Rescue and Loss

Edmund, worlds saddest French Bulldog mix, waits to be adopted

Edmund, the world's saddest French Bulldog mix, waits to be adopted from French Bulldog Village Rescue

The French Bulldog Village has their annual holiday Gingerbread house up and running. Choose a decoration, and dedicate it to anyone you’d like – a dog you’ve lost, a friend you love, or just send it as a holiday greeting.

Link is here – get your decoration before they sell out.

Speaking of FBV, they have a whole slew of new faces for you to check out, including some awfully cute little Frenchies anxiously awaiting their new forever homes. If you’ve been thinking of adopting a French Bulldog, now would be a really great time.

Wouldn’t waking up to Edmund’s adorable face be the best ChristmaKwanzAnnuka present anyone could ever get? GOD, I love this dog. Sean is getting pretty fussy about his Frenchies – he’s been analyzing ones I show him pictures of, or ones he sees at shows, and can now spot a conformational fault from twenty feet. In spite of this, his first exclamation on seeing Edmund was “Wow, that’s is the CUTEST dog in the world”. And he’s right – Edmund is that perfect mix of adorable/fugly in equal proportions. You’d be the envy of the dog park with Edmund at your side…

Edmund needs  a break right now, too. His first adoptive family suffered an economic down turn, and decided that the time wasn’t right for a new dog. Edmund sits in the shadow of all of those cute ‘real’ Frenchies, and keeps getting overlooked.  This wonderfully sweet little boy deserves a new family for Christmas.

If now isn’t the right time for you to bring a French Bulldog into your home, how about just bringing one into your heart? Did you know that you can sponsor a French Bulldog, just the same way you can sponsor a needy child from overseas? You’ll get the warmth of knowing you’ve helped to provide food, toys, a warm bed and necessary veterinary care to a French Bulldog in need, and you can even send “your new Frenchie” toys and treats. It’s a wonderful way to get all the benefits of a new dog, with none of the ruined carpeting.

Beautiful Kirby - Rest in Peace

Beautiful Kirby - Rest in Peace

We’re sad to have to mention that our hearts go out to our friend Beth, of Champagne French Bulldogs.

Beth lost her beloved Frenchie “Kirby” during a routine myelogram procedure, possibly from a reaction to the dye.

Our thoughts are with you, Beth. Kirby was a really special guy.

Over in Chicago, Mary and her team of volunteers at Frenchies Por Vous have been doing utterly amazing things in aid of puppy mill/commercial breeder French Bulldogs.

Mary and her team drove down to a large, “Bull breed” only commercial auction, and thanks to networking with local commercial breeders, were able to pick up six retirees to bring back to Illinois. As if that wasn’t enough, they then managed to pick up some ‘end of auction’ French Bulldogs, when bids didn’t go too high.

Mary has written up a quick re cap, in her own words, of the auction experience:

well- what a journey and educational trip! We came back with- are you sitting down- 14 frenchies!!!!! All that white noise with 14 frenchies snoring away- was hard to stay awake!

It was interesting to see that the auction was not as big of a money maker as that had hoped for! Maybe it is the economy right now- maybe people are getting smarter and buying less frenchies at pet stores,( one can dream, can’t they) – maybe many things but I can tell you this- only 3 frenchies went for a $1000 or more- highest was $1250 – lowest went for $60- we got 3 boys for that price! No one would bid and they were trying to get the bid started at $500= no one responded- I shouted out $50 – I think someone from the auction house said $55 and then I bid $60 – I won that round and there were 3 boys on the table- they asked me which one I wanted for that price and took all 3!

We got a total of 9 girls out of the breeding cycle and 5 boys- we got the 3 oldest girls starting at 6 and down in age.

Will tell you more about the journey- but like the 14 dogs- I am tired from this journey and I am going to bed with my own frenchies and sleeping, I got 5 hours of sleep Thursday night and another 4 hours of sleep this am.

I am working on a article to share with all of you about the whole experience- very interesting!

We stuck to our guns and did not pay that much for any of the dogs we brought home, we made many bids go up higher against some of the commercial breeders once we learnt, watched and listend to what was the hot item that day and wrote down quotes from the auction. Talked to some of the sellers and buyers as well- what a weekend!!!

Right now, Frenchies Por Vous really needs your financial support. Several of the dogs have needed expensive medical care, and some will need on going veterinary support.

