@oscarmayer BRAVO.....BRAVO....BRAVO As I read there was a movie playing in my head......I laughed out loud.
Thank you for sharing this story!!!!!!
journey into Bulldog rescue. The following story about Hoss happened in 1996 and since that day, I've tried many times to put it into words; never able to complete it until now. I've always relied on photos to tell my stories and this is my first attempt at writing any kind of story and I hope my words work well enough.
The last surviving pic of Hoss...
Hoss, and the Ball on the Stick
Hoss was a clown…a really funny pure white clown with a brindle tail. Hoss was a BULLDOG. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about a clownish white Bulldog, except that Hoss was a bit different. At about 60 lbs and of particularly good breeding, he sported a massive head and chest, and a tiny little butt. His eyes were spread far apart and sat low on his head just above a thick double nose rope. The pocket beneath that rope was deep and he stored all kinds of funk in there. Cleaning it was a twice-a-day affair when he was with us. His paws were the largest I’ve ever seen and usually affected by interdigital cysts. Before we rescued him he nearly died twice. He was rushed to the Vet on both occasions; once for heat stroke and once because a rock was obstructing his airway. I’m not sure about the rock, whether he was bored or simply liked the taste of rocks. He recovered from those incidences well enough, however, I’m confident that his mental capacity was diminished as a result. Hoss was friendly. Hoss was gassy. Hoss was very loving. Hoss was not smart.
Donna, my wife at that time, worked at the vet clinic where Hoss was treated. She adored Hoss and looked forward to his office visits to address seasonal skin issues that were allowed to get out of hand and to bathe him. You see, Hoss was an outdoor dog of sorts. He lived in the garage year round and roamed the yard and neighborhood as he pleased. He rarely got bathed. His wide “double” nose rope needed constant attention, as did his skin, ears and eyes. Where he was living he got little of that. He was always in some state of decline or repair.
I was told by his previous owner, Mrs. J, that her son and the neighborhood kids played basketball in the adjacent driveway and tormented him with the ball. Consequently, he hated basketballs and could chase one down and pop it within seconds. He had a love hate relationship with all sorts of sporting goods…balls, pucks, hockey sticks, gloves, golf clubs, etc. and anything resembling a ball or a stick. He could chew the cover off of a golf ball in about 10 minutes. I still have the dime he got hold of one day and bent it nearly in half. I’ve pondered it many times and still cannot imagine what pleasure a Bulldog (or any animal with half a brain) could possibly get from chewing a coin. Maybe it’s because he had less than half. I do recall that I could yell out his name, “HOSS!!”, and count to 5…1,2,3,4,5…and his brain would catch up and he’d snap around, look at me… 1,2,3,4,5… he’d come running. He’d not stop until he hit me square in the shin(s). “OK, I’m here…What?”
As best I can remember, Donna called me at work on a Friday afternoon and asked if I were interested in adopting a Bulldog. That would mean a 2 Bulldog household. Hoss’ family had decided that after 5 years, they simply could not keep up with his medical needs and were looking to re-home him. They knew Donna loved him very much and that we already had Bulldog experience having a 2 yr old white female, Naggy. I was eager to adopt Hoss.
Saturday AM couldn’t come soon enough. Donna, my 14 yr old son, and I set out to go pick up our new Bully. Having never met Hoss, I didn’t quite know what to expect. When we arrived at his home we were met by Mrs. J. She handed us a lead and a bag of food and called Hoss out of the garage. He came right out and touched noses with Naggy. They got along very well from day one…lucky us. There was only one minor issue…Hoss stunk! He had no fur on his neck, chest and belly, his eyes were all goopy (he could barely see), his ears were infected, and his breath was…YACK! OK, maybe not “minor”, maybe not “only one”. We got him in the car and rolled the windows down and bid Mrs. J goodbye. We never heard from her again.
It was hot and the windows needed to be UP with the AC cranking, but it was not to be. Hoss smelled way too much for that. I explained to Donna that we would bathe him as soon as we got home. Donna informed me that he had just been bathed that morning. Uh oh. This was not wet dog smell this was skin, ear, eye, and breath funk. We went straight to Hoss’ Vet where Donna worked and had a complete work-up done. He had cheesy skin, cheesy ears, cheesy feet and a cheesy tail. I suggested renaming him Cheddar. He would remain Hoss. We were given Optimune for his eyes, Otomax for his ears, Kerasolv for his nose and an abundance of pills, sprays, and shampoo for everything else. Three months and 24 baths later, Hoss had fur on his chest, belly and neck. He could see. He could hear. Eureka! He was looking new again…like a classic car with a fresh coat of paint, beautiful white paint. Once Hoss was completely healthy we had him neutered. He was toting quite a package in back and once it was tidied up I swear his butt-hole rose 1” closer to his tail.
