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Thread: Thought I knew so much

  1. #1
    Kennel Cleaner giuseppe's Avatar
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    Apollo and Enzo - Giuseppe 7/11/01 - 4/23/12
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    Default Thought I knew so much

    I got Giuseppe, my first English Bulldog, back in September of 2001 and I really didn't know what I was getting into. I read as many books I could find and as much as I could find on the internet and thought I had a pretty good grasp. He lived a long happy life of just shy of 11 years. He passed in April of 2012 with hemangiosarcoma on his heart. I learned so much caring for him over the years. Over time he had issues with inter-digital cysts, cherry eye in both eyes, ear infections, etc.. I found that it was impossible to find a vet that understands the bulldog. Even the vets that I found on the internet that were touted as bulldog specialists, didn't know much. One such vet, during a visit for lethargy and shortness of breath, told me my little buddy had an enlarged heart with thinning of the heart wall and probably wouldn't live through the weekend. After staying up with him the through the night (and crying like crazy) we brought him to an emergency animal hospital and had an ekg and ultrasound done. Diagnosis: English Bulldogs have an enlarged chest cavity so their hearts tend to look a little misshapen when compared to other breeds. They told us to treat his allergies with benadryl. $2800 to find out he doesn't do well with all the pollen in the air in the spring.

    I had Giuseppe for 3 years before I met my wife. She was never much of a dog person, at least that's what she kept telling me. I explained that where I go, Giuseppe goes. She found out I wasn't kidding the first time she spent the night and awoke to Giuseppe snoring in her face in the bed. She ended up loving him more than I ever thought she would. We changed tons of plans and drove on most every vacation we took so we could bring him along. Things ended up taking on a very cool dynamic. If he was hungry, thirsty, needed his butt cleaned or his paw hurt, he came to me. For lovin, he went to mama. He would give me lovin too, but man he loved his mom. It happened way too quick with finding out he was sick and eventually having to have him put to sleep. Less than a week passed between the two. It was rough to say the least. We said we were never going to get another pooch. It was just too much.

    Eventually, after three months had passed, my wife started calling me over to her computer showing me rescue dogs she saw online. We started talking about getting another breed, maybe a mutt, less issues, longer lifespan, less heart ache maybe. Then after four months had passed she started calling me over with names of breeders and road trip plans. I guess we are English Bulldog folks. We learned a lot during our search, like it's hard to find a bulldog online. Breeders aren't always breeders. Nothing is quite as it appears. We eventually found a real life breeder, called and made an appointment and the next day started the relatively short trek of 60 miles out to pick up our new little puppy. I called the breeder, as I said I would, before we left the house and got voicemail. We were 5 minutes from her home when she returned my call and told us "I'm sorry, I tried to call you (she didn't) my husband sold the puppy last night". We were disappointed and pretty pissed. We started back home and my wife recalled seeing an English Bulldog for sale at a pet shop not far from our current location. I told her I would prefer to get our new pooch directly from a breeder. She said "well, this is the exit we would take if you want to at least go look at them". I was heading up the ramp before she finished her sentence.

    We parked and walked up to the pet store and even with the door closed you could hear rap music blaring from inside. We looked at each other shrugged and tried the door and it was locked but the sign said open. We could see the cutest little bulldog in his crate so we started to knock. A young kid came out from the back and opened the door. The music was louder than ever. He brought us in and we asked him about the English Bulldog. He said "which one?". Uh oh. He took them both out and put them in a bigger pen they had for showing their dogs.

    So, now we have 2 beautiful little brother bulldogs. When we brought them home the panic started. Everything I thought I knew was out the window. I realized that I needed to start learning all over again. That's how I found this site. Googling how much to feed them, what to feed them, what is this and what is that. It's like I never owned a bulldog in my life. And what did I discover? That I should have never stopped reading and learning. There is so much more info available than there was 10 years ago. I just keep thinking that if I had kept reading maybe I would have known the connection between Giuseppe's ear infections and interdigital cysts and the dog food I was feeding him. So I plan on sending a lot of time here. I probably won't ever type so damn much again... but thanks for having me.

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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    Wow that was an amazing read, so please type as much as you please! Welcome, cannot wait to meet your pups!

    Sorry to hear of your heartache and loss, Giuseppe sounded very special and completely LOVED....
    @Davidh this is almost a member spotlight! I loved it. Thank you.

    Everyday is a party when you own a bulldog!
    CLICK HERE to Sponsor a rescue Bulldog!

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    Dog Park Attendant Noyes27's Avatar
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    I loved it as well. Welcome to the forum, soooooo much great information here, and anything you can't find, be sure to ask, everyone its extremely patient and helpful

    Sent from my myTouch_4G_Slide using Tapatalk 2

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    Great story! Welcome

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk 2
    Bullies leave pawprints on our hearts furever <3

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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    Amazing story. Welcome to EBN and I hope all goes well with your new pups!

  6. #6
    Kennel Cleaner giuseppe's Avatar
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    Apollo and Enzo - Giuseppe 7/11/01 - 4/23/12
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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    Haha Thanks! People who know me know I don't talk much unless it's about my pooch(es).

