Friday, June 30

We Are Rescue

"We find beauty in the most incomprehensible places
and the otherwise homely faces. It is our gift to see
beyond the dirt, terror, sadness and defeat and find
the true soul that lies within. We are Rescue."


Thursday, June 29

Cornbread's Chariot of Fire

Cornbread was adopted early this year by an Ohio couple who have made it their lives' work to tend to this young Frenchie's every whim and fancy. As you may know, French Bulldogs do not make good running companions due to their tendency to overheat. However, regardless of their intolerance of heat and exertion, it is an unusual Frenchie who does not enjoy the out of doors and having a chance to offer passersby a warm salute and to receive the admiring glances and cheerful greetings of his fiefdom's little people.

It delights us that so many of our Frenchie friends are receiving the consideration and acknowledgment of a Frenchie's special needs that we ourselves demand. To those of our readers who may be a bit behind in providing the very latest in Frenchie conveyances, we implore you to provide your darling Frenchies with a servant and a carriage such as these, and we decree that Cornbread's vassal shall receive an extra helping of groats this night, in appreciation of his faithful service to one of FBRN's favorites.

Would that every Frenchie everywhere were as fortunate as Cornbread and
The Frog Princess

Wednesday, June 28

Time for a Ball!

It's about time the Kingdom enjoyed a ball. Unfortunately, times being what they are and the Royal Exchequer being a bit less than overflowing with pearls, gold and jewels, we must have a ball with a ball with a bounce, instead of a ball with a boogie.

And who better to model some moves than our dear Roscoe the Elder? This guy was a martyr to arthritis a few months ago, but with the addition of some supplements to his diet, he is batting around the backyard with the best of the boys.

Naturally, a bulldog of a certain age can only bound and bark and dribble for a limited time before the buzzer blows and the bliss of restful ease beckons. Sweet dreams, Roscoe, from
The Frog Princess

Tuesday, June 27

Emma's Coup D'Etat!

From time to time the Frog Princess is met with insurgency and challenges to her authority. In this case, young Emma thought it was high time a pied Princess took over the Kingdom. She even donned a lovely pink dress for the occasion, in hopes of lulling our subjects into a state of such enchantment that she might easily knock us off our throne. Keen observers, however, will note the light of fanaticism in her eye, the evil gleam that ambition sparks, the true nature of the beast in every line of her body. Our faithful servants successfully foiled Emma's coup, and a good thing, too. Just look at how she dealt with an innocent pageboy! We shudder to think what hideous fate might have been planned for us! Beloved subjects, in case you thought our life was all biscuits and bullysticks, we say to you tonight: Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown of
The Frog Princess

Monday, June 26

Doucette's Dream

Doucette enjoying the comfort of a bed handmade for her by an FBRN volunteer. A far cry from a falling-down rabbit hutch nailed to the side of a trailer, wouldn't you say? The NC10 continue to enjoy the thoughtful and generous gifts of volunteers and benefactors as they become accustomed to lives as pampered pets with loving families. This is Doucette's birthright and it should be every dog's, including Smeagol, Pancake, Cora, Lola, Twiggy, Brutus, Gina, Ellie and Patches, and every other nameless puppy mill breeding animal and homeless or neglected dog. It is their birthright every bit as much as it is the birthright of your own pet, or Her Royal Highness,
The Frog Princess

Sunday, June 25

Ethel's Home Sweet Home

We are persuaded that a goodly portion of the population suffers from a condition called Life. It seems to consistently get in the way of completing those little chores that we have promised ourselves or others we will perform without fail. We can ourselves recall those occasional instances when good intentions have met a sizzling end.

So when we heard that one of our FBRN volunteers was having a bit of trouble getting her family together for a family portrait to go with the announcement that her foster is going to be staying with them at their home forever, we were sympathetic. We even cast our minds back to just a few days ago, when--well, the precise details are unimportant. Suffice it to say that we are keeping some folks waiting ourselves.

So, until our volunteer can gather her family together for a portrait, here are photos of the extremely adorable Ethel. She is almost 11 years old, and she has had 5 different homes. She suffers from a chronic condition called Pemphigus Foliaceous, which is an auto-immune disease that results in blistering of the skin, creating scabby areas that are susceptible to staph infection. She will require steroidal drug treatments for the remainder of her life. Ethel's back legs are growing weaker as she ages, so she uses the handy ramps to get up on the bed, couch and window seat, where she always finds a comfy, welcoming, warm spot. She welcomes her people at the door with a wide and joyful grin.

