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