June 14, 2003

Six years ago today, on a small farm in Kansas, a beautiful bulldog was born. Six bulldogs, actually: three boys and three girls.

Of course, I didn't know of this wonderful event at the time. I learned about it eight weeks later when I went to visit the young brood with the hope of taking one home.

All puppies are cute, of course, but you haven't seen cute until you've seen a litter of bulldog puppies. When they're that small they look, to me anyway, like little rabbits, only more precious. That's why I call bulldog puppies "bunnies," and why I still occasionally call Mildred, one of the six in the aforementioned litter, "Bunny."

(By the way, did you know what a group of bulldogs is called? You know, like a flock of geese, a pride of lions? A puddle. A puddle of bulldogs. If you're familiar with the breed, you'll get it immediately, if not, look for a group of them together sometime. Being among their own kind brings out the bulldog's innate goofiness in ways you cannot imagine.)

Anyway -- and I think I've told this story here before, but what the hell, it's my blog -- I was introduced to this particular litter eight weeks later when they were ready to leave their mother. Although male bulldogs are typically better looking than female bulldogs (this, by the way, is true of most canine breeds), my ex and I liked the girls better, so we spent most of our time with them.

Two of the females were white and one was a beatiful brown brindle that my ex didn't care for. So quickly our choice was narrowed down to the two white puppies. It was a tough choice at first, but there was something about one of the girls that rubbed me the wrong way. Too eager, too pushy, too aggressive, and unnecessarily so, I thought.

It being about, I don't know, 110 degrees outside, the breeder asked his son to get a bowl of ice water for the pups. When he returned, the brindle puppy and the aggressive white puppy hogged the bowl -- big time -- pushing the poor little other white puppy out of the way entirely.

By the time the little girl got to the bowl it was almost empty. I felt badly for her because she missed out -- I myself was about 60 seconds away from collapsing from the heat. But she was a clever young thing. Having the bowl to herself, she finished off the remnants of the water, and then leaned her head to one side and rested it inside the bowl, pressing her face against its cold metal skin and leaving it there for a good five minutes of relief.

Seeing that, I immediately said, "That one."

"Are you sure?" the breeder asked.

"Oh, yeah. I'm sure. That one."

And "that one" is now known as Mildred.

Happy birthday, little girl.



Post a Comment