Bill von Horstereck – Billy

Some notes about our “Billy”


Billy’s real name was Bill von Horstereck, a wonderful brindle male dog. Born on 10.10.1973 at a breeder H. Timpe at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, my father bought him directly from the breeder as a puppy with only 2 months old as a wedding anniversary present for my mother (which was in December). We lived in Wolfsburg, Germany at that time. I was 9 years old. Soon after his arrival it turned out that he was severely sick. In the beginning the sickness was unknown but Billy suffered so much that I can vividly remember how he tried to hide in our cellar to die. But my parents would not give up. My mother tried several dog medicines, nothing worked. Obviously the veterinary at that time didn’t had a clue what Billy was suffering from. I remember how my mother was desperate to save the dog’s life and tried several treatments on her own. Finally she got a shampoo at the pharmacy against some special mites which worked wonderfully. She bathed the dog several times (I also remember how he cried from pain, it must have been very painful for him). After only 3 days he was cured (after a 2 week struggle)!


What a blast he had: full of energy and temperament he jumped over the furniture and ran through the apartment each day like whirlwind, it was wonderful, we were all so happy. The dog was almost unrecognizable. Over the years Billy grew up wonderfully, was always strong willed, very masculine, strong hunting instinct, interested, but also very friendly to other dogs and humans. Only sometimes, when he met another unfriendly dog, Billy could be very protective and serious, angry. But he did never bite anyone throughout his whole life. We took him with us on very long hiking trips, he was allowed sometimes to run freely without leash, but unsurprisingly was never really obedient. 1975 we moved to Bavaria and decided to buy Billy a friend: we got a wonderful golden male Afghan hound called Jack the Lad of Kenstaff also at age of 2 months or so. Billy was positively excited about his new and very young companion and decided to “educate” him in his own rude style: it was winter and Billy and Jack played in the snow in our garden together. But “played”? It was more like this: whenever Jack was standing up again, Billy knocked him down again with a swing of his front leg through jack’s legs. Billy was extremely amused when he saw jack on the ground, trying to rise again. But then Billy would knock him down again. This could continue for hours, and also we tried to intervene, it was clearly not an aggressive thing. After a few days, Billy accepted Jack completely and they became best friends throughout their lives.


We took both to the sighthound races in Ingolstadt. Without any training both understood the meaning and they took part in a race with other Afghan dogs. Billy wasn’t the fastest as he was not very tall (I believe around 70cm, Jack was a bit taller), and – more importantly – Billy was obviously a mountain Afghan. When we hiked through difficult mountainous terrain and unleashed Billy, he always took dangerous shortcuts e.g. on serpentine roads by jumping several meters down from one part of the road to the next instead of walking along the road, like we did. He liked difficult terrain very much and was never afraid of anything. I remember that one day he was jumping over the fence.


Author: Robert von Heeren,, Germany, June 18 2014 Billy Jacks Pedigree