Friday, November 23, 2012

Bricklin's Thanksgiving Day Feast

If there is one thing Bricklin should be extra thankful for, it's that she is so dang cute. It makes her little mishaps much more easily forgiven.

In all seriousness, I am so thankful for everything, including my two sweet bulldogs.

This year, I wanted to venture out for the day with my mom to visit some out of town family. My boyfriend Andrew was sweet enough to agree to come check on Hudson and Bricklin a few times during the day so that I was able to travel. Both my pups love him, so I was able to enjoy my day worry free.

Around 5:30, I got a call. I believe Andrew's words were "I think I messed up." The story goes a little something like this...

Bricklin was given her food - 3/4 cups - first after being taken out. While she's occupied, Hudson went out. Hudson got his food, one cup. I guess Hudson walked away from his food (sometimes he doesn't like to eat as early as 5 and sometimes he likes to be leisurely with his eating) and - don't blink - his food was gone. Sure enough, Bricklin had eaten all of her food AND all of her brother's food.

It was all I could do but just laugh. My little puppy weighs about 13 pounds, and she consumed almost 2 full cups of food in a matter of minutes. That is so Bricklin.

What else can you do at that point? I figured she'd poop a lot, maybe throw up any food she couldn't keep down, but surprisingly, she didn't seem bothered by it at all. She even ate another half cup when I got home at 9:30. Meanwhile, Hudson ate an entire serving without picking his head out of the bowl. He wasn't going to let his sister get his food this time!

Needless to say, Bricklin definitely feasted just like most of us humans did yesterday, and stuffed herself all full of food. Thankfully, she eats the puppy version of Hudson's food, Wellness Core. The ingredients are pretty much identical, so she didn't face too much tummy upset. Again, lucky little girl, she has much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Vet Visit

Yesterday was Bricklin's first vet visit. It's not uncommon for a breeder to ask you to take your puppy to the vet right away to have the health verified. If there are any problems, it's best to find out sooner rather than later. In my rescue experience, it's also a good idea to make sure your vet isn't trying to nickle and dime you. If they find a lot of unfounded problems, it may be time to find a new vet. My breeder was okay with waiting to coordinate with Bricklin's first DHPP booster.

The vet's office is a GREAT place for socialization, and better yet, a place for positive socialization. The techs and staff are always really good at welcoming new puppies. There are tons of smells and noises, different dogs, sometimes cats or, depending where you go, other pets for them to see and smell.

I made sure to let Bricklin stand on the floor herself. I let all the other dogs smell her. We saw a lot of male dogs, so they were interested in this little girl. I let any of the techs that wanted to hold her. This isn't always an option, of course, depending upon how busy the office is. We had an appointment toward the end of the day, so that was helpful.

I was really surprised that when I put Bricklin on the big, stainless steel table, which every dog notoriously hates, she was willing to stand on it. She still slipped a little bit, but she wasn't afraid. She REALLY liked the table when Dr. Shockman gave her a treat.

There were no surprises when Bricklin got her shot. She simply looked back toward the doctor as if to say, "Excuse me!" She gave her a dirty look, but then got over it quickly. I think Dr. Shockman felt worse about it than Bricklin ever would have. Bulldogs have lots of extra skin, especially as a puppy, so I wasn't at all worried.

After a big visit, Bricklin was very tired. I was able to put her in her crate for some sleep. That gave her fabulous big brother a break and some one on one time. Bricklin loves Hudson, but she shows it by chewing on his face and barking at him. He's very patient and has a lot of fun with that, but we did some really hard tugging together, which I think he really enjoyed.

I know this blog is lacking majorly on pictures, and I promise to fix that ASAP. I have some really good ones. This little girl is adorable, I promise!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Beginning

What is the beginning of this story? I'm tempted to say it was November 3, the day I brought little Bricklin home.
But what about when I helped deliver the litter she was born in September 8th?
Or the multiple phone calls for updates about her momma Georgia's ultrasound or implant?
Maybe it's back to last November when I randomly contacted a breeder in Virginia and started a wonderful friendship with Laurel, who bred Bricklin's litter.

But what I really think is the definitive beginning of where I am now and my goals for the future was over 2 years ago when my boy Hudson came home, when I fell in love with the breed.

I didn't realize how head over heels I would fall for bulldogs, but I have. I had no idea I would enjoy going to dog shows (though I'm still terrible at it)! I went quickly from "they cost how much?!" to telling strangers in the pet store why I chose to feed the food I did.

But this blog is really for my little girl Bricklin, and her story started on September 8, 2012 when the vet said "Here's the first one." I watched for the very first time in person as the baby bulldog went from newborn in her little sac to squealing away on the table. I didn't get to watch her very long before it was my turn to revive a puppy, but I knew from the moment I saw her that she was the one I wanted.

We noted her "poke spot" on the top of her head and her "little britches" she seemed to be wearing by her red markings. I still wasn't even sure she was a girl yet, but I hoped so.

Her two brothers and two sisters came out mostly white, and I knew I wanted that puppy with all the color. I was THRILLED when we started flipping the puppies over to check their gender and heard "This one's a girl."

Bricklin and her brother were both big when they were born and both needed oxygen, but pinked up right away with a little help. The litter of five was healthy and beautiful and started eating right away. Success!

The eight weeks seemed to go slowly until I could bring my little girl home, but it finally came. It's been nothing short of what I imagined.

You see, I'd been told that female bulldog puppies are different than male bulldog puppies. They are. Hudson was easy. I mean, sure, he had to learn the rules, how to potty outside, and not to nibble on fingers, but...I don't remember it being quite like this. He was an independent little man.

Bricklin is a wild woman. She has her own opinions. She will put her mouth on EVERYTHING she sees. She growls when she doesn't get her way. The leash has gotten the ol' stink eye more times than I can count. She'd much rather be in my lap than sleep anywhere else, which is cute until 3 am when we've been up for a half hour and I just want to go back to bed.

BUT I wouldn't trade my sweet little girl for anything in the world. I know I can get that spirit in the ring. I know she'll wanna show off and stand pretty for the judges. She'll definitely be a very good momma some day. I'm excited to get her to that point.

I am so in love with her. She's turning out to be prettier every day. She does so many adorable puppy things, which you just can't trade for anything. She's good with her big brother - he's so patient and lets her chew on his face. She's a great eater (of course she is, she's a bulldog). And I really do love having her in my lap. I don't care that she'll want to keep doing it when she weighs 50 pounds. I like my cuddle time with my baby girl.

What's in store for this blog? Pictures. Ridiculous stories. Show results and my fumbles in the ring. One day a start to my own breeding with my baby girl. And of course, an insurmountable serving of cute!

Enjoy! ;)