Billy’s Journey


Our Harley’s Hero and local volunteer, Brooke, just happened to be in my office the day I first learned about Billy. His time was up and he was to be euthanized in the shelter in California. I was struggling with the thought of not saving him. Brooke listened to my concerns and suggested that she and her husband might be able to help out by fostering Billy … and so that’s how it all started.

In no time at all, Billy worked his way into Brooke’s and Doug’s hearts. I was aware of the bond they had, and Brooke and I talked several times about the heartache (and reward) of letting a foster dog go; she felt she could do it, though I don’t think Doug agreed with that!

Brooke wrote the following sentiment about adopting Billy – it will explain the rest of the story:

“Billy is a very special, inspirational little guy. Dougie and I became attached rather quickly after we started fostering him. I felt good preparing him for his furever home. When I got news just recently a furever home was found, my heart sank. I couldn’t bear the thought of him not being here, but I knew having a third dog was a stretch financially. I tried to come to terms with him leaving. Dougie and I talked about what a void would be left in the absence of his presence. How he brought so much energy and liveliness to the house. The way he plays with his toys constantly, gets excited and runs and jumps but settles right down to snuggle at any given chance was something we knew we both would miss. I asked myself if the joy he brought was worth me giving up cigarettes to afford a third dog. My answer was yes. This little handicapped dog enjoys life without a care or hindrance in the world. His toddler-like antics and humor add extra smiles and laughter to our home. In my mind, there’s no better reward or motivation for becoming a non-smoker. Susie is my heart dog. Sancho is my soul dog. Billy helps things make sense, making him my ‘mind’ dog.” – Brooke

It was MEANT TO BE! We couldn’t be happier for Brooke, Doug, Billy, and his new siblings, Sancho and Susie!

Dec 31, 2018

Billy is FINALLY giving his duckie a rest.

Dec 29, 2018

Billy and his duckie!

Dec 27, 2018

Billy has been enjoying the holiday season and he even got to spend a little time at our cabin – which is where he posed for this picture. He found the snow to be scary at first but quickly learned it was fine for a minute or two. He’s happy and playful and, despite his twisted pelvis and rear legs, he can run as fast as anything!

We haven’t had much to report from a medical standpoint because we are still waiting on test results. The MRI and CT scan (for his spine, pelvis and hips) was postponed because the neurologist decided to wait for results from Billy’s blood panel. Abnormalities were shown so further testing is in progress (in particular, recently he had an ultrasound and cultures have been sent in for testing). Billy is receiving expert care from Dr. Komitor of VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado and Drs. Lineberger and Vumbaco of Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists.

Dec 26, 2018

After a busy morning of play … Billy is ready for a nap!

Dec 24, 2018

Good morning and Happy Christmas Eve Day from Olive, Frankie and Billy the toy thief!

Dec 21, 2018

Many of you have been asking how Billy is doing, so here’s an update! He’s a happy boy and doing well in our home. He loves playing with his toys – he throws them up in the air and chases them and we’ve even taught him to play fetch! But we haven’t had much to report from a medical standpoint. The MRI and CT scan (for his spine, pelvis and hips) was postponed because the neurologist decided to wait for results from Billy’s blood panel. Abnormalities were shown so further testing is in progress (in particular, a couple days ago he had an ultrasound and cultures have been sent in for testing). Billy is receiving expert care from Dr. Komitor of VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado and Drs. Lineberger and Vumbaco of Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists.

Dec 17, 2018

Billy and Sammy meet Stella for the first time!

Dec 14, 2018

Sammy and Billy got a little exercise outdoors this morning! You can see they are both adjusting well. You can also see how Billy is walking – he actually does quite well in the grass and we think this might be because there is a little more traction and the height of the grass forces him to engage himself more (on a smooth surface he tends to drag himself). We hope to have a treatment plan for Billy in place soon, meanwhile he’s a pretty happy boy. On Tuesday, Sammy will have his neuter surgery and also his left eye removed. We’ve had veterinary appointments every day this week, keeping us very busy! We will continue to update you all as we are able. Thank you so much for caring about these two little guys and for helping us help them.

Dec 13, 2018

These photos of Billy (below) were taken yesterday during his appointment with Dr. Komitor (neurologist) at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado. Billy was such a good boy! After a very thorough neurological exam, Dr. Komitor decided to hold off on doing the MRI, wanting first to see the results of Billy’s blood panel. Well…. unfortunately the results came back today and there are several concerns. Tomorrow morning little Billy will see Dr. Sherrill (internal medicine) at VCA.

We’re not sure what all is going on with this little guy, but his veterinary team will figure it out. Meanwhile, please keep Billy in your thoughts and prayers. We’ll update you again tomorrow.

Thank you for caring, we are grateful and so is Billy!

Dec 12, 2018

We took this cute picture of Billy just before his visit with Dr. Komitor (neurologist) at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado. After a very thorough neurological exam today, Dr. Komitor decided to hold off on doing the MRI until we get a complete blood workup … and that is underway. We’ll share more pictures and information tomorrow.

Dec 11, 2018

We didn’t get the news we were hoping for, but the most important thing is that Billy will be okay.

Billy had an appointment this morning with Dr. Lineberger, surgeon and orthopedic specialist at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists in Loveland, Colorado. Billy not only has a fractured hip, but he also has issues with his lower spine and pelvic region. Both legs are affected and regardless of the treatment plan that is decided, he will always have limited mobility. Whatever happened to poor Billy, happened long enough ago that he’s no longer in pain. That is most important! Tomorrow morning Billy will have an MRI by Dr. Komitor, neurologist at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado. This will help accurately pinpoint all the abnormalities and help Dr. Lineberger decide the best course of treatment.

Also during Billy’s appointment this morning, Dr. Sitzman, dentist at Four Seasons, had a look at his mouth and determined that Billy is only 2 to 3 years old. This does not surprise us, this little guy is as playful as a puppy!

Thank you so much for helping us save Billy, Sammy, and Sunflower, and ensuring they receive the veterinary care they need to live the lives they so deserve.

Dec 11, 2018

Billy is waiting to meet Dr. Lineberger at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists. We’ll have an update later. Please keep Billy in your thoughts today!

Dec 10, 2018

Billy doesn’t let a fractured hip get him down! He just planted himself in the center of the biggest dog bed we have (after putting all his toys in it) and is having the time of his life!

Tomorrow morning he will visit the surgeon, Dr. Lineberger (orthopedic specialist) at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists so we can figure out what needs to be done to help Billy. It appears the fracture is not recent, his leg is atrophied and he just drags it along when he walks. It’s sad to watch but seeing him play like he is this evening helps make up for that. Go Billy, go!


Dec 9, 2018

Sunflower, Sammy and Billy have arrived in Colorado and they are now all safe and sound (with full bellies) in our home.

And WHEW!!!! What a busy last few days it’s been! I’m looking at these 3 little ones now, knowing that they were scheduled to be euthanized … holding back my tears. I can see how desperate they are to be loved (and to give love) … and knowing they will now have that chance … it’s just absolutely amazing.

THANK YOU to the entire Harley community for helping us save Sunflower, Sammy and Billy. I know it’s cliché, but it really does take a village, and without the help of so many of you, these precious little ones would have died. We are ALL so profoundly grateful.

Dec 7, 2018

Sammy and Billy have safely arrived at their temporary foster home in San Gabriel, CA… all is well. ❤️

Dec 7, 2018

Sammy and Billy are currently en route to Los Angeles thanks to Pilots N Paws volunteer, Paul! We’ll update you once they arrive. Wish our little ones a smooth flight!

Dec 7, 2018

Rescuing dogs from out of state often requires a lot of orchestration, and that has definitely been the case with the 3 little ones we are currently working on bringing from California to Colorado.

When we first pulled Sammy – and then Billy – from the shelter, we were contacted by a wonderful supporter (and fan of Harley’s) named Anne, offering her help in any way we could use it.

To make a long story short, Anne picked up Sammy and Billy early this morning from their temporary foster-mom’s home. She and these adorable seniors have been spending the day together, hanging out in the park and enjoying each other’s company, and soon she will be driving them to a small airport in San Jose. There she will connect with Paul, a private pilot (another hero of ours) who will fly the boys down to Los Angeles.

When I saw the dogs were less than 45 minutes away from my home I immediately emailed Harley’s Dream to see if I could help somehow. It’s been so fun and they are both very sweet boys. One is sleeping on my lap and one is curled up on my parka right now. I tell them they are brave and that they don’t have to worry. Even spending just a few hours together I feel we have bonded. I hope and pray that their medical issues can be healed and they end up together. This whole experience was wonderful. Meeting Darci and texting/talking with Rudi. And talking to the boys. Love them both!” – Anne

It takes a village – sometimes a rather large one – to save lives, and we are grateful to Anne for her help today! Enjoy the photos below!

Dec 7, 2018

The first leg of their journey is underway! By Sunday evening Billy and Sammy (along with Sunflower, whom we rescued on Nov 28) will be in Colorado … but that was only made possible because of some very special “Harley’s Heroes” on the ground who sprang into action when we sent out a plea for help!

This picture was taken this morning of our first Hero, Darci. She’s holding Billy and Sammy just before she handed them over to our next Hero, Anne (more about Anne later).

Darci is AMAZING! Acting as a representative of Harley’s Dream, she pulled both dogs from the shelter, saving them from being euthanized. She cared for them over the past few days and taught them that “everything will be okay.” Without Darci’s help, Sammy and Billy – who, we discovered, came from the same home when their owner became ill – might not have had a second chance. We are forever grateful! Darci is not only our Hero, she is an Angel.

All 3 of the dogs we rescued were considered “unadoptable” by the shelter because of serious medical conditions, so they were scheduled to be euthanized. Stay tuned for more updates as Sunflower, Sammy and Billy make their way to Colorado.

Darci saying goodbye to Sammy and Billy

Dec 6, 2018

The hardest part of being a dog rescuer is having to say no. I’m struggling right now. This 7lb chihuahua-cross “Billy” is at the same shelter as Sammy (the dog we pulled last night)… and tomorrow his time is up. X-rays show he has a fractured left hip joint and luxated SI joints. He must be pulled from the San Jose shelter by an approved rescue.

As I type this… we made the decision, we’re going to save him!!!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to our amazing San Jose Harley’s Dream representative Darci Anne for literally jumping to help rescue Billy (she’s on her way right now!!) and for saving Sammy last night. We are forever grateful! And a special thank you to the San Jose Animal Advocates who work tirelessly trying to find homes for the animals in their area shelters.

“Saving one dog will not save the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”