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.

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.

Christmas Gift Giving Guide for Pet Lovers

Christmas is just around the corner and if you are like me, you are starting to scramble (I’m terrible! Every year I swear I will get everything done earlier and…nope). I have put together some of my top 3 gifts for the pet lovers in our lives.

Top 3 Christmas gifts for pet lovers:

Luna, you’re famous!
  1. Custom socks – so you will have to plan this one a little earlier because they can take a little time to make and ship out but they are totally worth it! There are a few companies out there that are creating custom made socks with images of your dogs on them. You can even add more that one dog if you like. Sock Bar is a Canadian company that makes socks and even pillows and offers free shipping on all Canadian orders! https://www.sockbar.ca/collections/custom-pet-socks

  1. Fanny pack – yes, fanny packs, say what you will, I think it would be super handy for a dog person. I have one on my Christmas list. Walking dogs requires you to hold things, and bringing a purse seems ridiculous, right?! Try walking three dogs at once…that’s a challenge in itself! Now, try walking them while carrying your keys, your phone, dog training treats…you get the picture. Fanny packs have made a comeback. I like this cute Herschel bag from Illbury and Goose https://www.illburyandgoose.com/products/fifteen-hip-pack-x-black-crosshatch
  1. Matching Sweaters – I can’t make my boys wear anything that matches with me but I can sure make my dogs! LOL! There are some really cute matching outfits on Amazon that are festive and won’t break the bank. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H1J76KZ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07H1J76KZ&linkCode=as2&tag=joliefrenchie-20&linkId=3697c55b355fc938fb2d7ac50e82ae0d

Hope these ideas help kick off your Christmas shopping! My next post I’ll post my favorite Christmas stocking stuffers for the doggies in our lives. Happy shopping!

Dogs in the Bed or in their own Beds? That is the question…

When we brought our first puppy home we had intentions of having Dallas sleep on the floor in our bedroom. We started off great! We bought a puppy play pen just like this one.

We would allow Dallas in our bed for a snuggle while we watched some tv and when it was time for sleep, we would put her in her bed that was inside the playpen. It worked great…until she figured out that she is a little bulldozer not a bulldog and would stand up against the wall and knock it over. Plan B, we added a homemade gate that blocked off her bed in the corner of the room. This worked until we got our second puppy and she figured out that if you whine at mom at 3 am she will let you in bed for a snuggle. I’m a sucker and I love sleep…what are you gonna do?! Long story short and another puppy thrown in the mix and it’s fair to say it’s the dogs bed and they just allow us to sleep in it.

My morning view…yikes Dallas, that’s a little much first thing in the morning!

We completely take full ownership of this. We completely let this happen. As cuddly as they are in bed and how toasty they keep us in the winter, having dogs sleep with you in your bed does come with its drawbacks. The following are some of the reasons why you might want to rethink having your bully in bed with you.

  • they do not respect personal space – we recently purchased a king size bed and I still sleep on the very edge of the bed with zero blanket most nights
  • dogs can be gross – ok…maybe I shouldn’t admit this but yes…I have found a crusty butt nugget or two in our sheets
  • damper on sexy time – I think the pups get more smooches than my husband I give each other. We have to make a point of kicking them out of the room if we feel romantic. It is funny…first we had a hard time kicking the kids out of our bed; now the dogs!
  • the snoring…oh the snoring – need I say more. We have had to bust out the ear plugs some nights
  • once you’ve let them in, it’s impossible to get rid of them – you really need to stick to your guns!

I honestly don’t have the answer. As you can see, my husband and I are suckers for our doggy snuggles. I might have listed a lot of cons to having them sleep with us but I have to admit that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I live for Daisy’s morning hugs and face washes or how Luna forces herself under the blankets to be my little spoon.

Whatever you decide, make the decision early and stick to it. Dogs are creatures of habit and once that habit is established you are going to have a heck of a time breaking that habit.

I would love to hear your opinions. What do you do in your home?

How to Care for our Squishy-Faced Friends

a fist full of squish

Oh those cute bulldog faces! So wrinkly, squishy, cute and stinky. Ya, unfortunately those wrinkles that we love so much can become pretty funky pretty quick if not taken care of. Part of a bulldog owners daily routine should consist of cleaning and caring for their bully’s wrinkles. I wanted to share my wrinkle care routine and a couple products that help me tackle the funk and stink.

