Bill Stough is a teacher, a role with which he most readily identifies. Beginning teaching at 21 he essentially came of age and matured in the classroom. As he once said, “From the time I was 5 years old, most of my days have been spent in a school, and I’m not quite sure I ever officially reached adulthood. I have been and continue to be a lifelong student and a perpetual teenager”. Specifically, he spent 32 years as a high school English teacher in Jefferson County Public Schools: twenty-two years at Bear Creek High School, seven years at Chatfield High School and the last three years of his career representing the school district in the Jefferson County Juvenile Justice System as a child advocate. He was a founding member of the Johnson Program, a school for younger expelled students funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Education. He retired as the Jeffco School Liaison while at the Juvenile Assessment Center, an interagency organization designed to work with at risk teenagers whom he felt were viewed as “throw-away kids.” Their plight became his passion.
He received a B.A degree in British and American Literature and a B.S. degree in secondary English Education from Oklahoma State University where he was recruited as a teacher by Jeffco Schools at a time when there was a dire shortage of teachers in the western states. In the early years of his career, he earned his M.A. degree in Philosophy and the Philosophical Foundations of Education at the University of Colorado. He retired in 2002 to travel with his wife and two Jack Russell terriers and to pursue other interests but never quit teaching. He continues to conduct a class now and then in a variety of venues.
His primary qualification for the position of President of the Board of Directors for Little Old Dog Sanctuary, besides being an old dog himself, is that he is a fanatical animal lover who was raised with three successive Chihuahuas, Chico, Angel and Penny who were more like siblings than pets. All of the family dogs lived long, happy lives and died surrounded by their loving family. He has also been privileged to share most of his adult years with dogs, most recently with two Jack Russell litter mates, Charlie and Rosie who died at home at the ages of 14 and 15 respectively recently. Since leaving the public education stage, Bill has become increasingly aware and concerned about the cruel and unethical treatment of animals, from puppy mills to factory farms, practices often hidden from the public. He is a member of, contributes to and works with a number of animal rights organizations to help pull back the curtain on these inhumane practices. Although a supporter and admirer of the work animal shelters provide, he has become increasingly disillusioned with owners who view their animals as “throwaway pets” and drop them off at a shelter or abandon them on some country road when it ceases to be convenient to care for them or are no longer the cute puppies and kittens they bought years ago. He finds the practice unimaginable and unforgivable.
We, at Little Old Dog Sanctuary, are pleased as fucking punch to have him aboard and welcome him to this pack of old dogs. Besides he needs some meaning in his decadent life. All he does is get stoned, read, go to movies and concerts, play with action figures in his garden and seek out new forms of escape. And it doesn’t hurt that Pinky is madly in love with him and sits by the door waiting for his next visit. And even though she has a stuffed Mr. Bill toy, she prefers the real deal.