Yesterday, it was James his 10th Birthday. It seems like yesterday that I got him as a little puppy. James was the 1st Bulldog I got as a Puppy, before that I only had rescues and adopted older dogs (mostly older females used for breeding). When James was still with the breeder, I visited him every week, to see how he was doing and growing and I got to watch him on webcam. James had 4 brothers and sisters. When I would watch them in the puppybox. From the day he was born he was a very playful and active puppy. It was very funny to see how he would keep his brothers and sisters awake in the box. After dinner all the puppies would snuggle side by side and start sleeping but not James, he would climb on his brothers and sisters and use them as pillows. He would wake all his brothers and sisters before deciding that he would sleep without a pillow.
The nine weeks I had to wait to take him home seemed like ages. But finally that day arrived and I got to take James home. Since I already had experience with Bulldogs, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into.
Well.. I was wrong 😉
At the moment I got James, I also had Dozer (an older female bully rescued from a bad breeder) Dozer and Me were both flabbergasted, astonished and shocked by James his energy. He was like a 24/7 bouncing ball around the house, ADD was an understatement for James. I was beginning to doubt that maybe I got a jack russel in Bulldog clothes.
Dozer was a real good 2nd mommy to James. Always very gentle and looking out for him. From the start James wasnt only playful but he had a really high will to please for a Bulldog. He learned his 5 basic commands (sit, down, paw, stay, release) in only 5 days! But the funny thing was, I learned him those commands in that order and whenever I had a treat in my hand, he would do all those things in that order without me giving any commands. He would be like, Okay.. I did all my tricks now give up my treat 😀
I thought that this ADD was a puppything and would fade away, but after 10 years I learned it’s just James. His brother grew up nearby and was the total opposite of James. Even as a puppy his brother did not want to be bothered with walking and was born laid back and maybe even a little lazy 😉 In all the years James did slow down a little cause of his age, but he is still the same Bulldog that will always choose a ball over food and always wants to swim and play.
Although Bulldogs rarely bark, James can not, I repeat: CAN NOT play without barking. When he is happy he has to share his joy with the world. Wether he is playing with his blanket, draggings logs in the park or playing with balls and squeaky toys he will stop what he’s doing and bark away 😀
If I had to describe James in one word it would be Happy 😀 He is always happy, overexcited, everything is Fun, Joy, Play and Games to James.
The first years Dozer was his Mommy and she did it in such a good way that I can truly say James his upbringing was 50% me and 50% Dozer. Whenever we were on a Walk and James would wonder of, Dozer would go get him. James followed Dozer’s lead and copied much of her behaviour. And the other way around James helped Dozer with some anxiety issues she had. Dozer was afraid of a lot of things cause she never had contact with people or other dogs and never got to explore cause she was in a kennel for 5 years. Cause Dozer’s Mommy instinct ruled over her fear, James learned Dozer to overcome those last fears she had. When Dozer passed away at the age of nine James really missed his dogmommy Dozer. But after a while Twister came into our lives, another rescue.
Twister had some serious health issues when I got her. And she needed about 5 operations on her troath, pallet, eyes and leg to make her a happy dog again. I was suprised how gentle James was those first weeks with Twister. He knew she was sick and although he normally was a bouncing bully that liked to play rough he would be very calm around her and just bring all his toys to her. When Twister had her operations she felt better immediately and James knew too 😀 From that moment on James and Twister were Best Friends for Life. Dozer was his Mommy and Twister became his Girlfriend. I have had lots of dogs in my life but I have never seen a bond so strong between two dogs as with James and Twister. They really belonged together.
Twister unfortunately died at six years old from a heart attack. After Twister I rescued and rehomed lot of bulldogs and James all welcomed them with open arms. James became to me, what Daddy was to Cesar Milan. A guidedog, a helper. James helped so many other dogs just by being around them, he learned the older breeding dogs to play again, he helped others over their anxiety issues James was my big helper without him even knowing it.
Now James is getting older, at the age of 10 he lost most of his eyesight in one eye, is a little deaf and a little slower. He now lives his Life with Misses Bean and still enjoys the same things as before. Every day a little swim in the park, dragging logs, collecting and crushing pinecones and of course BALLS.
James thank you for the last 10 years of your Happiness, I hope to have many more years with you. I Love you Little Man ♥