For the Love of Pets
Billie Jean: 555 Days & Counting
Can you remember what you were doing 555 days ago? Billie Jean can. She had finally been caught south of Bellevue and was being transported to the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. Billie had been running loose for over a week, and while there had been many sightings of her, no one had been able to catch her. She was skinny and looked like she had had a litter in the last few months. Perhaps now that the pups had been weaned, she was dumped, no longer needed and too much of a hassle to deal with.
When Billie arrived at the Shelter she was petrified. She didn’t want anyone touching her and was a serious flight risk. Days turned into weeks, and weeks became months. Skinny, frightened Billie Jean had started off as quite a handful, but she was slowly becoming a more confident and obedient dog. She arrived knowing nothing, gaining serious enjoyment from dragging people around on her leash and lunging at other dogs. After being fit for a Gentle Leader leash and being introduced to numerous dogs, it didn’t take Billie Jean long to learn that she got a lot more treats and attention when she wasn’t pulling and was friendly to the dogs she met.
After about six months, Billie Jean found a boyfriend. She and Todd were kenneled together and would play like crazy. She could go out to Quigley, meet dogs and she didn’t even mind when they came bounding up to her. After about a year of Shelter life her boyfriend was adopted. When Todd left, Billie Jean was a bit depressed and didn’t get off her bed to greet people like she had before. But, in the truly resilient nature of dogs, after some time passed she was back to being social and her tail began to wag again.
Left: Billie Jean still happily greeting visitors to her kennel. Right: She's still sweet after all this waiting. (Photo by Sam Christian.)
Billie Jean is currently working towards passing her Canine Good Citizen’s Test. She is nearly ready, but has to master her “stay” a bit better before she is entered in the test. For a dog who came to us knowing nothing positive, she has taken to Shelter life and become a truly incredible dog. She has been here more than a year and a half, and in that time has become our best dog to walk on leash, is one of the only dogs who still greets visitors with a wagging tail and she is eager to learn new things. All we can hope is, that as the days tick by, she won’t have to wait many more before being adopted into a home.
Billie Jean showing off her glamorous side for volunteer photographer, Sam Christian.
Check out a video of Billie Jean and Shelter staff trainer, Hillary.