PITTSBURG, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas woman is honoring her mother's final wish by caring for her four-legged friend.
Wheezy is a miniature dachshund. Tuesday, she turned 20. This week, her family threw her a birthday party and her closest friends came out 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."
The Pittsburg resident has cared for Wheezy since her mother died 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 says. "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."
When she was younger, Wheezy was rescued from a puppy mill. She later went to live with McClung's mother when her owner had to give her away. The two were inseparable for years until McClung's mother fell ill. Shortly after, her husband also became sick.
"My mother and my husband were in hospice at the same time," she says.
It was a difficult time, she admits, but Wheezy helped her through.
So when Wheezy, or "Wheezy Anne" as friends call her, turned the big 2-0 McClung went all out.
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 the party.
Canine attendees and the guest of honor donned party hats for the affair, along 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.