Dog Blog

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beau met a new girlfriend at the dog park.  Her name is Bella and she's a bulldog.  What a beauty!  She had wonderful red and white markings.  If I didn't have bassets, I'd have bulldogs. They are so endearing and gentle, despite their appearance.  I wish I had some film of them when they played together at the park, but we always seem to forget the iPhone.  Occasionally, Beau really takes to another dog at the park, and that was the case with Bella.  She was one of the smallest of her breed I've ever seen.  At first I thought she was still a pup, but she is fully grown at two years of age.  Quite a petite girl.  


Watching the two of them spar was a real show.  Bella was with a very nice older couple who had agreed to watch her for a young couple in their McKinley Park neighborhood.  From what they told me, it sounded like Bella's home life was far from ideal, perhaps even a bit cruel in the harsh way the dog is handled by her owner (the man).  From what they told me, I felt the dog probably needs to be placed in a more suitable home.  


I hear the same tale again and again.  People see a breed whose appearance appeals to them.  With no forethought they rush out to purchase one from a breeder (usually not the best breeders) before they really know anything about the behavioral characteristics of that breed and whether it will be a good match for their personalities and lifestyle.  For instance, our next door neighbor, a young college girl, bought a bulldog over the internet for $1,500, sight unseen.  Or I should say her parents bought it for her.  Who buys a pet over the Internet without at least meeting the dog?  Well, she got what people get when they choose a dog that way.  The dog was poorly bred, and the breed was all wrong for a spoiled princess.  I saw her walk it half a dozen times before the novelty had worn off and it became the parents' responsibility.  


Bella has very high energy, probably because she gets little attention at home while her owners are away all day.  She obviously enjoyed the brief encounter with Beau that morning at the dog park.  So did he!  Like bassets, bulldogs are stubborn to the extreme.  Obedience isn't their thing.  They don't respond quickly to commands, so they require a lot of patience from their owners.  I saw that stubbornness in Bella when she put on the brakes when it was time to leave the park and that handsome hunk of a basset she'd just met, Monsieur Beauregard Longfellow.  I kept wishing that Bella could go home with the couple who'd brought her there.  They'd had bulldogs before and had a far better appreciation and understanding for the breed.  Just like with us humans, dogs don't get to choose their parents.  Too bad.

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