It was August 2013 when Fritz Rutenbeck was introduced to Billy.
Fritz, a San Diego Men’s Division man, was helping an elderly woman who was suffering from Alzheimers. Once she passed, the woman’s daughter needed to find a new home for the pup.
“How could I say anything but OK?”
Once partnered up, there came a time when Fritz’ wife was diagnosed with cancer. And for her, Billy stayed as her compassion until she passed away. A years and a half ago, Fritz himself was diagnosed with cancer, and Billy has been his caregiver dog ever since, standing side by side, not leaving him out of his sight. A precious gift for Fritz.
In 2018, a severe lightning storm hit his hometown of Leucadia, and it scared the heck out of Billy, who took off when the door was open. It took six days before someone who had seen the sign at Moonlight Beach, called to say they had seen the little one.
Nowadays, Billy can be seen with Fritz at all times, even at team meetings where the teammates have pretty much made him one of the gang.
And what does he give Fritz?
“I would say peace,” he said. “It’s the best feeling having him in my presence. It’s just the love that he passes onto me. Of course I try to give it back.”