BILLY BOY 12/8/02
Billy Boy's Foster Journey - Rainbow Bridge 8/30/05
8/30/05 - Hi, I am writing to let you know that we have truly enjoyed our time being parents to Billy Boy the Boxer. We drove to Connecticut from Baltimore to adopt him, and we have loved him dearly. He was a very "difficult boy" for quite some time--learning to trust that we would not abandon him, and that we would always take care of him. He was such a SMART, trainable, cooperative, sweet boy throughout the process.
He has had many, many health issues, but has always come through like a trooper. Today, we had to--tears are flowing here--put him out of his suffering. He developed kidney cancer that metastasized very aggressively to his lungs, and probably his heart.
He was wiggly-tailed and boxer kidney beaning until the end, but he was only getting 40% oxygen--he had stopped enjoying his walks because he could not recover quickly at all from the excursion, was lethargic and seemed to know...his eyes truly showed all the love and trust he had developed, the bond we have shared for the last two and a half years. We have been lucky to have this time with him, and we fell better knowing that he has had a good life with us as his mom and dad.
I have attached a couple of pics taken recently, (to the left) which you can compare to his super-skinny pictures from when he was initially removed from the pound in New York.
Thank you for this opportunity. We will always love him.
Thank you, Beth and Matt
12/7/03 - Well, despite MY being quite ill, and
not keeping in touch adequately, our boy Billy Boy is SO ABSOLUTELY
FABULOUS!!! In the beginning, we were not sure if he would be able to
handle his severe separation anxiety and anxiety about anything new (such
as exposure to children etc.) After about 11 months of LOVE LOVE LOVE,
this boy has come miles...he no longer breaks out of his crate (although
it is still not his favorite place to be :) and he will walk into it when
asked. He is SO Super smart, his obedience is beautiful--he still tunes in
greatly to sign language (thanks to his exposure to this at Karen's house
5/25/03 - Billy is a love bug to say the least,
we really have bonded with him and he with us. He has begun to (sort of)
tolerate being crated when we leave. I rearranged my work schedule so that
is not every day, and had my secretary agree to work out of my home office
twice a week to sit with him. We passed basic obedience, and he has been
attending advanced basic with matt. He is very dog aggressive, and we have
to be extremely careful with him. He has bitten a dog (requiring stitches
for the other dog,) at obedience class, and just three days ago ran out
the front door and just attacked a dalmatian that was being walked across
the street. Luckily matt was able to get him off the poor dog, and mommy
was not too happy as you can imagine.
3/21/03 - Hi there--Billy Boy has just had his 2 month anniversary, and things are coming along. We just love him--even more of late as he has really begun to trust us more, and is slightly less insecure when we leave a room etc. He is such a snuggle bug and does the cutest Boxer mannerisms. He is such a smart and easy to train pooch. He is just beautiful, and he gets lots of compliments. He still doesn't like other dogs, so we have to be on guard when he goes to obedience school--he likes to show all the HUGE dogs that he is Boss! His little pink face is just too cute--I am looking at him now, with the jowels over the front paws-Boxer thing. Things are going well--check in with ya next month! :) Beth and Matt
2/17/03 - Well Billy Boy is settling in nicely--he loves his Mommy and Daddy, and we love him lots and lots. He gets lots of compliments on his gorgeous looks, his intelligence, his sweet kisses and his kidney bean dance. He does, however, have some significant problems with seperation anxiety--when we leave he will find ANY AND ALL methods of escape from anything we can send his way (and immediately peeing and pooping on the floor.) I laughed so hard when "Gram" babysat him two days ago. She set up a "road block" of an empty suitcase turned on its side--which would have thwarted our very sweet, but not-so-bright Boxer Mandy (love of our lives!) BB had knocked it over and jumped over it in NO TIME FLAT trying to follow me as I left the house. He has gotten out of his kennel four times, each time with heightened security--he is so strong and athletic. We are desperately trying to find a doggie daycare, not just someone to come play with him in the middle of the day--we have been doing that ourselves, but he is such a contented angel to curl up next to a human when they are there with him. We have been going to obedience school, where Billy Boy has had the gumption to try to "take on" some of the largest dogs there--why a Mastiff, we asked him?? He just likes every dog to know he is top dog. He is definitely the dominant male in town--we are hopeful he can get some canine friends that he will enjoy playing and romping with. BUT, he is so smart, he has already learned down, stay, drop, fetch, catch, off, up, "hugs and kisses" and a few others that I can't remember at the moment. He knows some sign language (his foster mom Karen used sign with their deaf Boxer, and BB picked up on it from them.) He learned sit, and out/potty there, and we have been continuing to use them, and signs for all of the other commands as well. We had a bad experience with an "evil trainer" who was way too rough with BB, so we decided just to go with the obedience classes. We are snowed in with over 2 feet of snow, so I don't think we will be able to go this week, but we'll see. Anyhow, that is a short update on Billy Boy, the absolutely cutest guy on the planet--we love the way he curls up in a tight little ball, legs and big paws splayed this way and that, the way he crawls under the covers and doesn't mind being covered up completely with blankets, the way he gives the tiniest little kisses, and his devotion to us already. We love him!
