Why I do What I do

Biggie with his fam!

People ask me all the time “how do you do it? How do you raise these puppies and then send them off to other families?!” To be honest, I used to wonder myself how other breeders did it. How could they say good bye to these little nuggets that they have been raising for the last couple months or more? Not until I started breeding dogs myself did I truly understand.

I am completely invested in my dogs. I am home with them 24 hours a day. They are my pets and my babies. I spend hours reading, learning, training, testing…doing whatever I can to make sure they are healthy and happy and living their best lives. When the puppies are born, I sleep in the puppy room with them and the mom for at least 4-6 weeks (although the last litter I was with them for 8 weeks). It is just like raising my boys when they were babies. You sleep with one ear and eye on those babies. It is the hardest job I have ever had next to raising my kids (although my husband and I think that raising puppies seems harder at times). And to be truthful, I am so tired by the end (waking up every 2 hours, cleaning up constant poop storms…it can take its toll on anyone after awhile!), that I am looking forward to a little break!

Tanti and Santi with their awesome new family!

I am so grateful for social media. It allows me to see my beautiful puppies grow with their new families. There is nothing better than to see a child snuggling with their new best buddy, knowing that they are going to grow up together and that I had something to do with that. Don’t get me wrong, there are tears every time I see them leave. It doesn’t get much easier. But seeing how happy the families are. To get feedback that they are loving their new family member and that their family is now more complete because of my hard work, fills my heart with love and complete satisfaction.

Dogs and Environmental and Seasonal Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from allergies as well. We found that once we moved to our small town, which is surrounded by farmland, our one bulldog Dallas started showing signs of allergies. At first we thought it was her diet so we began an elimination diet to try and pinpoint the culprit of her itchiness. We went down the list of proteins, cutting out chicken, beef, etc., but we were not seeing the results we wanted to. The nice thing with feeding a raw diet is that you have full control of the ingredients they are ingesting which allows you to see how they react to each protein individually. Finally, we took Dallas to the vet, where he suggested it was environmental. We were given a special shampoo and also added a fatty acid supplement to her diet and we saw a dramatic change. It was also the fall season, and as we moved into winter, her symptoms calmed down. As we enter into fall again, I now know to see the signs and how to help her get through this allergy season and thought I would share them with you.

Environmental allergies can be triggered by many things such as:

September is known for intense allergens
  • weeds
  • pollen
  • grass
  • mold and fungus
  • flea saliva

It is very common for dogs to suffer from allergies but it tends to show itself in certain breeds such as Bulldogs. And just like in humans, it tends to flare up during certain times of the year.

Some signs that your dog has allergies are:

  • itchy, patchy, red skin–dogs tend to rub themselves on the carpet, the furniture, and your legs. Itchy areas can easily turn into hot spots which can get crusty and also infected. The crustiness can turn to bald spots as well
  • chewing paws–their paws can look swollen and inflamed
  • watery eyes and runny nose
  • red, smelly, itchy ears–usually accompanied with head shaking and ear scratching
  • sneezing or reverse sneezing–reverse sneezing is a whole other blog!
  • congestion
This is the shampoo our vet prescribed

There are a few things that we can do to help our pooches through allergy season. As I mentioned above, bathing our dogs can help. Bathing will wash off any allergens that are stuck to our dogs fur and if using a special medicated shampoo, can really help skin issues. I am not a fan of bathing dogs often, but when my girl has a flare up, we bath her every other day when it’s bad!
Antihistamines can also offer relief. We keep Benadryl on hand during allergy season and for any allergy flare-ups that may occur, usually from bug bites in the summer. We also like to add a fatty acid supplement to their diet such as omega 3 fatty acid. This has been proven to help with the itchiness of allergies. Also, don’t forget to wipe off your pet’s feet with a wet cloth or wet wipe after walks. Allergens love to stick to our dogs, so wiping them off after walks can help. And finally, we have added an air purifier to our home to help cut back on some allergens in the air.

Of course, if severe, you can request an intradermal skin allergy test from your vet. It may be necessary if your dog needs medication such as Prednisone or Apoquel. I have heard mixed things about allergy tests. I have heard that they are not very accurate and can be very expensive but when your pet is suffering, I can understand wanting to find answers!

Knowing the signs of environmental allergies is helping us help Dallas this allergy season. As much as we love that fresh country air, we are definelty aware of when the farmer has his combine out but at least we can help keep symptoms under control.

Essential Oils for our Dogs

Ok..not a summer pic but you get the idea 🙂

I live for summertime! However, I do not enjoy the bugs and neither do my furry girls. We love going for hikes but I get so paranoid that we are going to bring some critters back with us but I know that human bug spray is a big no-no for dogs. What is a dog mom to do!? Well after some research and testing, I found a natural solution that works for us.

I do not like using a lot of chemicals in my home, on my children or on myself and I feel the same about my dogs. After a little research, I found that essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus, citronella and rosemary have been proven effective bug repellents. I know that this isn’t breaking news (I’m a little slow to the essential oils game) but for me a lightbulb came on.

