Dixies' Voice Bulldog Rescue, Inc.

Volunteers dedicated to the English Bulldog Breed

 

 

We dream of a world where rescue is no longer needed

A Bulldog's tale

Dixie's Story


Oh, how I wanted a Bulldog, and man did I get one!  I knew NOTHING about the breed; I mean really how hard could it be?  My sister-in-law contacted me and told me about a small rescue near her home that had a female English bulldog up for adoption.  I called the shelter/rescue and made the arrangements for the next day to go see her.  I did not have a picture or one bit of information about her.  I only knew that she was a 4-year-old spayed female, and her family had to get rid of her because they were moving into an apartment that did not allow pets!

The next morning my girls and I made the two hour drive to meet this Bulldog! When we arrived, we were taken back to a little visiting room to meet her, and there she was!  My first love, scared and timid.   As we were getting to know her, a dog walked by.  Dixie became very agitated and starting barking and growling and going toward the dog.  I asked the employees of the shelter why she was reacting this way, and they assured me that it was because there was a gate up (acting as a fence), and that was typical bulldog behavior.  I stated that I had a dog at home. They informed me that she was fine with no aggression and had never bitten anyone.  I asked if I could get some more information on her. The shelter tried to contact Dixie’s previous owner, and their number was no longer in service.  The shelter asked me to fill out a form, and told me I was free to take her.  (Are you counting the red flags??)

I took her home and she settled in and was fine around my other dog. The clinic never informed me that I should do a slow introduction.  On day two, the aggression started. She was attacking her fur sister with shear hate and anger like I had never seen from a dog.  I was raised around animals and was familiar with dogs, but never a bulldog.  The aggression for her fur sister would come and go.  She would attack the sweeper, electric drills, drapes or anything someone had in their hand. We mostly walked around on eggs shells, not knowing what would set her off.  She had still never bitten a person or her skin family.  I tried everything.  For example, keeping her off furniture and keeping her on her leash and harness. I took her to every training class that I could find.  Teaching her with a clicker to sit and heal was just not getting to the root of the problem.  I began to notice the signs, such as her behavior changing and when it was going to happen. I would catch her literally in midair going for the attack.  I read every book, every article, asked every question and sought out help from everyone I could find.  Little Dixie did not like loud noise, people running, jumping, and Lord knows she hated football season when my husband would scream at the TV. So she spent a lot of time away from the family, and still to this day she will excuse herself to quiet less human parts of the house. I even tried Prozac, but she puked every day. 

Then it happened. One day, she darted out the door. There was a small girl in the street riding her bike with her family.  Dixie “bulled” me out of the way, pushed the door open and ran at lightning speed to this child.  The girl fell off her bike, crying of course, and Dixie stood and barked at her.  I apologized to the family and helped the little girl up (who I am sure still hasn’t rode a bike to this day). As I went to pick up little Dixie, who was still barking, I noticed she was barking at the child’s bicycle tires, not the child. When she had barked at the child, it was as if to tell the child, “GET ON YOUR BIKE AND PEDAL SO I CAN CHASE YOUR TIRES KID!!”  I scooped up Dixie, apologized to the family again, and took her home.  

A few months later, a very dear friend of mine who worked for a Bulldog rescue was very helpful to me as a resource for Dixie’s aggression. She came to my house to meet Dixie.  She was there to meet Dixie because I was going to place her in the rescue.  We had adopted a new Bully and for 2 years this sweet, sweet new bully was so mistreated by Dixie.  My friend met Dixie and they snuggled and Dixie gave her kisses. Dixie, who when she wasn’t flipping out was the sweetest thing on earth, loved to gently kiss your cheek, go for car rides and was the best snuggler ever. My friend noticed that Dixie’s canines were ground down or broken off.  We believed she was used as a bait dog.   We went forward with the paper work for placement in the rescue, but it wasn't to be.  

I would like to tell you that I found this miracle, pill, article, trick, treat, etc., but I did not.  I put everything together over the past several years and did extensive research on the breed and on baiting. It became my driving force. Along with patience and a soft voice, we allow Dixie to sniff things in our hand, to check out the sweeper tires, and occasionally let her bite them.  I am not and have never been scared of Dixie. I kiss her bully face several times a day. I squeeze her cheeks and kiss that smushy wrinkled face. I feel like the way she looks at me is with her soul. She will stay in her home with her family until her last breath, she and her fur sister Big Dixie – yes both named Dixie. Big Dixie and Little Dixie are also called the Dixie Chicks by the groomer and their vet.  They get along a lot better after four years.  I will always be her voice, and I will never stop educating about this unique, fun loving breed. ~ Kim