David had asked me to write a Member's Spotlight over a year ago, when I first joined EBN, at the time I told him I would, but never got around to it, I was working full time, looking after my grandson about 45 hours a week, and had started having health issues. We had to move from our rental house, as the owners daughter was going to move in, and I only had two months to find a house, we ended up buying our current townhouse. I had some health issues and left my job of 15 years, and I forgot about the article. I didn't think that after a year that David would still want me to do this, as I've been active on here and everyone pretty much already knew me, but he messaged me again and asked me if I still wanted to write an introduction. I said I would, so thought I better get on it this time. LOL.
All about Me:
Hello everyone, I'll introduce myself, although most of you already know me on here. My name is Monica Andrews, but I'm better known on EBN as Vikinggirl.I was born on September 20th, 1961 in Toronto, Ontario.
My mom is from Norway, and my father is from Germany. My parents met in Toronto when my mom came for a summer visit from Norway with her friends family, she met my dad, and married him, and refused to go back home with her friend. Her mother freaked out, and was on the next plane ready to kill both of them, but totally fell in love with my dad, and thought he was the most handsome man she had ever met. I guess that's a good thing because I look just like my dad. Thirteen months after my parents were married, I was born. I spent most of my childhood living in Toronto, but went back and forth to Norway many times, and spent ten weeks every summer with my sister in Norway.
When I was eight, my mom decided she wanted to move back to Norway to live, so we sold everything, and shipped it over, and we flew there, while my dad stayed behind to work and save to build our house. We had been there for 2 months, then my mom found out she was pregnant with my brother, and she had also changed her mind and wanted to return to Canada. My dad told her we would have to stay until he found a new home, and buy new furniture again. He asked her to stay until the baby was born, and so we did. I was enrolled in school and was taken out of class for an hour every day to learn the language, I learned really quickly, and soon was fluent in Norwegian, which I still am today. Languages come very easy to me, I can also understand and read German, but can't write it, and I also mix the language up with my Norwegian, so not fluent in speaking German. My parents divorced two years after we returned to Canada, and I was 10 years old.
My mom left with my now stepdad, and left me and my brother and sister with my dad, we were 10, 6, and 2 years old. I grew up really fast, and took care of my siblings. My mom had my two brothers with my stepdad, and when I was 14, I moved in with my mom, and at 17, I moved out with my now hubby.
I met my hubby through a mutual friend when I was 15 years old, he was my second boyfriend, and he was 3 years older than me. His name is Mitch and he is my best friend. We lived together for 35 years, and then last year we went to Jamaica with my best friend and her husband. We ended up getting married on the beach while we were there. It wasn't planned, we just decided to do it while we were there. So didn't tell anyone, just came home married, our kids were shocked. LOL.
Two years after we started dating, I moved out with him, and my parents freaked, my mother figured I'd ruin my life, and wouldn't finish my education, but off I went. We had our first child, my son Paul, when I was 19, and twenty months later, we had our daughter Danielle, and twenty two months later our third child came, a son named Ryan.
That's 3 kids in 3 and 1/2 years, unfortunately our son Ryan passed away at the age of 7 weeks, he died of SIDS, at my girlfriend's house in the middle of the afternoon. He never woke up from his nap, it was the most heartbreaking thing I had ever had to endure in my life, and if it weren't for my other kids, I probably would have fallen apart, but had to go on for them. It did mess me up though, I couldn't leave my kids with anyone, so couldn't work, I developed anxiety, but thank goodness I learned to cope with that, and slowly got better, and I took in a couple of kids to babysit, so I could stay home with my kids. When they started school, I decided to return to school myself, and I went to college and did a two year Dental Assisting Course, finally finishing my education and fulfilling the promise I had made to my mom, that I would finish school one day. I got a job in a very busy Orthodontic Practice, where we saw about 120 to 150 patients a day, working for 7 Orthodontists, and I worked there until last July. I left due to health issues, and stress, I took a medical leave of absence, and have just been concentrating on getting my health back, I have Fibromyalgia, Sleep Apnea, I developed dangerous Blood Pressure Spikes, and last summer developed Type 2 Diabetes. Then 4 weeks ago I had surgery, and have healed from that. I'm enrolled to go back to school this September, and am looking forward to be doing something and getting out of the house again. Not that I'm not enjoying my time on EBN, and all my bully baby time. I've enjoyed being home, but am now getting bored and need to do something.
