After a year of torturing myself by scouring petfinder whilst still living in an apartment that didn't allow dogs I finally moved into a pet-friendly house. As a result, this big lug muscled his way into my home on October 6, 2009. It's pretty hard not to adore Billy, he's got that squishy face that you just want to smooch and boy does he looooove people. I was on the hunt for a bigger dog, given that I expected to be walking him alone in the dark a lot once the Chicago winter rolled in, and I have a real soft spot for the bully breeds. After marching round various shelters (not a fun experience) and putting in applications on a number of dogs online I finally came across this guy through the rescue organization One Tail at a Time:
Update--as of 8/24, Billy is doing fabulously in his foster home. He is just a laid back love bug who wants to snuggle and watch movies in bed with his foster mom (see picture two). Billy is still not a fan of the crate, but when uncrated he just sleeps and lounges around waiting for his foster mom or another friend to come play with him!
Billy is an extremely handsome, loving, American Bulldog mix who has been waiting for a foster or forever home for months. This sweet gentleman was originally adopted from our organization (by a family with five children!) last year but was returned two months ago when the family's living situation changed due to the housing market/economy. Billy was much loved in his original home and did beautifully with all five children. Sadly, since Billy has come back to our rescue, we have not been able to find a foster or forever home for him so he has been in boarding for the last two months. Thankfully, he still gets lots of attention and is able to play and socialize with the other dogs in boarding so he has definitely maintained his friendly demeanor and sociability. None the less, this patient big lug would love nothing more than a loving foster or forever home of his own.
Billy does wonderfully with people of all ages and does well with some dogs too. He seems to be better with female dogs and in boarding is actually more socialized with, believe it or not, small dogs! Billy would do best with smaller, more submissive dogs so he will be placed with other dogs on a case-by-case basis. One of his best friends in boarding was a One Tail at a Time alumni, Darcy the pit/lab mix.
His foster mom brought him round to my place for a meeting and that was that! Well, just about...
We've come a long way since then but of course, a dog like Bilbo isn't the type to make life quite that easy and our first night was an interesting one. Though he was going to be allowed on the furniture, I didn't plan on having him sleep on the bed until he'd settled in a little and set a two week period for him to stick to his dog bed before he'd be invited up. Now, why he should be banished to the floor when there was a whole pile of comfy duvet to sprawl across was something he just wasn't getting his head around and every time the lights went off a big weight would settle across my legs. At which point we'd start the how-far-can-I-push-her bulldog testing process. You see, when a dog with a head as big as Billy's decides to clamp his mouth around your arm, you definitely start to consider letting him have his way. After two and a half hours of back and forward we finally reached a compromise - Billy would sleep on his dog bed on the floor by the couch, and I would sleep on the couch...
I did make it into bed the next night and this time, thanks to a 3 hour walk that evening Billy agreed that his dog bed was a good spot until I said otherwise. And I even managed to restrain myself for almost the full two weeks before I caved and let him jump up.