Stupid Phone Calls, Stupider People & Pedigree Dogs in Canada

I had just been gloating a few days ago that this Christmas season had been almost blessedly free of “We need a puppy for Christmas” calls. I should have know better – it doesn’t really get interesting until the last minute callers come out of the woodwork.

This morning’s phone call was an almost text book perfect of the impulse gift giving puppy buyer.

Caller: “Do you have any puppies that will be ready for Christmas?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, we won’t – and we don’t sell Christmas puppies, or puppies for gifts”.

Caller, in distracted, ‘I’m not really listening to you’ tone of voice : “I want one that’s not too expensive, either. I have a limited budget. Because I looked at some pet store ones? And oh my God. They’re so expensive. Are yours that expensive?”

Me: “Um, yeah. Like I said, we don’t have any Christmas puppies. Also, we don’t sell puppies for Christmas gifts.”

Caller: “Well, that’s stupid. Why not?”

Me, frustrated and really wanting to get off the phone so I can get coffee: “Because all my dogs are Jewish dogs, so they don’t celebrate Christmas”.

Caller, in ‘well, that explains it all’ tone: “Oooooh!”

Seriously, it’s hard not to get snotty with some of these people. I am almost sorry for lying to her (my dogs are actually agnostic), but some callers just make it so tempting.

In less amusing news, a pair of fuckwits idiots calling themselves “veterinarians” harnessed their half starved horse to the (uninsured) car they got stuck in a ditch, then left the poor horse to strain in the harness until it literally gave out from exhaustion.

From the Langley Times Newspaper:

Starving horse in Langley, BC The seven-year-old emaciated gelding used by its owners to pull a sedan out of a muddy ditch on Wednesday has been put down and five other horses seized. The owners, a man and a woman claiming to be veterinarians, face animal cruelty charges, confirm the SPCA.

The Langley residents were arrested after SPCA investigators found out the couple had tethered the horse to the sedan, which had gone off road in front of their property in the 2000 block of 208 Street.

Langley RCMP confirm the car wasn’t insured and the SPCA estimates the horse was labouring in the mud for more than 45 minutes before emergency responders came on the scene.

They were trying to get him to pull the vehicle out of the ditch when the animal simply collapsed and couldn’t get up, said SPCA senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever.

The SPCA determined the young horse to be in critical distress and humanely euthanized it.

“It was terribly upsetting for all the investigators involved,” said Drever.

“We thought he might have a chance when he tried to stand a couple of times but he just couldn’t muster the strength.”

There’s video on the website, if you can bear to watch it. In an update on this story, five more starving horses were found at a barn belonging to the owners of the euthanized horse. Surrey SPCA inspectors are referring to this as “one of the worst cases of alleged horse neglect it has ever seen”.

Up here in Canada, the fur is flying after the CBC aired the BBC Documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed”. Canadian breeders are up in arms, decrying the sensational journalism, and issuing stern (but pointless) letters to the Television Standards Ombudsman’s office.

Personally, I just don’t get it. Cavaliers have an endemic breed health problem, one which they have the ability to test for. How much simpler does it get than “Don’t breed them unless they have tested clear?”. Where is the controversy in this? Where’s the debate? It’s as simple as my choice to not breed from or to French Bulldogs that have had a soft palate re section (aka palate clip – the same surgery that the Peke featured in the documentary had).

It’s not complex – if a dog can’t breathe without surgical intervention, remove it from the gene pool. Ditto hip dysplasia. Elbow dysplasia. Patellar luxation. Heart defects. Eye defects.

What is there in any of this that is controversial to us – and by ‘us’, I mean breeders. It’s not controversial to pet owners, that’s for sure. Ask you average pet owner if they’d rather have a shorter faced dog, or one who lives for an extra seven years, and which one do you think they’d pick?

I also think it’s fairly simple to say that we breeders are being faced with a choice – clean up our own mess, or the CKC and the government will clean it up for us.

Actually, I’m curious about just this subject – if a subtle change to your Brachycephalic dog could improve their health, would you be for it? If so, how far would you be willing to see breeders go to improve the health of your chosen breed?

This poll is intended mainly for pet owners of Brachy breeds (Pugs, Bulldogs, Frenchies), since none of the questions address the changes that would correct problems in other, non brachycephalic breeds. The one exception is the question about out crossing – opening, and then closing the stud book, to allow a controlled breeding to a dog of another breed, similar to what was done in the Dalmatian backcross project. Owners of non brachycephalic breeds can choose this option, or ‘select other’ and leave their suggestions in the comments (or they could always choose ‘none’).

