It was New Year's Day 2016. My little pittie/chow mix had just passed away in December. I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed a girl in one of my lost and found groups had posted about this small white dog she had found in her yard. She had taken the dog to a vet who said he was blind and about six years old. She was feeding him and keeping him warm and dry, but she couldn't keep him because she had multiple dogs in her home. She was asking for a foster or adopter to take him, because she had found out the dog's family had moved away and left him behind. Somehow he had found his way to her.

Very first picture I ever saw of Willy
First picture of Willy

I decided, without even thinking about it, to help this little dog. Originally, I was going to foster him and look for a home. Well, I fell in love almost instantly. I decided to call him Willy. He was just so sweet and loving, after a few weeks I had decided to keep him. But at the time I was unemployed and I knew he needed immediate vet care. One eye was protruding from the eye socket. Turns out, he had glaucoma in that eye, a painful situation to be in. I had no way of paying for such an expensive surgery. The other eye had a thick cataract.

Willy after his first bath and haircut
First haircut and bath

So, I began to search for help online and on social media. Someone, I don't even remember who, put me in touch with a Maltese rescue. I contacted them and told them that I would be willing to give him up if they could pay for his surgery. The rescue told me they didn't have the money either. However, she knew about this new organization called Free Animal Doctor. They help pet owners raise money for vet treatments they cannot afford. The idea being, to keep the pet in the home rather than being surrendered to a shelter or dumped. She gave me their information, and I contacted Ryan at Free Animal Doctor to tell him my story.

Ryan immediately said he could help, and he wanted me to keep the dog. Since Willy already had a loving home, it would be easier to raise the money than find another person willing to take in a blind dog.

Willy at the vet before eye removal surgery
Willy before eye surgery

So, we scheduled the surgery to remove the protruding eye with my local veterinarian, Dr. Moon. When I picked him up, this little man looked rough, like a mini Frankenstein. But I continued to look after him and keep his cone on so he couldn't scratch the eye. Once his stitches came out, he was a new dog. Happy and feeling amazing.

Willy right after his eye surgery
Willy after his eye removal surgery

Willy after stitch removal
Willy at the office after stitch removal

Today, this little guy has me on a tight string. He has me fully trained and at his beck and call. Willy is around 16 and slowing down, but still going strong. He has the biggest and bossiest personality ever. Love my little boy!

Willy hard at work
Willy working hard at the office

Happy Willy today
Willy today



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  • Denise Gallagher

    Always love a happy story when a pet finds a loving forever home and gets the care, including vet care, that they need to have a wonderful life! Thank you for opening your home and heart to this sweet little dog!

    February 27, 2024 at 8:09 pm Reply

  • Pat Buttress

    Thank you for the wonderful heartwarming story!

    February 29, 2024 at 11:00 am Reply

  • Julie Harris

    Thank you for keeping Willy – Caring for animals teach us so much about ourselves. He is wonderful !
    IF I lived in Cal I would certainly olunteer -For now I can just donate when its possible. Great work !

    March 2, 2024 at 3:45 am Reply