The Bullies

I have a father and an uncle who went to Yale (actually that is where my parents met) and was raised to worship the Yale bulldog (go Bullies!). I don’t know when my father decided he wanted a bulldog, but I do know my mother fought it for the longest time, but then the hamsters kept dying.  My brother wanted a dog and my parents gave him a hamster instead.  I am not sure what went on in that little boy’s room, but the hamsters kept escaping and he could not keep one alive.  My mother threw her hands up and long story short our first bulldog, Samantha, arrived soon to be followed by Danielle, Spencer and Max (in the photo clockwise; Samantha, Spencer and Max).

The breed is officially called “Bulldog” even though most people think it is called “English Bulldog.” They have wide shoulders with a short-faced head and loads of wrinkles.  The average size is about 50 pounds and their coat is short, flat and sleek.  They are excellent family pets, because of their tendency to form strong bonds with children while being gentle and protective. Bulldogs require minimal grooming and exercise, but because of their short noses they have difficulty breathing and can be prone to overheating in warm weather.

The original Bulldog had to be very ferocious, savage, courageous and insensitive to pain.  In the 17th century, bulldogs were used for the gambling sport, bull baiting.  A bulldog would be put in the ring with a bull where its mean of attack was to latch onto the bull’s snout and both suffocate and bleed it to death (the folds on the dog’s face is so the blood would not get in the eyes). Dog fighting was outlawed in 1835 and the bulldog was no longer needed in England.  Breeders ended up breeding out the aggressive characteristics and within a few generations, he has become a fine physical specimen with the heart of an angel and a mellow temperament.

The bulldog is popularly used to represent England/ The United Kingdom as seen in these new items in the catalog.  You can’t walk down a street in London without seeing t-shirts, posters and stuffed bulldogs for sale.  I grew up thinking that Winston Churchill had a bulldog until I went to the Churchill War Rooms.  He never owned a bulldog; he had a pug named Chauncey and a poodle named Rufus.  It turns out that he is widely associated with the bulldog, because he had the strength, courage and tenacity to protect the UK just like a bulldog with his family. I know this first hand as Spencer was my dog (here he is in his adorable puppyness)…

…and he was one amazing dog.  I have moved on to other breeds of dogs in my adulthood, but my brother (married now with children) shares his home with Bogey (that’s him with his silly long tongue).

Lindsay is a DVD developer at Acorn Media, which means she watches TV all day. Away from work, she is plotting her next trip, playing with French bulldogs or has her nose in a book. Secretly wishes she could have an elephant as a pet.

One comment

  • 1
    April 14, 2011 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Awesome post, I love animals myself, always have.

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