Over the years, we have had a number of pets. Mostly due to my inability to control an uncontrollable love for animals. Occasionally, Mr. Perfect has been involved, but usually it is all me. Our first pet we had together was about 23 years ago, when I fell head over heels in love with a white french bulldog I saw on TV. There was a segment about this really cute little white french bulldog who adored everyone in the family except the teenage son. It only made sense that the family called in a dog psychologist. As it turns out the son never played with the dog or fed it or petted it, so the little frenchie had no use for him. Frankly, I don’t think I would like that kid either! During the story some of the quirks of the French Bulldog were revealed, but this did not deter me.
At the time it seemed liked no one had a frenchie in Tampa. This prompted Mr. Perfect to suggest we be mature about our pet decision and research the breed more. Although in this process, I learned of health issues and behavior problems (super stubborn – oh sure, they would mind you ….. eventually), I still had to have this dog. Mr. Perfect’s next suggestion was that we consult with breeders and our vet to make sure the frenchie was the right match for us. So we talked to breeders on the phone (out of state) and they told us we should go to some dog shows and meet the real dog and some breeders. So we did. Oddly, the breeders did not want anything to do with us! Well! Over time we made buddies with a breeder out of Orlando who connected us with a breeder in Michigan who had one female 5 month old puppy available. The breeder, Lloyd lived on a farm and fed his animals only organic/natural food that he made. WOW, I felt really good about this. I could just see that sweet little white frenchie!
It was quite a surprise, when I received a Polaroid photo of an ugly brindle, crooked tooth, wall eyed bulldog. Yikes. My rules included a strict “no brindle” policy. For some reason (probably because I live in a fantasy) I called Lloyd anyway, thinking positively that I could work my way to a white dog. Lloyd was quite a character and it was so nice talking to him. At some point he mentioned the dog cost $1,200 and 23 years ago this seemed especially impossible to me. As a sensible individual, this clearly had to be discussed with Mr. Perfect. We were almost married, this decision should be made together! It was the right thing to do. When Lloyd ask for my name, I told him it was Cindy Fredlund (Why did that come out of my mouth, my brain said. My name is not yet Fredlund). Lloyd said, that’s funny, I knew some Fredlund’s in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, (Population 3,000 and positively the frozen tundra most of the year). Iron River to be specific. He mentioned some names that I did not recognize, but after a few minutes we realized he knew my in-laws. It turns out, he and his parents lived two doors down and played cards on Wednesday nights with my father in-law and family.
As you can guess, I saw this as an omen and threw all reason out the window! Mr. Perfect would think this was a great idea. How could we not get her? I quickly negotiated a reasonable payment plan and the wheels were set in motion.
After Mr. Perfect recovered from shock, we decided to name her Maime. Maime was the name of Mr. Perfects grandmother who came from Sweden at the same time as Lloyds mother!
Maime arrived on a night when we were experiencing a huge thunder and lightening storm. She flew in the cargo section of an airplane and was transported across the airport on one of those luggage trams – open air. When we met her she was horrified and somewhat of a mess. Do not under any circumstance fly a dog in a cargo area, there must be a better way. It just can’t be necessary!
Never fear, we bundled her in a clean towel right away and loved her up all the way home. Once there, we gave her a warm bath and soothed her to sleep. She slept in bed with us, where she snored all night long.
Yes its true, when we first saw her and then again when she snored all night long, we may have had second thoughts for just a minute. But alas, this is a love story. It turned out that a brindle, crooked tooth, wall eyed, stubborn dog was exactly right for us. The neighbor kids called her a pig dog. People often ask us “What is that?” 13 years, Maime provided us with much affection and laughter and three sweet puppies. Two of those puppies were adorable soft white Frenchies (thanks to the great genes of their dad, a Champion named Bruno). But that is another story!
French bulldogs were bred to be companion dogs and they are masters at it. With a minimum amount of exercise and entertainment (compared to some dogs), they are a great apartment pet! Frenchies are easy to find now, you probably commonly see them walking around. There are a number of French Bulldog rescue sights, where you could find a great pup in need a forever home. To be fair, I’m madly in love with all animals. After a life time of having pets in my life I highly recommend it most everyone should have one. You will be entertained and loved unconditionally. Even if you’ve had the best pet ever already, there is always room in your heart for the next one.
I’m so proud of the work Camden does in our communities across the country, including supporting pet rescues. Over the years we have collected blankets, food and toys and donated thousands of dollars to better the lives of animals. We love pets at Camden and have a generous pet policy. Just today I met a very young Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and a 9 month old Beagle, Catahoula, Mastiff mix! I cannot even tell you how sweet these babies were! These residents had just taken their dogs for a long walk – the key to a happy well adjusted dog. They also enjoy taking their dogs to the Camden dog park.
Check out these great adoption sites to learn more about the amazing french bulldogs available in Florida.
French Bulldog Rescue Network
Florida French Bulldog Rescue Groups