I don’t know about you but I am sensitive to scents. Too much of anything will eventually give me a headache. So the idea of spraying my dog with lemongrass or lavender sounds great at first but would drive me crazy after awhile. If it is strong for me, can you imagine how strong it would be for a dog whose sense of smell it so much stronger than ours!

La Jolie Frenchie macrame leash

That is where the La Jolie Frenchie cotton macramé leash comes in handy. Being made from 100% cotton, it is the perfect “diffuser” for your pooch. It allows you to spray the leash or the tassel with the essential oil of your choice before going on your walk. For example, sweet orange is great at repelling fleas and ticks. You can spray your tassel (which can be clipped to the carabiner by the way, if you want more exposure) or the leash directly and feel protected in a cloud of lovely essential oils but you can rest assured knowing that you can take it off after your walk so you and your dog don’t have to smell it all night. Essential oils are great but not all dogs tolerate the oils directly on their skin. This is a way to include essential oils without drowning your pet in the scents.

Some great oils to try are:

  • lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, citronella, lemon eucalyptus — repel fleas, ticks and mosquitos
  • lavender–calm and sooth. Might help your nervous pet when going to the vet
  • bergamot–ease anxiety and stress

If you are trying these scents for the first time on your pup, take it slow and only use a little bit. If you see any signs of abnormal behavior, take your dog away from the smell immediately and into some fresh air. If that doesn’t help, see a vet. Also, essential oils are not to be used on puppies, pregnant dogs, senior dogs or toy dogs. Further, please do not use oils that were created only to infuse scents in your home. They will be ineffective and could cause harm. And keep in mind, the smaller the dog, the less you should use. If you have any concerns, please see a vet. I am not a vet. I am only a lover of dogs who loves to share my experience with you.

For your very own La Jolie Frenchie leash visit

Www.lajoliefrenchie.etsy.com

Experiencing Loss as a Breeder

Our little Wilma

I have hesitated to write this blog. It has been a very traumatic time in my home these last few weeks. Not many people are aware that we lost Luna and Will’s litter. All three. I am not going to get into why we lost them in this post. I will do that in the future when I am feeling stronger to talk about it. Today I want to talk about the emotional wave of grief that we experience as breeders.

People assume that my life is full of skunky puppy dog licks and snuggles. For the most part, they are right. I am very grateful that I have been given this opportunity to bring joy into my home and into the home of others. But there is another side (actually there are many sides that aren’t always discussed…but again…that’s another post). I have been lucky that we have had healthy litters and dogs and been without tragedy. I knew it was an inevitable part of a breeder’s life but knowing this was not enough to protect me from the pain.

I am a believer that Mother Nature knows what she is doing. When a puppy is born extremely weak or ill and can’t be revived, I believe that it is what was meant to be even though it is still hard to witness. But when a puppy seems to be thriving and you nurture, love and care for it just to watch it one day slip away, it is heart wrenching. Even as I write this, the words become blurry as I fight back tears. I love my puppies…every one of them. I will do everything possible to give them the best start in life. I will buy whatever machine and medicine it takes. I will call every vet and breeder I know for help and support. I will research every article, podcast and video available to me. I will not sleep for days as I listen to every little breath that comes out of those little bodies. Unfortunately, it sometimes isn’t enough.

Vile of plasma

They say with time, these experiences will become easier. I hope they are right, but I am not that confident. I do know one thing though. This will not stop me from my commitment to breeding the healthiest, most beautiful, sweetest bulldogs I can. I promise to use these times to learn more and add to my breeder’s “toolbox”. For example, we will be administering fresh plasma to each puppy during it’s first 24 hours of life (such a great start to a puppy’s life! I will do a post about that as well!) I’ve added a new oxygenator and have a plan for a progesterone testing machine. These are the tools that give me the confidence to give these puppies everything that they deserve.

Introducing Luna and Will’s last litter ❤🐾

After an emergency c-section Luna had her puppies. There were only 3 girls and unfortunately 1 was a water puppy. We tried everything but she didn’t make it. It was a really tough moment but we’re happy that Luna is well and so are her 2 babies. If we didn’t get in when we did it could have been catastrophic. . . . . . #frenchbulldog #frenchbulldogpuppies #frenchies #frenchielove #frenchiesofig #frenchiefam #frenchiesofinstagram #frenchbulldogsofinstagram #bulldogfamily #puppytime #puppylove #puppiesofinstagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CNGJxbRhSv5/?igshid=1iitpxhoahooz

Twas’ the Week before Whelping…

That is one sucky momma

We are one week out from Luna’s C-section (“you keep cooking those puppies up good in there Luna Loo!”) and it is definelty crunch time and we are all feeling it. Poor Luna is busting. I feel for her. She is bigger than she ever was during her last 2 litters and has been suffering from morning sickness from the start. I have been handfeeding her since the first trimester. Since she is isn’t feeling well, she is very picky with her food. We have tried everything. I usually go down a list of different food options until there is something that she will agree to eat. This morning (well late morning by the time she ate) I cooked her up some ground turkey and white rice. Thank goodness she gobbled that up.

