RIP Billy Dawg 2003? – 2019

We lost our cherished Billy Dawg last week. He died at home, surrounded by love.

Here is a picture his dogsitter sent us.

She captioned it: “Here he is motivating me to complete my senior project!” (Like mom, like pup!)

Billy was (we think) at least sixteen years old with some of the usual senior dog issues, but when the end came, it was pretty sudden and unexpected. He deteriorated *very* rapidly over his last three days, and the whole experience was, as you can imagine, intense and mostly awful.

But there was one incredible moment:

Contrary to the above image of Billy adoring his dogsitter, he generally didn’t shower you with affection. He kept a bit of distance, played it a bit cool. But on Saturday night, in the midst of a terrible weekend during which he was mostly “out of it,” he suddenly pulled himself together, got very focused, and gave my partner (the true center of his universe) a look of the purest, most intense, and most melting love.

It was as if Billy knew his time were running out and that he had to speak his heart while he still could.

The look lasted for two or three incredible seconds, after which Billy collapsed again–and my partner and I turned to each other and said, simultaneously and in mutual wonder, “You saw that, right?”

Rest in peace sweet Billy. You were a vivid soul who knew his own mind; and, despite your determined efforts to play the tough guy, you were relentlessly adorable. We were privileged to share your love and company for six years; and I wish, with all my heart, that it could have been longer.

*Related:

FDA Advisory on Dog Foods Linked to Possible Heart Disease
Note: Billy had heart disease but did not eat any of these brands. I’m including this link because people posted it in the Facebook discussion about his illness; and at least one person changed dog food brands after reading it. Here’s a Facebook group devoted to the issue.

Why you should, “adopt not shop.”

Why you should adopt a senior dog or cat.

Some more posts featuring Billy.

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