Wednesday, May 31

Miss Ellie Remembered

Those of our supporters who purchased the FBRN calendar will see that June's pin-up is Miss Ellie. Miss Ellie won the hearts of our volunteers from the moment we first saw her wonderful, silly grin and floopy ears. Karol, Miss Ellie's mom, kept our volunteers updated on Miss Ellie's adventures as a beloved, treasured pet. After too short a time in her loving home, Miss Ellie passed away several months ago. We asked her mom to share her memories. Here's Karol:

The day after I was approved as a volunteer for FBRN, I got the call about the rough-looking, very sick little Frenchie in need of a foster home. Ruthie Chiger asked if I was ready to jump right in -- I assured her that I was. Miss Ellie had been found by Animal Control, wandering the streets of Corpus Christi, TX, and they had taken her in. The story goes on from there-- we fostered her for 8 months, gently nursing her back from the brink of death with all kinds of health issues and falling in love with her along the way. Her health was never 100%, but it got much better. We reviewed applications for Ellie's adoption for quite some time, but never received anything that seemed close to the life she was living with us. We applied to adopt this little lady and were approved. She was already a part of our family and so many people told us she belonged here, and we agreed. She did well for many months, but when her heart began failing, she went downhill quickly. She died in my arms at the vet's while we waited for him to come in to put her out of her misery. What a classy lady. She made the choice, so I would not have to: she loved me that much, and it was certainly mutual. It is so sad to lose an older one, especially one that you have worked so hard to bring back to health, but especially this girl -- the picture of goofy, flop-eared grace. We will always be so grateful that we took on the job of fostering and loving Miss Ellie. The sprinkler chasing, flashlight beam runner...the one who learned to sit for treats at probably 10 years old. What a blessing she was to our family.
Wait for us sweet girl -- we'll see you again one day. We'll always love
you - Mom

Monday, May 29

Sad News for FBRN

Ruthie Chiger, FBRN's president, sent the following note to FBRN volunteers:It is with great sadness that I find that I have to report that we have lost a rescue dog. Sophie, who was being fostered by Carol Shenk in Southern California, has passed away.
This is the note I received from Carol:
"It is with utmost anguish and sorrow I must inform FBRN that Sophie has died. We had several days of unseasonably hot weather which affected me also, as well as several of my own dogs. In fact, I also lost one of our own Frenchies. The only thing the vet was able to suggest is that her impaired immune system weakened her ability to handle the stress and her heart just gave out. He had no idea about our own male as he was young and presumably healthy. She is buried alongside Mac, Paris, and Homer. We have ordered memorial plaques for the graves." I know Carol did all she could, but living out in the desert, just a few minutes in unexpected heat could be too much for our Frenchies. As summer approaches, please remember Sophie, and always remain cognizant of the sun, the air temperature and the heat radiating off the pavement. Ruthie.

If your dog should show signs of overheating, get her into the shade or a cooler location fast, and, if possible, quickly wet her down with cold water, and have someone call your vet immediately for advice.

Meanwhile, the critical thing is to have evaporation working for you, so don't just get the dog wet. Either keep cold running water going over her skin, or put her in front of a fan or air-conditioner, particularly if you live in humid zones, where evaporation is slow. Take the dog's temperature, and if it is elevated above 101 or 102, continue assisting the dog to cool herself by running cold water over her, testing her temperature every 3-5 minutes. However, once the dog's temp begins to fall from its high point, you should cease emergency measures, and get the dog to the vet as soon as you can. She may require IV fluids. Some Frenchies enjoy lying on the cooling pads, and others never leave home in summer without a cooling bandana around their necks. These products are widely available at pet supply stores.

We join Carol in her grief, and we thank her for always being willing to take the most difficult, sickest dogs to foster.
Wishing you comfort and peace,
The Frog Princess

Bubba's New Family

Young Bubba, the most photogenic Frenchie to come into rescue in a long while, has gone to his home in Michigan. His foster mom describes the bittersweet farewell:

Well, I just sent Hubba Bubba off with his forever family. All I can say is WOW!Pattie and Bill are some of the finest people I have ever met. I thought that I would be bawling my eyes out, but once I met them and we sat and visited, I had no worries whatsoever that Bubba wasn't going to love living with them.