Those wrinkles can be real moisture and bacteria traps therefore keeping them clean will help prevent the development of infections. Our girl Daisy was born with the largest nose rope that I have ever seen! She has grown into it but it is still quite large. She also has very active tear ducts that keeps her face very wet. Any time that Daisy eats, drinks or chews on her toys, her face gets even more wet. Every day (sometimes a few times a day) I will clean her face with a baby wipe. I make sure that the wipes I am using are gentle and fragrance-free. I clean under her nose rope and in-between her folds. Once I have cleaned them up I will use a soft cloth and I pat them dry. I try not to rub them too much. I don’t want to cause her any irritation. If her folds smell stinky (they tend to smell like a dirty, wet dish rag) I will use a chlorhexidine solution to clean away the bacteria. We have used these wipes in the past that have worked really well https://www.amazon.ca/DOUXO-Chlorhexidine-3-Pads-Ct/dp/B01MDRJZGZ These wipes are really thick so we would sometimes cut them in half to make them last longer.

You can also purchase the Chlorhexidine solution and use a quilted cotton pad (you don’t really want to use the regular cotton balls as will leave cotton behind on their faces) to clean them up. The solution will last forever! https://www.amazon.ca/Durvet-Chlorhexidine-Solution-fl-oz/dp/B000HHSD8M/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiA2af-BRDzARIsAIVQUOf3d-r4YqUc0gLR6EaBEg6j2g7yeAI-7gcVEs9kiNoqP1g2D7aOH7oaArY3EALw_wcB&hvadid=208447550566&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001003&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=12801653351656807521&hvtargid=kwd-296696470771&hydadcr=27202_9609738&keywords=chlorhexidine+solution&qid=1607099238&sr=8-2&tag=googcana-20

Once we have used the solution and patted the folds dry again I will keep them dry with a wrinkle paste. We like Squishface Wrinkle Paste and not because it has a cute bulldog on the tube and I am a sucker for everything bulldog but because it is really thick and works like a charm. https://www.amazon.ca/Squishface-Wrinkle-Paste-Wrinkles-Frenchies/dp/B01JH2DG8O

This routine has helped us care for our girls and we haven’t faced any infections yet. Bulldogs are a special breed that require special care. I would love to hear about some of your tips and products that have worked for you and your bullies!

If it was only boogers!

I loved this meme the moment I saw it. It’s funny because it’s true! Eye boogers, dirty wrinkles, crusty butt nuggets… is this what I signed up for? Yup. I sure did and I will do it again and again!

Bulldogs tend to need a little extra care when it comes to keeping themselves clean. The way that they are built doesn’t really allow them access to all their bits and pieces, if you know what I mean. That is where us pet owners come in. We stockpile baby wipes in our house! We wipe our girls after they come in from their business. We wipe their feet when they are muddy. We wipe their eye boogers, wrinkles and tail pockets too. They really do come in very handy. Just make sure that they are hypoallergenic and scent free.

To some, this may sound like a lot of work and sometimes it does feel like a lot (especially when our girls are in heat and now there are diapers to deal with too!). If that is the case, then maybe a Frenchie is not for you, or maybe any dog for that matter.

Bulldogs do need extra care but when you are in love with your pet, those things aren’t a bother. It’s one of the ways that we show our furry buddies how much we care for them.

There is a plus side to having a dog that can’t reach it’s own butt! You will never have that awkward moment on the couch with your father-in-law when your dog decides to come on over and start licking himself. Ya, I don’t know about you, but that there is enough for me! “You need a bum wipe Luna? No problem!”

Welcome Friends!

I’m excited to share my adventures, my thoughts and my tips on bully life. My name is Sabrina, I am a stay-at-home mom to two boys but also three furry girls. Over the years I have picked up a thing or two that you may find helpful (or maybe not..let me know either way!) while raising your fur babies. I’ll share stories, tips, recipes, rants and our family’s adventures as we prepare our home and our lives for our first litter of Bulldog babies!