Rescue, My First English Bulldog
When I joined The Bulldog Club Of Central Florida I had no idea what it was all about. Or that it would teach me about dogs in a way I had never imagined. Within a month I was on the rescue team, OK, what would I be doing. Well it wasn't long before I would find out.
My first call came. My husband Joe and I hopped in the car and off we went. It was 10pm before we pulled into the driveway of a corner house on the main road in the little country town of Osteen.The garage door was half open and I could see lights on in the front of the house. As I walked up to the front door I heard a faint bark coming from the direction of the garage.
I rang the bell and the door opened. The small elderly gray haired woman spoke in a soft tone."Come in, I have been waiting for you." I entered a lovely home, neat as a pin, with everything in its place. I could see she had been having a cup of coffee and a piece of danish at the kitchen counter. A napkin was carefully folded next to the plate she was using.
"Come this way, he is out here." She led me through a hallway to a side door that when opened led to a darkened garage. As she opened the door I heard movement. Then the sound of paw taps coming slowly toward me. The light came on and I looked around to find what I had come to this house to retrieve. My eyes caught sight of him. A bulldog, "His name is Brutus." He was standing beside a large wooden pool table half covered by a sheet. I knelt down and called "Come Brutus,come here baby." As he slowly walked toward me I could see his eyes were clouded and his face was grayed with age.
"How old is this dog?" I asked. "I am not sure 10 or 11 I guess. I have all his papers." As she scurried away to bring me the folder of papers she had for him I sat on the floor and called him to my lap. he crawled onto my lap and lay his head on my chest, looking up into my face. As I rubbed his thin frail body I spoke to him softly and said, "It's OK baby I got you now."
The woman returned with a thick folder. "All of his papers are in here. There must be ten thousand dollars worth of vet bills." she said. As I looked up and reached for the folder I could see in her face that she was glad someone was taking the dog. "I kept him as long as I could, but he stinks. Have you ever smelt a dog that stinks that bad." she said with a grumble."Nothing a good bath couldn't fix." I said. Her response was quick "I am to old to give him a bath and I only took him when the owner died to try and help. When I got him he was to fat and needed a diet, he weighed over seventy pounds now he is fourty five.
I looked up at the old woman who was now gathering up his leash and dog food. "Does he have any toys or a blanket to make him feel more at home when I take him." "No" she said "All of his things were old and dirty, I threw them away." With-out looking up at her I handed up a paper and she took it. "Could please sign the surrender form for me." I said. She hurried away to find a pen. When she returned with the signed paper I stood up took the page as she handed it to me I said "Thank you." and walked toward the half open garage door. Brutus walked under and as I leaned down to go under she said "arn't you going to say good-bye Brutus." Brutus did not look back. He walked to the end of the driveway and looked up at the car door. I opened the door and he put his front paws up toward the seat. I helped him up onto the seat and he layed down. As soon as the car started to move Brutus fell fast asleep.
Brutus slept the whole way home. Once inside I could get a better look at him.He was covered with fleas and he was very dirty. Other than he was very thin he seemed in good shape.I walked to the bathroom, Brutus followed. I lay a towel in the bottom of the tub and lifted him in. He put his nose down to the towel, looked up at me and if to say OK he layed down. I turned on the shower hose and when it was warm I started his bath.He layed most of the time only rising at the end so I could wash his belly. The water running down the drain looked like chocolate milk with chocolate sprinkles. With a wash cloth I cleaned his face and ears being careful not to get water in his nose. When the water ran clear I turned it off and lifted him out of the tub and onto a towel. As I started to dry him, I saw it. His tail, he was wagging his little nub of a tail, as if to say Thank you, that feels so much better. He scooted up against me and laying his head on my chest looked up at me, and moving his bottom jaw made quiet little sounds as if to tell me his story.
On the drive home I had a chance to look at the papers in his folder.It was all there. He had been taken very good care of. From the best food to regular vet visits. Dates, treatments, food reciepts, starting back eleven and a half years when he was just an eight week old pup. We walked into the living room and I lay down a large soft comforter. He layed down and as I sat next to him I talked to him and continued to dry his dull coat. I could imagine him as a strong young dog, playing with his loving master in the yard.
Those days were gone and now he was in the hands of rescue. That's what I do. When a dog needs help I step in. I bring them home, feed, care, and give them love, and hopefully help find them a wonderful forever home.
Bulldog Club Of America
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Not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the rehabilitation placement of abused and/or neglected bulldogs.