We all know how OzarkHillbilly felt about his beloved Woofmeister, and now we get the story of BillieJean joining the family! ~WG
The Story of BillieJean
by Ozark Hillbilly
Woof had a long slow decline with congestive heart disease. When he stopped eating, I knew he was ready to go. My wife wasn’t quite ready to let go until the eve of his 2nd day of fasting. She had taken him out for his evening walk-a-bout and came in crying that Woof had laid down in the snow and would not get back up. I went out with visions of trying to carry this 100+# lump of love into the house and worried that my ever aging back would balk at the chore and then what would I do? Fortunately, I was able to coax him to his feet and walk him back into the house.
“Honey? It’s time.”
I’m not very good at dealing with grief and loss anymore. Mostly I just shut down. But watching my wife deal with it just tears me up, because I can’t take the pain away. After Woof was gone, my wife said it was going to be a long while before she’d be ready for another.
Within 2 weeks I was surreptitiously surfing the web for Labs, Lab/mixes in need of rescue. I thought, “If I find a good ‘un, she won’t be able to resist.” Little did I know, she was doing the same. When it came out that we were both cheating on the other searching for another lover boy/girl, we came up with a system: My wife would search the internets and I would go to meet the dogs she thought would fit us. The main thing was they would have to have the proper “Labittude”: Lovers, snuggle bunnies… A couple times she found dogs that she thought would fit, and by the time I got to the agencies, they were already gone.
When she found “Harley” at the APA in STL, I made a mad dash to their facility on Hampton Ave praying that Harley would still be there. She was. My first sight of her was in the office managers office. She was hiding behind the desk, a quivering pup with extended teats that was absolutely terrified and traumatized. (the story I got was she had come out of an Arkansas puppy mill) They put me into a “meeting” room. It had a metal bench bolted against one wall and the door on the opposite wall. I’ve known holding cells that were more welcoming than that room. I sat on the bench and waited for her. When they brought Harley in, she refused to come to me, just lay down by the door and shivered. I sat down on the floor and called to her. Nope. I scooted over to her. Nope. Very slowly I reached out and pet her. After a bit, I grabbed her by the collar and dragged her to my lap. She didn’t growl, she didn’t pull away, but she never stopped quivering. I thought long and hard about it. Was I really up to dealing with such a damaged pup? Who knew what I was getting us into? I had brought Percy along to meet her before I’d adopt but after 15 or 20 mins, there was no way I was leaving her there, so why bother?
During the hour+ drive home from STL she spent most of it huddled against the door while Percy claimed my lap and eyed her with great suspicion, wondering wtf was this dog doing in his truck?
When we got home, I had to pull/drag Harley to the house. Once inside she climbed up onto the couch, where from she did not move to pee or drink or eat (that I saw) for 3 days.
My wife and I both made sure to give her skritchins at every pass and to snuggle with her on the couch as much as she would allow. By the time she finally left the couch, to drink and go pee we were both thoroughly smitten. It did not take us long to settle on BillieJean as her new name. Scarface might have been more fitting but BillieJean felt right.
She has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen on a dog.
Once she finally did get off the couch, it wasn’t long before she was running rampant about the place. I learned pretty quickly that I didn’t dare take my eyes off of her for more than a minute or 2 or else she’d disappear. As often as not Billie would go down the holler to swim in my neighbor’s pond. Inevitably coming back a muddy mess. The first time she came back covered in mud she was very happy and proud of herself right up to the moment I turned the hose on her. After that, whenever she returned covered in mud she would tuck her tail between her legs and keep her head down, “Please oh please Daddy, not the hose…”
Knowing she was gonna get it anyway and afterwards getting the zoomies and running as tho if she ran fast enough the water in her coat wouldn’t be able to keep up.
I soon learned she was half goat, climbing anything and everything she could.
Percy was a wee bit jealous at first but eventually realized there were bonuses to having an autonomous throw rug.
Billie was soon quite comfortable with her new found home.
Then came the night of the copperhead. One thing is for sure, Billie is no Miss Kitty. My wife had taken the dogs out for their private bizzness and came back in very worried that Billie had been bitten by a snake. I poo poohed it. Just because a dog leaps up in tall grass doesn’t mean she got bit by a snake. Turns out in this case it did. Her muzzle soon swelled up.
My wife wanted to take her to the emergency vet. I said she’d be good till morning and took her in the next day. They gave her a bunch of meds and while she had some miserable days she came out the other side OK, and with one more war wound.
These days BillieJean has her own security blanky…
…unfortunately it is whichever one I am using at that moment. I really wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t for the fact that it doubles as a pacifier.
All in all, she has fairly settled in here…
… and Percy has accepted her, but not without complaint at times.
The Percy and Billie pic is a bonus just because I love how patient they are when I am in physical therapy.
And that’s the story of BillieJean.
Wow, this looks like an epic I will have to savor later, when I have time. Great pictures.
I love the idea of you and the missus cheating on each other by searching for a new dog on the DL. That’s a great story to start the day.
Billijean is lovely, and she has such warm, soulful eyes. It looks like Percy has been a wise and pretty patient and understanding guide as she has settled in. What a good boy!
Thank you for sharing Billiejean’s story and the wonderful photos, and for giving her such a loving, happy home.
Emma from Miami
So I am not crying happy tears. Really I’m not.
She’s lovely. :)
What an absolutely wonderful dog rescue story, well told, with plenty of pictures! She obviously found a good home.
Wonderful story, thank you for sharing.
Beautiful dog. Labs are the best.
