This is Layla. Layla Pillow to be precise, but to be honest she's also been lovingly nicknamed 'Piglet.' She was my Valentine's Day gift from Justin.
After my grandfather's funeral we were all up at his house and my cousin arrived with his English Bulldog, Lilly. Lilly had originally belonged to our uncle Chuck and so my cousin wanted them to have a chance to visit.
I love English Bulldogs. Always have. That was one reason we had gotten Jomo, because he had that bully breed (American Bulldog) in him. Seeing Lilly was too much for me. I walked inside and announced to everyone that I HAD to have an English Bulldog.
I signed up on rescue lists, thinking that I would rather have an adult than a pup given that we already have an enormous puppy, two little boys, and ourselves to deal with. I contacted breeders to see if they had any females they were ready to retire (or males, I wasn't terribly picky). I found a breeder who had one and I made arrangements to come meet & get her on a Thursday. The next day I got an email that they weren't ready to give her up just yet. They were waiting for her pup to sell, but they also had an older pup that needed to sell before they even listed her pup. It could all happen tomorrow but they didn't expect it to take more than 3 or 4 weeks.
So, I continued looking around. I found a 5 year old rescue bulldog down in North Carolina. At the same time, I happened to stumble onto Craigslist and saw someone locally wanting to re-home (don't you just love that term? It reeks of b.s) his 15 week old English Bulldog pup.
I talked to him on the phone. He told me he was "re-homing" her because he worked a day job & then nights he was a fireman. He and his wife/girlfriend/female (I don't remember & don't care) had just bought a house and the pup was in her crate all the time. He told me she was housebroken and that they had an appointment with the vet for her last set of puppy shots & her rabies shot already lined up. He said she came with her crate, bowls, food, toys, collar & leash.
I met him that day. Really, it wasn't a 5 minute drive from my house. The kids and my mom came out too to see what they thought. Instant love on their part. And, oh, were those puppy eyes big and sweet.
I began asking him questions. First he told me that he had gotten her from a lady named Sarah out in Gladys, VA. I asked if the lady had a kennel and he said no, that she had just bred them. He had met the mother & father though. As I stood there, petting the pup, I inquired what he knew about the general health of 'Sarah's' dogs, since English Bulldogs can be known for health problems. It was then he fessed up that she, the pup not Sarah, was 1/8 Boston Terrier. Papa was a full-blooded English Bulldog, Mama was 3/4 English Bulldog & 1/4 Boston Terrier. I almost walked away, but the pup was cute and he was willing to come down in price. So, we brought her home. I later asked him if he had 'Sarah's' phone number as I would like to see photos of the parents, he told me he thought he still had it and would try to find it. I've never heard back from him. When we bought her from him she came with her crate & toys. No bowls or food and he tried to keep the leash and collar, which I politely asked him for.
Within a couple days I had managed to track down the breeder. Her name was 'Lisa' not 'Sarah.' Yes, he had been out there and seen all her dogs. Yes, she owns a kennel! Yes, he knew all this because 1) he had only had the pup for a WEEK and 2) he had called her to let her know he wasn't going to keep her (gave her the same reasons he gave me)!!!! Also, no .. she wasn't 1/8 Boston Terrier, she is 1/4. The lady calls the breed an English Boston Bulldog and said that was how she had advertised them, so he knew full well what the pup was. Papa was pure English Bulldog, Mama was 1/2 English Bulldog & 1/2 Boston Terrier. I've since seen photos of both. Lisa asked how much I paid for the pup and I told her. He had been trying to sell her for the price he had bought her for and I had haggled him down. She said "Good for you! I hope that teaches him a lesson!" It also turns out he hadn't yet taken the pup to the vet. So, for whatever reason (hopefully a benign one of being a young fool) he was a lying bastard. I guess that's what you get when you venture onto Craigslist.
Layla has now been to the vet. She's in great health. The vet said she would've believed she was full English Bulldog too. Her breathing is fantastic, heart is too. She went on about what a gorgeous pup she was and then gave her all her shots.
And, just for the record, that older bulldog down in North Carolina that we had been considering has a new home too. My mother adopted her. We all drove down there (Layla too!) to get her. We couldn't bear the thought of her having to stay in a kennel one day longer. Now Mom's Standard Poodle, Anya, has a friend too.
So, now we have a new pup. I still just call her a Bulldog, or an English Bulldog, though I'll admit to her Boston roots too. I'm just Southern that way.
Foster is in LOVE. Absolute heavenly love. He plays and plays and plays with her. Or at least tries to. She is 25 pounds and comes up mid-shin, he is 136 pounds and comes up to my hip (and I'm nearly 6' tall myself). He kinda runs circles around her. But he plays gently, as English Mastiffs are known to do. She keeps him in line. They are best of buds now.
More stories to come ...