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  • Moderator Spotlight: Libra926


    Libra926 is a Lead Moderator at English Bulldog News.
    She is known for being quite sassy

    Hello! My name is Cheryl and I am 37 years old. I'm a pharmacy technician and I currently work for Costco. I would love to introduce/reintroduce myself to all of you at EBN.

    Let's start from the beginning. I was born the middle of 3 children. I have an older brother and a younger sister. Growing up, I was a tomboy. I was into action figures, toy cars and bikes. I had one of those three wheeled "hot-wheel" styled bikes that had a hand brake that I just loved!! I'd race down the hill and grab the hand brake and send myself spinning. Within months, my dad was forced to either toss my new bike or find some replacement plastic wheels. I graduated from plastic bikes to motor bikes and started playing soccer and baseball. During the summer of 1985 I was diagnosed with Type 1, juvenile onset diabetes. This was hard for me to cope with. My life depended on me taking twice daily injections. My father was also diabetic, but not a good diabetic role model for me to look up to.

    Growing up, I always thought I had the perfect family. Not very many of my friends still had parents that were married, but I did. My father's disease started destroying his body during his mid 30's. Poor management led to poor circulation. His eyesight and hearing were first to go. His kidneys gave out which resulted in a kidney transplant. He suffered a mild heart attack and also ended up losing his leg. It started with a cut on his foot during a family vacation. Between poor circulation and not caring for the cut properly he ended up losing his leg below the knee. For me, this really was a hard lesson learned. It wasn't just a simple leg amputation. They first amputated his toe. He started to recover when they realized gangrene had set in. They then amputated his foot. Same result. He started to recover when they decided it was best just to amputated his leg. As technology improved, so did his ability to care for his disease. Sadly, in the year 2000, I lost my father to renal cell carcinoma. Renal cell carcinoma is a type of kidney cancer in which the cancerous cells are found in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney. This was found on his non-working kidney. The kidney I felt should have been removed when he received his new one. It was a very painful time in my life. Almost 11 years have gone by and I'm still very emotional and angry about his death.

    In 1994, I met my husband, Mark. At the time I had a 5 year old kitty named Buddy and a 3 year old cocker named Drakkar. In January of 1995, we added a dalmatian to our clan. We were now a family of 5..errr 6. (Does an albino rat count as a fur-kid?) We married in May of 1997 (that's almost 14 years!!!) Being diabetic, I knew having children would be risky, but I thought endlessly about it. I was torturing myself over the possibilities, but in the end.....we remained childless. In 2002 we bought our first home. We chose a brand new house in the little town of Orting, Washington. We have a enchanting river to the east and an enchanting river to the west. We have a perfect unobstructed view of the mountain to the south. (well...I admit, the rivers aren't that enchanting when the levee is breached and the mountain isn't so perfect when the lahar sirens go off) Other than those two minor inconveniences we were loving our new life and the new responsibilities of being home owners.


    Cheryl and her husband Mark

    Then came that fateful day when we watched the movie Little Nicky. My husband talked non-stop about wanting an English bulldog. I was horrified! They had to be the ugliest dogs I'd ever seen. (didn't help that I hated the movie) He talked non-stop and I just stopped listening. Then my mom called one day in December of 2006 with news of a new puppy. I was stumped when she told me it was an English bulldog. My husband and I met...and fell in love with Chesty. I literally became obsessed with playing and photographing him. We bought him a skateboard that same Christmas and I fell in love with the breed as we watched him learn and grow. That first day after meeting Chesty, I knew my next puppy would definitely be an English bulldog.

    In April of 2007, Buddy (my faithful cat of 15 years) passed away from stomach cancer. That was a tough day. Then in August of 2007, Choch (my devoted puppy of 12 years) was diagnosed with several different forms of cancer. He was our child..our life. We tried to make him comfortable, but he was no longer eating and couldn't stand on his own. We did the best thing for him...and let him pass over the Rainbow Bridge. That ruined me. Next to my father passing, that was the toughest loss to accept. My husband and I were inconsolable during this time. We couldn't stand the emptiness. Then on a Sunday afternoon in October 2007, our lives changed for the better. Just 3 weeks after Choch's passing, Mark came across a breeder's website with two English Bulldog puppies for sale. Once we confirmed the puppies were still available, we drove 5 hours to meet them. Once there, I knew it was meant to be when the lady told us their birthday was August 4th. Exactly 1 year younger that my mom's bulldog Chesty and 1 day after my husband's birthday. We had our choice between the two. Mark liked one and I liked the other. To this day, I thank God that Mark's choice won out.... Who knows where Vegas might be today if we hadn't adopted him! Within an hour after meeting him, Vegas was in my arms and we were on our way home.


