I have served at the pleasure of each and every one of my Bulldogs: Maggie, Gracie, Buddy and Boz. I am neither proud of nor bothered by this role; it’s just the way it is. Those who chide me for my milquetoast approach have never bunked with bulldogs. The breed’s good-natured personality casts a spell; it’s like having a a four-legged Frodo underfoot.
For example, Buddy goes out one door, only to require me to get up to let him in another. If I fail to remember his after-dinner treat, he blocks my path and whines with the conviction of an Oscar-winning performance. If that approach still leaves him treat-less on the farm, he ditches the whimper, and ramps up his best baritone bark. When I cave in and feed him his treat, I assure him it has nothing to do with his vocal demands (of course, Buddy knows otherwise).
Recently, my friend Margo needed a dog-sitter, and I was happy to oblige. Buddy agreed to the sleepover, too — his languid nod and wet snort surely the bulldog equivalent of a “yes.” Gus, a huggable muppet of undeniable charm, was already one of Buddy’s best pals, so I knew Gus would be a delightful addition to the farm for a few nights.
Buddy doesn’t gush over visiting dogs, he plays it cool with a head-nod and quick sniff, seemingly canine cred for “hey, whazzup?” Oh, and did I mention Gus is a rescue dog (like Buddy) and canine-capable with three legs? The first evening, I carried Gus up the stairs thinking the two flights of stairs would be an obstacle or unnecessary challenge for him. When Buddy barked at the bottom of the stairs, Gus flew down to investigate the commotion. Seems he did not need my help, which is good because when I picked up Gus, he shift-shaped into a doggie blob with the tensile strength of an under-filled water ballon, but not before rolling over to expose his underside and cue the belly rub.
Buddy and Gus enjoyed some quality time napping on the sofa and napping on me. Dinner time was a bit of comedy sketch, each dog would prefer what was in the other’s bowl and swap places only to find disappointment was on the menu. When they wouldn’t eat, and stared right back at me like “This is what we waited for?” I grated a little pecorino cheese over the chow and the hounds were at the trough. Yep, discerning little gourmands needed a soupçon of umami goodness.
Yes, we had a fine time. During the day, I kept Gus by my side as he’s a wanderer. Buddy took command of the porches, following the sun and staking his claim. Treats were aplenty and the dandy duo knew how to work me. At night, Buddy took the foot of the bed, while Gus wedged himself between me and the pillows, worming his way under the covers. Buddy decided he was missing out, and rooted his way under the duvet to join his scruffy pal. I think I had a full eleven inches of bed width to call my own.
Gus was a wonderful, compatible houseguest, but he did have one propensity not shared by Buddy; his need to chase chickens. Gus meant no harm. If he chased them, they would run, always run, which in his mind was play, play on demand. Buddy would stay put on the porch and watch his antics, with resolute disinterest. Naps and tug-a-war are his form of play.
Great story and hilarious images ! Thanks, Tom !
Thanks for saying so Brooks!
this is so cute! i wish i had a puppy sitter like you!
Thanks Joyce, I know that’s always my biggest challenge is finding a dog and house sitter if I travel for an extended period.
I loved reading about Gus and Buddy. Gus looks a little bit like my Allie who has crossed over the rainbow bridge. She too was a rescue.
I know what you mean about the 11 inches of bed hugging.. All of my pups seemed to manage to crowd me out of a queen sized bed.
Loved seeing Buddy playing it cool on the porch. I know he is just pretending to be relaxed that at a moments notice he can take action like a ninja if danger arrives..
Exactly, Buddy in stealth mode on the porch, seemingly tricking the uninitiated into thinking he’s a slow mover. 😉
Just so wonderful to read about this little adventure!!! I believe, we are just gifted by having just one more to love!
The Furry Gang sends their LOVE.
Hi V, I love the way you think!
My favorite posts are when you write about your pups-in my next life I want to come back as one of them! But what is a peeqkid nod? I’m picturing short and haughty as befits a hound granting a favor?
Hi Perri, Yes that was my interpretation of the word, but now I’m not so sure. I’m doing a little research on its usage. I could be all wet. For now I’ll swap it out. And thanks for the visit and kind words.
Always enjoy your posts, but I need to know what peeqkid means! 🙂
Well, apparently so do I. I thought I had the right spelling for the word, meaning a sense of drowsiness, you know droopy eyelids head-dropping moment to moment. Time to replace it with a better word. 😉
Were you thinking peaked? Languid is a good word, though 🙂
I was, I think I spelled it phonetically as a placeholder, but never went back to change. Jeez, geezer brain, geezer brain…
Double the joy in your house! Whenever my grand puppy comes for an extended period, he marches in and heads straight for my king size bed. Yes, yes he is spoiled but that’s what Gran’s are for!
Awesome way to think of it: double the joy!
Oh what a wonderful story. I giggled the whole way through. I can emphasize with your plight of only 11 inches of bed space. My two rescues push up against me and by morning I am clinging to the side of the bed.
We also frequently need freshly grated cheese or a splash of olive oil on top of kibble here 😉
Thanks for the kind words Corrina, yep it’s such a gift how these four-legged wonders add shine to our daily lives!
Just wonderful. The pictures were delightful, and delightfully funny – Gus is cute, yes, but Buddy, well, you can’t take your eyes off of him.
The tale reminded me once again that, if there’s such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a dog in a household like yours (or ours – our Scotties enjoy a similar lifestyle). Thanks Tom. A great way to start my morning.
Michael, I read your comment to Buddy, and I think I just witnessed the bulldog equivalent of a smile. Thanks for the visit and kind words!
Sweet!!! Hello from Chip and Gregg… looking forward to seeing you sometime this spring…
Hey Chip, it’s been too long! I look forward to seeing you all soon!
I keep waiting, maybe not so patiently. Tom, there has to be a book of Buddy. I will buy the first one for sure.
Okay, I’m pondering that, I promise! I have a friend who is a wonderful artist and would be the perfect illustrator for Buddy.
OMG, Tom, would you please ask Margo if Gus is a rescue from Lancaster, CA Animal Control?
He looks like our MollyJean, which we found on Pet Finder 6 years ago. Her birthday was Feb. 13, making her 10 years old. If so, please have Margo contact us via our email. Thanks so much!
Hi David, I’ll check with Margo for you.
David, Hi! Sorry for the super delayed reply- I forgot about your query! Gus is actually a rescue from fairly close to Lancaster.. he was pulled from a High Kill shelter in Corcoran, abut 100 mi apart. He was a stray… but he’s only 3. I’d love to see your Molly Jean! We are lucky, aren’t we? Tom, I forgot how much I loved these pics!! <3
Buddy’s first sleepover guest!
I had forgotten about how similar Gus and MollyJean look so similar! If you want a picture, or 100 (!), of MJ, you have to send me an email address as I am
technically challenged and don’t know how to attach a photo (or 100) to this reply. YES, we are very lucky! Tom, I hope you and Gus are having a wonderful summer. Cheers, from Point Roberts, WA and Vancouver, BC! David and the MollyJean
Absolutely made my morning. Dogs will always make you feel a better person than you were before. Can’t wait for my grandfurbaby to come and stay with us next weekend. He has his own queen size bed to sleep on.
Hi Neroli, thanks for the kind words. Sounds like your grandfurbaby is livin’ the life!
Well! THAT story initiated a host of reactions! Always love stories about dogs, and particuarly three-legged dogs. Gracie also loves cheese – this weekend I made a lasagna, and she was in heaven. No, I know too much of a good thing is a bad thing for doggies, folks, but a special treat once in a while can do no great harm.
So true Sandra, I’d have to agree with you. 🙂