My dog Billy

October 5th, 2013

I said goodbye to my best mate on Thursday. Billy my dog finally succumbed to Lymphoma after having bouts of Pancreatitis and Cushing’s disease for the last several years. He has been with us since the kids were in prams.

As he meant so much to me I wanted to write a blog post about him. It is with a heavy heart that I write.

My Dog Billy

We got Billy from the RSPCA in 2000. He was an eight week old tiny puppy in a cage by himself. His label said Doberman cross because of the colourings, but we were never quite sure what he was.

He was with another dog next door and I knew I “had” to choose between them. As I stood there and looked at them both, they were both nice looking dogs. I had no idea which one to choose. As my kids were still in their prams I prayed and asked God for a good dog who would be a companion for us, but also would not hurt my kids.

Straight away Billy dropped his head down low and rolled on to his back in submission. The choice was made then and there.

We took Billy home (I named him after Billy Graham) and settled in really well. He became part of our “pack” really quickly. My wife took him to obedience training and he took to it really well. The only thing he never really got was stay when we walked away. That is because he always wanted to be with us!

As the years progressed Billy was always with us. Even more so that a usual family because we homeschooled and I studied at home for many years. He was not the typical dog that got left when we went to work and the kids to school, he was always our constant shadow.

Here are some of the things I loved about Billy…

I loved the way he used to run speedway around the backyard when the kids were small. We all stood still and he would race in between us with the precision of a rally driver. He never ran into us, but he was close many times!

I loved the way when I picked up the car keys he would suddenly appear and ask to come for a drive. I would have to park the car facing the shop so he could sit in the front seat and watch me and all the people come and go. When he saw me he smiled and the car would rock from his tail wag.

I loved the way he welcomed new animals into our pack. It didn’t matter if they were cats, rabbits, chickens or ducks. Once we said they were ours he wanted to give them a welcome lick on the head and they were officially in our pack.

I loved the way he never walked through a door or a gate unless he had permission. He had to have the command and then he would still look us in the eyes to get the nod of approval. He also stayed in our backyard several times when we accidentally left the roller door up and went out for several hours. We found him sitting behind the line waiting for our return.

I loved the way he would watched my wife get ready in the morning. If she put home clothes and shoes on he would be happy. If it was “going out” clothes he would drop down on his tummy and be a little sad.

I loved the way he played with the kids. He was so gentle and let them do most things to him. A number of times they were all playing in the sandpit and he would be buried up to his head like a person at the beach. He would just look at me and say, “Can you please rescue me Dad?” with his eyes.

I loved the way he would wag his tail when we came home. It would go round and round like a helicopter and he would almost fall over with excitement wagging his tail. He would always give us some sort of gift as we came through the gate.

I loved the way when relatives came over he would great them at sit at their feet for an extended time and look into their eyes and reconnect. One says she always felt like he looked into her soul. He just loved them and accepted their belly rubs. They all called him “My dog Billy”.

I loved the way he was always there through the struggles of our life. We have been through lots of illness, depression, struggles and loss since 2000 and he was there to sit with us and give us a cuddle and make us feel better.

I loved the way he watched us when we packed the car for a family trip. He would walk along side us as we loaded the car. He always wanted to make sure he was not left at home. If we explained Billy was coming he would joyfully leap into the car. If we had to explain Mummy, Livy and Tash going to Perth, Billy and Daddy stay home, he would sigh and get sad. He would then wait at the front door until the pack was altogether again.

I loved the way at the end of the day and he was tired he would look at us and tell us to go to bed as he was ready. He would stay with us in the lounge room and then sleep at the end of our bed on the floor. We would step over him at night in the dark when we had to get up.

I loved the way he barked loudly when someone came to our house. His bark was loud enough to scare those who were not supposed to be there, but when he realised it was a family member or friend he stopped and welcomed them in.

I loved the way that even though in the last two weeks of his life with terminal Lymphoma he still wanted to be with us and please us. It was privilege to nurse him in the final weeks of his life with us.

I am going to really miss my dog Billy. He was my best mate and constant companion for a long time. He was a great loyal dog and a real part of our family and our family journey. In my heart I always hoped he would be with us, but in my head I knew some day it would have to end. On Thursday it did.

Thank You God for my dog Billy. Or more precisely, Thank You God for our dog Billy.