If there were ever a contest for the best canine “con-artist,” this Lurcher from the UK would easily win the title.
The nine-year-old pooch won the hearts of millions worldwide when a video of him limping alongside his owner Russell Jones went viral. In the clip, Russell is seen wearing a plaster cast on his right foot and using crutches after breaking his ankle.
According to a Facebook post, he spent some £300 ($410) in vet fees and X-rays to find out why Billy was suddenly limping, only to find out that the dog was doing it out of sympathy!
“Cost me £300 in vet fees and X-rays, nothing wrong just sympathy. Love him,” the 53-year-old captioned his post.
Russell —who manages his own cleaning business— wore the plaster cast for seven weeks after breaking his ankle while working as a window cleaner.
He became worried when the usually energetic Billy began limping when they went for a walk.
He brought him to the vet and paid around £300 during the visit. The fee included two consultations, leg and paw X-rays, and painkillers. However, doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with Billy, so they sent the family home and said there’s nothing more they could do.
When Russell and his wife, Michelle Colgate, 47, returned home, that’s when they discovered Billy’s dirty little secret.
Michelle got to playing with Billy in their garden. Once Russell was out of his sight, the dog began leaping and jumping about in their backyard. His limp miraculously disappeared!
“Look, I think he’s taking the Micky out of you. He’s following you how you walk,” Michelle told her husband.
Russell decided to test that theory by taking Billy for a walk in his dad’s mobility scooter. And their suspicions were confirmed: the dog only limped when he was walking alongside him.
They went for miles and miles, and Billy did just fine.
“When I took him out on the scooter, that was it. He never limped. He never limped again in his life,” Russell recalled. “We realized he was limping out of sympathy.”
Because of this hilarious yet heartwarming incident, Russell appreciated his best friend’s love even more.
“Billy is my soulmate. He has always got his eyes on me and he is very soppy,” he said.
Turns out, this isn’t the first time that Billy has imitated his owners. When Michelle pulled a muscle in her back and tripped a nerve, the empathetic canine laid down on the floor next to her as she rested on the sofa.
“He would come up and nuzzle my face and lay down next to me,” she recalled. “I would be laying on the sofa or in bed and he would lay on the floor and not move.”
Billy didn’t let her out of his sight. If she walked into the kitchen, the pooch would walk gently behind her and follow her back.
Michelle first posted a video of Billy’s fake limping after Russell’s accident in June last year. But it was only when her husband shared it with a Greyhound and Lurcher Facebook group this month that the duo became an online sensation.
“It’s been madness since the video went viral,” Russell said. “People have said how it’s cheered them up and how much they’ve enjoyed hearing about Billy, especially during lockdown.”
Billy first came into their home as a puppy along with his sister Ruby. Sadly, however, the latter passed away from kidney failure three years ago.
The pups grew up with the couple’s children, Kieran, 25, and Maisie, 22. Because of their viral fame, Russell decided to create an Instagram page for Billy the Limping Lurcher. Indeed, dogs are the sweetest beings in the world! Share this story with your friends and family.
Here’s Billy’s fake limping video that got millions laughing worldwide.