Every time I walk Buddi and Orecchio, it seems people just have to tell me how cute they are and “oh isn’t he precious what kind is he” and “where can I get one.” My own first reaction was quite different. When I first met Buddi and Orecchio, I was as shy as a new kid in class. I’d never had any interaction with Bulldogs before, so, though I consider myself a dog person, I admit I was at a loss for what to make of the little critters. My definition of “dog” had always assumed, among other things, an animal with a tail and nose and ears. I’ll admit they’re charming, and I don’t mean to hurt their feelings when today I walk into the room and say “hello monsters!” The boys seem to relish their strangeness, and I guess you could say they wear it well. Bulldogs certainly have their fan base, kind of like, say, Danzig, and I don’t want to antagonize them. Or Danzig for that matter. Rock on, sir.
Still, there’s no getting around the fact that Buddi looks like he came from the kennel of Dr. Frankenstein, who, undertaking canine design as a side project not worthy of his full attention, was content to just use whatever parts were laying around. In Orecchio’s case it seems that mad Doctor F simply crossed a bat with a large potato. Snouts and tails must have been in very short supply, because both their faces look like they’re trying to sneak back into their heads and hide, and though Orecchio has a little nub tail, Buddi has nothing but a smooth streamlined rump. He’d probably be very aerodynamic if he ever got over 4 mph, and was heading backwards. But they’re great, I mean, “yay Bulldogs!”
Actually Buddi was sired by a champion show dog. So though he may not have been Frankenstein’s creation, someone did indeed try very hard to bring life to that peculiar form. Bulldogs were not bred to hunt or track or work or herd (ha!). They were originally bred to fight bulls. Since bull-baiting has declined in popularity in the past few centuries, poor Buddi has all the fearlessness and gall to take on a bull but alas, there are no bulls to be found (at least on our walks in Forest Park, IL). So Buddi improvises by latching on to just about anything else, including sticks, bushes, Orecchio, my shoe, and most of all, the leash I walk him with.
He looks very inert. Of the dozens of colorful adjectives that slap my cortex upon viewing Buddi, one of the most pragmatic is “inert.” “Solid” is another one, and indeed I challenge any lump of lead to pack as much weight into that same size. Yet Buddi is capable of amazing leaps. From a calm seated position with no wind-up or viper’s coil, he can launch himself at something in the blink of an eye. He is simply a mass located in a particular place one moment, and the very next moment he is in another particular place–likely a place you don’t want him to be–and is firmly anchored to that place with a lock jaw that is, along with his leaping/teleportation ability, explicable only in terms of mutant X-man powers.
These powers, and my efforts to match them against my own dog walking powers, I’ll have to tell you about later. Or watch the movie ‘X Men’ and you’ll get some idea.