In my mind’s eye, this is how Tessa and Hammer will always look. If I concentrate on this photo long enough, I find I can achieve something which will, for now, feel as close to zen as I can currently imagine being.
It is a simple fact of life that if you live with French Bulldogs, weird things are going to happen.
Years ago, I had a panic attack when I realized I couldn’t find Leeza, our little cream French Bulldog puppy. We searched the entire house, calling her name, and then fanned out over the entire neighbourhood. None of us could remember letting her outside, but mistakes happen, and puppies manage to escape even securely fenced yards. When you live 500 feet from the steep, rocky shores of Lake Ontario, a missing puppy takes on an entirely new level of fear. Just as we were getting ready to call animal control and the local shelters, we heard a tiny noise coming from inside our massive pine armoire.
Leeza had climbed inside of the bottom cabinet while it was being dusted, and stayed there, curled up quietly and unnoticed, when the doors were closed. She slept through our calls, our whistles, our shaking of treat boxes, and the escalating sounds of our panic, waking up only when it was close to dinner time.
Yesterday, I went upstairs to make a steak and kidney pie, leaving Paris, Bunny and Dexter sleeping on the dog bed in the family room. Paris started barking shortly after I went upstairs, and as usual, I told her to ‘be quiet’ and kept on assembling my pie. When I came downstairs, I could hear Paris barking still, but I couldn’t find her. She wasn’t on the floor, on the bed, or anyplace else to be found. I finally realized where the noise was coming from – behind the couch.
Well, ok – dogs sometimes get stuck behind the couch, although it’s usually Dexter, who is sweet but not quite the sharpest tool in the box. I guess maybe Paris could get stuck, too.
A quick look behind the couch showed no sign of Paris, but I could still hear her barking. That’s when I realized – Paris wasn’t behind the couch, she was inside of it. She had somehow managed to get herself behind the couch, and up into the inner working underneath the couch, probably in a quest for some microscopic morsel of dropped food. Paris is nothing if not food motivated. Seeing a panicked brindle head peering out at me and making mournful noises was rather disconcerting, but just moving the couch out still didn’t get Paris to attempt to escape. However she’d gotten in there, she was wedged in good, and she’d need help to get back out. A full size leather La Z Boy recliner couch is heavy, and I had visions of the sharp edged metal frame work coming down on Paris’ head.
Thankfully Sean was home, and he was able to lift the couch, while I held Paris still and then quickly pulled her out. She emerged none the worse for her adventure, and this morning I caught her trying to slide behind the couch once more.
French Bulldogs – more determination than brains sometimes, I swear.
At the end of this post, there are a few new photos of the Frenchie knuckleheads, hanging out. Here’s my favorite one, of the two spaz sisters, Journey and Ellie, having a ‘who can make the silliest face’ competition.
I plan to do a posting of new and updated ‘Where are they now?’ puppy photos next week, so send them in to me if you have a Frenchie from us and are reading this. We want more Solo photos in particular, and some of a certain little white coated Southern Belle hooligan! I’d also like some new pix of some of the old timers out there….
I’m feeling very nostalgic after the death of Tessa’s brother Hammer.
I remember him with Tessa, and Buzzy and Ralph, just like it was yesterday. It’s inconceivable to me that those chubby little red headed puppies are now almost fourteen years old, and that Tessa is the last among them still living. I hope she’s with me still for a long, long, long time.
A tribute to Charlotte Creeley’s cantankerous little red headed boy. If ever an owner and dog were meant for each other, it was Charlotte and Hammer.
Bullmarket Sumolebull Pelshire, CD
November 22, 1994 to March 10, 2008
Goodbye, Hammer – you are missed