    Vegas

    What can I say about him? Instant love. He helped us move on. At 5 months old, Vegas straddled a visiting friend of ours and peed on him. The next week, I took him in to be neutered. It didn't matter to Vegas....Michael was his. Even to this day, Vegas adores him. At 7 months old, I took Vegas in for what I thought was an anal gland issue. The doctor told me that Vegas had a very tight and deep tail pocket that was severely infected. He gave me several options and taught me how to care for it. Vegas's tail pocket went well past his second knuckle. I wasn't able to keep it well cleaned, so we decided to have the pocket closed. Unfortunately, Vegas would no longer have a tail. Fortunately, Vegas has a really cute butt. During this time, I was active on Myspace under Vegas's profile. I met a woman in Arizona that had two bulldogs about the same age as Vegas. We all know her on EBN as @Sheila. On her profile, she had a link stating that she was "a proud member of the Phoenix English Bulldog Meet-up Group". Curious, I followed her link and found a meet-up group in my area. We attended our first ever English Bulldog meetup, and the day after...Vegas had his first seizure. He was just 10 months old. The last 3 years have been trial and error with his meds, which we are still working on.

    Vegas was a dream come true. He was the perfect boy...and everyday he'd do something to make us laugh. I was addicted and I wanted another one. My mom, by this time, had gotten a female to mate with Chesty. As long as we were willing to wait until Cadence was old enough..we were guaranteed a new baby bully. In June of 2009, Cadence became the proud mommy to two babies. First born was a little girl weighing 8oz and second born was a tiny boy weighing 4oz. I was lucky enough to witness the c-section and I was there while they worked on the new puppies. My heart skipped with joy when they announced that both babies had recovered from the anesthesia and were breathing on their own. My heart already belonged to the boy. When we brought the babies home...my mom and I had to tube feed the boy...He just wasn't nursing well on his own. I knew something was wrong. Even though I had a name already picked out, I never called him by it. Sadly, 36 hours after his birth, he passed away. My mom had the heartbreaking job of telling me. How could such a little life impact me so much in such a short amount of time? I was completely grief stricken. My mom and my step-dad, JD, gave him the name Tripoli, and buried him with military honors. The day her litter mate passed away was the day she received her first teddy bear. My mom asked me to take the female. She didn't want to keep her for herself and did not have the heart to sell her, so when Orion was 2 months old...she and her stinky bear joined our family. I still suffered from the loss of Tripoli. I found myself not bonding as I should with Orion. She was mouthy (even at 2 months old) and feisty. Nothing like Vegas was at that age..or what I thought Tripoli would have been like if he were still alive. I knew that our bonding issues were affecting me when I started to have horrible dreams at night. I would dream of losing her and not wanting to look for her. Of selling her and not telling my mom. And of pleading with my mom to take her back. I think it took several weeks before I finally snapped out of it. Precious weeks that I threw away. We had a play area set up for her in our front room where she'd spend a lot of her time. I told myself it was because I didn't want Vegas to hurt her..but I realize now that it had to do with my heart. Orion was everything I didn't want. She had 3 marks against her. 1) She was female. 2) She was all white. 3) She wasn't Tripoli. I beat myself up about it now. I have tons of photos and videos of Vegas during this age, but not too many of Orion. Maybe that's why she's the way she is today. Very demanding of my attention. Attention that I neglected to give her during her first few weeks in her new home. Rest assured, she is very much loved today. She may have been voted EBN's Most Spunky Bulldog for 2010, but I have faith she will one day be able to pass that award on to some-bully else.


    Orion

    I came across EBN by clicking a link off of Facebook. I became instantly addicted. I had already tossed my Facebook account aside..favoring the account under Vegas's name. His friends were so much cuter. Plus, no one got annoyed with my abundance of bulldog photos and videos. Once I found EBN, I knew I found a new home. I had just come across a group of people that had the same obsession as me. AND, it wasn't soon after my join date that I started getting member requests to show more of Vegas and Orion. What could be better? Well, actually being asked to become a site moderator! My place was set. I love being asked for ideas and I love having my ideas be a part of EBN. (Okay...so I stupidly suggested 5 paw member. I was thinking along the 5 star idea...not counting the actual number of paws on a bulldog!!!) I love this site. It's helped educate me in more ways than one. It brings out my creative side. In 2006, I discovered the digital camera. In 2007, I discovered bulldogs. In 2008, I started mixing the two and today EBN feeds both of my addictions.


    Vegas and Orion

    I actually do have a few other addictions.....I never gave up my love for motorcycles. Instead of the 2 wheeled ones, I've moved onto the 4 wheeled ones. I love my banshee! My husband and I own a toyhauler and quads. We love grabbing the kids and taking off to the sand dunes for a long weekend of riding. I also love a good book. I have over 2000 hardback books in my collection. If I don't have the computer mouse or a camera in my hand, you will usually find a book. None of the sappy love stories for me! Nope. I like the murder and suspense stories. There is no better way to spend a rainy Seattle afternoon than having a good book in my hand, my bulldogs at my side...and a fire roaring at my feet!

