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Dozer was my second Bulldog. After my first Bulldog, Baggy died I was devastated. Allthough my house felt empty and I missed having a dog, I didn’t feel ready for a new dog. After some time my mom called me and said she called some people from shelters and adoptioncenters and said it was time for me to get a new dog. Still a little hesitant I called some numbers and heard about a dog that was looking for a home. I lost Baggy way too soon, she was only three years old when she died. So when thinking about adopting another dog, health was really important. I could not bear the thought of  losing another dog so soon. When I went to see Dozer all I got was an adress and phonenumber. I did not know what she looked like, her history or anything about her, all I knew she was looking for a home.

When I arrived I immediately got a bad feeling. When I rang the door I heard no dogs barking, I was led to the back of the house where outside they had big kennels. Big metal cages, nothing on the floors, no shelter from rain or cold, not even a crate to lay on. The waterbowls were green, the whole place was filthy. There were about 6-8 dogs from which 2 puppies about 6months old. Dozer was all the way in the back. Desribing my first look at her; A dog with her head down, almost no hair on the sides of her body, her skin turned it to what seemed to be a leatherish black crocodile skin, she had infections at her paws and belly, her nipples almost touched the ground, she was scared and was obviously not used to human contact.

The man opened the cage like it was a lion’s den, really carefull with his legs pushing the dog away, like he was afraid of his own dogs. When he grabbed a leash to get her out, I saw she went into panicmode and said it was not necessary to put her on a leash, I would go in. I went in and sat down, I wasn’t afraid of this dog at all, she was scared but not agressive at all. I could not give her a hug, but she would let me pet her head and scratch her back. At that moment, when I first looked at her, I knew she would not spend one more day in those horrible conditions and that she would be my dog.

Allthough I had the intention of adopting a young and healthy dog,.. I came back with an older dog, with almost no hair, several infections and health issues, very bad condition (she could only walk a few minutes) not used to human contact or with other dogs or animals, not used to walking on a leash, not housebroken and scared of everything. The first days were hard, she was still afraid of everything including me. She was not housebroken and scared of me and the leash, what made it really hard to find a way to housetrain her. She was afraid of every sound around her, a door opening, cars passing, the washing machine, they all made her shiffer from fear. The only way I could get close to her was by sitting on the ground and feeding her from my hands. The first days were hard but after one week she was already a different dog. Allthough she was five years and still needed to learn all the basics ,she was housetrained and learned to walk on a leash in one week! That scared dog turned into a loving dog that wanted to cuddle all day. After a week I washed her for the first time. After two shampoo scrubbings and about 20 minutes of showering the water coming of her was still black. After about two months the medication and shampoo cured all of her infections and the hair was growing back. This photo was taken after about three months. You can still see some of the infections, skin irritations but most of the hair has already grown back and she is looking way better than when I first saw her.

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Already looking much Better

After most infections were gone and she was feeling better I started to work with her on her conditioning and her anxiety issues. She learned more commands and after a few months of slowly building up condition she could walk on the beach for hours. As her condition improved I started taking her everywhere with me, to get her used to normal things like taking her to work, on public transport, family and friendsvisits. By doing this she got used to all the different places, people and sounds and learned to enjoy new things. When I first met her, the whole world was frightening to her but after only a short time she became a dog again, just like baggy, Loving the whole World; people, kids, dogs other animals,.. she Loved them all. Her character is best described as, loving, calm (she rarely barked), stubborn (even in Bulldog terms) and always hungry;) One time when I was planning the eat some curry chicken and I went back to the kitchen to get a drink and when I came back the whole curry was gone, 1 chicken curry devoured in less than 30 seconds..an indication of how hungry she always was;)

Dozer died of kidney failure just before her 10th birthday. In the years we shared, she showed me how a little love and effort can change a dog in no time. Baggy was the Bulldog that made me fall in love with the Bulldog Breed. Dozer was the Bulldog that showed me the terrible conditions of a lot of breeding dogs and she therefor inspired me to put my time and energy in rescuing more dogs. Not only me, but a lot of people and dogs got Life Lessons from Dozer. Where she was a scared and unsocialized at first she became the perfect example of a well balanced and social dog. A lot of dogs learned from her behaviour including James and a lot of dogs at the dog park. Just by being calm and cool about everything she had what I call “the Zen effect” everyone and every dog became calm as well.

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A poem about Dozer, it is in Dutch so I put a translation underneath.