It’s been fun. She still has a few issues but at this point they are more akin to quirks. Getting her to eat her food is an almost daily trial. Sometimes my wife has to sit on the floor and feed her by hand before Billy will realize it really is OK for her to eat and even then it is with trepidation.
Sometimes Billie Jean terrorizes poor Percy. It’s not with meanness, just over exuberance. She gets the zoomies and has to jump on Percy , knocking him down. He growls and snaps at her and she ignores his complaints. Most times, if you look closely, you will see that his tail is wagging. When getting out of the truck, BJ is always out the door first. She hits the ground takes 2 steps and turns and waits. Percy, with his short legs very slowly and carefully navigates his descent, and as soon as his feet hit the ground turns and dives under the truck before Billie can pounce on him.
They are quite the pair.
So happy that you found each other.
@OzarkHillbilly: What a wonderful story and I’m so pleased that Billie Jean found her forever home.
Wonderful story. Billie is a lucky dog.
Great pictures, great story! That last pic in the car is over-the-top adorbs…
Thanks for the wonderful story and for saving a pup that had a helluva rough start in life.
This story made my morning. Thank you.
What a wonderful story. BillieJean and Percy are both so adorable.
What a grand story! Making a perfect life for a sweet dog. Well done!
Dorothy A. Winsor
What a lovely story.
And, Percy, I get you. Why would anyone need another dog besides you???
Joy in FL
Thank you for that story and the photos.
Gin & Tonic
Great way to start the day, thanks!
Lucky doggo. Lucky people.
I love the “not the hose!” pic. Frankly I feel the same way.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: He is my shadow, rarely more than 2 steps behind me. Currently snoring away and dream twitching.
Awwww ,,,,, What a beautiful girly.
Awwww ,,,,, What a beautiful girly.
@Immanentize: It’s a favorite of mine. So evocative, just looking at it one can see what she is feeling.
That’s a great story, thanks for sharing it. Lucky for BillieJean you were willing to take her on, because it sounds like she would have had a hard time getting adopted. It’s why we adopted our cook’s dog when he died of a heart attack – Nitro is a sweetie, but he’s rough-looking because he has a skin condition that made quite a bit of his fur fall out. We’ve managed to get some of it to grow back, but not all. Most people would take one look at that old, rough dog and say nope, not taking him on.
Lovely stories and pictures. Thanks for writing.
Good Morning, Everyone 😊😊😊
BJ. Admit. You named her after us!
Darling dog, wet or dry. Hang in there, Percy.
What a cutie!!!!
@rikyrah: Good morning.
Billie Jean is a lucky dog. Actually all the Hillbilly family dogs are lucky ducks!
This was a great way to start the morning. They are all beautiful. And glad she found you guys!
And Percy, Scout says come sit by her, she gets it.
@TaMara: The stories they could tell!
Smiling at that stair landing photo because Percy definitely looks like he has Questions
It’s also very nice that you let Percy drive. **
**Gaby often gets behind the wheel when I exit the car. I never leave the engine running.
@WaterGirl: Dem dogs lie!
I love that last picture. Billie Jean and Percy look so adorbs.
@OzarkHillbilly: That’s BillieJean’s story and she’s sticking to it?
@Amir Khalid: They are quite the pair. Percy’s face! And those ears.
Great story. They look like happy pooches!
I love this! More Origin Stories!
Such a delight to wake up to! Thanks for sharing with us and being so patient, it’s tough when they shut down.
Thank you for sharing! Your dogs are both darlings.
Great story. Love the mutual cheating and really love what you’ve done for BJ
Such a great story and a wonderful dog. So glad you found each other!
J R in WV
Great stuff Ozark, thanks for sharing !!
Beautiful puppers and rescue story OH!
The Moar You Know
RIP Woof. Good dog.
May BillieJean live long and prosper. She looks very happy.
Thanx to all, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Rescue dogs are the best. They often have quirks but they seem so grateful. I’ve had my Bandit for over ten years and he is great. Enjoy Billie Jean
@WaterGirl: this made me realize that “Billie Hillbilly” is the cutest name! Thanks for sharing this rescue story.
I love both Billie Jean and Percy.
@Sandia Blanca: You are most welcome! Ozark tells the best stories.
Awww. She’s a keeper for sure, but breaking through her wall of distrust was quite an accomplishment and now, she’s clearly All Lab. Congratulations to all!
We’re hosting a happy Lab and her mom, who are waiting for construction to complete on their new house (Zeno’s paradox in real life). I’ve never been around a dog who inverts as quickly as she does. “Mah belly, rub it!” Luckily, she gets along great with our Rocco (done learned him how to tug-o-war) and has stayed out of the koi pond, other than using it as a giant water dish. A Lab that does not just jump right in is an outlier.
@Emma from Miami:
Wonderful story- wonderful pups!
@Anyway: The last photo says it all. We are patiently waiting for our hooman.
Happy doggo is happy. I’m so glad you two found each other. And fuck Arkansas and their tolerance of puppy mills.
What a sweet girl! She must feel like she’s gone to heaven after what she went through at the mill. I’m so glad you rescued her.
Great story Ozark! And love all the pictures of your happy doggos!
@zhena gogolia: I love the whole story. Such cute dogs.
You done good, Ozark – by all your pups.
It’s a special joy to see BJ’s essential “Labness” was able to assert itself soon after you got her, even after so much trauma.
Thank you. I love it when the universe aligns to reward kindness (you and your wife) and perseverance (BJ through her dark days of abuse).
Awww. Sweet doggos. And lucky dogs, to have such wonderful parents! (And I too love the “cheating” part of the story.)
@LiminalOwl: Nice to see you here!
Yeah, Ozark has a way with words.