Meet Beef. He’s my 9 month old French Bulldog. As I started writing this, he walked over to me and laid down on the screen of my laptop, closing it on my hands. He is a shithead, and he is perfect. If humans are the pinnacle of Darwinian evolution, Frenchies are the exact opposite. The victims of selective breeding gone too far, they basically shouldn’t exist. A French Bulldog has to be artificially inseminated and delivered by c-section, as the dad is too short to get up in there, and mother’s hips aren’t wide enough to deliver the pups. Their short noses and labored breathing mean that they can’t run too far or they risk overheating. They are prone to hip issues, ear infections, blindness, and countless other congenital issues. They sink like rocks in water, so they need to wear life vests around pools. Beef’s has a shark fin on the back of it.
Why in the world would anyone buy one of these? Let alone spend **an undisclosed amount of money** on one? To put it simply, he’s the best dog I’ve ever had. Frenchies are friendly, smart, and all around great dogs.
I have not had good dogs in the past. My first dog experience was a 4 year old Dalmatian named Chico that was there long before I was. I have heard stories of that dog trying to push me down stairs, knocking me over because my mom was paying attention to me and not her. That’s right, Chico was a girl. Don’t look at me, I didn’t name her. Then came Bogey, the Boston Terrier. Bogey was kicked out of two obedience schools for being too aggressive towards other dogs. He couldn’t do anything because he weighed 15 lbs, but he was a distraction. When they told my mom the price of private lessons and a stay away camp to fix the problems, we resigned to the fact that we had a dog that could never meet another dog. Homeboy lived to be 17 just to spite us. Beef is nice, and obedient, I’m not used to that.
He’s perfect for our lifestyle right now, too. Apartment life requires small dogs, but I refuse to get some ugly, fluffy dog or something yappy like a chihuahua. The goal was to find something that if you tripped over it, you’d get hurt, not the dog. Beef is essentially a 25 lb dumbbell with legs, he is THICC. Our walks are about 3 blocks round trip, and he plops down exhausted after we’re done. In fact, for the first few months, he didn’t want to walk at all. He would plop down at the end of our driveway and just look at us. Some research showed that this is common in the breed because they haven’t deemed walking “worth it” for the effort they are putting in. He needed it to be more fun. He sleeps the entire time I’m gone at work, so we don’t have to worry about him getting into trouble in the house. He has is own set of requirements specific to Frenchies, but those are achievable on a busy schedule. We wipe his skin folds before bed, but it gives my girlfriend an opportunity to remind me that I should be working on my skincare routine at the same time.
I can’t write this without acknowledging the trendiness of the breed. Yes, I know that they’re en vogue right now, but I’ve had my eyes on a bulldog for a while. I had always envisioned an English rather than the baguette variety, but I don’t like getting up in Beef’s face folds, and Enlgish Bulldogs are twice as wrinkly. With their popularity, we expected that there would be a lot of attention given to him. I had no idea how often we would get stopped on walks, or have patio happy hours interrupted, because someone wants to say hi to the Frenchie. Grown men and children alike run up and ask if it’s ok to pet him after they’ve already started petting him. We’re used to it now, and it’s a good way for Beef to get breaks during his walks. And before you ask, yes, he has an instagram: @yaboybeef, toss him a follow.
This is a particularly poignant time to be writing about Beef. He went in for surgery today to help him breathe better. It’s not atypical for Frenchies to have health issues, since they’re one of the most dramatic results of selective breeding. In about half of all Frenchies, they have something called an elongated soft palate. Basically, the roof of Beef’s mouth extends down and touches the back of his throat, causing him to have serious trouble breathing, eating, and drinking. He spits up his food about 3 times a day, and has to use a slow feed bowl to mitigate it. It’s not puking, though, the vet made that distinction pretty clear. He just doesn’t have room for it all to go down, so it comes back up. He’s also getting a doggy nose job, to open up the airways and get him more oxygen. We’ve known we were going to have to do this for a while, but the time is upon us, and I’m freaking out about it. The success rate for the surgery is 98%, but the vet worded it in a much more morbid way by saying 1 in 50 don’t make it. He assures us that Beef is a good candidate for it, and that doing this now is better than watching him deteriorate over time. Quality of life, right? The vet also said that his recovery would be very low activity for 3 weeks, so there will be no change in his day to day. We just hope he doesn’t lose his characteristic snorting noises, they’re a great way to keep track of where he is in the house.
Let’s all keep this little guy in our thoughts today. “It’s like buying a pair of ripped jeans,” my girlfriend says, “you know they’re broken, but that’s why you like them.” This little loaf of bread has brought us so much joy over the past few months, and we want him to keep kicking for a while. His farts can clear a room, and he pukes up his food, but he also sleeps on your head when you’re on the couch. He sleeps on your feet while you’re chopping vegetables in the kitchen, just perfectly in the a so you almost trip when you try to move. He can’t reach his giblets with his mouth to clean them like a normal dog, so there are times when you round a corner to see him scratching himself with his front paws like a pubescent thirteen year old that just googled ‘naked girls’. So here’s to Beef, a true good boy. 14/10