She is a zesty little monkey! Ethel is adored by her people, and she is her own person, doing things her own way. She has a cute way of walking, a cute way of stalking her brothers and sisters when they play, and the most adorable little mouse face ever. She takes no nonsense from the Boston Terrier diva doggie, Winnie, who insists on doing a perimeter check of the yard in the morning before the other dogs go out. But Ethel just pushes her way through the waiting pack to trot out to the great outdoors. Winnie is perplexed by this behavior and pretends not to see it.

Another sister, Maizy, often finds Ethel wearing Maizy's t-shirts, and when that happens, she and Winnie huddle up and whisper their outrage and confusion at each other, cutting their eyes over at an oblivious Ethel, asleep in a sunbeam or gumming a toy. Ethel is too busy enjoying her Life to be concerned about what anydoggie thinks of her.

Look for Ethel's family portrait at some point on the adopted dogs page. Until then, enjoy these photos of darling Ethel, who has found her spirit and her happiness in a home somewhere not far from the Great Lakes. We ourselves aspire to an old age of independence and intrigue, befitting the extraordinary and inspired Life of a
Frog Princess

Saturday, June 24

Billie-Bob Says, "Howdy!"

Billie-Bob came to FBRN in July, 2005, when his family found they couldn't afford the treatments for his allergies or the special diet prescribed by the vet. Moreover, Billie-Bob was on the outs with the English Bulldog in his home. We learned a good deal about this young dog in a short time: Billie-Bob loved to play, loved people, and got along fine with the dogs in his foster home--though as a dog of peaceful bent he drew the line at roughhousing. Ita Mae, one of the resident Frenchies, who loves nothing better than a stimulating game of Frenchie wrassling, was disappointed and disgusted. Billie-Bob loved the tennis balls in his foster home, and he absolutely adored the toys that go "squeak!" Oh, he did have fun with those squeaky toys. So much fun did he have with the running up and down the halls, around and around the dining table, up and down the staircase with the squeak! squeak! squeakity-squeak! that his foster family had to institute a "No Squeakies after 7 pm" rule. That rule has also been adopted by his adoptive family, for the sake of their mental health. Shortly after he went to live with his adoptive family in October, Billy-Bob had a flare-up of allergies, but with the help of a vet and a strict elimination diet, his allergies flare up very rarely. Allergic or not, he's a happy, healthy, dearly loved and rather spoiled young Frenchie. Here's a note from his mom:

Just thought I'd drop you a note to let you know that Billie is doing fine. I don't think he'll ever be cured of his allergies but the vet I'm going to is very good and we are keeping him as cleared-up and comfortable as possible. Here are some pictures. He has made friends with a big black lab that visits from time to time. They are so funny together. Billie follows her all around. My husband babies him something terrible -- it's a crack up. Take care.

We must admit that we are also fond of the squeaky toys, but, of course, we invariably enjoy them in moderation and always with the dignified deportment required of a
Frog Princess

Friday, June 23

SoCal Sweetie Seeks Assistance

Hard on the heels of the happy news of Smeagol's placement, we learned of a dog in Southern California whose appalling condition rivalled that of the worst of the NC10's. Here is Anna Belle who has a laundry list of ailments which will require months of treatment. Fortunately for us, and even better for Anna, none of her physical problems are life-threatening, and at the end of the road, this 8 year-old fawn beauty's health should be restored. Her story is very sad, and the photos here are tough to look at. Before you read further, remember that she is safe now, and her worries are behind her.

Anna Belle is a US Frenchie, sold by her breeder to a family who later returned her following a number of dog-fights in which Anna was trounced and injured. Consequently, when she was returned to her breeder, she was fearful and aggressive toward other dogs. Her breeder placed her again in a home with no other dogs and a family of growing, older kids. For six years, Anna Belle lived in her home.

But on Monday of this week, we received word that a family wished to relinquish their Frenchie and our foster coordinator Angela Good went to work. When she called the home she learned the Frenchie in question was living outside in the yard, due to persistent diarrhea. She'd had 3 episodes of overheating in the last month, when temperatures reached as high as 104 degrees and was living alone with access to the swimming pool if she needed to cool off. Though she'd been to the vet to have her intestinal problems diagnosed, she'd done no better on the expensive food the vet prescribed, so she was eating an inexpensive supermarket food and still having terrible diarrhea. Her family had grown discouraged and given up trying to treat her. Additionally, the family had recently purchased a year-old Shih Tzu and had an 18 month-old lab. The other dogs lived in the home while Anna Belle lived outdoors.
Alarmed by the reports of overheating and learning that temps this week were hovering in the 100-104 range during the day, we put out a call for an urgent intake. A brand new volunteer only 30 miles away was able to pick up Anna the very next day, and through the kind assistance of Allen Weinberg and his friends and associates of FBDC of Southern California, we were able to get in touch with a volunteer we'd lost track of and who immediately responded and volunteered to foster Anna Belle. She picked up Anna and has already had her in to see the vet. The vet diagnosed this long list of problems, as we learned in a note from Anna Belle's foster mom:

"Face, head, neck, ears, feet and vaginal area: Severe Yeast/Staph infection.