    As most of you know, mom2bullies is also mom to me. She was just diagnosed with breast cancer last November. I often feel that I've been engulfed by this disease. My favorite grandfather died when I was 6, my father died in 2000. Both of my beloved pets died in 2007...and now my mom has been diagnosed with a different form of the same disease that has taken all of them from me. It's been emotionally exhausting for me..but even more for her. This is another reason I love EBN. With all the bulldogs that need our help...Lisa has found a way to make it possible for EBN members to donate to Susan G. Komen and help with breast cancer research. Who wouldn't feel the outpouring of love from all the members of this site and not want to give back? You have my <3 EBN.


    Orion supports her grandma in EBN's "The Color Pink" contest held in honor of mom2bullies

    I do have a goal for the future. Because of my time on EBN and all the eye opening experiences I've learned about...I hope to one day start a greeting card line and have all profits go to bulldog rescue. I've been collecting my favorite photographs from EBN and several of my own. I've come up with some catchy phrases for some cute greeting cards. One day soon you will see these cards available for purchase. It may be awhile, but I will get there. So, keep an eye out for us!





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    Comments 32 Comments
    1. bullmama's Avatar
      bullmama -
      Sorry @Libra926 I had to put on there about your sassy-ness for those who don't know you well!
    1. Telly03's Avatar
      Telly03 -
      Thanks for sharing Cheryl... I'm a fan
    1. Alice Kable's Avatar
      Alice Kable -
      I enjoyed reading about you and your family! You live in a beautiful area. We used to drive Chinook Pass from Yakima to Puyallup frequently.
      You made a tough decision not to have kids but isn't that the only way to get rid of juvenile diabetes? My info isn't current. Continue to take such good care of yourself and those fur babies!
    1. mom2bullies's Avatar
      mom2bullies -
      Well said sis, I know the story and it still made me cry....I love you so much.
    1. kazzy220's Avatar
      kazzy220 -
      That is such a great story!!! Loved finding out more about you
    1. Biogirl71's Avatar
      Biogirl71 -
      What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing, especially with those of us who are newer members and don't know the people behind the bulldogs as well! It is great to put a human behind the awesome Vegas and Orion!
    1. KMARINO's Avatar
      KMARINO -
      Wow, talk about emotions all rolled into one, I laughed, I cried, and I was happy. Great story Cheryl, I have always been a fan and now even more so!!
    1. LariP's Avatar
      LariP -
      Awesome!
    1. Chunksmama's Avatar
      Chunksmama -
      SO moving! What an amazing story. It's wonderful to learn more about everyone, like @Biogirl71 said "the people behind the bulldogs"! Your strength and love of family is inspiring. Can't wait to see those greeting cards!
    1. LisaMarie's Avatar
      LisaMarie -
      Wow! You are such a strong woman I am so very glad you shared your story with the rest of us. Thank you
    1. Bella'sMom's Avatar
      Bella'sMom -
      Wonderful story on a wonderful woman. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Love the photos!
    1. Libra926's Avatar
      Libra926 -
      One part of my story that I didn't add...my father was also a self taught photographer. I deeply regret not sharing his passion with him while he was alive. It was 6 years after his death before I ever picked up a camera.
    1. catorres8988's Avatar
      catorres8988 -
      wow what a beautiful story...thanks for sharing!!! we u!!!! ur an amazing woman!!!

      spike, sparkles & crystal
    1. Luvin My Bullie's Avatar
      Luvin My Bullie -
      beautiful story!!! its nice to officially "know" Chaos' godmother
    1. bulldog family's Avatar
      bulldog family -
      I'm balling over here!!! This was very sad, but at the same time heartwarming. I love how 1 tragic moment brought happiness in the end. Everything meshed like how it should have. You are an inspiration to me!! Keep up the good work and I'm deff. gonna buy the cards when they come out!
    1. cali~jenn's Avatar
      cali~jenn -
      Great story, thank you fro sharing so much info.
    1. Lucy-licious's Avatar
      Lucy-licious -
      wow! no wonder your amazing you have been through so much yet still bounce back with a loving giving attitude.
    1. TessaAndSamson's Avatar
      TessaAndSamson -
      Wonderful article Cheryl!
    1. savemejeebus's Avatar
      savemejeebus -
      What a great read. I was a tomboy too, and still kinda am. Always gave the barbies I received as presents to my little sis and kept the cars, furnitures and accessories. I think the only doll I ever owned was a Lil' Miss Makeup.

      That was a tough decision with the kids. Can't remember if it was in the article but did you also consider adoption? I always tell everyone who tells me not to have kids too late about how there's always the option of adopting. You should see the look on their face when I do.

      Think of Orion as a mama's gurl. You know you kinda see a little of yourself in her. lol.
    1. goobers mom's Avatar
      goobers mom -
      Thank you for sharing your story you are an amazing person.