1/22/03 - Here are the cutie pics we promised.
Thanks for the words of wisdom and kindness. We just love this
boy!!! He is doing GREAT walking with a special harness--he just
prances along side of us without ANY pulling. We were concerned that
he was really tugging when being walked, and he would choke himself to get
to wherever it was he was trying to get. The difference is phenomenal and
he doesn't choke himself, it just goes gently around his chest and armpits
1/19/03 - Well, Billy is more wonderful than we had predicted. He is such a special dog! He really has adjusted very well to Matt and me being his "new people" (although he told me he misses his great foster family.) His car ride was fantastic. He let us know when he needed to go potty, and has such a cute need to dig up the entire lawn to cover up even his pee pee. It was so funny I just laughed and laughed. He was so distraught when I went into the rest stop myself to potty--he just stood in the same position with Matt the entire time, then did the same thing for Matt--he is definitely "our" boy. He got to be very spoiled with a DOUBLE hamburger until we got home and gave him some "real doggy food." He loved his new fluffy bed and nested and nested until it was just right. He just popped right up onto the bed in between us when we settled in last night, and was so funny with his positions! He schnarfled down on top of my legs, then spread his back leg up and over Matt's hip, it was so cute and funny--we couldn't imagine this being comfortable, but he had a huge smile on his face. We smooched on him and pet him and told him we would never leave him permanently, just for short periods of time, then would always come back. He got hot around 1:00 am and had to potty, but came right back in and snuggled up on his bed on the floor. He slept great (NO snoring, Halleluiah!! :) until Matt woke up at 6:00. He ate a big bowl of chicken and doggy food (plus pills, which he snarfed up with no problems.) He drank some water and cuddled up on the couch with me as Matt got ready to go to his martial arts class. He definitely likes to be in a mid-way point between the two of us, say in the hallway if Matt's in our bedroom and I'm in the living room. He met Gram and Pop this morning--who were amazed by his beauty and great nature. Gram gave him a big rawhide bone, which he is presently destroying blissfully. We will go do a couple of short errands this morning and take a walk when Daddy gets home soon. He is such a great boy, and we tell him, and will tell him for a long time. Thank you both so much for making this happen, we are truly blessed by a wonderful new "fur-son." Thanks again, and Billy says, "Hi!"
1/18/03 - Billy Boy has been adopted.
This was a wonderful match-up---instant and mutual love between all parties. Billy Boy's new Mom & Dad brought him a stuffed octopus that made grunting noises when Billy Boy chomped on it and waved lots of blue legs around when Billy Boy shook it---what a great toy---Billy Boy just loved it. He took to his new family instantly---no doubt about it, he knew they were "his people." It helped to let him go, seeing what a perfect family he got! We'll sure miss this silly Billy Boy, but he is off to a new and wonderful life, filled with lots of love.
1/16/03 - Billy Boy is pending adoption.
1/12/03- We are happy to report that on Friday at Billy Boy's veterinarian appointment, we learned that he has gained 12 pounds since arriving here at High Hopes. We brought him in to have one last look at his healing kennel sore and thinly-furred areas on his skin. The vet prescribed predisone and antibiotics for possible infection, as Billy still seemed itchy in those areas. Since then, after only 3 days, Billy seems much more comfortable. The vet was so pleased with how great Billy looks. At first, he didn't believe the wonderful weight gain, and actually re-weighed Billy Boy to double-check the reading! Just goes to show what a little love and good food can do! It's a good thing that Billy Boy has some extra padding on him, with our kitten around. Today, Gabbie jumped off of the tall baby gate and landed right on top of poor, sleeping Billy Boy. He was startled, but once he saw that it was "just a cat," he put his head back down for some more napping. Ah, nothing like a lazy Sunday.
1/8/03 - Well, the snow is finally high enough to keep the dogs moving rather slowly around the yard---translation: they need more exercise! So, my son went outside with Billy Boy and Poppy to shovel a winding path throughout the yard. It goes around their favorite "run around" tree, and makes an "8" around the bushes in the back, and criss-crosses throughout the yard. Billy Boy had so much fun barking at the shovel---as if it had a life of its own. Every so often Andy tossed the shovel full of snow at the dogs, and they went crazy trying to catch it mid-air. Billy Boy is so darn cute when a snowball is thrown---if he misses it, he frantically sticks his nose under the snow, tossing it around as if he'll find the now-shattered snowball. He just loves to poke around the yard if the sun is shining (if it's raining, he's a big baby and just races back to the door). If it's nice outside, though, he putters here and there, sniffing all the bushes and tress, and now-flat soccer balls. Poppy will crouch down low, just waiting for Billy Boy to start back to the house. She wants to pounce on him and "surprise" him, after which they both race madly around, neck to neck. I just love watching this boy, now healthy and happy. And I really love those quiet moments when he comes to my side and just plops his front legs over my shoulders or lays across my lap, loving being loved. This dog really touches my heart.
1/03/03 - I can now report that our Billy Boy is multi-lingual. We discovered early on that Billy Boy was a Spanish-speaking dog, and immediately started working on the basic commands in English. But we also have a deaf dog in the house, and tonight I realized that he had picked up two "signs" as well---the sign for "out" and the sign for "sit"---at least, he sure recognized the sign at treat time! Another first today---he really kissed. Before this, he just pressed his face to ours. Tonight, though, he actually plunked a paw on each shoulder and gave me real Boxer kisses---the totally slobbery type. Put that together with his tremendous Boxer wiggle---the kind that makes a dog tremble all over, and just imagine this lover boy. He's going to be a heart breaker! I am shocked that he is still here with me! I wonder if "5" sounds like an older dog to some people---but let me be the first to say that this boy is just an adolescent. He still has plenty of pup left, folks---I would have easily guessed him to be "3" if I didn't know better. He needs lots of love, so get your applications in soon!
12/28/02 - Every night, Billy Boy gets his own cuddling time. My Boxer girl and the cats hang out with us too, but it is Billy's special personal time to cuddle with me. He snuggles up in my lap on the couch, as close as he can possibly get, every part of his body squished up so that he is wrapped up in my arms. He rests his sweet head on my shoulder or on my arm, and gazes at me for as long as he can hold his eyes open. I hold him for at least an hour, kissing him, rubbing his belly, patting his shoulder. He so looks forward to his special time--he is such a sweet dog. As later evening approaches, he sits in the kitchen or the kennel we keep in our living room when we have foster dogs, and stares at me, willing me to put down the dishes or the paper or the computer keyboard, give all the dogs their final potty time and bedtime snack, send my other dominant male Boxer upstairs, and settle down for "Billy's time." The entire time I am holding him---I swear---he smiles. In the few weeks we have had Billy, we have seen him really blossom. He is now filled out and handsome, healthy and playful, and easy with our routines. We have not had an accident in the house for days. This is pretty much a perfect, and especially lovable Boxer boy who is definitely ready for his very own family to shower him with love. It will be a very fortunate family that decides to share their love with Billy Boy---he will return it tenfold.
12/26/02 - Billy Boy had a wonderful Christmas! He loved his gifts---squeaky stuffed duck and from Aunt Jean a rope toy and a squeaky fleece bone. And, a giant container of homemade doggie cookies for all the dogs! The dogs were just as cute as kids on Christmas morning, shaking the gifts from the wrap and running around the house with their new toys! Billy has had a remarkable recovery these last few weeks, and it is especially noticeable these last couple of days. His ribs do not stick out anymore, his fur is shiny, and his energy level is normal. He has developed into a really beautiful dog! You should see him run around in the new snow with Poppy! They could race around playing tag for hours (and stopping now and then to eat the snow)! Billy is such a happy dog. His eating and drinking are now perfectly normal---all the dogs are now on the same schedule, although Billy Boy still gets an extra cup in each feeding. We have all said to each other that if we didn't already have a dominant 5-year old male Boxer, Billy Boy would be the one we'd keep. This is just such a sweet and cuddly, fun and happy Boxer boy!