How I Got My Bully Babies:
Well I had loved dogs all my life, and had always wanted one as a child, but my parents never let us have any pets, my mom is an Interior Designer, and thinks dogs should never be in the house. I snuck a cat in one time when I was about 14 years old, and thought I could sneak it into my room, and nobody would find out, but she did, and she made me get rid of it. When I moved out on my own, and I had my children, we had dogs, our first dog was a Bichon Frise, and his name was Chubby, then we got a Jack Russell, and she was all white with a perfect black spot on her back, we named her Oreo. We had Oreo for 14 years, and she passed away from Cancer 3 years ago. At the time I said to my son and hubby that maybe we wouldn't get another dog, because it’s a lot of work and a lifetime commitment, they are like a child, so we decided no more dogs. A year later I ran into a friend of mine who had a cat with kittens, her cat had been hit by a car, and she had two kittens left, she kept one, and we took the other, I got the cat for my son, who was missing the dog. He is 34 years old, but has learning disabilities, and was diagnosed with Bi Polar 6 years ago, I noticed when we had Oreo, she was good company for him while we were at work, and he would go out on long walks with her. After she passed away, he didn't seem to go out as much, and at the same time I was really missing having a dog in my life. I had told my hubby more than 10 years ago that if I ever got another dog, I wanted an English Bulldog, I wanted a boy, and I would call him Bulldozer. I started looking up breeders, researching the breed, and then I came across a picture of a beautiful French Bulldog that someone was selling on Kijiji, I know, I know, I wouldn't do that now, cause I know better, but at the time I was ignorant. I told hubby about him, and both my son and hubby said NO, you always get these small foufou dogs, and if we're going to get a bulldog, then we're going to get a real bulldog, so I said okay I've always wanted an EB. I found a breeder who was selling two EB's, and I called him to set up an appointment to see him. It was Mother's Day weekend, and I asked my hubby to buy me Dozer for Mother's Day, my Birthday and Christmas, it's all I wanted.
We spent 1/2 an hour sitting on the kitchen floor playing with the puppies, and I fell I love with my little man, my hubby kept gravitating to his sister, and kept saying aww look at her, look how cute she is, and she was, but I wanted a boy, we paid for him, and asked the man if I could leave him there until Sunday as it was Mother's Day weekend, and I had to go to Petsmart to buy my supplies, and was busy all weekend so wouldn't be able to properly set him up at home. He said that was fine so we left, we went back Sunday afternoon to pick up Dozer and bring him home. The man brought up both dogs, two buckets of food, and two sets of contract papers for us to sign. I looked at him, and said I want the boy right? He looked at me and said you want both right? I looked back at him and said No, just the male. That's when hubby jumps in and says no, we want both. I looked at him, just staring, mouth open, and said “What!!!”, you want both? Are you crazy? You know they're EB's right? They're going to be 50 lbs. one day. He said he couldn't leave her behind alone and she was too cute. We were taking both home, so that's how I got to be the mommy to my two beautiful bully fur babies. I never thought I would ever own one let alone two, but I'm so lucky and happy that we have both of them, and although the training period was a little harder with two, it wasn't too bad, they were trained by 5 months, and they are great company for each other. We actually gave Blossom to my son, even though she's mine too, and I take care of her and pay for her vet bills, since my son is on disability. He spends a lot of time with her and Dozer, he loves to spoil them, and he takes them out on their walks during the day. His favorite time is when he's awake all night and can't sleep, they snuggle and cuddle with him.
He loves buying them treats, special toys, and you can really see the love between them. It's so cute, and makes me smile. They really love my grandson too, and he always says that he has bulldogs too, he says you share them with me right grandma? I say absolutely, they love you too. My guys love kids, other animals, and all people. They are so funny, when they first greet people, they flop on their feet and roll on their back, looking for a belly rub, and this always makes people laugh. I am so glad I finally got my EB's, and will probably always own EB's for the rest of my life, they are the best breed ever, the most loyal, loveable and sweetest breed of dog ever. I couldn't imagine my life without them.
How I Found EBN, and All Of Its Great Members:
I found this site, purely by accident, when I was researching dog foods and dog nutrition. The breeder had been feeding the puppies Royal Canin, and sent me home with two buckets of it. I knew by the ingredients that it wasn't the best food, because it had corn and other fillers, which I knew wasn't good for dogs. The breeder assured me that it was a good quality food, as did my vet, as she sold it in her office. I also knew that vets got an incentive, or kickbacks for selling certain brands in their office, and they also don't get a lot of exposure in school on Nutrition. They focus more on diseases, and diagnosing and treating them. It's the same for Medical Doctors. I started researching dog foods on line, and that's when I found the EBN dog food ratings. I opened up the link and found this great site with a wealth of information, and so many interesting forums. I joined up right away, and it opened up this whole new world of Bully Love. I found lots of great people who were just like me, and felt the same love and passion for their bullies as I did. I learned I wasn't the only Crazy Dog Lady LOL, and everyone loved and spoiled their babies the same as I did.
I fell in love with this site, and all the wonderful, caring people on here, we laugh, we cry, we share our lives, and our families, and our bullies, and we all care for each other and our bullies, as if they were our own. It's not very often you find a place like this site, where you learn, laugh, love, and share each other’s lives with strangers. I don't feel like you guys are strangers, I feel like we are one big Bully Family, and that we can share our stories, funny or sad, laugh and cry with each other, pray for each other, and our dogs as well, never be judged or judge anyone else, but be supportive, and offer advice based on love and caring, and really learn from each other. I learn something new almost every day, I enjoy coming on here and seeing pictures and updates on everyone's pages, and also sharing my guys with everyone.
Only bully parents understand how we feel, and only bully parents know how lucky we are to have these beautiful animals in our lives. I truly feel blessed to have my two guys in my live, and to have found EBN, and all of you guys on here. Love you all.
Thank You Lisa for starting this site.
Do you like reading more about the members of English Bulldog News? Make sure you check out the Member Spotlights section from the Home Page!