New security camera set up!
The puppy area is Daisy approved

And although Luna is an amazing mom and bounces back super fast (she will be ready for bikini season before you know it!) I feel good about this being her last litter. She has done an amazing job and will continue to have an important part in our hearts, our home and our breeding program as well by offering socialization to future puppies from our other moms!

Roasting eggshells in the oven to grind them into a calcium supplement for nursing mom

Nesting is in full swing … for me that is. I can’t help but get excited and anxious as I try to get everything ready for the upcoming litter. I do this by getting the puppy area ready but also by researching and bettering myself any chance I get. There is always room for improvement and I have added a few more “tools” to my toolbox that I feel real good about.

This week is about making mum feel good and hopefully getting in some good sleep before the big day because you know that it will be hard to come by next week!

Happy Valentine’s from our crew to yours!

Sending out some bully love❤🤗 . . . . . #happyvalentinesday #valentines2021 #bulldogfamily #bulldoglove #bulldogs #englishbullies #englishbulldogs #englishbulldogcommunity #englishbulldogsofinstagram #igfrenchie #frenchbulldog #frenchiesofinstagram #frenchiefam #frenchiesociety #frenchiepost #bulldogpost #ilovemybulldog #ilovemyfrenchie https://www.instagram.com/p/CLR1YWaBbYQ/?igshid=1estpys2u8rgd

Etsy listing available in my shop

Check out this item in my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/956529549/macrame-dog-leash

Introducing La Jolie Frenchie leashes!

I’m really excited to combine two of my favorite things…macrame and obviously, dogs!

Each leash is made with the softest cotton and the strongest clasp. Step up your puppy photoshoots or perhaps your pooch is attending a wedding this summer, or maybe you just want to show off your princess on your nightly walk…there is nothing prettier than a bohemian, handmade leash❤

Is Covid 19 Lockdown Creating Separation Anxiety in our dogs?

Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com

I am a stay-at-home mom so my family is used to having me around all day. I do hope to get back to work one day soon and that has me concerned. The concern isn’t that my two boys will have to adjust to their mom not being home after school or that my husband will have to put in extra work…the concern is for my dogs. My two older dogs were around when I worked full-time but Daisy is a full on Covid puppy. She is 9 months old and hasn’t left my side from the day she stepped foot in our home. Should I be concerned and is there anything I can do to prepare her? Is there anything I can do to prepare myself?! The answer is yes, yes and I sure hope so!

When dogs experience separation anxiety they usually exhibit the following symptoms:

  • whining, crying, howling, barking
  • peeing/pooing on the floor after they have been housebroken
  • chewing, digging, scratching at items they shouldn’t
  • pacing
  • attempts to escape
  • drooling more than usual
  • depressed, anxious

Separation anxiety can be a real cause for concern and should be addressed before it becomes a really big problem. Teaching your dog that being apart is ok is important for his confidence and well being. The following are some tips that I have used with Daisy and my other girls, to help build their independence:

  • treats, treats and more treats – I am actually quite grateful that Bulldogs are so food motivated. I can use any food really with my Bulldogs as a treat and they are happy. I find my French Bulldog pickier and harder to motivate with treats. I start the training by going for a little walk without the dogs. As I am getting ready, I can see that they have picked up that I am going out and they are acting a little anxious by pacing around and getting excited. Before I leave I give them a little treat and a smooch (yes, I am that doggy mom). If I close the door and they start barking like crazy, I open the door and correct the behavior. I close the door once they are quiet. I might only leave for a few minutes. Once I come into the house, I praise them like crazy and give them a little treat. I repeat this process, increasing the length of time that I am out of the house. I also want to mention that if your dog is being destructive, such as chewing walls etc. I suggest that you crate them or block them in an area where they can’t hurt themselves or destroy anything.

  • calming items – there are items created for pets that utilize essential oils, CBD or pheromones to help bring a sense of calm to your pet. These Quiet Moments Calming Chews can help chill your pooch when they need it with the help of Chamomile and Melatonin https://amzn.to/38EYQ7w
  • mental and physical stimulation – we know the importance of exercise and play for our dogs. Exercising them before you go out will help burn some of their excess energy and help with anxiety. Also, consider an activity toy that releases treats when you go out. Give it to them only during these times and it will keep them busy and entertained. Try one of these stimulation toys on Amazon to keep them busy! https://amzn.to/35z6n5R

  • get them a buddy! – this isn’t for everyone but I had to add it in. We can’t imagine having only one dog. Our girls are best buds and keep each other busy all day…but that’s another post 🙂

One of these days Covid 19 will be a thing of the past and the Covid puppies will be the ones to feel it. Hopefully these tips will help that transition back to normalcy…whenever that will be! Now who is going to help me with my separation anxiety from my pups!?