Many months of healthy living went by and the funny stuff, the clownish stuff that he did never ceased. He kept us laughing non-stop. It was tight quarters where we lived in that 2 bedroom, 2 story townhouse but the 5 of us managed well enough. Hoss was a relatively calm and quiet boy. So quiet when he slept that the only way we knew he was still breathing(living) was when we heard the occasional fffffffffff-t and a smell that would clear a room…no matter the room size, he would clear it. We had a small den upstairs and there was an AC return right next to his favorite spot on the floor. Ffffffffffff-t, right into the AC return. As long as we were next to that return, we would be the last to smell it. Downstairs, Donna would yell up at us, “is Hoss up there with you next to the AC vent again? He’s farting.” “Yep, he sure is, hehe.” Ffffffffffff-t.
Like I said, he was a rather calm boy, calm until he saw any sports related item. He chewed the grip off my putter, mangled many golf balls, pulverized a baseball glove, and killed I don’t know how many soccer balls and basketballs. He never did actually destroy a baseball, he’d just slime it so badly that no one would dare touch it. His favorite toy was a tennis ball. It wasn’t unusual for him to fall asleep with one tucked inside his big floppy jowl…again, so slimy no one would dare touch it.
As best I can recall…
It was a cold dreary day in mid February and I went to work at my usual time leaving a sick wife to tend to the needs of Naggy, Hoss, and her sick self. Around 10:00AM I get a call from Donna asking me if I could come home for lunch; she needed help. “Help with what?” “I’ll tell you when you get here.” “Ohhhhhh K”. Donna rarely asked for any help with anything so on the rare occasion when she did ask, there was only one answer.
Noon time found me back home looking at a sick tired wife. The dogs were comfortably snoozing the day away, as normal. “OK, what’s up?” “The toilet is plugged up, she declared.” I peered into the bathroom and saw a completely filled toilet. Behold, a slurry of poop with marble-sized floaters ever so slowly swirling around about 1” from overflowing the bowl. “What the Hell, how long has it been like this?” “Ever since I called you.” She explained to me that when it came time to let the dogs out after breakfast, she let them out front instead of out back like we usually do. She was too tired and simply didn’t feel well enough to go all the way out back though the gate and into out designated peeing/pooping area. She let them out front to do their business in the narrow grassy area between our sidewalk and the neighbor’s driveway. She further stated that they both meandered their way to the neighbor’s driveway and squatted in unison leaving behind 2 HUGE piles doggie defecation; 3-coil steamers, if you will. UGH! She couldn’t leave the piles there so she took paper towels and scooped up both of the piles and dumped them in the toilet, paper towels and all. Paper towels?...in the toilet?...with 5 lbs. of poop?...”Did you really expect it to go down?” Silence… I got no answer.
This was going to be tricky. My plunger was not the normal one you’d find in most homes. Mine was special…given to me by my Father as a house-warming present…funny guy. It was large, ball-shaped, and rather cumbersome to use but it had extra plunging power. Tim (The Tool Man) Taylor would have been impressed. There wasn’t much room to work with such a large plunger but I was the man of the house and a man has to do what a man has to do. I’ll make it work…after I have my lunch. I need time to ponder the situation.
Lunch done, pondering done, it was time to get to work. First, I had to retrieve the plunger from behind the clothes dryer in the utility closet adjacent to the bathroom. No big deal, I’ll simply reach over the dryer and grab it…except that it had fallen over and was “resting” on its side behind the dryer. UGH! So I attempt to pull out the dryer only to find that the vent hose wasn’t long enough to allow the dryer room to slide out enough for me to squeeze in behind it. UGH! So I push it back and now must pull out the washer. It’s heavier than the dryer but I manage to walk it out far enough to squeeze behind it and viola! UGH!
Plunger in hand, washing machine and I returned to our normal upright position, I turn to enter the bathroom and lo and behold, I’m met by Hoss. Holy crap, where the heck did he come from!? Aaack, aaack, aaack, grrrrr, aaack, aaack, grrrrr….it was too late, Hoss had seen it. It didn’t matter that it was only a plunger, to him it was a ball on a stick and he intended to kill it. I hastily opened the bathroom door and before I could step in he shot through the doorway in anticipation. Dang! He beat me to it…how did he know? I had to get him out before I could go in…hmmmm. With Hoss still barking and jumping at me and the ball on the stick I quickly led him into the bedroom where I could get Donna to hang on to him and enter the bathroom from the other door. With Hoss under control, I opened the door and slowly approached the plugged pooper. Hoss was trying desperately to escape from Donna’s grasp and suddenly, he broke free. Donna yelled, “watch out, he’s loose!” He came charging in after the ball on the stick and I barely managed to block his way with the door and my shin. A struggle ensued. I managed to shut the door with him on the other side by baiting him out of the bathroom with the plunger…genius! However, the door wouldn’t shut completely because the bathroom rug got caught between the door and the door frame. Not to worry, I simply pushed my foot against it…that will hold it/him. Right.