12/21/02 - Well, we are
sliding into Christmas and it looks like this sweetie pie will be with us
over the holidays. His Christmas present, I've decided, is going to be a
stuffed animal with a squeaky in it. He is really enjoying playtime now
that he's better. And he is soooo much better! He has filled out
remarkably in the last week or so, and seems to have his energy back. He
is down to two big meals each day now, breakfast and dinner, and a good,
filling bedtime snack. His water intake is just beginning to level off,
although he is still drinking a bit more than normal. He is doing great
letting me know he has to go outside (all that water!) and has only had
one accident in the last 2 days. He never goes on my rug (thank you Billy)
but goes on the kitchen floor. He does it when left alone, so I think some
of this is not just that he has to go, but also that he is still feeling
insecure, like he might be abandoned again, and he panics. So, I don't get
too mad at him, just tell him firmly that I'm disappointed. He just
watches me clean it up, with a sad look, as if he knows that he was
naughty but wants me to understand that he just gets scared when left
alone. I just love this boy.
He is still adjusting---it must have been just devastating to have his whole world fall apart at 5 years old, and be left in a scary shelter. This boy has received a lot of love in his life, you can just tell. He is such a gentle soul. I love to see how much better he is feeling every day. Billy Boy is much more "puppish" now, more in keeping with a typical Boxer---doesn't matter how old they are---they stay puppies, don't they! Today Billy and my poppy girl ran around the back yard together at top speed. She showed him the ropes---which trees to run around and the best route for high speed. They were adorable together. Then, he came in so happy and wiggly, and let me wipes off each paw.
He and Poppy get along great. He and Duke do not. Billy is trying to establish himself as the "macho male" dog in our house, which our Duke does not appreciate. Two 5 year old males is not always the best match-up. At five, Billy Boy is a Boxer adolescent, which is my personal favorite age. Still young enough to act like an energized pup (loves to take walks and chase balls) but old enough to chill out when you need him to! Billy Boy is great with cats, as I may have mentioned. In fact, the other day our kitten helped herself to some food right out of Billy’s dish---while he was eating! He just sat back and looked at her as if she was a most interesting little creature, and then commenced eating his dinner again. That’s amazing, considering how hungry he has been! This is a great catch of a Boxer, folks.
12/17/02 - We are all so in love with this boy! He is the cuddliest, the sweetest, the most well-behaved boy! Now that he is feeling better, his true personality is just shining through. He is just love, love, love inside out. He has a magnificent Boxer wiggle and is so happy all the time. He gives awesome hugs, burying his head on our shoulder and leaning on us with total trust. He is sooooooo easy---loves all people, other dogs, cats & kittens---everyone and everything. This is one foster we could probably just keep forever, but he is getting as attached to us as we are to him, and we all hope, for his sake, that he gets a wonderful forever home soon. Billy Boy's needs are minimal---someone around a lot to hug and cuddle him! We would like him to go to a family that treats their Boxers like their babies, as he thinks he is a special baby, not a dog. He needs to cuddle with his people on couches and beds, and on a lap is even better. If you are looking for a snuggly Boxer that has unlimited love to share, don't pass this special guy up!
12/13/02 - Well, Billy Boy had a vet appt today to update him with a heartworm check and also to check his urine, various balding patches, little pimple-like cysts (from the less than sanitary kennel conditions) and kennel sore. All checked out fine and the vet feels that Billy will heal up nicely now that he is getting care. The vet said that Billy Boy is drinking so much because he is still quite nutritionally deprived (showed in his urine sample) and that also psychologically he may need to know that water is always available to him. He advises that we continue to feed him several good sized meals each day, and allow unlimited water until Billy is physically in better shape and emotionally secure that the food and water will be there for him---he won't be deprived ever again. Poor boy. The vet and staff were totally charmed by this loving boy, thinking that he is going to be such a beautiful dog when all better and what a great personality. Billy was so cute, laying on the floor in his exam room, peering intently under the door, out the crack at the bottom of the door as other dog's feet meandered by. Then he cuddled up in the vet tech's lap and got stuck three times. Each time he ran back to my daughter and snuggled into her, as if saying, "hey! you're supposed to be taking care of me!" but he still allowed the vet tech to stick him again. What a boy---we just love this sweetheart!
12/12/02 - We might nickname this boy "Thumper." He just loooves to have his necked scratched, during which one back leg madly thumps the ground in pure delight. He continues to sleep in my bedroom in a crate---no problems in a crate as long as he is in a room with someone else. He just doesn't like being alone. I can hardly blame him for his insecurities, after what he's been through! My own Boxer girl, also rescued in rough shape, took almost six months to become comfortable that she was really home and get over most of her insecurities. Billy Boy is so hungry for attention and gets very annoyed if our own dogs try to interfere with his "lovin' up" time. That should work itself out in time as he settles into a new home and feels confident in love, because other than those times, he is a perfect gentleman with the other dogs and cats. He actually seeks out another dog to cuddle up with for naps, and seems to just love the cats. He is never happier, however, than when he gets to curl up on a person. This is one cuddly couch potato. Today he has had no accidents at all---I think his system is beginning to even out, and we are reading his "need to go" signs well. This is one kissable boy, that's for sure. We all just love this gentle boy, who is so grateful to get a hug. The warmth literally pours from his eyes and he is now displaying a wonderful Boxer butt wiggle. I'm so thankful we were able to get him into rescue. He is a real keeper.
12-11-02 - Our kitten is having so much fun with Billy Boy---as he wanders around the house dragging his leash (kept on for extra security during the first few days), Gabbie the kitten scrambles after him, pouncing on the end of the leash. Billy Boy is either totally oblivious or just doesn’t care, so on he plods with pouncy kitty in tow. Last night, Billy Boy barked when we went to bed—he felt lonely in the kitchen. So, I set up a crate in my room and he was happy. He is quite the lap dog, we’re finding, and doesn’t like the other dogs trying to snuggle on the same couch when he is getting his cuddles. He will growl softly at our dogs, to which we sternly tell him to stop. I get the feeling that he has been starving for love, and could literally spend 24/7 in someone’s lap.
12/10/02 - Today, Billy Boy got his wiggle back! He is still one exhausted pup, but sure is looking better today, and we can tell that he is really starting to feel better as well. My Poppy girl thinks it's her job to "teach" the foster dogs how to play, and she practically ran loops around Billy Boy in the yard, and at one point he tentatively followed her around for a moment or two. Aunt Nancy stopped by with some more puppy chow for this very hungry boy, and Billy was all a'wiggle, happy to see her again. We all got kisses today at one point or another, in between Billy's many, many naps. When he is awake, he likes to slowly wander around checking things out and leaning on people for hugs. Then he finds another comfortable spot for more napping. . . ahh, this is the life .
12/9/02 - Billy Boy's first day with us was pleasant and productive. He is eating well---puppy chow (for added nutrition) mixed with all kinds of goodies--hamburg, turkey, rice, yogurt, egg, oatmeal. He is really making up for lost meals! He is also drinking a lot of water. Consequently, between all the mini meals and water, he needs to go out frequently. He would prefer to do his business quickly outside and hurry back into the warm house, but if he has to go and doesn't get let out in time---well---we'll level off within a few days, I'm sure. Billy Boy had a nice warm bath today, and then really loved snuggling down in the pile of towels we had warming up for him in the dryer. Tonight, he has joined the family, curing up on the "dog couch" in the living room. He's doing just fine with our dogs and cats. He continues to demonstrate a very gentle and loving nature, often resting his head in my lap and just soaking up the petting. He is beginning to perk up and gaze sweetly into our eyes as we love him up, and seems a little more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed today.
12/8/02 - High Hopes welcomes Billy Boy and thanks Lynn, Liz, and Nancy for rescuing him from the shelter, where he was not doing so well. We do have high hopes for this sweet boy. Here is a case of a boy who needed to get out of the shelter fast. Often, Boxers do not do well in kennel situations, especially if they are the sweet and sensitive type like our boy Billy. Poor Billy Boy is absolutely the skinniest Boxer we have ever fostered, with thinning fur, balding spots, dandruff, and some kennel sores on his elbows and thighs. His poor feet are reddened with scalded patches from the harsh cleaning chemicals used at the shelter. On the positive side, this is such a sweet boy! He is so happy to be in a nice warm house and resting on a big soft pillow, after eating a big bowl of homemade turkey and rice soup. He sniffed noses nicely with my two Boxers through the baby gate, and was very interested in the kitten. We will be updating often on this soon to be beautiful Boxer Billy Boy. Stay tuned as he regains his health and energy.