He took to them right away, and when we introduced Bubba to their 10 year old Frenchie Katie, my rambunctious two year old seemed to understand that she was elderly and needed a gentle touch. He was great with her. By the end of our visit, Bubba had his butt propped up on Pattie's leg. And Bill said that he was looking forward to all of the walks that he and Bubba were going to be taking along the lake near their home. I am so relieved that it went so well. They not only turned out to be great people, but they made a $100 dollar donation in addition to Bubba's adoption fee, and brought me a cooler full of a taste of Michigan; wine, cheese, chips, Ginger soda, and, Kielbasa. Yippeeeee! It's so worth it to give these little guys a piece your heart so that they can be made whole again and go on to forever homes like this one.
Thanks, Karen, for doing such a good job with our darling boy. We think the cooler full of goodies is a lovely gift, and the thought of a Michigan wine has piqued the interest of
The Frog Princess

A Special Delivery

FBRN's whole purpose for existing is to serve the needs of French Bulldogs in trouble. Some dogs' situations are so perilous that immediate action is required. FBRN is very fortunate to have many, many volunteers willing to literally drop everything to respond to a call. In the following post, Southern California state contact Lesley Sailor describes the events of this past Friday, when she had to act quickly to prevent a terrible situation from worsening to a fatal one: On Friday, May 26th at around 11:30am I received a call from a man wanting to relinquish his 3 yr old, 30# import frenchie who was 60 days from mating with the next door neighbor's chocolate Lab. He was preparing to take her to the local bulldog vet but didn't believe he had the funds or the means to care for her and her puppies any longer. He told me he had fallen on hard times financially and that he had 3 children. He said that she was being kept as an outdoor dog and wanted to give her over to FBRN so that she could get the care and attention that she deserved. He also said that Mama was not getting along with their female Boxer and the two would fight frequently over food. In the photos, the wounds on her head were probably a result of these fights.

I met her former owner on my lunch hour for him to sign the surrender form. I visited with Mama through the open car door and it appeared that she was already in labor. Unfortunately, Mama arrived with no collar, leash, bed or toys; it was clear that she had not been treated as a beloved house pet in a while. Her former owner admitted to this and said he felt bad about it. I asked her former owner to please drop her off with my vet since we had been unsuccessful in reaching the local bully specialist.When I spoke with my vet a few hours later, she had already performed the c-section and spay and delivered 3 healthy French Bulldog/Labrador crosses. There are 2 girls and one chubby little boy. The vet said that Mama had severe ear infections in both ears, which were likely caused by allergies. Unfortunately, she could not treat the infection immediately due to the nursing puppies.

Since this was my first experience with puppies, I recruited my friend, Wendy, to help. Mama and the babies spent the night at Wendy's house because Wendy doesn't have any dogs, and I was concerned about how my dogs might react to Mama and the pups. Wendy took excellent care of the little family throughout the night and Saturday, sleeping little and marvelling at Mama's good parenting skills. Mama turned out to be an amazing mom and took to her role right away. Saturday evening, Wendy & I drove Mama and the puppies up to meet their new foster mom half way. We're all relieved that she's in a stable, safe, loving foster home now and will be able to settle in and raise her puppies in peace.

UPDATE: Mama had to be taken to the Emergency Vet tonight, Sunday, because she had a high temperature. Apparently it was due to the pain. My vet could not give Mama any meds for the pain because of the nursing puppies. The E-Vet found a medication that is safe for use with nursing puppies, thank goodness. We hope she'll be feeling better soon!

Lesley's post details just the first 30 hours or so of Mama's time with FBRN. Remarkable to think that a man with a dog in labor requiring surgery, could call a stranger, meet her, and deliver the dog into FBRN's care in less than an hour. And that FBRN could find an experienced puppy home willing to take in a litter of pups in 24 hours? We amaze ourselves. We are so proud of our volunteers. And we are very grateful to our donors, who made this rescue possible.

FBRN isn't yet sure how we will place the puppies. This is unknown territory for us, and the Board will have to decide how best to handle this situation. Meanwhile, Mama is warm and dry, eating well and watching over the pups' tiny adventures as they explore the world beyond the fuzzy bed. If you can help with the costs associated with Mama's c-section, spay, and ongoing treatment for her ear infections and other costs, please visit our website (the link is on the sidebar). When you get there, click on the bone, and tell us your donation is for our sweet Mama. Special thanks to Lesley, Wendy, Mama and the puppies' new foster mom, and our foster placement coordinators, who burned up the Internet and phone lines facilitating this joyful event!

Oh, my. Just thinking about all this activity has simply exhausted your
Frog Princess

Saturday, May 27

Gorby Takes a Bath

Some FBRN dogs are lucky to be alive. Gorby is one of them. He was adopted a few months ago, but it took the efforts of several FBRN volunteers (especially his foster mom) to convince folks that Gorby was not a man-eater, not a vicious beast or a lawsuit waiting to happen. He was a hard case, yes, but he wasn't a hopeless case. A few weeks with a willing and experienced trainer, some desensitization to strangers and his new person's commitment to his continuing recovery turned the boy from scary, insecure bigmouth to lovable, happy goofball.
Here is Gorby, subdued and soggy, waiting for the OK to get out of the tub. Having just bathed an unwilling Frenchie ourselves, we are fully aware of the difficulties of managing a slippery, strong young French bulldog who has had enough of tubtime. Does the phrase "greased pig" mean anything to you?

Just look at this good boy. Even though he is clearly unhappy to be there, he is waiting, waiting, waiting for permission to climb out.

And here is Gorby at his window, watching the world go by. Gorby is enjoying his new life as a pet, owned by a member of a law enforcement agency who takes him to work some days and loves him like a rock. Gorby is another example of the good work FBRN can do, given determination on the part of its volunteers not to give up too soon and kind help from trainers who can see beyond the growling, barking, bad-boy facade some Frenchies put on.

A tiny, frozen cup of Stolichnaya is being raised to Gorby and his friends with a heartfelt "Na zdorovie!" from
The Frog Princess

Friday, May 26

Little Douce Tooth! (You Don't Know What I Got)

We don't know about anybody else, but we are crazy about one particular lip-look on a Frenchie girl. It's the sweetest little all-unbeknownst-to-her, ridiculous look of the out-of-order lip.

Here it is on our little Doucette, the NC10 girl with the most! We think we like it so well because most of the Frenchie ladies of our acquaintance are ordinarily so dignified, so composed and pretty, that when their lips go goofy, it's extra hilarious. Like seeing Nicole Kidman or Barbara Bush the elder with her skirt tucked up in her underpants. It's a naughty sort of amusement, and if we were a nice girl, we wouldn't find it funny at all.

We can't leave you with the impression that darling Doucette is anything but lovely to look at 99% of the time, so we'll include these photos as a sort of mouthwash for the mind.

She's so pretty! And she gets along with the resident dare-devil evil kitty well. Doucette nobly puts up with his drive bys and "surprise!" appearances--he jumps out from around corners and hidden spots attempting to startle her. And, for those of you with suspicious minds, yes, it is just a coincidence that Doucette and the cat are color-coordinated. We've got no Cruella DeVille's in our FBRN family! No collectors of black and white critters for the sake of fashion or a fabu photo op.

Doucette is still available for adoption and waiting for an applicant who will appreciate her quietly adventurous personality and loving, gentle, happy temperament. Applications are available on the FBRN website.

Doucette, your amiable ways and kindly manner endear you to
The Frog Princess

Wednesday, May 24

Dottie's Waiting

Dottie is feeling great these days! She's got her smile on and her ears are healed and she looks very healthy. She's so peppy we could barely get her to be still long enough to take these photos. All reports are that Dottie is a terrific girl, very friendly and happy-go-lucky. She'll be spotlighted on the new website when it's revealed this week. With luck, Dottie will catch the eye of a marvelous family and will be off to begin her life before you can say, "Cheese!"

mmmm. Cheese.

