezy was about to turn 20, she and her friends went all out for a birthday bash.
Family and friends, including some of Wheezy’s closest pals – a group of rescue dogs – attended the celebration. McClung’s daughter even drove in from Dallas to attend.
All the dogs donned party hats for the affair, some went fashion forward with feather boas.
“She is such a little diva. … Every time the door rang she would go running to the door. Everybody would get so tickled,” McClung says.
There was a birthday cake made out of wieners, dog food and vanilla wafers – a favorite of the birthday girl’s. And what party would be complete without gifts?
McClung posted photos from the party on social media and she says birthday wishes have come in from all over the world.
She’s kept her promise, caring for her mother’s beloved friend.
“I think my mother would be proud,” she says.