Oct 14, 2015

Seasons of life

This photo above is my view every morning as I am getting ready for work.
Just your typical lazy bulldogs, taking their morning nap, before their late morning nap.
But it wasn't always like this.

My two bulldogs have been together for the past four years, and man oh man, there have been tough times.
I had Crash (the tiny older Frenchie) for nearly six years before I thought it was a good idea to add another dog to the mix.
Burn bulldozed his way into our lives four years ago.
And like most dog owners, I honestly didn't think anything of it. I was rather naive, you know, thinking that two alpha males would just magically get along, with no real introduction.

The first two years with them being together were the toughest.
Crash didn't take too kindly to having to share his space with another dog that was literally in his face day in and day out.
Burn is rather curious. And still is to this day.

And they fought.
A lot.
And Mark and I had to break up a lot of fights. Together, and solo.
And the dogs got hurt.
And so did we.

And about six months into owning two dogs, Burn about the same weight as Crash, I was sitting in our old kitchen, in the corner...sobbing.
I had just broken up yet another dog fight, over the fact that they were both in the same room as me as I was eating.
There is this whole territorial food debacle that I didn't fully understand yet.

Mark was out with the guys. I was alone, pulling two 30 pound dogs apart with razor teeth.
Sweating, I crumpled to the ground and the tears were relentless.

Marked walked in about that time and saw me in the corner, visibly shaken up.

I can't live like this! I sobbed. I don't know what to do! It's never ending. I made a mistake. 

And I was even more upset knowing how much I loved Burn already...and here I was contemplating removing him from our home.

Mark suggested we give him to his brother. I half-heartedly agreed and tried to sleep on it.

But as Type A personalities go.... I needed to win.
The next morning I woke up with a feverish determination.

I won't give up. We aren't giving up. You don't give up on kids and remove them from your home and I won't give up on these two. We are all they have.

We knew if either of them were to ever to go another home they would end up in a shelter, and probably put down.
And come Hell or high water, it wasn't for lack of trying. Or training. Or classes or obedience or patience.
Training bulldogs is a life long process. And we sure as hell made some mistakes along the way.

But these two....man.....these two really grabbed a hold of our heart strings and held on as tightly as possible.

And with every passing season, I can honestly say things have gotten so much better.

We, as their parents, have learned and adapted to the ever so slight changes in behavior that could trigger a fight. I can hone in on something brewing out of the corner of my eye, half a mile away.
There hasn't been a dog fight in over a year.

Two years ago I couldn't leave them unsupervised to take a shower without a fight breaking out.
These days they sleep together.
Before they couldn't sniff each other without a fight.
These days they are tolerant.

They run with each other. They have a mutual respect for each other.

The days of Mark and I constantly holding our breath for fear of the next battle are long gone.
We feel like veteran parents. We have a "been there, done that" attitude that doesn't faulter when shit starts to hit the fan.

Crash will be ten in January.
And all the googling in the world will tell you that ten is the maximum life span for most frenchies.
I have a feeling he will be around much longer, though.
After everything we've been through, he is my little fighter.
He fought for his life during facial paralysis and neck spasms as a puppy, and getting hit by a car as an adult.
And if you ever met him you'd think he just turned 2, with his playful antics and quickness on his feet.

I do see his age sometimes.
When his legs give out trying to jump a step.
When he can't hear you calling his name and you're right behind him.
When he can't see you standing to his side.

But he's my little man. And his big (little) brother will be by his side for years to come.
Because there are many scents to sniff, and squirrels to chase, and tennis balls to destroy.
And he can't take them on solo.

Thanks for reading.


  1. awe! You know I totally relate. Coco, our youngest, is our problem child. She will pick a fight with Lola if Lola doesn't want to play or isn't interested in paying any attention to Coco at all. Coco is a submissive pee-er and what we have been told is that if it isn't gone by now it will probably be a thing she does forever (UGH!). She gets SO excited to see people that she jumps and hurts them...and then she pees. She is STRONG and doesn't know her own strength - this is what scares us with having a little human in the house.

    We finally invested some money into her and sent her off to boarding school over the summer to get trained (and I hate to say it was nice not having her around wrecking our house). We talk about giving her to my brother who LOVES her but he isn't sure he can financially keep her up to our standards ($60/bag of food, regular vet visits to make sure she is in the peak of health, etc.). It's SO hard, but like you I don't want to give up on her. She is a beautiful dog and I love her face! (p.s. my post is about bulldogs today too :P)


  2. Ah sweet post - just like with kids - it's constantly changing. I'm so glad they seem to be in a good place together. very sweet and exactly what was needed, for all of you!