It's teatime for
The Frog Princess

Tuesday, May 23

Our Valentine in May

Valentine came to rescue on St. Valentine's Day and all over the country, FBRN supporters fell in love ! It was plain to our sponsors that sweet Valentine needed some TLC and good medicine, and though all of Valentine's problems have not yet been diagnosed, we wanted you to see the changes in her condition made possible by your donations and the devoted care of her loving foster mamma. This photo of Valentine was taken after just 3 days without steroid therapy, the last time the doctor tried to take her off them. Steroids are effective at treating many skin infections and eruptions, but steroids are very hard on the liver, so doctors try to limit their use and seek the underlying cause of the symptoms in order to eliminate the problem. So far, we don't yet know what's causing these painful, recurring symptoms, but her mamma thinks it's an allergy to Texas.

We do know that under all that red, ouchy, itchy skin there was a happy Frenchie waiting to emerge. In the months that she's been in foster care, she's recovered her cheerful personality and revealed herself as an alert and curious, chipper and silly girl. Valentine's foster mamma reports that when Valentine is feeling good, she is a very active little thing, and burns off every calorie she takes in. She has a svelte and lithe appearance and really has fun playing in the green freedom of the yard with her foster brother, a fine figure of a hunkistudlious boxer named Chester.

A lonesome little white dog in a world of hurt, whisked from a shelter into the safety and keeping of a loving home, now watched over and waited for by anxious would-be families everywhere...

It's enough to bring a tear to the eye of

The Frog Princess

Monday, May 22

Twiggy, then and now

Twiggy was so thin and so sick when she came to us, even after a week in the good care of Animal Control, that we despaired. She had more than one close call, and for weeks she could not digest food or put on weight. She's able to share a basket with a pug who weighs a little more than she does in this photo. Today, she's still sharing sleeping space with Teddy-One-Toof, but it's a bigger bed, and Twiggy can no longer curl herself up nose to toes. She's muscled, she's a shade of redhead Loreal would pay big money for, and she's such a good size, she's even hanging off the edge of the bed. She and Teddy are no longer in the same weight class.
Nowadays, Twiggy is so full of life and joie-de-vivre she simply vibrates with energy. She is a happy girl without an enemy in the world. She does have a little bone to pick with the dogs next door who refuse to play the dozens with her at the fenceline, and in the most cowardly way just sit back and observe as she taunts them and invites them over to be supper. To supper. But every good dog has her little ways.

Twiggy is so wonderfully changed from the cringing, sick, terrified little dog who came to us in September. She has learned the joys of being a pet and always takes pleasure in the freedom of being outdoors, uncaged. These photos show Twiggy presenting herself for attention, attention, attention during a recent backyard photo shoot. We can scarcely believe this is the same dog.

Twiggy at rest. At last!

Twiggy's surgery to remove her painful, useless eye was a success, and soon she will undergo another surgery to correct the cherry eye you see here. But isn't she a pretty girl? Look at that grin. Apart from sleep-time, that grin is pretty much a constant.

And who can blame her? From neglect and filth and starvation to the lap of luxury: this girl probably thinks she is in doggy Valhalla. And who's to say she's wrong?

Twiggy is making up for lost time. She will play and fetch and jump and run and wiggle and demand tummy rubs all day long. She has two speeds: OFF and All the Way ON. We think that's great for this girl who was so close to death, so exhausted by suffering, so frighteningly passive. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to her care and donated to her and the other NC10.

We especially thank the doctors and staff at the vet's office, her foster mom, who was often afraid to go to sleep, lest she wake to find Twiggy had died, and the dogs in her foster home for making room for her and tutoring her in her rights and privileges as a pet!

Here's a photo of Twiggy then. Worn out, emaciated, sick and frightened. Barely able to stand long enough to have this photo taken. We know there are many dogs out in the world today in similar shape, and we'll continue to work for them and rescue, rehabilitate and rehome them.

Meanwhile, if your light ever threatens to burn out, stop by and take another look at these photos of Twiggy at her worst and well on the way to being restored to the healthy dog she was meant to be.

Look at the difference in Twiggy and the change FBRN made in her life and circumstances.

Then take a few deep breaths, have a nice hot beverage, walk your dogs down to the park, fling a frisbee or two, pull up your socks and get back at it.

That's what Twiggy would do!

