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pet adoption 1

Who is Billy?

The cheeky dog pictured above is my own little bundle of barely contained exuberance, Billy. Ok, so the dog has a few tiny flaws. Yes, he thinks he’s a cat, and he does consider it completely appropriate to park his 15Kg behind on my lap while I am trying to watch tv. Yes, he also believes it is his god-given right to steal food from the table. I don’t know why he loves corn chips so much, but I do occasionally let him sneak a couple because it amuses me to watch him crunch them up noisily whilst avoiding eye contact. I really do believe the big idiot thinks that if he can’t see me, I can’t see him.

When out in the backyard, he constantly annoys our other dog, Anika. Despite having no interest in toys or tennis balls himself, it is his top priority in life to ensure she is not allowed to play with them either. Tactics employed include barking, body-slamming, and when he’s feeling particularly bossy, the old ‘run and hump’ manoeuvre. You don’t want to know…

pet adoption 2“You won’t believe what he did, the jerk… Ah shit, he’s right behind me again isn’t he…”

So I think we’ve established that Billy is a little ‘special’. If you need any further convincing, I’ll tell you he just does not understand nice doggy etiquette at all. He is quite the embarrassment out on walks because every time he sees another dog he starts to whine noisily and shake like a leaf. Every now and again this progresses into something that you’d be forgiven for thinking was a seizure of some kind. Once a woman even stopped with her little dog (which happened to be yapping at us at the time) to look down her nose severely and chastise me, “I see your dog has not been properly socialized!” before striding off, dragging the poor thing behind her every time it tried to stop for a little sniff around. I was mortified. The thing is, this dog, with his many behavioral ‘quirks’ shall we say, did not always enjoy the life of luxury he leads now…

We adopted Billy from an animal shelter

 I was working there as one of their veterinarians at the time, and it was love at first sight. He was nearly a year old, undesexed, and more than a little intimidated by the concrete cell he had found himself in. His previous owners cited “moving house” on the surrender papers. While I’ll admit there are exceptions to every rule and you shouldn’t judge people without knowing their whole story, I know I could never throw away a dog for the sake of a rental property, or a new boyfriend, or whatever.

And so Billy became mine.

Technically, he became my husband’s. A 30th birthday present that we could both enjoy, huzzah! I thought I was quite clever until my next birthday came around and he presented me with a slab of his favourite beer.

My dad calls Billy the wooly jumper due to his shaggy coat and penchant for, well, jumping. After several rounds of abysmally unsuccessful obedience school we have come to some sort of truce, where he’s allowed to weasel up onto people’s laps occasionally but under no circumstances is he to urinate on other dogs anymore. He forgets sometimes…

Where was I…

Anyway, I can see I haven’t made an overwhelming case for pet adoption! Here’s the thing though. We LOVE this crazy dog. We adore him. Our 18 month old son adores him. No one is perfect and this dog is no exception, but he’s found his ”forever home” and we’ll always be grateful to have found him.  I would strongly urge people thinking about adding a canine family member to the household to at least check out the local animal shelter.  These organisations and the people working in them are incredible.  Consider giving a second chance to a furry, waggy-tailed person who may just surprise you with how much he or she enriches your life.

Pet adoption 3

And if I haven’t convinced you, click the link below for a video that will

Hope For Paws

Joanna Paul

Dr. Joanna Paul BVSc (hons) BSc

Jo is a practicing small animal veterinarian based in Melbourne, Australia. Working in partnership with loving pet owners to ensure their fur-kids remain happy, healthy family members life-long is what brings her joy. Well, that and taking naps. Jo strongly believes that helping to maintain the wonderful bond between a pet and their human is reason enough for a happy dance.

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  • […] to my heart.  Animal Aid is a really wonderful local shelter, and not only is my own beautiful dog Billy from there, but in fact it’s the very place I started my veterinary career.  They do amazing […]

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