Lieve Dozer,

Ik weet nog heel goed dat we je naar je gingen kijken,
Toen ik je zag wist ik dat ik voor je zou bezwijken.
Ik zag gelijk dat je daar weg moest en ik kwam je halen,
Ik kon je niet laten zitten bij die dierenvandalen.

Vijf jaar lang opgesloten in een vies hok,
Gebruikt, mishandeld en alleen maar voor de Fok.
Drie nestjes heb je gehad maar al je pups zag je weer gaan,
Waarna jij weer alleen in je hok bleef staan.

Toen ik je kreeg was je kaal, onzindelijk en schichtig,
Maar al snel leerde je liefde kennen al was het heel voorzichtig.
Pas toen je vijf jaar was kreeg ik jou,
En al die jaren erna was jij me trouw.

Lieve DozieDoos ik mis je zo onwijs,…
Ik hoop dat je nu ligt te rollen in het Bullen Paradijs.
Ik mis je in huis en je gebruiken en denk aan onze momenten;
Aan je nooit eindigende eetlust, het samen knuffelen en je schattige chanteertalenten..

Lieve Doos, ik zal je nooit vergeten lieve dikke schuddekont,
Je blijft mijn bullie en je was en blijft mijn Grootste Hond!


Dear Dozer,

I remember it very well the day we went to have a look at you,
When I saw you, you touched my heart
I saw right away that you needed to get out of there and I came to get you,
I could not leave you there with those animals abusers.

Five years you were locked up in a dirty cage,
Used and abused only to make money.
Three litters you had and every time you had to see your puppies go
To be left alone again in that ugly cage

When I got  you, you almost had no hair, were unhealty and scared.
But in notime you learned to love even when it was very careful.
I got you, when you were five years old
And after all those years after that you were faithful and loyal to me.

Dear DozieDoos I miss you so much, …
I hope you are now rolling and snoring in Bulldog Paradise
I miss you at home, thinking about all the good times;
Your never ending appetite, cuddling together and your cute blackmail talents ..

Dear Dozer, I will never forget you, fat wiggly bully butt..
You will always be my Bully, you were and will always stay my Big Dog!

Some more photos and old videos of Dozer to keep her memory alive.
Rest  in Peace Big Girl, Miss You ♥


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10 thoughts on “Bulldozer

  1. Wow. Thank you so much for writing this post. I am sneakily reading this at work and almost in tears. I can connect with so many things you wrote about. My first bulldog, Kaya, was rescued from a shelter. She was 5 yrs old and weighed 70 pounds! A family had turned her in for adoption for “being too aggressive.” I was barely 21 and fresh outta college. I had plans to move to Colorado (from NC) but a week before the move, I had a very bad life event happen and couldn’t mentally handle anything, much less a dramatic move. I was a college graduate, living at home in my parents attic. I’ve never been more depressed. Then I met Kaya. I put my name on the adoption list and was second in line to get her. She was required to stay for a week since she was dropped off (to make sure the owners didn’t come back for her) and every day I went to visit her and took her for walks. At the time her name was “Tabby Tater” and so i called her my little tater tot. I went early on adoption morning, hoping the man first in line wouldn’t show up. He did. I watched my little tot crawl awkwardly into his car and they drove away. I was so upset. The next morning I received a phone call from the pound. The man had returned Kaya and I was allowed to come pick her up if I still wanted her!

    I knew nothing about love or what it takes to be a good dog mom. Kaya taught me everything. I learned (after 3 different doctor visits) that she had an ingrown tail. It had been inside her body since birth and no one had done anything to help her! I drove her 3 hrs to a specialist and she had the tail removal surgery. Then we had to have another surgery 3 months later. Long story short, she had lived so long with the ingrown tail that infection had built up and caused anal fistulas. Basically her but leaked this weird smelly juice. Which I’m guessing is why the family gave her up for adoption. It was hard to live with since everywhere Kaya sat, she’d leave behind a gooey stain. Rounds and rounds of antibiotics and never a solution. She couldn’t wear doggy diapers because 1. she didn’t have a tail to keep it up and 2. she was very fat and they would slide off her belly. I ended up buying adult Depends and securing them with a hair tie. She passed away last June. We only had 3 short years together. I had to put her down because the surgeries had ultimately caused nerve damage in her hind legs and she wasn’t able to walk any longer. I’ve never felt so much love from anyone as I did from Ki. And I never felt so much loss and loneliness as I did when she was gone.

