Billie Jean: The JRMP dog
Journalism and Media Production (JRMP) senior Danielle Carson is known for her musical performances at Cameron University and her work with Cameron’s “CU News,” but she is also known as the dog owner of Billie-Jean (Billie).
Billie is a German and Australian Shepard mix who has become known as the JRMP dog.
Carson started bringing Billie to Cameron during Carson’s sophomore year in 2018.
“One of my professors said that she was okay with my bringing her [Billie] to class one day, and I had been wanting to bring Billie with me more places,” Carson said. “So, I brought her and decided to ask my other professors if it was okay.
“Most of them said it was, so it became a regular thing.”
Carson said that she continued to bring Billie because Billie seemed to make everyone happy.
“I have only met one person that didn’t like her in the beginning but even they kind of like her now,” Carson said. “I knew she would be a great fit and make everyone happier.”
Carson said that she can take Billie anywhere with her and everyone loves her.
“I can take her to shows. I can also take her to work with me at the radio station and school,” Carson said. “No one has ever been upset with her being there or said anything.”
Carson also said that people always say how smart of a dog she is.
“It is amazing because people are always in awe of some of the simplest tricks she knows,” Carson said. Carson said that Billie has helped Carson through a lot of tough times.
“I had a lot of things torn away from me being in foster care,” Carson said. “I am lucky enough to have my two biological brothers, but the majority of my biological family is separated. She [Billie] is my form of what I wanted to happen. She is someone who I know will be with me no matter what happens.”
Billie came into Carson’s life while she was in high school.
“Billie was two months old when I got her,” Carson said.
“She came from my mom’s cousin’s neighbor’s dog. They were a super low income family.
“They could barely afford to feed themselves let alone puppies. They didn’t have the money to surrender them [the puppies] to the shelter because of how much the fees were. They were going to dump them [the puppies] in the woods because they did not know what else to do.”
Carson said that one day her mom’s cousin came over and had Billie with her.
“I asked if I could play with her, and we just clicked.” Carson said. “I wasn’t really wanting another dog, but my mom decided that we could keep her. Ever since, she has been right by my side.”
Carson said that she took Billie with her any time that she could.
“Whenever I was working with the horses, she was with me,” Carson said. “Anytime I went outside, Billie came with me.”
Carson said Billie has always listened well and that it made her easy to train.
“After I finished the basics of crate training and sit and stay,” Carson said. “I started working with her on more advanced stuff I found on YouTube.”
When Carson met her fiancée, Caulder Alford, she told him that she and Billie were a packaged deal.
“Caulder wasn’t sure why she was such a big deal to me,” Carson said. “When we first got together, I told him that if he ever asked me to get rid of her that we would be done. There was no question about it.”
Carson said that Alford has become more attached to Billie than she is in certain areas.
“When its bath time, he is the one that blow dries her,” Carson said. “He insists on Billie sleeping with us even after I have bought expensive sheets and blankets. Billie used to sleep with me every night, but that was before I would spend $200 on a pair of nice sheets.”
Carson said that she is interested in getting Billie trained as a therapy dog.
“When I got Billie I never had the intention of making her a therapy dog,” Carson said. “But it seems like the right thing to do for us.”
Carson has recently gotten her background check cleared to be licensed as a handler. Next up for this duo is to file the appropriate paper work and go through observations.
“If we pass everything, Billie will be a therapy dog, and I will be her handler,” Carson said.
Carson will be walking in May 2020 and she hopes that Billie can be there with her.