Billy - His Story
The History of Billy
Rewind 3 ½ years to Barnham, the previous home of Bedsforbullies.
A typical day, same as any other, Liz receives a call to help a young male Bull Terrier. His owner was an ex-soldier, now facing a prison sentence.
Totally unaware of the full story surrounding Billy, Liz offered her help to an ex-serviceman and his bull terrier.
Liz offered to foster Billy for free until his owner was able to have him back rather than relinquish him and lose him for life. Billy arrived at Bedsforbullies and it was obvious he had major behaviour problems and was highly aggressive to humans. Billy’s owner served his time, but never returned to collect him.
On leaving the army, Billy’s owner suffered PTSD and struggled to adjust to ‘civvy’ life. With huge and increasing demand for ‘cannabis’ both recreational and for medicinal purposes, he chose this as a means to support himself. Over time, he created a solitary secret life farming cannabis. With a need to protect his business and himself he went on the hunt for what, in his mind, would make an ideal guard dog and protector.
Billy - The Guard Dog
Chosen purely because of the lack of knowledge of the breed, Billy was purchased as a pup to serve as a guard dog. Never socialised to people and only experiencing the loneliness that came with the job (and possibly any situations resulting from that life), Billy displayed huge bouts of aggression to anyone other than his owner, making it impossible for any friend or family member to care for him while his owner served his sentence.
The Next Chapter
Abandoned, Billy was now a Bedsforbullies dog. Despite all the knowledge and years of experience Liz has, she has made little progress with Billy. We could speculate on wether Billy was subject to violence that has left him damaged - but with no sign of trauma to his body, we can’t say. Did he come into contact with drugs and aggression is the result? Who knows. What we do know, something quite ironic, Billy has what looks to be a second row of teeth in his lower jaw and sometimes there is a strangeness in his eyes, Liz can only describe as slightly cross eyed with an upward gaze, showing more of the white around his eyes, (although hard to catch with a camera).
So, could it be bad breeding yet again?
All we know for sure is his name is Billy, he is now nearer 6 years old, he’s a Bull Terrier who deserves to be loved and cared for by someone who won’t give up on him. Life with Billy is never easy, with the news of having to relocate Bedsforbullies, there was massive concern surrounding how to move Billy or would it even be possible. We had lots of volunteer help to move dogs but, without intending to, Billy had become a secret. Looking back, maybe we wanted to protect him from negative comments or being judged for his breed. It’s hard to say why! Priority was not to endanger anyone and not set Billy up for his own failure. We played out every scenario from crate, to transport, to the thought of a traffic accident, possible escape and so on, and doubted if we could safely and responsibly achieve it. WE DID IT!!!
Billy's Life Today
Earlier this year Billy became unwell. He hardly ate for days at a time, if he did eat he would be sick after. It was impossible to get meds into him and getting him seen by the vet was not an option. He would have needed to be heavily sedated but he couldn’t keep the meds down for them to be effective. The vet was constantly at the end of the phone to see if his health was improving and Liz had him on constant camera surveillance 24/7.
As pictured, step ladders were a major piece of equipment used to study Billy’s entire kennel to observe him and better document any food or meds his body may have retained or rejected. This went on for around 8 weeks. Trial and error and sheer dedication and determination by Liz means Billy seems to have made a full recovery.
The reality of him being so poorly and the overwhelming feeling of helplessness to get him basic medical attention certainly has drawn our attention to the real urgent need to get Billy into a kennel built to meet his needs. Something built and designed to enhance his life, which has its own ‘green’ outside run. If Liz was absent because of illness Billy CANNOT be cared for by anyone else. With his own indoor/outdoor space he could be cared for in Liz's absence, fitted with its own safe area to separate him, so anyone could safely change his bedding, clean and collect his bowls etc. For him to have a better, more permanent view of the outside world would mean so much.
Improving Billy's Future
On fair weather days a large doorway near his present kennel is left open so he can see more of what’s going on. Not once has he shown aggression towards another dog. In fact, the total opposite. His whole body becomes relaxed and his tail is wagging and he will try to sniff nose to nose through the kennel bars. In these moments of distraction the true Billy in him shines through and it’s literally heartbreaking to think we aren’t able to supply him with the living space this special boy needs. Others you can stroke, cuddle and give loving reassurance to. Seek medical attention for and be satisfied that they are happy. This is why I’m sharing his story. No one knows the hard work that goes into caring for Billy, physically and mentally because no one knew he was here and has been for a few years now.
Billy is still in Liz’s care today. He has a big kennel but it’s not ideal. The old HQ was situated on a farm. His kennel looked out across fields and he could lay in the sun. He has to be close to one of the ‘exercise greens’ as getting him out for exercise or to clean his kennel is by chance. Liz has learnt to read him and manage him based on opportunity and timing. He wears a chain from his collar as you cannot touch him to attach his lead and the distance you can go is limited before he becomes aggressive.
Handsome Billy has come a long way under Liz's care, so much so he will allow people to fuss him, however he still has his off days. Having a kennel specifically designed for Billy's needs really helped him and allowed Liz to interact with him in different ways. Liz has worked well with Billy to get him to this stage. This is down to Liz's determination and extensive knowledge of this loveable breed.