    Like you, I wanted another dog but knew I wasn’t ready. This past October, I was looking online and saw a 2 yr. old Englsh bulldog at the local shelter. I discussed it with my partner and reluctantly he agreed to go see her. Long story short, I fell in love instantly but she was adopted to another family. Actually another 4 families. We were number 5 in line and, believe it or not, those other families returned her. After a month, I received a phone call asking if I was still interested in adopting “Fannie.” She had gotten in fights with every families dogs & needed to go to a home where she was the only princess. We adopted her and named her “Xena, the warrior princess” since she fought her way into our lives.

    I like Xena but like your Dozer, she has a lot of anxiety issues. The shelter found her as a stray and we have no idea what kind of life she lived. Every noise makes her jump and it took her months before she relaxed enough to cuddle.

    While Xena is nothing like Kaya, she is a fresh start and teaching me things that Kaya couldnt. I know the pain you felt when you lost your pups and I wanted to thank you for writing this tribute to Dozer. She was beautiful.

    • Ahh thank you, thats really sweet. Dogs really know the way into a humans heart don’t they? And they never leave. Thanks for sharing your story, indeed very recognizable. You could say the best way to meet a dog is to know nothing about the history, cause in my experience in most of the cases the stories you hear are totally different from the dog you get to see. Agressive turns out to be a cuddler, shy turns out be playful and so on. Thanks again for sharing, cuddles for Xena the lady warrior lol;)

  2. Dozer is lovely. Our first one was Mugsy. He was found in Detroit, He also had horrible skin, was starving and till the day he passed, was a garbage picker. He was the best dog for a first dog because he had everything wrong that could be wrong. He was allergic to peas, carrots, potatoes, grass, trees, dust, his own skin (the dander on it), etc. etc. He had to have medicated shampoo, was on allergy pills 3x a day, and still managed to have flare ups that would cause horrible red irritated skin where his hair would fall out in patches. He had one horrible ear that would get infected no matter how many times I cleaned it. One time he shook his head so hard he burst all the blood vessels in his ear that required emergency surgery to tie off every single blood vessel in his ear. He was in a cone for a month. My parents were kind enough to watch him for one weekend when we traveled instead of the pet sitter while he was in the cone, afterwards they said “is he always this needy?” and we realized his anxiety wasn’t normal. That began his journey on doggy valium. Then as he got older, he lost control of his bladder, so now, he was in doggy wraps. This lasted for 2 years as his kidneys started to fail. So now he was on prescription food, valium, allergy meds, wee wraps, and then he went deaf. And through all of this, he is still playing, we adopted another rescue girl close to his age, and fostered a puppy, who LOVED him. My boy hung on till October, for about 2 weeks he didn’t want to eat, I could see he was losing weight, took him to the vet, thinking he had a virus and then I let him out to go potty and he stumbled coming back in. I thought he was having a seizure but it wasn’t…I got him in the house, he collapsed int he doorway and he had a heart attack and passed away in my arms. I feel guilty I didn’t know the signs that I should have put he down sooner but I am glad I was with him and able to hold him as he passed. He knew he was loved and with us as he crossed over. His two sisters mourned him and it took a few weeks for Moo adjust to him being gone.

    • Thank You i agree we all learn so much from dogs and esp. rescues. James also took a long time to adjust without Dozer she was his bullymom for his 1st year. Thank you for sharing your story! Hugs 4 ur Bullies♥

  3. Like many others, my Bubba was a rescue. We drove 5 and 1/2 hours to the Miami, FL area after finding his story on a facebook rescue page. He was overweight, had severe ear infections, was practically hairless from skin yeast infections, and was terrified of the woman that had him. My oldest son and I loaded him up and brought him to our vet here. After countless vet trips, medications, prescription food, and tons of love we now have our big ol’ wrinkly love monster all happy, healthy, and full of love!! He has the gentlest disposition and just loves everyone he meets. He even has his own pet cat! LOL! We’re now facing surgery to remove a tumor in his ear from the severe infections he had in the past, but our Bubba is worth every penny and every minute! I cannot imagine my life without this big goober in it!

  4. Kat Lund

    Thank you for sharing your story about Dozer. My Chopper was also a rescue who had terrible demodex when we got him. He was scared of everything, but with lots of love and patience he became the cuddly sweet bully that we all have come to love. Sadly, he passed away from cancer a year ago. There is not a single day that goes by that I think about him and I know that he is happy with all of his bully buddies at the Rainbow. It is because if him that I too am committed to this breed.

  5. Anonymous

    Such a sweet story. Thank you for giving her the best years of her life. <3 And thank you for sharing. Made me cry but it was worth it. <3 God knows who will love them to the full extent. <3 God Bless You. <3

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