It was September of 2001, and I was working as a softball umpire for a league in Castro Valley. One Sunday some ladies from a coed team asked if anybody wanted to adopt a puppy from a litter that had been found on a local construction site. I wasn't really looking for a new pup, having lost a dear canine companion only recently. They brought me a huge box to show me one, and I almost couldn't see him tucked away in a dark corner. He was a small black and tan bundle, but all I could see were his big, liquid eyes looking up at me. I was hooked. He stayed in the scorekeepers booth that afternoon and at one point somebody asked me what I was going to name him. I looked in the box and said: "So, what's your name little guy?" He looked up at me and I swear I heard in my head: "Bill". My family wasn't too keen on the name at first but I wouldn't hear any other suggestions.
It was a struggle at first to get Bill to trust me. I built a nice puppy box for him in the garage so he would feel safe, He liked my wife and kids, but he seemed to be very shy and fearful of me. I had been raised to see dogs not so much as family members but as useful tools. Somehow I couldn't reconcile those feelings with how Bill was acting toward me. So I decided to take it slow. Every day, when I came home from work, I would go out to the garage and sit at the far end of the enclosure and just talk to Bill, telling him about my day. After weeks of doing this I noticed him moving closer, so I just kept talking. One day as I sat gabbing and looking somewhere else, I felt a soft pressure on my leg. Looking down, there was Bill resting his muzzle on my lap. "Hi little guy", I said, and I knew we had made the breakthrough.
Things went quickly after that. We enrolled in training classes and he was my constant companion on hikes around the area. When the time came for me to change my career, I chose pet sitting and dog training. When it came to naming my business it was no problem. I am the owner and sole proprietor of Friends of Bill Pet Sitting and Dog Training. I consider myself Bill's number one friend, and I think he feels the same way about me.