Visit for more information on how you can help support these sad little puppy mill refugees. Here’s a video of Mary and her team assessing the dogs.

By the way, tomorrow we have a contest, and a review of a new dog bowl for piggy eaters.

Decorative Potpourri Poisons Dogs


Like many of us, I enjoy freshening up the house over the holidays with some decorative potpourri.

I usually buy a new bag every year, replacing the old as needed. I’ve also used the liquid potpourris before, although not so much since Sean and I have been living together, since he tends to be rather sensitive about what he refers to as “that stinky crap you keep burning all over the house”.

A recent email, however, has left me pondering if potpourri and pets are meant to co exist in the same household:

Karencantner writes:

We have suffered a terrible, terrible tragedy.

Last Wed. two, beloved Cavaliers of mine, Haley and Zoe both ate potpourri from a decorative basket in my living room . Within hours, they were vomiting it, convulsing and going into total body rigidity and shock.

We took them to the after hours clinic, they had no idea what it could be and wouldn’t listen to me about them vomiting potpourri at home and how I had such concerns about the toxic effects of it. They treated symptoms. We transferred them to our day vet. He also wouldn’t listen to me about the potpourri theory. He said they had “strychnine” poisoning symptoms.

I kept telling him that the potpourri was Made In India, sold by a company in California and sold at my local WalMart. My heart told me that it was the culprit of their condition.

They declined rapidly throughout the day and we transferred them back to the after hours clinic for a second night. At midnight, I made the agonizing decision to put them to sleep. Haley was in constant seizures that wouldn’t stop, fluid was filling up in her lungs, body temp was dropping on both of them, Zoe was lying almost lifeless on the table, struggling with every breath she took. Every muscle was completely rigid, you couldn’t even move her.

I have devoted the last couple of days (now that I can get out of bed and function) to researching my concerns with the potpourri and have since found out I was right…………there is a lab in England that has case studies on toxic potpourri from India!! The toxin….strychnine, which in it’s commercial source, comes from a certain tree grown in India.

I am completely heart broken over this. Please be aware of the potential toxins in any and all stuff like this in our homes. I would’ve never guessed this could happen but when I saw them both “playing” in the potpourri and then after about two hours saw the symptoms of a poisoning, I just put two and two together.
Karen Cantner, Heartland Kennels, Evansville , Indiana USA

The liquid form is no safer for our pets (or for toddlers, for those who prefer their babies two legged). The ASPCA’s Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president, says of liquid potpourri that

the essential oils found in many of these products can cause irritation of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and mucous membranes. More significant injuries are typically a result of thermal burns or exposure to a specific type of detergent. Says Hansen, “A class of detergents known as cationics is usually responsible for severe ulceration of the membranes of the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract.
Where there is contact with the skin, redness, swelling and extremely painful lesions can appear.” Symptoms of these exposures include drooling, vomiting, depression, metabolic disturbances and difficulty breathing from fluid on the lungs. 10 percent of the liquid potpourri poisoning cases managed by the ASPCA since 2001 have included life-threatening effects.

If you’ve used those scented sachets to add a pleasant smell to your dresser drawers, take care to keep them out of reach of pets and children, since they’re also often toxic.

A healthy, non toxic alternative would be a home made sachet with rose petals, hips and dried lavender and herbs, or choose a ‘Mulling Spice” potpourri, such as the one pictured above. Pretty, and everything in it is actually meant to be used as a tasty spice to be added to wine or apple cider.

Barring that, you could choose, like me,  to share your home with a man who prefers the smell of a pack of small, gassy dogs to the smell of artificial air fresheners.

Update: the Aby kittens have gone to their new home (they went together – isn’t that nice? I love it when sibling kitties and puppies get to go in a pair). I’m leaving the video up, though, because who doesn’t want to look at cute kitties?

Lost/Stolen French Bulldog in Chicago

Chicago area readers, please be on the look out for this lost little baby. There’s speculation she was stolen out of her yard, which means she could literally end up anyplace. As someone who has had a puppy stolen, my heart goes out to her owners, and I hope she’s home safe and sound and in time for Christmas.