(BTW, sorry about the issue with comments — apparently, when an unusually large number of people attempt to comment at the same time, the database assumes it’s a flooding attempt by spammers, and shuts down comments to everyone but registered users).

Respect Your Elders

There’s a lot to be said about life with an older French Bulldog.

They’re through with their teething stage – your furniture is safe with them, generally because even if they still did want to chew it, they don’t have the teeth left to do so. They no longer tear around the room, rocketing into furniture and sending your drinks flying. They no longer take off first chance they get, heading up the lawn and for the road, sending your heart into your throat just as rapidly. For old dogs, a slow and short walk is the best walk of all (although not preferable to an extra nap). If you want to sleep in, an old Frenchie will be happy to oblige, lounging along side you under the covers and eating cheerios while you do the crossword puzzle (or so I’m told).

Best of all, an older French Bulldog repays you with steadfast love. You are their anchor, when their sight starts to dim, and their ears when their hearing starts to fail. In return, they love you without condition or reserve.

The French Bulldog Village regularly has older French Bulldogs available for adoption – consider bringing one into your life. They won’t be around forever – perhaps they won’t even be around for long. They won’t be the playful puppy they were in their youth, but you’ll find no better companion for a shared twilight of good meals, long naps, warm sweaters and companionable silences. For those of us who are ourselves getting older, a senior dog has a special charm.

If you already share your life with a French Bulldog senior citizen, I hardly need to convince you of their charms. If your French Bulldog is over ten years old, consider sharing their beauty with the world, via the French Bulldog Village’s “Les Vieux” calendar, in celebration of old Frenchies. Your dog could be featured in the only calendar to celebrate those most lovely of all Frenchies, our seniors.

FBV needs just one more senior Frenchie to fill out their months. If you own a photogenic French Bulldog who is:

Over ten years old
Is still currently with us as of this writing

.. then Les Vieux needs you!

Send a high resolution photograph of your beautiful senior (and only them, please – no other dogs or people) to

If your photo is accepted, please make sure to let us know! We’ll be announcing the calendars as soon as they’re completed and ready for sale.

Pet Vs. Show and Rumble Bundles Up

Canadian French Bulldog Puppy

Hey, look who’s got a Flickr account – it’s Rumble, and he’s looking pretty good, don’t you think?

I love this photo most of all, because he looks like such a prototypical Canadian French Bulldog – all he needs is a toque and a cup of Timmies (and if you don’t know what a ‘Timmies‘ is, you’re obviously not a Canadian!).

Go to Jennifer’s gallery and check him out!

Unfortunately, I’m going to miss the Saturday show in Brantford. Sean’s car is in the shop, so he’s using mine attend a training class for work. Sucks to be me, although Elliott doesn’t seem to mind. We’ll be there on Sunday, though, so again – if you want to try to come and see us, just drop me a line.

In the meantime, here’s a short list of Pet Versus Show Terms, along with a some handy terms to help you understand Dog Show terminology.

Pet dogs versus Show dogs:

* Pet dogs shed ……………… Show dogs blow coat.

* Pet dogs are in heat ……… Show dogs come into season.

* Pet dogs trot ………………. Show dogs gait or move.

* Pet dogs stand …………… Show dogs stack.

* Pet dogs get a bath ……… Show dogs are groomed.

* Pet dogs beg for treats …. Show dogs bait.

* Pet dogs poop …………… Show dogs exercise.

* Pet dogs bark at other dogs ….. Show dogs spar.

* Pet dogs wear leashes……Show dogs wear leads

Dog Show Definitions:

1. Great stud dog …………… Mounts anything that can fog a mirror.

2. Excels in movement …….If he gets loose, runs like hell.

3. Personality Plus ………… Wakes up if you put liver up his nose.

4. Good bite ……………… Missed the judge, got the steward.

5. Large boned ……………. Looks like a Clydesdale.

6. Good obedience prospect …. ugly as hell

7. Quiet and good natured ….. In his kennel.

8. Excels in type and style ….. However, moves like a spider on speed.

9. Won in stiff competition ….. Beat four puppies and a 9 year old novice dog.

10. Multiple group winner ….. At two puppy matches.

11. Pointed …………….. His head is shaped like a carrot.

12. Noted Judge …………He put up our dog.

13. Respected Judge ……He put up our dog twice.

14. Esteemed Judge …… He puts up all our dogs.

15. Specialty Judge ……. Puts up anything that looks like his own breeding.

McLovin Gets None & Welcome to Jellieville

Poor Elliott. All is not well in the world of McLovin’, for one of Elliott’s harem of wimmin folk is in season, and yet we are standing between him and the sweet, sweet loving he craves.

We have explained to Elliott that motherhood, alas, is not on Journey’s agenda of ‘to do’ activities.

Eat a lot? Check.

Snore loudly? Check.

Paw repeatedly at your leg until you pet her? Double check.

Motherhood? Sorry, no check.

Elliott refuses to listen to reason, and instead is pining, pining, pining for his true love. He paws at doors. He whines from other rooms. He patrols the fence line, shrieking of his undying devotion to the entire, uncaring world. All to no avail – Journey had a short 24 hours where she showed a slight spark of interest in his wooing, but that time has now passed, and any attempts at inappropriate behaviour on Elliott’s part are met with a whirling, snarling, deeply unhappy reception from Journey.

Let’s just hope he gets back on his food soon, or he’ll be so far off his game this weekend that there’s little point of showing him. Life as resident stud dog has its hardships, as Elliott would be the first to tell you.

Meanwhile, over on the west coast Jellie Bean McCute continues her reign as cutest little doggie diva San Diego has ever seen.

As her besotted new Mommy Dara herself says “I have never been so in love in my life”.

Yes, that’s always the first step on the path to a lifetime of total and utter French Bulldog enslavement – entrap them with the cuteness.

Ms. Jellie Bean has her very own Flickr page, which you’ll find here, and just to add to the unbearable adorability of it all, she also has her own Cafe Press Store!

Go on over and check it out – a percent of all profits go to French Bulldog rescue!

Here at home, Heart has been assiduously wooing Sean into becoming one of her minions. She already knew she had me under her thumb, so it was time to move on to Daddy. In these photos, she’d just woken up from napping in the curve of his neck, and was making unbearably adorable blinky faces at us. Honestly, is there anything more irresistible than a sleepy Frenchie puppy?

All the photos are over on Flickr.

ps: If anything happens to me over the next few months, you’ll know who to blame.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Hat tip to Fuzzy Logic for the warning.

Elliott Gets Some! (points, that is)

Elliott did admirably well this weekend, even when he was (rather ineptly) handled by me. While we didn’t take points on Saturday, we did meet some lovely new people, including a couple with an adorable, animated little brindle bitch they’d imported from Europe. She showed like a dream and was pretty as a picture, and it’s a wonder Elliott could manage to function at all, he was so besotted with her.

Sunday both Elliott and I had our minds more firmly on the game, and even with me on the end of his leash, Elliott handled with aplomb and style. He impressed the judge as well as me, and took Best of Winners and Best of Opposite. So, we’re now on our way to his Canadian Championship – 3 1/2 years after he finished his American one! As Barb informed me, this weekend was literally the very first time he’d been back in the ring in three and half years, and since I barely practiced more than 20 minutes with him leading up to the weekend, I’m pleased he did as well as he did. Next weekend we’re in Brampton, then on hiatus til after Christmas.

By the way, congratulations to Ch Petit Cherie Nevertheless, the Frenchie specials bitch, who took a group third on Sunday.

Dexter also did well this weekend in Michigan. He didn’t take any points, but he placed in his class and was happy to be in the ring. Barb is thinking of taking him down to Florida for the so called ‘Sunshine’ circuit, which should be fun.

Let’s hope my big little guy finishes up fast, so he can come back home for lap time and snuggles.

Showing Elliott was fun – it’s been years off from the circuit for me as well as for him, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the buzz and excitement of the ring. I love seeing other Frenchies, and talking with other owners, and the bigger shows like Caledon always have far too many tempting booths full of fun stuff to max your credit cards out on.

Now the only problem is that there aren’t any more shows within a reasonable driving distance until March! Maybe I should head to Florida with Barb…

Of course, there’s always March to look forward to – when Butters, Rumble and Heart will ALL be old enough to show! Hey, I wonder if I can harass talk Jennifer into putting Rumble into conformation?

All of the Caledon show photos are over on Flickr, by the way. Tomorrow we’ll catch up with Ms. Jellie Bean Parfait and see how life as a pampered West Coast Princess is treating her.