Quasi Hate Mail – I gets it

Apparently my blog postings on changes to the weight portion of the Canadian French Bulldog standard struck a nerve with someone, because I received this in my inbox:

On Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 9:06 AM, user wrote:

Do you think that maybe the reason you are so pissed off about LONG OVERDUE changes to weight in Canada is because your dogs can’t compete against the more robust dogs that win here regularly? THINK ABOUT IT.

Would you like some whine with that Frenchie?

Would you like some whine with that Frenchie?

Well, I did think about it, oh anonymous chicken shit free web mail user, and my answer is still “Umm, no. That has nothing to do with it”.

Itsy bitsy 20 pound Butters did just fine here in Canada quite recently (if just fine can be said to include multiple group placings, a group win, and a Best Puppy in Show, and all before seven months of age). Dexter is getting ready to kick Canuck Frenchie butt, and at 23 pounds of lunkheadedness, I expect him to do just fine as well.

My objections to the weight change can be summed up quite simply – grown ups don’t get to change the rules to be able to win the game. That was fine when we were kids, and our parents would say “Yes, sweetie. If you land on Park Place with hotels on a Tuesday, you don’t have to pay rent” just so that they wouldn’t have to watch us thrash around on the floor in a losing induced temper tantrum. As adults, if we can’t win the game with the rules that are in place, then we’d better just step up our game, or else take our cards – and our dogs – and go home.

Also, “robust“? Who the hell calls their dogs robust? What, they’re red wine now? I can just see the judge’s critiques –

“That brindle was robust, rich and earthy, with overtones of tannin and chocolate. He’d go nicely with a venison steak, and I awarded him my best of breed for it”.

Oh well, I’m off to stuff Leah and Pammy full of butter, so that they grow up to be hefty and robust little Frenchie girls. Dwight is on his own – and with his appetite, he’ll do just fine.

Big News in 1897 – French Bull Dog Club Formed

From the New York Times, April 7, 1897 –

A French bulldog club was organized at a meeting held by dog fanciers at Delmonico’s Monday evening. Messrs; H G Riggs, G M Phelps, J L Kernochan, Walter W Watrous, J R Buchanan, F G Davis and G L Hepton met a few days ago for the purpose of forming such a club and establishing a definite type of the breed. At the meeting a committee was appointed to draw up a standard of points to be based upon French winning type. The committee were to have reported Monday evening, but did not get in their report until yesterday evening.

The meeting held Monday evening was a very enthusiastic one.  The following officers were elected: President – Walter W. Watrous; Vice-President – G. N. Phelps; Treasurer – R H Hunt; Secretary – J R Buchan; Executive committe – Blakely Hall, JL Kernochan, GL Ronalds Jr, R H Hunt, GN Phelps, JR Buchn.

A number of contributions were received and twenty one members were elected.

The following standards of points was agreed upon:

The general appearance should be that of an active, intelligent, and muscular dog. The dog should have a smooth coat, should be compactly built, and of small stature. The weight shall not exceed twenty two pounds; that of the bitch twenty pounds. The ear shall hereafter be known as the “bat” ear.

This final paragraph is, in effect, the first ever written standard for the French Bulldog breed ever published in the world. Most notably, it set the “bat” ear as correct (previously, bat or rose ears had both been acceptable in the ring). Also notable was the weight restriction of twenty two pounds or less for dogs, twenty for bitches. Later standards would create two weight classes, and even later ones would set a top weight limit of twenty eight pounds – still present in the US Standard today.