Hoss was a persistent fellow, obsessive even…not one to give up after one try…or two, or three, you get the idea. It so happens that on that third attempt to gain access to the bathroom by throwing his body against the door, my foot was unable to hold it, and it popped open. This happened just as I was about to ease the plunger into the bowl of bubbling slurry. OK, maybe it wasn’t bubbling but it was a foul mixture worthy of a graphic description. For the sake of this saga, picture it bubbling.
Door open, Hoss and I briefly looked at each other. He seemed as surprised as me. Then he saw the ball on the stick! I’d never seen him move so quickly as he did that day, that moment, when he burst forth with great speed. Holding the plunger over the toilet and Hoss zeroed in on the ball on the stick, he took two quick steps and a giant leap skyward, mouth agape like a Great White Shark attacking a Seal. In a split second, but in seemingly super-slow motion, I yanked the ball on the stick from the jaws of death…one problem averted. But Hoss continued on to his final resting spot, a perfect head-first splash-down, IN THE TOILET!!!! I was mortified and awestruck at the same time. For what seemed like eternity I could only gaze at what just happened, then it suddenly hit me. His pinpoint, head-first landing caused an explosion of that aforementioned nastiness…much like dropping a bowling ball into a bucket of thinned chocolate pudding. It was like a bomb went off in the toilet. There was poop slurry everywhere…the floor, the wall, the toilet, the bath cabinet, the adjacent tub, and ME, yes, MEEE! I was covered in it. DONNAAAAA! Help! DONNAAAA! Help me!!! He’s stuck…he’s going to drown!!!
Unfortunately, like what had just happened wasn’t unfortunate enough, Hoss was still(stuck) in the toilet. His head and front feet hit the bottom of the bowl and he couldn’t get out. I grabbed his right rear foot and then his left. Holding him like a wheel barrow I tried to pull him out but I was fearful that I’d break his leg(s). He was kicking all the while and knowing that he’d soon drown if I didn’t get him out, I did the unthinkable. Simply put, I was the man of the house and I did what I had to do. I reached down into that bubbling slurry of canine poopage and grabbed him around the chest. He was slippery. In one motion I lifted and heaved him into the bath tub. There he sat…eyes blinking, looking at me, and blowing poop water out of his nostrils. He was blowing poop water bubbles out of his nostrils…yuck! He had a marble sized turd nugget on his head, more on his neck. He shook, more than once. Now there was poopage on the ceiling, and the door, and the bath towels, and the shower curtain. ****!
DONNAAA! Where the hell ARE you?! I pushed the bathroom door from blocking my view of the bedroom and there she was, lying on the bed and unable to respond. In case you didn’t already know, it’s impossible to talk when your laughing hysterically. “Yeah, real funny. You’re not covered in ****.”
Steamed, I slammed the bathroom door and stepped into the tub with Hoss. We just looked at each other…like we were having some kind of bonding moment. I don’t think so. I cut the shower on and didn’t wait for it to warm up. Hoss didn’t seem to mind and I certainly didn’t care. We took a cold shower together for a few minutes while I peeled off my nasty clothes. It took a long time and a lot of scrubbing to get where I felt clean and to get Hoss sparkling white again. Once done I pick up Hoss and tip-toed around the slurry and poop shrapnel and into the bedroom where I found Donna, still smiling and doing her best not to laugh out loud. She knew I was still pissed. “Hoss needs to be dried off, I chirped.” I got dressed and made my way to the front door. As I made my way out, I chirped once more, “The bathroom needs cleaning and don’t ask me to come home for lunch again.”
So is the saga of Hoss and the ball on the stick. I was quick to forgive Donna for not helping me. As sick as Donna was, she managed to clean that bathroom spic and span by the time I got home that evening. As mad as I was when it happened I quickly realized just how crazy funny the whole event was. I’ve told this story to friends and family many times. It gives me great pleasure to share it with others and bring a smile or 2 to faces I don’t know. Hoss never suffered any ill effects from this episode and after our bath together, I’m not sure if he even remembered it...I know I sure did. Immediately after the “event” I cannot recall how I smelled. Maybe adrenaline masks foul odor. The ball on the stick was left at the townhouse when we moved out, still behind the dryer, I imagine. It was years before I realized that I’d left it. I guess I could have gone back to the new owners and asked if I could have their plunger…maybe not. Both Donna and Hoss are gone now but they are sorely missed and forever fondly remembered.
@oscarmayer BRAVO.....BRAVO....BRAVO As I read there was a movie playing in my head......I laughed out loud.
Thank you for sharing this story!!!!!!
May the sun in your eyes be your ONLY problem today! Peace Friends!
OMG I absolutely LOVE this story… I'm dying over here
"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie
Omg!!! Wonderfully written!!! Just like what @sisters3 said- it was like a movie playing in my head. Lol
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"Every once in a while, a dog (or 2) enters your life and changes everything!" <3
Mommy of Lockjaw and Penny
OMG.... priceless and one of the best stories I have ever read.....
thank you for sharing!
There is a part of your heart not alive until a bulldog has entered your life.
Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings