Over the weekend, we adopted a senior English Bulldog named Bully! He’ll be turning nine in October and weighs around 56 pounds. He is a giant, dopey love bug.
Since before Caleb was born, we’ve been wanting to add a second dog to our family. One, because I am a huge dog lover, and two, because Dakota, our first dog, is very high maintenance and anxious, freaking out anytime he’s left home alone. That’s resulted in him spending MANY days at my mother’s house being babysat which is just inconvenient all around when I’m rushing to get to work and have to drop my toddler dog off first. See Dakota the pest below…
So, we started the search for a new dog in late 2013 in hopes that Dakota would have a buddy and not be so needy. We decided to start with fostering which ended up being a giant fail. First, we were given a really obnoxious puppy who we had for about a month, even though we specifically said no puppies. Then, we were given a very sick dog who ended up dying and broke my heart.
Jerry declared that the end of fostering and I hesitantly agreed.
We then tried adopting two different dogs at two different times and both of THEM were sick too and went back to the rescue to get better. Neither of them were a good fit and we put the idea of a second dog on hold because by that time, we were consumed by my pregnancy and preparing for Caleb.
Recently, I felt a strong pull in my heart again for a second dog. I know that my fellow dog lovers will know and understand that call and that feeling that it’s time to rescue another! By chance one day, I was looking at Petfinder just for funsies. I was searching for rescue pugs (my favorite) and rescue Bulldogs (Jerry’s favorite and a recent favorite of mine). It’s difficult to find these breeds as rescues, but I’m all about rescuing and not buying, so when I saw an English Bulldog, my heart starting doing a little excited pitter patter. Ahhh! I showed Jerry who immediately said no because even though he loves English Bulldogs, he did NOT love Bully’s age: the average lifespan for an EBD is eight, with the maximum age typically being around 12, and that’s only if you’re lucky. He agreed to meet him, but insisted he would NOT want him (though I secretly knew he would fall in love — I was right!).
I saw that he was listed with a rescue that a good friend of mine volunteers with so I texted her right away: “what’s the deal with Bully?” She told me that he had JUST been listed, was still available, and to get an application in right away if I was interested.
The short story is that we did apply, we went and met him, we fell in love, and we brought him home the following weekend.
We got pretty fortunate because it can be a challenge to find an adult English Bulldog for adoption. We’ve been wanting an EBD, but you can generally only buy them as puppies from a breeder. That wasn’t going to happen anytime soon because one, they’re expensive as all heck, two, puppies are a giant pain, and three, I support animal rescue. Bully had been with his previous owner since he was a puppy, but he felt he needed to give him up due to extensive traveling which landed Bully at a boarder’s several times a year. Bully had several applications, including one from out of state, and we were so lucky that we were the ones chosen for him.
Since bringing him home on Saturday, he has fit in really well with our family. We knew we wanted a second dog but we were waiting for the right one and completely feel that Bully is “the one.” 🙂 I did extensive research (and worrying) prior to making our decision because I worried about a large dog around my toddler, but have found my research to be accurate. In general, bulldogs are considered great family dogs who are patient, gentle, and tend to have a sixth sense about kids. In case you were wondering, Caleb LOVES Bully. He laughs hysterically just at the sight of him, pets him constantly, and uses him to stand himself up. I can tell they are going to be friends, or at the very least, Bully will tolerate his toddler antics.
Bully is a typical Bulldog in many ways: lazy, laidback, friendly, loyal, and a very loud breather. He is loving and overly fond of affection and attention, which his owner warned us about, calling him “needy.” Basically, if you start petting Bully, don’t expect to stop anytime soon. The moment you stop, he starts batting at you with his giant paw and tries to climb on you to get you to start it up again. Yes, he’s annoying in his quest for affection, but it’s sweet and endearing even if it is obnoxious.
Despite his age and general laziness, he still has a playful side to him. I honestly think that’s why he has lived to be almost nine already, which is VERY old for the breed. With his previous owner, he was always very active and often went swimming. This weekend, he got ahold of a large rubber ball of Caleb’s and played with it for quite awhile to the point of popping it. We also took him for a short (read: 10 minute) walk on the pier this weekend. Bulldogs need a little bit of exercise but overheat very easily and can’t overdo it.
As expected, Jerry has fallen in love with Bully and insists that one day, we will adopt an EBD puppy. This is definitely not in MY plans, but I will say that we’ve both completely fallen in love with the breed.
Though we know that Bully is an old man and that we may not have as long with him as we’d like, we plan on giving him a great retirement home. Jerry has started dwelling on the fact that we might lose him in the near future because of his life expectancy, but I keep telling him not to worry about it and to just enjoy the time that we DO have with him.
To me, this is what animal rescue is all about. For the small price of an adoption fee, we have the love, devotion, and loyalty of a wonderfully sweet, affectionate dog who is grateful to us for giving him a new home. And while it’s true that we gave him a home, the love and happiness that he — and Dakota — give in return is tenfold.