In January of 2011, my wife Tracie and I decided to get a dog. We knew we wanted to adopt, and a quick online search found us, Hardy. I drove 90-minutes to what could generously be called a ‘puppy farm’ to get him, and conditions were atrocious. Although he wasn’t technically a rescue, after seeing his surroundings, he kinda was. What an amazing addition to our family! However, his energy was off the charts; he needed a buddy.
The next time around we wanted to rescue a dog officially, but at that point, it was just talk, not a plan. As fate would have it our friend Maria, who is a champion in the rescue community, posted a video of an American bulldog, who only had a few hours left to live. He was to be put down at 5 p.m. My call home was short, “Look at the video Maria posted, tell me what you think.” Tracie called me back from the car; she was on her way to sign for him. A quick surgery and the next morning Gunner was taking his ‘freedom ride’ to meet his new best friend and become a member of our family.
Over the years, my involvement in the rescue community has mainly been limited to social media. I like and share pages of my favorite shelters, and constantly correspond with my fellow dog lovers, pointing out the amazing work of the dedicated people in the rescue community. I am, however, always thinking there has to be more I can do.
Flash forward to January of 2018. After losing my job in November, I was searching for my next move. I made a phone call to my dear friends in the gym business, Mark and Suzy; I was considering getting back in. We discussed it for a while but they told me they might be moving in a different direction, and I was curious, to say the least. They put me in touch with another old friend from my former life, Drew. An hour later I’m talking to Drew, and he tells me, “You gotta talk to the founder (of HydroDog), he is driving an RV around the United States right now, let me see if I can get him on the phone.” A few minutes later we find out, Anthony is in Philadelphia. He could have been anywhere, but he is 20 minutes away. We planned a meeting for the next day.
That’s when we met in a parking lot in front of the Home Depot in Glen Mills. I walked up on an RV towing a vehicle dressed up like a huge dog. What in the world is happening! Out of the RV pops Anthony who said, “Bill, great to meet you, mate!” (Did I mention Anthony is from Australia?) In my mind, I’m thinking, “What is this? What is this all about?” The dog-car reminded me of “Dumb and Dumber,” so I had many questions running through my head. Anthony proceeded to bark out, “Mate, we are on a mission to save rescue dogs!” Wait, what? Rescue dogs? NOW, I’m ready to listen.
After weeks of going back and forth learning more and more about Anthony’s vision to impact the rescue dog community, I have decided to join the fight! I am officially an area representative for HydroDog! I leave for Missouri this week to further my training and continue education to help clear all the shelters!
I am passionate about sports; I’ve worked in sports television. I am passionate about being healthy; I’ve owned gyms. I am passionate about rescue dogs, and fate has stepped in and shown me the way to HydroDog. It’s going to be a wonderful and meaningful journey!