Otomax 2x daily in ears
Conofite 2x daily on feet
Cephallexin 250mg 2x daily
Ketaconazole 1x daily
Benzyl peroxide medicated bath every 48-72 hours for 30 days (Oh, my gosh!..that's just to start with....)

Eyes: Dime sized Ulceration on right eye. Conjunctivitis in both eyes.
Chloramphenicol ointment 2x daily in both eyes

Fecal exam: Negative for parasites, positive for strong bacteria.
Endosorb 3x daily
Centrine 2x daily.

Anna Belle got an injection of Penicillin, Vitamin B12 and an anti-inflammatory directly behind her left ear.

Anna Belle is not well enough to receive any vaccines yet and she has at least one incisor that needs to be pulled once she is over the yeast/staph infection. Once the swelling goes down (hopefully it does…) in her feet, we can get working on her nails but I am going to let them be for now as her feet are sensitive to touch.

With all that sad news, the happy news for me was that with a lot of love and care she should recover just fine AND…..nothing she has is contagious! [Her vet] doesn’t think her feet will ever "look normal" again but, hey, looks aren’t everything and they can only get better looking from here, so we will take what we can get! Maybe we should call her 'tootsie.'"

We are very grateful that these cases of neglect come to us relatively rarely, but we are always shocked to see them at all. Anna Belle's treatment and prescriptions will be ongoing and, if you have a dog, you know how expensive medicines and vet visits can be! We are confident that once she has recovered from the stress of outdoor living and a new location, Anna Belle will once again be healthy enough to place in her final home with folks who can appreciate her and accommodate any special needs she may have.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to help us help Anna Belle, you can click here to make a donation through PayPal, or you can click here to donate through the website and select a gift as our thank you.

Though our volunteer base in Southern California has thinned somewhat in recent months, we are very happy to say that when a Frenchie was in need, we were able to respond. If you live in the SoCal area and are interested in any aspect of volunteering from fundraising to transportation, fostering short term or long term, please get in touch with Sally Curatola, our volunteer coordinator. We'd like to thank everyone in FBC of Southern California who offered help, encouragement, advice and information as we brought Anna Belle out of isolation and suffering into the hands of people
willing and anxious to assist. This girl deserves some happiness in life. Please, help us see that she gets her share.

Humbled and gratified by the compassion and cooperation we've seen this week,
The Frog Princess

Thursday, June 22

FBRNetwork News Exclusive!

Smeagol has a forever home! He will live out his life in the arms of his foster family and their friends, from whom he first received a taste of loving care and kindness as a treasured pet. Smeagol was one of the NC10, rescued from the way back part of the puppy mill's property where he was kept in a filthy, nasty pen, so isolated and alone, so silent and despairing that he was almost overlooked. At eleven years old, he was a mess. It's too dangerous to treat him, so he has heartworms living in his dear heart and he has lost nearly every tooth in his big old noggin, but that doesn't affect his appetite at all. Smeags was in pitiful shape when he first came to us, his toenails were curled under and cutting into his paw pads and he was very thin. His vet described Smeagol's mange as the worst case he'd ever seen.He's now a charming, shiny, happy boy who has put his lonely, dejected days behind him and emerged as a goofy, joy-riding, free spirit who wriggles in the deliciousness of fresh-mown grass and, when he's tired of having fun, luxuriates in one of the new comfy, clean beds donated by friends and supporters of FBRN.
Smeagol, you charmer, you handsome boy, you darling thing--we love you from afar and we join the cheering throngs of your admirers in wishing you years of happiness and joy! Congratulations to you all, and we do here decree that in Smeagol's honor there shall be extra cookies for everyone today!
Make it so, commands
The Frog Princess

Wednesday, June 21

FBRN grads excel in obedience!

Gilbert is a puppy mill survivor and miracle boy who moved out of the frying pan and into the fire. He was pulled from a Wisconsin puppy mill by another breed rescue, only to be consigned to a life of neglect under a backyard porch, winter and summer in the weather extremes of Wisconsin. To this day, poor Gilbert's eartips go bald in cold weather: a yearly reminder of frostbite and his unlikely and incredible survival in subzero temps.
When he first came to FBRN, Gilbert was very shy and nervous, but he is now a funny little toad! Though he crouches a bit when someone leans down to pet him or pick him up, he's come a long way from the early days of his fostering. Now, he loves nothing more that to give kisses and cuddle up on his back tucked in the crook of his dad's arm. He was adopted in Feb., 2004.