And so would your devoted

Frog Princess

Sunday, May 21

Smeagol in the grass

I love Smeagol when he's sleeping, and I love Smeagol when he's enjoying the sun and the grass. Doesn't that face just make you want to go find a nice lawn and walk around barefoot? O! wise Smeagol. You remind us that happiness comes from choosing to be happy and finding ways to get there.
Grass. Sunshine. A Sunday afternoon in springtime. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and couple of deviled eggs.

That's a recipe for happiness, says
The Frog Princess

Saturday, May 20

How do I love Smeags? Let me count the ways...

Here is our noble Smeagol, resting after his Herculean labors of meeting and greeting passersby at the Raleigh Bark in the Park recently. Note how he sleeps so soundly: it is the sleep of the just and the innocent. And, possibly, the overfed. Who could resist offering that handsome face a tasty lick of ice cream or a little bite of hot dog?

Certainly not I,
The Frog Princess

Friday, May 19

Boris Breaks Away!

Karina and Matt were chosen to be Otis's new people last winter, but Stephani, Otis's foster mom, kept him until they could drive up to get him during their cross-country move to Virginia. Here, Stephani describes Otis's leavetaking:

"Well, Otis (now Boris) has left for his new home after being here since last July. When Karina and Matt walked in the door, Otis ran to them like he had known them forever. They went over and sat down and he wiggled all over the place and flipped over on his back (that is pretty good for him). They left today to continue their journey to Richmond, where they will be living."

Boris, Karina and Matt had just settled in when Boris set in motion an adventure for himself, a day and a night of anxiety for his family, and an opportunity for FBRN volunteers to do what they do best: pitch in to rescue a Frenchie in need! Most of us have known the fear and frustration of having a dog get loose while in our care. We can sympathize with the following story, which is a reminder to properly record and keep track of our dogs' microchip information. Ruthie, FBRN's President, wrote this account of the events caused by Boris's sudden case of happyfeet:

This past Friday, Boris and his Dad were out taking a walk. As per their routine, as they mounted the steps to their townhouse and reached the landing, Matt slipped off Boris's collar and leash so he could happily run into the house. Instead, this time Boris bolted down the stairs and away up the street. Matt followed, but quickly lost sight of him. He looked everywhere and called all the local vets and shelters, but he was new to town and became panicked. He called Stephani for advice, she contacted me, and the search was on!

Trish Berresford went running over with her Frenchie, Curran, to help in the search, then Karen Miller relieved Trish, and Kimberly Rice was all set to go over after work. What we didn't know was that Boris had been picked up shortly after getting away and taken to a vet. The vet's scanner detected Boris's Home Again chip, but not the information on the new chip implanted by FBRN. The vet's office called his first owner, whose information was still on the Home Again chip, who then contacted Stephani, and Stephani let Matt and Karina know Boris had been found.

Saturday morning, Matt and Karina went to the vet's office to try to prove ownership, while volunteer Karen Miller called ahead to give the vet and Boris's new friends the proof that he was an FBRN dog. Boris, Matt and Karina were reunited, and 24 hours of anxiety came to an end. We're so glad this story has a happy ending. FBRN volunteers once again went above and beyond, Boris was reunited with his family, and his new Dad learned a lesson about the sneaky, naughty ways some Frenchies have.

FBRN now registers every dog through CAR (Companion Animal Recovery ) to prevent confusion like this from happening in the future. A special thank you to volunteers Stephani Luedde, Trish Berresford, Karen Miller and Peggy Roderick. These ladies worked together to bring Boris home. Thank you all!

Thursday, May 18


Dottie, looking comfy and warm in her lovely hoodie. Dottie's going to go up as a spotlight dog soon, so she can get some special attention from our FBRN supporters. Our little doodlebug just needs a home where her special gifts will be appreciated, and where her medical needs can be met. Look at that sweet face. Nothing cuter since Shirley Temple tapped her way onto the big screen.
Give that dog some sausage curls, quick! Or maybe just some sausage.
The Frog Princess

Our Maiden Voyage!

Here is the first entry on our test of a blog to spread news about our Frenchies, to share photos and updates, and to allow foster parents to brag about their furkids. Comments will be previewed and moderated, but are welcome. We hope that you will enjoy hearing a little more about the French bulldogs in our care, and will return often to visit with us.
Yours truly,
The Frog Princess