GOT THERE: Frank Braes with his dog Billy after winning an Australian title in the novice class.
GOT THERE: Frank Braes with his dog Billy after winning an Australian title in the novice class. Contributed

Your Story: Miracle dog goes on to win national title

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OUR dog Billy, or Hellyehr Mighty Prince Billy, which is his pedigree name, was born in Browns Plains on January30, 2011.

We picked him up when he was nine weeks old and drove him back to Gladstone.

He immediately became part of the family and was like a best friend to our daughters.

Since our son was born, the bond is even closer between them.

They are best mates and are always spending time together in the backyard.

He is special to my family because he considers us to be his family, and when my kids get sick he will lie with them until they get better.

I have been involved with dog obedience training in the Atherton Tablelands and here in Gladstone for many years.

I had a break from it for seven years as a sign of respect for my first dog after he passed away at the age of 13 years.

He had obtained an obedience title with record high scores.

I started to train Billy at a young age and walked him regularly every afternoon and morning at local Gladstone parks.

Billy on a drip after a bout of severe pancreatitis.
Billy on a drip after a bout of severe pancreatitis.

In July 2012, we woke to find Billy looking sick, and then realised our cat had bumped six to eight large uncooked chicken drumsticks off the bench onto the floor - and Billy had eaten all of them.

He was raced to the vet, where they diagnosed him with severe acute pancreatitis.

He was rushed into the operating theatre and had his pancreas flushed multiple times. He was put on an intravenous drip.

Every medical option was exhausted and we were told he may survive or may not, and if he did he had a good chance of developing diabetes due to the major damage to his pancreas.

Seven days later a miracle happened. The vet rang to say there was slight improvement in his condition.

We took Billy home and gave him a strict diet. He gradually improved to full health in the next six months.

He was named 'the miracle dog' by the vet staff and showed his will to live.

I resumed exercising and training with him when he was ready.

He was a fast learner and we prepared for our first dog obedience trial in Rockhampton.

To be awarded a title, Billy needed to get three scores of 85 out of 100 or higher.

Billy with Frank’s son Kaiden.
Billy with Frank’s son Kaiden.

Points were awarded for him heeling (walking) by my side, sitting when I stopped, standing on command and being inspected by a stranger, being left alone and then coming when called, and staying sitting and lying for an amount of time. We scored 93 points.

The second and third qualifying scores were at Gladstone Dog Obedience Club, where he scored 96 and 97, leading him to receive his first title - Community Companion Dog.

We travelled to Rockhampton again to compete in the next level, Companion Dog.

Unfortunately it was freezing and raining and he did not work well in those conditions.

On June 25-26 we entered in the novice class at the state and national titles in Durack.

We did not qualify in the state titles, as Billy noticed I was nervous and he did almost everything he was not supposed to do.

Then the next day at the national titles he showed how good he really was and qualified.

He received first place out of the 19 dogs entered, showing that staffies are actually very intelligent, even though they are well-known boofheads!



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