Willie Boy

TLC has given Willie Boy a new lease on life. He started out at Bad Newz Kennels — one of 22 dogs who came to Best Friends after being rescued from the property of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. Now, with a few years of loving care under his harness, Willie Boy plays like a pup and relaxes well. He even sleeps like a geezer, his pink tongue peeking out between his lips.

Understandably uneasy when he first arrived, Willie Boy has improved as his anxiety has lessened over the years. He thrives on a predictable daily routine, which includes the regular appearance of new toys. To help quell his fears, he goes for walks around Dogtown and is usually quite relaxed and content, spending afternoons sunbathing and playing with his jolly balls and coffee containers. His daily activities center around a select, known group of caregivers who help him maintain a feeling of familiarity and comfort.

In recent months, Willie has struggled with medical issues. He is not always able to process food properly, but vets are working closely with him to help him eat a consistent diet. Caregivers are also there to make sure meal times are tranquil and stress-free.

Your sponsorship helps make it all possible. Please help Willie keep up the good work!

Willie Boy's Progress Journal

Easy does it
Easy does it
June 24, 2016

Summer brings good news on the Willie Boy front.

Willie is feeling good after recovering from surgery this winter. The normal pace of life at Jeffrey’s is a comfortable routine for this structure-loving guy. He gets in his early morning exercise and spends the heat of the day napping and playing with his toys inside. This very special dog brings a smiles and laughter to his caregivers every day. Quirks and all, there is nobody else like Willie Boy. Thank you so much for sponsoring Willie and helping us provide a wonderful life for him and for other very special dogs at the Sanctuary.

On the mend
On the mend
January 7, 2016

So far, Willie Boy has had a rough winter. This started with diarrhea and some vomiting. Then he started to lose his appetite and we noticed some fluid build up in his back legs. He started to rapidly lose weight. Dr. Patti ran blood work, did X-rays and an ultrasound. During his ultrasound she noticed his spleen looked enlarged and his blood work showed low protein levels. Willie needed surgery to remove his spleen.

Dr. Patti and Dr. Trisha performed the surgery just before Christmas and it was a success! His spleen was covered with masses and Dr. Patti sent some samples out for biopsy. This is the second time that Dr. Patti and Dr. Trisha have saved Willie Boy. A few years back they removed a thyroid carcinoma and an intestinal carcinoma.

Willie is back up at Jeffrey's and recovering! He is back to himself again. Thank you for sponsoring this special boy!

Reason to celebrate
August 1, 2015

This chocolate teddy bear of a pup has been doing fantastic! Willie is in good health and so far there has been no sign of his cancer returning. Naturally he’s been celebrating with treats, toys and butt wiggles every day.  

Sound plays a huge role here at the Sanctuary. Whether you’re listening to the symphony of wind chimes at Angel’s Rest, the lively bird chatter of Parrot Garden or the deafening silence of the canyon as you take in endless red rock vistas, there is always some sort of auditory treat to enjoy. And, apparently, Willie has decided that he’d like to add a few of his own notes to that melody.  

During calmer moments of the day in Dogtown (usually the early mornings and lunch time), Willie begins to howl. Willie’s howl is a low, deep, melodic one, reminiscent of something you might find yourself listening to during meditation. We’re not sure how this boy got such wonderful pipes, but he’s been having a calming effect on everybody who stops to listen, and we’re very thankful for the new addition to our Sanctuary sounds.  

Shortly after Willie begins to howl, of course, the rest of the dogs in his neighborhood come running, eager to chime in. And while they’re not quite as soothing a bunch to listen to as Willie Boy is, their collective howling does make for a unique sound experience. If you find yourself visiting the Sanctuary in the near future, make sure to stop by and have a listen!  

Thank you for sponsoring this happy howlin’ boy and all the joy that he brings to this world!

Full of life
January 14, 2015

One of the things that we’re realizing about Willie is that he’s a man of many routines. And that’s a good thing. Willie thrives on consistency. When things become unpredictable, he gets stressed. So trusting that the people and environment around him stay somewhat consistent is a key component to Willie’s well-being. And Willie has found that trust here at the Sanctuary. 

New caregivers are slowly being worked into Willie’s routine and as a result he’s making many new friends. A new caregiver named Caley recently joined the team at his octagon and Willie has taken quite a liking to her. It just goes to show you that even the shy guy sometimes wants to feel like Mr. Popular. 

Willie Boy has had an eventful couple of months. After his caregivers noticed a small mass on his neck, Dr. Patti did some testing and unfortunately discovered that it was a form of cancer called thyroid carcinoma. 

Luckily, the veterinary team was able to remove the mass, along with a second intestinal mass, and Willie has made a full recovery. And although there is always the chance that the cancer will return, Willie’s is scheduled for routine examinations to monitor any recurrences and as of right now his future is looking bright! 

This chocolate-colored love bug still gets out for his trail walks every morning during which he wiggles around to get you to tap him on the butt and then he does his zoomies. Needless to say, Willie’s full of life and living it up. 

Thank you so much for sponsoring Willie. Your support helps us provide him, and other animals like him, with the top-notch care and compassion he deserves.

April 23, 2014

Willie Boy is doing great! He recently had a few days where he was not feeling well, and his caregivers started to become concerned. We ran blood work and did abdominal X-rays, and fortunately, everything checked out just fine. Willie Boy was back to his normal self in no time. 

Willie Boy has recently become quite smitten with one of his caregivers, Cathy, who works up in his area once a week. When Cathy comes to greet Willie through the fence, he will get so excited that he seems to wag his entire body at her. Willie also has a new, and rather unusual, favorite toy. Willie has never been a huge fan of dog toys. For the past couple of years, Willie's favorite toys have been large plastic coffee containers. Recently, though, one of his caregivers decided to give him a plastic dog bowl to see how Willie liked it. Willie could not have been happier about his new toy. He keeps his dog bowl inside on his dog bed and plays with it first thing every morning. While he will bring other toys in and out throughout the day, he keeps his dog bowl inside at all times, taking special care of this precious toy of his.  

Thank you so much for being a sponsor to this goofy boy. Your support helps give second chances to Willie and so many other animals like him.