I’ve always been a dog person. I never liked cats and they didn’t like me, a problem I avoided with dogs for the most part. Growing up, I had a long-line of dogs who never hesitated to follow me during my many adventures as a boy growing up in semi-rural North Georgia. Thinking back, we had:
- Chainsaw, the Basset & Beagle mix
- Bandit, the one-eyed Cocker Spaniel
- Dolly, the Norwegian Elk-Hound
- Red, the rescued and crazed retriever mix
- Dakota, the purebred Basset Hound
Good dogs all and many great memories with each of them. Growing up, there were some truths that I realized pretty quickly about our dogs. Truths such as they lived outside, we didn’t spend ridiculous amount of money buying them, they all went to the vet semi-regularly, and when they reached the end of life…they took the car ride to the farm of the guy my Dad knew just outside of town. In all fairness, only one of the above dogs took the ride to the farm.
Anyway, life moved on and I went to college and got married. We didn’t wait long to get our first pet, a cat. She was followed by a 2nd cat. They were good cats, but they were still cats. Someone once told me a bad dog is better than a good cat. Whole lotta truth in my opinion. We had talked about a dog for a while but our backyard wasn’t fenced, and our house had carpet throughout, and we worked all the time, and we really wanted an English Bulldog. For those that may not know about the breed, let me share a “joke” someone told me when we started looking into the breed.
- How do you recognize an English Bulldog owner? Their checking and savings accounts have a zero balance.
I took this with a grain of salt. I grew up having a whole set of dogs and we could afford a night out with a movie every week. How could this breed be that much different?
This all came to a head at the October 7, 2006 Georgia Bulldogs / Tennessee Vols game. We spent the day tailgating with some very generous friends. I mean VERY generous…breakfast, lunch, drinks, games you name it. Feeling the need to walk-off the various libations of the morning, my wife and I roamed the parking lots surrounding Sanford stadium where we saw what seemed like TONS of English Bulldogs. Their cute puppy faces, perhaps coupled with the decreased reasoning ability of the day, sealed the deal. We would check the AJC and get a bulldog puppy as soon as possible. For the record, that Tennessee game was one that lives in infamy. The Dawgs led 24-14 at the half but let Tennessee score 37 points in the second half. The final was a dismal 33-51 loss to the Vols.
On Sunday morning the stage was set. We needed something to cheer us up after the miserable game 1-day prior, there were scores of bulldog owners at the game that didn’t seem like they were in the poorhouse, our schedule was clear for the day and we needed a dog. A quick search of the AJC classifieds revealed a nice ad with a fuzzy picture of puppies in Albany. Having never been to Albany, I headed to mapquest and quickly realized why I had never been to Albany. While I now know it is a very nice town, at the time I couldn’t imagine a city more rural than this one. Nevertheless, we were crazed Georgia fans on a mission and the price was right for a pup. After convincing my sister and brother-in-law to accompany us on this excursion, we were all set…to the wagon!