    I do feel the need to add 2 more things about Giuseppe and Enzo and Apollo:

    The only warning we got with Giuseppe was when he collapsed at our back door. I was walking in with a new bag of dog food (I always knew it would happen some day when I brought home a new bag of food) and he was lying there and didn't move, I had to step over him. I figured he was just hot from hanging outside with my wife. It was pretty warm already in April last year. I called him and he didn't move so I went over to check and make sure he wasn't overheating and he was ice cold to the touch. We rushed him to the er vet and they x-rayed his chest and gave us the news. The vet (about 12 years old) went straight to putting him to sleep. I had to restrain my wife. We sat there for what seemed like hours talking about what we should do. I explained to my wife that I always promised him and myself that I would never put him through a bunch of pain and surgeries and crap simply because I wanted to keep him around. She started crying and told me she wished she knew what to do. My cell rang and it was our regular vet (it was Sunday and he called me back from vm, cool guy) so I got up to answer the call and my wife was sitting there talking to Giuseppe saying she didn't want to let him go but if he was in pain. She said, come on G, what should we do?(that's what she called him for short) and the little booger stood up and went over to her. So we opted to have the fluid drained from around his heart and bring him to a cardiologist the next day. The cardiologist said he may live a couple of months if we monitor to make sure there is no more fluid buildup. We brought him home and had a couple good days and he collapsed again, at about midnight. We brought him back to the er vet and again they recommended we put him to sleep. We said before we make that decision we just want the cardiologist to see him again. They said ok, but you should leave him here for the night and the cardiologist will see him in the morning. We were ready to leave him behind and my wife decided she didn't want to spend the night away from him, even if we had to sleep there. We turned around and went back inside and asked to see him. They made us wait a few minutes and then brought us in back to see him. They were holding an oxygen mask over his face and my wife, who is a nurse, nudged me and whispered in my ear "it's not even turned on". She asked if we could hang with him alone. They put us in this room that they have specially designed for saying goodbye to your pet. We hunkered down ready to spend the night and he had different plans. He got up stood by the door and was waiting to leave. He was acting completely normal. We took him home. We laid there with him on the sofa just petting him and hanging out like any other day. My wife was exhausted and fell asleep. Giuseppe got up and went to the back door and I opened it to let him do his thing. The little bastard started running after a feral cat like he was a puppy. I called him "are you freaking insane little boy" and he looked at me like I was the crazy one. The next day did not go well. The cardiologist and vet both warned us to watch for bloating and he blew up like crazy overnight. It meant his organs were starting to shut down, which meant the cancer had likely spread to his digestive system. Our vet said if he performed surgery there might be something he could do. He said he operated on his own dog to keep him alive. I took that to mean he wished he hadn't. My wife heard it differently. I said it was enough but my wife wasn't sure we had done everything we could. She said she just needed a sign. I looked over at him lying on the floor and, on the spot they had shaved him for his ultrasound, saw this:
    -img_20120423_150656-jpg
    I'm not superstitious or, like looney or anything, but I took the frown face as a sign and so did my wife. I carried him outside to my wife on their chaise by the pool and they spent a little time together alone in the sun. He acted like everything was just fine and soaked up the sun and attention like he was still a puppy. Then it was time to go. I don't think I ever drove as slow as that trip to the vet.

    Ok, just to lighten the mood a little: Here's a picture of Giuseppe hanging with his buds the previous summer at our cottage. He's the guy on the chair:
    -img_0290-jpg


    Then almost 6 months later we met these guys:

    This was after the father showed up and turned the music down a little. Still too loud in my opinion. You can hear my wife wheeling and dealing. haha
    Last edited by giuseppe; 03-07-2013 at 02:21 AM.

  7. #7
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    Ftse 100's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    Thank you for sharing that with us it was so sad reading about Giuseppe but it opens our eyes when we read about all these different illnesses they can get and I am so sorry for your loss, it is so hard when we lose our babies and exspecially when we have to choose what to do I had this same problem with my pug of fourteen years when he had a stroke it was a very tough time.

    On a brighter note the two puppies look adorable

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    I loved reading about Giuseppe. And I hope you will share lots of stories and pics and videos of Apollo and Enzo with us from now on.
    In return we certainly will share our experiences and advice and perhaps you will be making a few less trips to the vet with the boys because of what you learn here.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    to EBN!! Thanx for joining.

  10. #10
    The Ultimate Sourmug nycbullymama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    Amazing story, and I'm so sorry for your loss .
    Giuseppe was one handsome boy.

    Congrats on your new pups, they're adorable. Will definitely help heal the pain of losing Giuseppe.


  11. #11
    Drool Catcher santinomom's Avatar
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    Default

    Loved your story..... thanks for sharing it your babies are gorgeous!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Thought I knew so much

    You know who sent you to us...don't you? Yup..it was Guiseppe. He is making sure his family is happy. What a terrific story..and those 2 pups are very lucky you headed off that ramp! Thrilled you found us and I'm certain you will be teaching us plenty too!

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