Billy Bob came to our home on November 18, 2007. He was described as
a “cranky” older pug that had problems with stones. At the time he
was 13 years old and had been displaced after his beloved owner was
placed in a nursing home. I can’t imagine how lost and confused
Billy Bob must have felt, and wondered how he would do in our home.
Much to my delight, Billy Bob immediately made himself at home and
acted like he had been there all his life. Time and again, I
continue to be amazed at the adaptability of foster dogs, no matter
how old they are!
When Billy Bob arrived in our home, we discovered that his former
owner had shaved him to prevent shedding. Having a bald dog in
Northern, IN during the winter was not a good idea, so I bought him
his very own alpine ski vest, which he wore each and every time he
went outside. It took months to get his coat back and when it did
grow back, it was so soft and nearly white.
While Billy Bob wasn’t really interested in playing with the other
dogs, he was always interested in being wherever the people were,
especially if they were on the couch. Billy Bob loved his couch time
and his alone time. Ever the independent soul, Billy Bob liked to
spend time in his “apartment” -- a small alcove in our bedroom that
contained his bed. If the bedroom door was closed, he would walk to
the door, stand there for a moment and then return and stare at us
until one of us got up and let him in. Over time we began to love
all of Billy Bob’s quirks, whether he was attacking his bed every
morning, barking in the morning until he got his breakfast, enjoying
the sun on our deck, or randomly biting us. It took many months to
get Billy Bob to not take off a finger or two when getting a treat!
Billy Bob was also the one and only pug at our vet’s office that had
a “red sticker” for being a biter. No matter how many times we got
bit for disturbing him, trimming his nails or giving him a treat, we
feel in love with him. My favorite Billy Bob biting story is on
Christmas 2007. My husband bought him a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey
and Billy Bob bit him when he tried to put it on him! Obviously he
was still a Cincinnati Reds fan (he was originally from Cincinnati,
relocated to Elkhart, IN). Nevertheless, we enjoyed having Billy Bob
in our home so much that we officially adopted him in July 2008,
shortly after his 14th birthday.
On July 7, 2009 Billy Bob turned 15 years old and was as feisty as
ever. I was hoping that we would have a couple more years to spoil
this sweet boy, but God had other plans for Billy Bob. Billy Bob
started having seizures in mid-August. A trip to the vet indicated
that his liver and kidney functions were normal. The vet suspected a
brain tumor, but an MRI would need to be conducted to verify her
suspicions. Two days after our vet visit, on August 14, 2009, Billy
Bob suffered a major seizure and passed away in our home.
While I am still saddened at the loss of my friend, I am grateful
for the time we had with him. I am so happy that I answered yes to
the foster request in November 2007 and so happy that I got to spoil
my cranky little old man for almost two years. Knowing what I know
now, would I do it again? You bet! I would not miss the opportunity
of having Billy Bob in my life for anything. Without KPR, Billy Bob
would not have come into my life, and that would have been tragic.
God speed my friend.
Until we meet again, our love always
Juli & Ben Kruszynski and the rest of the Polish Pug Pack