Friday, March 13, 2009

Billy Budd.

Billy Budd.

Meet Billy Budd and one of his owners Ronnie (below photo). Billy is Portuguese Water Dog shared by Ronnie and her next-door-neighbor, Liz. Liz's birthday is coming up in April and Ronnie decided to get a few surprise portraits made of Billy. I was excited to spend more time with such a sweet PWD and it affirmed my idea that the Obama's made the right decision. Billy was so well-behaved and good at posing for the camera.

Ronnie describes how Billy got his name and how she and Liz adopted a dog together:

"First, as to his name, Billy Budd is the title of a Herman Melville novel and a Benjamin Britten opera about a good, but innocent sailor on a whaling ship. All pets in my family have always been named with a "B" (Bobby, Buttons, Bonnie, Beau, Belle, Blackie, Blakey, Bogie, Bailey, and on and on). So when we got a Portuguese WATER Dog, he had to have a nautical name beginning with a B. Hence Billy Budd.

As to the decision to share him, it's not really that big a deal. Families "share" dogs all the time, why not friends and neighbors. As it happened, I had had a previous dog, Benny, who Liz was taking care of while I was away when he died suddenly of adrenal failure. So, after an appropriate time of grieving, we went together to the pound where we found Billy (whose name then was something else, I'm sure). He was grossly underweight, had never been groomed, and was riddled with parasites ("He came with his own pets", my vet said.) He was extremely timid and frightened at first, he suffered terribly from separation anxiety and he chewed and bit his way through towels, shoes, windows and doors. But, over time, has become the handsome gentleman you met the other day. "

Billy with Ronnie in their Chevy Chase home.


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