She had a face only a mother could love, not when she was a puppy of course because EVERYONE loved her as a puppy but it didn’t take long for her to fill out into an 85 pound brick wall, which is why there are not many pictures of her small. I was constantly receiving comments about what a fat ball of ugly she was but she was absolutely beautiful to me. She wasn’t just any ole dog, she had a smooshy face, a personality that was unremarkable and she was also the last gift my brother had given me before he took his life.
My brother showed up for Christmas the year his Jo Jo had her puppies 2008, with a male and a female left he told me this beautiful face was mine to keep if I wanted her. Of Course I wanted her! Look at that gorgeous face, how could anyone NOT want her!
I had ZERO experience in the English Bulldog department and while she was small she was such a joy! Let me tell you English Bulldogs do not stay small for long. She was 80 pounds by the time she was 9 months old and she was not fat by all means! I followed my directions for caring for her and was extremely protective of her and those who were privileged in getting to watch her for me were carefully chosen. I took her every where with me and she loved it! She loved meeting new people and she loved when company would come over as she knew they were only there to see her. I say she was a joy and I do mean she was, even if she ripped the bottom of my couch apart, ate every houseplant I had that she was able to reach and also showed me what a “bulldog” was bred to do by instinct the day she met my horse, all done before she was a year old.
She was a tank! A vicious killer and a blubbering slobbery ball of energy, in short bursts of course as Bulldogs are not strenuous exercisers! She could sprint faster than most dogs but only for less than ten seconds and if anyone happened to be in the way when she was running they more often than not had a knee taken out or had to jump out of her way. I watched her pull parts of a car off once to reach a rock chuck she had been hunting for days. She was the MOST bull headed dog I’ve ever seen and she did what she wanted when she wanted.
I won’t lie I am not much of a dog person, I’m more of a cat person. But there was something about her that I absolutely adored! Her face, her snoring, her grunting like a pig when she was out digging in the dirt, the mud baths, the wading in the water, the way she loved her boys (my three children), the way she got embarrassed when people talked about her, the way she would pout when she didn’t get her way and most of all her smile! She was always so happy, no matter what was going on.
Something I didn’t know about owning an English Bulldog was that their “adult” life is very short. Their life span is actually relatively short but the parts in between puppy and senior for these guys is apparently only a couple years out of their 8 year life expectancy. Yes I said 8 years, that is the life expectancy of an English Bulldog, of course it varies as some live longer, some not as long.
If I could have had my way my girl would have lived forever but unfortunately no one does in the physical form and sadly I had to make that dreadful decision in the wee morning hours of September 21, 2018 as her health went from being a senior dog who managed to get around fairly well to being a dog ready to go to the next life in a matter of hours. It was definitely something I wasn’t completely prepared for that’s for sure even though I had spent the last two years preparing myself for that day as I knew it would come.
I don’t want to get into too many details with her health as she was actually a fairly healthy bulldog. I had read they are extremely expensive to own as they have a lot of health issues due to overbreeding. My Jessie was fairly healthy her whole life, no major catastrophes in her life, she did develop a couple lumps on her body in her early life but I had them removed and only one was biopsied as malignant years ago and they never grew back. She developed the cataracts a few years ago and that is common in all senior dogs and she was able to get around just as good as before she had them. She was stiff and sore on cold mornings as most seniors are, dogs or people! It happens to all of us at some point!
She spent the last year of her life being spoiled more than normal, she went from hardly any people food to sharing my dinner nightly, steak mostly. Regular trips to the vet were essential this last year and other than her having TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) and Cataracts she was healthy! Earlier this year I added CBD oil to her diet to help her with her stiffness and TMJ and it actually worked so well she started running again and she was even able to bark at dogs walking by! This video was only taken in July 2018, about two months into the CBD oil regimen. I was certain I would get another birthday out of her, certain I would see her tenth birthday.
I made it to her tenth birthday but she did not, as much as I wanted her to she was ready to go home. She was the absolute coolest dog and I miss her immensely and to imagine her with her mama Jo Jo, her brother Cecil and my brother Guy all together again I cannot help but smile knowing she is back with her family and I feel the love from my brother and all of his dogs with him and am very grateful she got to spend her physical life with me.
I have so many pictures of her through the years that I cannot post them all in my blog like I normally do so I will make a little gallery of Bulldog pics for you to enjoy if you’ve stayed thus far. Grab a tissue though.
Jessie Jo Fifer 11/1/2008-9/21/2018Jessie and her mama Jo Jo I am sure I was eating