It seems once in a lifetime that we can be blessed with a dog that comes into your life and completely changes the trajectory of it. For those that are lucky enough to experience it, it’s like nothing else. They inspire you, push you, and love you unconditionally.
Back in July 2015, a sweet soul (we later named Willie) chose our family. He lived on our front porch for a few days until we let him in the backyard. Come to find out, that was originally his family home. That was his home, his backyard and we just happen to live there. See, he was abandoned by the previous renters of that house after they moved. When we found this out, we immediately got in touch with his previous rescue and got him into their foster program. At that time, we weren’t ready for the life changing experience of fostering a dog with his background but something told us to let him in our lives to fight and care for him. I’m glad we did.
When he wobbled into our lives, I was not a trainer nor was experienced in handling a dog like him. He was underweight, had a bump leg, heart worms, and dog selective. During his time with us, his elbow healed but he will always have a limp. He is now heart worm negative after a stressful and painful treatment. We worked on his socialization training because of his reactivity towards other dogs while on leash. Thankfully, I had a friend (and later mentor) that helped give me guidance and training tips on how to handle him. Willie and I even made a cross-country road trip to take him to his forever home.
Why does this dog matter over the 3 dogs I already had? He is the reason fell in love with dog training. Although I love them all equally, Willie was different. He inspired my passion and changed my life. I invested so much time and effort into him. His success was my success. Willie was the first reactive dog I ever worked with. He was my first foster dog. My first heart worm positive dog. My first “lab” (pit bull) mix – most importantly, he was my Willie Milligan, now Willie Milligan Lopez Alcantar. Through work and dedication, he found his forever home. Fast forward to today, he now lives a fappy (fat and happy) life in Idaho with a cousin that has similar ailments and has plenty of people to dote on him.
Dogs like these are like Halley’s Comet. Some people only get to experience it once in a lifetime but when it happens, its absolute beautiful to see.
Do you have a Halley’s Comet dog? How did s(he) touch your life?
Here are some pictures of him including our first meeting, his time with us, and now.