Lost French Bulldog in Chicago

Pet name




Date lost

December 14, 2008



Lost in location


Chicago Illinois



Primary breed

French Bulldog

Secondary breed

Primary color


Secondary color









Under 6 months

ID Tags


Bat Ears, Very Tiny, White Toes

Owners name

Shane Hooten


773 – 426 – 695

Hey there, Butters!

I checked in with Butters (re christened Bella, a fact which I studiously ignore. Co owner Paula can feel free to call her Bella, but she’s still Butters to me!) yesterday, where I found her to be growing into a lovely – and bratty – little girl. She and Delilah share a remarkably similar temperament. Both prefer to be pretty much left the hell alone, until they’re worn out and looking for a soft lap to crash on. Until then, don’t bother trying to pet them, as they have places to go and things to chew.

Sharing a house with a menagerie of Bullmastiffs and Abyssinian cats (and one really sweet pet Bulldog) has enhanced Butters’ already well rounded sense of confidence. She now knows for a fact that, no matter how big the other dog is, she’s still the boss of them.

Here’s a video clip of Butters being a goof and chasing a ball, and a small flash gallery of photos.

Best White House Pet EVER

While the world waits with (semi) bated breath for the Obamas to choose their dog, I’ve been reading up on past White House pets, and have come to a conclusion – none will ever beat Billy for sheer coolness factor.

From Wikipedia:

Billy, or William Johnson Hippopotamus, (1920s – October 11, 1955[1]) was a Pygmy Hippopotamus given as a pet to U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. Captured in Liberia, he was given to Coolidge by Harvey Firestone in 1927. Billy spent most of his life in the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. In addition to his fame as an exotic presidential pet—which afforded him a trip to the 1939 New York World’s Fair—Billy is also notable as the common ancestor to most pygmy hippos in American zoos.[2] By the time of his death in 1955, Billy had sired 23 children; 13 of whom survived at least a year.

Harvey Firestone (left) gave Billy to Calvin Coolidge (right), who donated Billy to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

In 1927, Harvey Firestone, the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, acquired Billy in Liberia, where he was captured on one of Firestone Tires’ large plantations.[3] Calvin Coolidge, who was the U.S. President at the time, was known for his collection of animals, including many dogs, birds, a wallaby, lion cubs, a raccoon and other unusual animals.[4] At the time, pygmy hippos were virtually unknown in the United States. On May 26, 1927, Coolidge was informed that he would receive the rare hippo, already adult-sized at 6 feet (1.8 m) long and around 600 pounds (270 kg), as a gift.[5]

In Coolidge’s autobiography he wrote about the unusual menagerie he collected and stated that he donated many of these animals, including Billy, to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.[6] Though Coolidge had a deep fascination with animals, he was overshadowed by Theodore Roosevelt, who was more widely known for and associated with his interest in animals. By August of 1927, Coolidge had sent the second largest collection of animals of any president after Roosevelt to the zoo, and paid them frequent visits.[3] Upon his arrival, Billy was one of the most-valuable animals the zoo had ever received, and was only the eighth pygmy hippopotamus to be brought to the United States. Billy was a popular animal; several months after his arrival, The New York Times wrote Billy was “as frisky as a dog. Even the antics of the monkeys go unobserved when the keeper opens the tiny hippo’s cage and cuts up with him.”[3]

Parenting troubles

Today, pygmy hippos breed well in captivity: since Billy’s arrival, 58 pygmy hippos have been born at the National Zoo alone. As one of the earliest pygmy hippos in captivity in the U.S. zoo system, Billy went on to become the direct ancestor of nearly all pygmy hippos in American zoos.[2] When Billy first came to the zoo, however, keepers did not know much about pygmy hippopotamus husbandry. A mate for Billy, a female named Hannah, was acquired by the zoo on September 4, 1929.[7] Billy’s and Hannah’s first child was born on August 26, 1931, but did not survive the week. “Inability to survive the neglect of an errant mother was the cause given for baby Hippo’s demise”, eulogized The Washington Post.[8] Over the next two years, two more babies would follow, both of which died in infancy. Billy’s third child was killed when Hannah rolled on top of the baby and crushed it. “She’s just a bad mother”, said the zoo’s long-time director Dr. William M. Mann to The Washington Post, upon the death of the third infant.[9]

The only thing that could possibly be a cooler White House pet than a Pygmy Hippo would be a rare miniature House Hippo.

BTW, our poll continues: