French Bulldog Profiles – It's the Mae Mae!

Proof positive that Mae Mae is doing swell in her new home comes to us in the form of a whole bunch o’ photos –

We luv ya, Mae – and it looks like your new mommy loves you, too!

French Bulldog Profiles – Toblerone!

(French Bulldog Profiles is a new feature I’ll be running from time to time. If you’d like me to feature your Frenchie here, send along a few photos, and a short paragraph or two about your pet, to this email address. Links to YouTube videos are also welcome!)

Meet Toby, short for Toblerone!

Toby’s mom Katherine writes –

Hi, this is our baby. His name is Toby, or sometimes ‘the little toblerone’. He is 81/2 weeks old. His favorite things to do is nibble on his dads ears, and try to pull down my sweat pants during our walks. He is our first frenchie and we absolutely love him!!!Best,Katherine and Toby

Here are some photos of the little guy – isn’t he cute?

A Sucker's Game

I have, from time to time, decided that breeding dogs is a sucker’s game, and that I’m personally not going to play it any more. Usually, this takes the form of my ignoring all email, and just recently I added in “and I’m not blogging anymore, either”, for good measure.

Breeding dogs is a sucker’s game when you learn that a dog you love has died, without you there to hold her in her final moments. When you arrive home too late to even go with her on that final trip to the vet’s office. When you cry tears of frustration and anger at your own ineffectualness at doing anything to save her life, to keep her safe, to make her better.

Breeding dogs is a sucker’s game when the emails start to trickle in, with stories of how the ten and twelve and thirteen year olds you’ve bred are dead, or dying. Old age is never old enough, and the pain you feel for yourself, and the people who’ve lost their companions just doesn’t seem justified. Words fail you – what words are there when someone tells you “And then I told the vet it was time to let him go”?

Breeding dogs is a sucker’s game when you learn that the bitch you’d been waiting on isn’t actually pregnant. Haha, seems those ultrasounds aren’t so reliable, and I guess she was just fat. All that extra protein and those mid morning scrambled egg snacks sure can pack the weight on a gal. I guess there’s always next time. Or not, since this is the fourth time you’ve tried to breed her.

Breeding dogs is a sucker’s game when it all hits you at once, and you have to pull off the highway to cry it all out, because you can’t see clearly enough to drive at the moment. It’s a combination of frustration and anger and disappointment and a sense of overwhelming failure that can culminate in your throwing your hands up and saying “This is a sucker’s game, and I quit”.

Breeding dogs is a sucker’s game when you have to inform all of those people who’ve been waiting patiently for puppies that there aren’t any – no puppies, no idea what went wrong, and no idea when there will be another attempt. Politely referring them on to other breeders, and still getting angry, irate emails from people asking why you’ve ‘wasted their time’ with waiting can be enough to make anyone decide to quit.

Breeding dogs is a sucker’s game when you get email asking how does one, exactly, know when a dog is about to go into labor? Because, you see, they threw their dogs together into the yard, and now she’s really big and she’s making a nest in the closet, and she’s leaking milk, and what do I do now? And what’s a c section? And can you help me sell them? And you’re polite, and helpful, because it’s really all about the dog, at this moment, and not about giving in to your urge to scream in frustration and lecture about uterine inertia and why breeders have homes lined up before they whelp a litter. And then you realize you’d have to explain what ‘whelp’ means.

So, you contemplate quitting, because really – who needs it? You could raise orchids, or maybe Koi. Perhaps get into goats (cheese making might be fun). Dog breeding, after all, is a sucker’s game.

Until you get an email with photos of a girl, who goes back to your girl, who is out of your favorite girl, and did you want her? Then you get another email, and it’s that puppy you sold, and he’s playing with his soccer ball, and they sure do love him. There’s that other email, from those people who lost their dog to old age, and they think they’re ready now for another one, and do you have one, will you soon?

And you realize you miss puppy breath, and that a litter now would mean puppies playing in the grass, and there’s that play center you wanted to build for them, and then it hits you – it’s a sucker’s game, but it’s also your life, and it’s been a pretty good one.

French Bulldog Photo Blogging

It’s finally warming up a little, so the dogs have been spending more time in the garden. Tessa likes to find a sunny spot, either outside or in ‘her’ chair, in front of the french doors. Delilah prefers bug hunting, or eating dandelions.

Photos here on Flicker, or in the slide show below.

French Bulldog Hide n' Seek and Old Timer Nostalgia

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.

Couch against the wallYesterday, 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.

The space underneath the couchA 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.

French Bulldog Knuckleheads Journey and EllieAt 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.

Red fawn pied French Bulldog puppies