Willy, Willy Happy

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Day 2 – Willy

This is Willy. He is a purebred mahogany colored rough collie. I adopted him from the Collie Rescue and Shelter when he was two years old. He was such a handful! He had been purchased from a pet shop as a puppy and had been in four different homes in his two years of life. His records showed that he was in excellent health but was a “problem” child.  He had a history of incessant barking, getting into open trash cans, digging, and pulling on a lead. In other words….he was being a dog. What the records did not note, was that he had a fear of golf clubs, brooms and baseball bats. We were unaware that he had severe attachment disorder and that he had suffered neglect and finally was abandoned. His last owner took Willy because the man had a heart attack and needed a new heart. His chances at getting a heart were low so he wanted a companion for his final days. Then, a heart became available, he had a new lease on life and went on a cruise. Willy went to the shelter.

True to his problem behavior reputation, the first few weeks were rough. He would howl from his kennel whenever I left the house. He dug holes in the yard so monitoring him became a constant effort. When the digging was curbed, he discovered that he could jump the fence to chase the deer and foxes and rabbits….or just to show that he could. He stopped jumping over but then bolted right through it into the neighbor’s yard to play with their dog. This earned him the title of Willy the Wonderdog. When we were finally able to leave him out of his kennel at night, we left him out in the house during a quick grocery store run. We came home to a nearly demolished living room. Long streaky paw prints all over the front windows where he had tried to get out of the house. He was shaking with relief when we returned home, oblivious to the destruction, only overwhelmed with happiness that we had come back. I sat on the floor with him, sometimes for hours then before I left the house. He would start to panic whenever I picked up my purse and car keys. I would sit with him, keys and purse next to us and he would sit mostly in my lap. I would stroke him and speak softly to him and tell him that I was going to run to the store, then drop something off to my daughter and I would be right back. I left for fifteen minutes…then thirty…then one full hour. He knows now that I will always be back. He knows I love him and that I won’t ever hurt him. He is the best boy ever.

In return, Willy loves me unconditionally. He still barks but stops when I tell him “quiet!” He no longer freaks out when I sweep or if Will gets his golf clubs out…he knows he won’t be hit. Sometimes he sniffs at the trash can…then he looks at me, ducks his head and walks away. He makes me smile and laugh a lot. He talks to me in the way only Collies do. He still thinks he’s a lap dog (all 70 pounds of him!) and still likes to sit in my lap when I’m on the floor. He knows when I am sad or sick or angry and he is by my side. He follows me from room to room (or in the trailer from one end to the other…all 8 steps) and lays his head on my lap sometimes just to say hello and to invite me to scratch his ears. Mostly he makes me happy. He never says no to a hike. He obediently sits and waits for his cookie before retiring to his bed at nite. His ears perk up and he wiggles all over when I ask if he wants to go “bye-bye” in the car. He always listens to me…and I am fairly sure he understands most of what I’m saying. He is nearly eleven years old now and is getting a little white around his nose. I know he is aging and I can empathize. Some days we just laze around together and don’t do much of anything….he’s ok with that. He is faithful, he is compassionate, he is Willy. He makes me happy. . . Willy, Willy happy. 😊

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9 thoughts on “Willy, Willy Happy

  1. I have a 14 yr old border collie. They are such smart dogs. It is said they can have a vocab of up to 400 words. They have such loving characters and just one look can melt my heart. Lovely rescue story. When out Poppy was young I needed some help with training her and I found a lady who specialised in collies. The stories that she had to tell were so interesting and most of them were that people just had such a hard time training the breed that they gave up and resorted to violence. Her job was to then retrain those poor dogs and then try to re home them. We had problems with poppy trying to be above the cats and bullying them and one day she even picked up a cat in her jaws and just shook it. It was scary but it is what dogs do to try and work out their place in the pack. To solve that problem we had to feed the cats first right under her nose and make her sit and watch and then when the cats had finished she was given her dinner.can you imagine the slobber and dribble? It worked. Xxxx

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    1. Oh my goodness….great story about your Poppy! I had quite a few people tell mr that Willy wasn’t worth the effort, that he was just incapable of being trained etc, etc. Those are the same people now that are amazed at what a sweet and well behaved boy he is. I employed a few unorthodox methods in training him and they paid off. We have an awesome bond.

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  2. Willy is a gorgeous dog. I had a collie named McTavish (Mac) growing up. We even shared the same birthdate. My father was great at training him. We could never get him not to bark at the mail carriers or when a stranger came to the door, but otherwise, best dog ever. So loving, gentle and loyal. He was like a best friend to me. We now have an Australian Shepherd and he has similar characteristics. He’s our little watch dog because the Golden Retriever thinks absolutely everyone is her best friend. He growls when someone is at the door, she jumps for joy. ❤

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    1. Ha! Willy barks until someone says hello. Then he turns to mush. If I ever have a friendly intruder, I’m in trouble! My daughter has an Aussie mix and it is so fun to watch Willy and her play. They are great buddies…very alike in personality and temperament. Willy is a joy, a companion, a friend. Love him! I know you understand. ❤️

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  3. We have 2 German Shepherds, both rescues. Our eldest was adopted by us at 4 1/2 months. She is extremely well behaved but has to be crated at night and when we leave as she sampled every piece of bedroom furniture we own before we noticed it. Our second dog, a male, was adopted at 3 1/2 years old. He was so underweight when the rescue received him, they had to wait to neuter him. He has pieces of his ears missing from what they think was frostbite. When I saw his little face on their website, we had to take a ride. He’s a clown, like many male German Shepherds, but he is clearly grateful to us. He’s not great at listening and so when I occasionally have to corral him in the backyard, he cowers. We’ve had him 2 years and he still cowers. We’ve never laid a hand on him. If I start cursing because I’m frustrated with something, he runs downstairs. You get these little glimpses of the life he had before by how he reacts. He is very attached to me. When he sees me getting ready to go to the barn, I’m told that after I leave, he pouts on the bed upstairs. When he hears the garage door going up, signaling that I am home, he races downstairs and I am greeted by excited barking. I hate to kennel him when we vacation because I wonder if his mind thinks he’s being abandoned again. He doesn’t have to be crated at all. He hogs the bed and then eventually makes his way to sleep in his crate. We are so grateful to have these dogs and I will never buy another “purebred” puppy again. Willie us very handsome. Enjoy. And thank you for saving him.

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    1. Oh it angers and disgusts me when I hear of animals being abused! I am heartbroken and wish I could adopt them all. I grew up with an amazing German Shepherd named Smoky. She was retired from the police department because she wasn’t aggressive enough. She didn’t have a mean bone in her body…what a love! I actually adopted two Collies at the same time. When I got Willy, another blonde Collie named Tuck attached himself to me and I couldn’t go home without him. I lost him last year to old age just a week after d-day. I am not able to talk about it yet. Every dog I have ever had the privilege of living with has a piece of my heart.

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