Meet the Determined Disabled Dog Who Wouldn’t Let an Injured Veteran Die

Billy Collins has a very special decade-long relationship with his dog, Chance. Chance knows it, too — and because of his love for his human, Chance did something everyone thought impossible.

Collins, a Vietnam war veteran, got Chance 10 years ago when he was just a little boxer pit bull mix puppy. Over the years, Chance developed hip dysplasia, a debilitating joint disease that makes it difficult for dogs to walk or climb stairs.

Despite their limitations, Collins and Chance lived alone together in Tennessee, happily and uneventfully, until an accident almost separated them forever.

He doesn’t know exactly how it happened, but Collins somehow slipped and fell in his kitchen. He hit his head, gashing his forehead. He landed hard enough to knock him out. He lay there unconscious, helpless, and bleeding profusely from his head wound.

“I don’t know how long I would had laid there. I could have laid there and bled out,” Collins told WATE News.

Evidence suggests Chance first tried to wake his friend up with his nose and paws. Unable to do so, Chance had to find someone who could help.

See a news report about this amazing story here:

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a common canine ailment, especially in large dogs like Chance. Symptoms of dysplasia include difficulty standing up, pain in the hip joints, joint degeneration, occasional or constant lameness in the hind limbs, decreased range of motion, and reluctance to run, jump or go up stairs.

Despite undoubtedly suffering from at least some of these symptoms, Chance was one determined dog. His friend was in trouble and he needed to do something about it. First, he let himself out of the house by opening the front door, a trick Collins says he taught Chance himself.

“He hits [the doorknob] with his paw. I taught him how to do that,” Collins told WATE.  The Collins home is surrounded by a chain link fence. The gate was closed that day, unfortunately for Chance.

A Leap of Faith — and Love

No one knows how long it took him or how painful it was to do, but once he was outside, Chance somehow jumped over the chain link fence and made his way next door to Dusty Lowe’s house. To get a sense of the leap Chance had to make, here’s a photo of him standing near the fence:

Chance had to jump this fence despite hip problems.

Chance had to jump this fence despite hip problems.

Chance was covered in blood on his legs, back and nose, according to the Lowes, leading them to realize Chance had been trying to rouse Collins. Dusty Lowe followed Chance back to the home and found his friend out cold on the floor. Collins began to awaken as Lowe lifted him. When he understood what had happened, Collins was amazed at what Chance did to bring help.

“I’ve never seen him jump that fence,” he marveled when he spoke with WATE News. He wasn’t surprised at Chance’s determination, though.

“He’s my buddy,” Collins told WATE. “We get along. He follows me through the house. When we go outside, he has to be by me.”

That’s what a friend does for another friend. Billy Collins knows it. Chance knows it, too. They’re both ready for many more years of togetherness.

Thanks to Billy Collins for his service to the nation, and thanks to Chance for being yet another example of a dog’s incredible loyalty to a human friend.

Photo credit (all images): YouTube/WATE TV


sandy Gardner
sandy Gardner1 years ago


Naomi D
Naomi D1 years ago


Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Dysplasia is extremely painful. I am happy that it worked out for the two of them. Dogs are amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Mandy H.
Mandy H3 years ago

Such a beautiful story!

Ruhee B.
Ruhee B3 years ago


feather w.
Feather W3 years ago

lovely story..heartwarming..

laura Frey
laura Frey3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Darla G.
Darla G3 years ago

You're a hero, Chance. I'm sure it hurt like crazy for you to jump that fence....I know what hip dysplasia can do to a dog. Good boy!

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore3 years ago

Our furbabies do so much for us and some of us don't repay them very well.

Past Member
caroline lord3 years ago

Moving.we really don't deserve them,do we