Thursday, November 08, 2012

Bill

Yesterday, for Wordless Wednesday I posted a photo of Bill so I decided that it was time to tell you about Bill and how he came to be named Bill.

Back in January 2009, I adopted Bill through an Australian Cattle Dog rescue.  Bill was originally a stray with a healed vertical wound on his throat and a broken leg, found in a ditch in North Carolina. The lady that saw him was the mayor's wife and so he was named after the mayor! 

The location of the break in Bill's leg indicates that he was likely kicked. (blind and partly deaf Brook's leg was broken in the same place and we know she was kicked)  Initial surgery on Bill's leg to insert a metal rod resulted in infection and the decision was made to amputate.  A wonderful volunteer at the shelter stepped forward and paid for Bill to have another surgery to save his leg.  Months later, after healing, he was transferred to rescue. 

Our vet said that based on his initial x-rays showing the muscle loss, that Bill likely had the broken leg for a few months. It was a non-union and after the second surgery it took almost a year for the break to heal.

Bill had another surgery this past spring on the same leg, to remove the metal plate and screws.  His leg became swollen (on the Sunday of a long weekend - of course!) Off to the vet and then to the veterinary teaching hospital to see the surgeon. It was determined that the plate and screws had become infected and had to be removed.  

After surgery to remove the plate and screws

Now, after three surgeries on the same leg and a broken front leg, the joke with Bill is that he is living up to his name!    

Bill is very reserved and rarely plays with toys or the other dogs but is a laid back and happy boy who loves meeting people and when asked, "Where's your bad leg?" will happily show it in hopes of a scratch! (it usually works)

All the foster dogs and those that have been added to our pack, always go to Bill.  It must be his calm demeanor that attracts them.  Bill enjoys snuggle time with others and his best friend in the pack is Hiker, likely due to the fact that their personalities are so similar.

Hiker (post surgery, shaved around her eyes) and Bill
Unlike Hiker though, Bill is a worrier.  I always wonder if he is on the verge of an ulcer.  He thrives on routine and if the others get really wild and chaotic in the house, he goes to his spot on the couch (with his pillow) and ignores them. Even though he likes routine, we can (and do) go on big adventures - hiking, camping and backpacking.  Completely new routines but as long as Bill is with his human, he is a very happy boy.  The ultimate is going out as an only dog!

Bill loves to have his picture taken

Many people think that a stray dog with an unknown history and a leg that has had surgeries is too risky to take on.  Well, I don't think that way and Bill squashes all those concerns immediately.  He is extremely loving and if he could, he would be with me every minute of every day.  He is living proof (as are the rest of the pack) that you can bond with an adult dog and they will bond like (crazy) glue!

12 comments:

  1. He is a beautiful guy! What a special story and a unique personality!

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    1. Thanks! That's the fun thing about a pack of rescues, they are all a bit different.

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  2. I love this story, thank you so much for sharing a bit of Bill's history. I am so glad he found his way to you - it's almost as if it was meant to be.

    A few years ago I once overheard a man say there was no point in doing anything but killing all the stray dogs as they would never make good pets. Bill - and my nutty little former stray - is clearly a testament against such an ignorant thought.

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    1. I think that the blogs we write and follow are helping to change the minds of people and allowing them to see that strays, regardless of age or condition can make great pets.

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  3. What a great story! I agree - adult dogs can bond just like younger ones! Thanks for sharing - love hearing more and more about your pack! :)

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    1. I think (as do many people) that adult rescues are so grateful to have a safe home that they are over the top happy.

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  4. Just curious, but do you know why so many ACD's are blind and/or deaf? Is it an issue with the breeders? (In collies we see this when a breeder does a merle to merle breeding)

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    1. I'm not sure that there are that many out there, it's more that I look for them to rescue! There are more Australian Shepherds that are the double merle than ACDs but maybe due to the popularity of them? Hiker is considered a double merle, Brook is blind due to detached retinas, related to the collie eye anomaly. No reason known for Azule being deaf and Breeze (the spotted wonder pup) has microphthalmia, the same as Hiker who had enucleation surgery.

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  5. Bill is beautiful - very soulful eyes. I fostered a 5 year old Jack Russell once, and that dog came to love me like none of my three ever have, lol. His eyes were on me every minute. He was my little soulmate, and I grieved when he left for his forever home, but I had to let him go :(

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  6. Bill has quite a story. He sure is lucky that he found you and vice-versa! I'm glad that he's healing well, both in body and in his heart.

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  7. Poor Bill has been through so much and I'm glad he has you to take care of him.

    I get so angry with people who don't understand that dogs are loving creatures and will bond with you given the opportunity - never mind the age.

    I live in North Carolina and ashamed to say it's not a particularly good place for animals of any kind. We have a huge overpopulation/kill rate (highest in the country I think. Horses don't fare any better.

    I am actually fostering a dog from a high kill shelter and wonder if it's where one of your lucky pooches came from.

    I love reading all the stories about their lives. It's so wonderful that you have a tender heart for the "special needs" dogs.

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  8. I forgot to add that I always encourage people to go to the rescue groups or shelters when looking for a cat or dog to add to their family. When some say - oh, you don't know anything about them and I'd prefer to go to a breeder - I immediately (and carefully) launch into educating them about over population, breeding, rescues, etc. It's all about educating!

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