Nikko's 19 year-old owner just didn't have time for him. Nikko was spending 15 hours a day in his crate. His knee required surgery, but his owner couldn't afford it. Nikko has a mild congenital heart condition, too, so he won't be trained in agility. His mom is a vet whose clinic did the surgery and she has taken over his post-surgery rehab. He was adopted in the fall of 2004. In May we got a note from Nikko and Gilbert's mom, letting us know that Nikko and Gilbert are excelling in rally obedience! Here's her news:

Nikko and Bella attended trials in St. Louis the first weekend of this month. Nikko finished his Rally Advanced title that weekend, and then earned his first Excellent leg. Nikko, and Gilbert attended APDT Rally-O trials the third weekend of this month. APDT tests are a lot longer and more difficult than AKC trials. Little Gilbert flew through his AKC Rally Novice title in three straight trials, but these APDT tests were more than his little insecure self could do. Anyway, we will soon finish that title when he's ready.
Nikko braved the 90+ heat this past weekend in Bloomington IL, and I am proud to report Nikko finished his Rally Excellent title on Saturday.
He has qualified in every obedience trial for his CD and every Rally trial for his RN, RA, and RE...all since February of this year! This rescue boy has been busy!
If you attend the National Specialty in TN this summer, look for Nikko and Gilbert and their sister Bella in the Parade of Rescues!

Those ribbons are very pretty, and we are duly impressed with the accomplishments of our Frenchie kin. However, we worry that these two boys' accomplishments will set up dangerous expectations. We are hereby warning readers of this blog not to seek equivalent performances in their own darling Frenchies. These two boys have a, dare we say, freakish ability and eagerness to pay attention and to obey the irrational and peculiar commands of humanity. Most Frenchies are unlikely to gratify the whims of their people, and we'd hate to see our dear ones disappointed. Be satisfied with the happy, blissful, ignorant little soul who sleeps so sweetly at your feet. It's better that way for all concerned, suggests
The Frog Princess

Tuesday, June 20

Mike and Jake

Well, here's some trouble. Look at these two hooligans! This is Mike and Jake, a couple of rascally pups who are currently undergoing some veterinary treatment prior to being placed on the available dogs page. These two sillies are going to be placed together.

Mike is the quieter of the two, but make no mistake, he's only quiet in comparison to the looniness of Jake the Snake! Mike has his moments. He's a 5 year-old pied boy, and he's very easygoing.

Jake is clearly the more clown-hearted of the pair, and the two photos of him below show him making up to the camera. He's a little nutty, he's very energetic, he's 3 years old, and he's just a pistol waiting for permission to make some noise.

Mike and Jake came to us when their owners, a young couple with a very young child, realized they just weren't able to give the dynamic duo the attention they really should have. Mike and Jake are generally healthy, very loving and temperamentally quite sound and happy. Even Jake, the rambunctious rapscallion, knows enough to be gentle and low-key with little children.
These boys are great with other dogs, and don't pay any attention to the parrot in their foster home. They've not yet even discovered the kitty, and they've been on the scene for days, now.

Watch the available dogs space if you are in the market for a barrelful of Frenchie fun! If you'd like to sponsor their veterinary care, you can go to their sponsor page or click here for a PayPal form. Tell us it's for Mike and Jake. Mike and Jake's foster family are in for a great time with these two goofballs, predicts
The Frog Princess

Monday, June 19

A Note of Appreciation from Gorby and his Mom

Earlier this month, we received a lovely, unsolicited testimonial extolling the virtues of one of our volunteers, Cassy Peterson. Cassy adopted Cooper, the world's most photogenic French Bulldog, a couple of years ago from FBRN, and she spent better than a year rehabilitating Roscoe the Younger, now called Rascal. Cassy was instrumental in rescuing and supporting the NC10 and their foster families, and is one of the NC state contacts. She is a talented painter, and you'll find some of her artwork for sale on the Cafe Press. Cassy went to bat to save Gorby's life, fostering him, finding him a trainer, and holding out for an adopter who would not let Gorby's displays of ferocious nonsense put her off. Cassy found a home for Gorby where he is adored, warts and all.

Not that there's anything wrong with warts, says
The Frog Princess

I am writing this letter to show my appreciation for Cassy Peterson, a FBRN volunteer in North Carolina. I have recently adopted Gorby! I'm sure anyone who visits the FBRN website has read Gorby's story and updates and seen various pictures of Gorby. I knew that adopting Gorby was going to be a constant challenge. I definitely would have had a much harder journey with Gorby if it wasn't for Cassy I have been in contact with Cassy since the first phone call discussing the possibility of adopting Gorby. Since that phone call, Cassy and I drove over two hours to meet Gorby, spend time in the Vet's office to get Gorby back to health, spent several hours on the phone still trying to find a suitable trainer in the Wilmington area and discussing Gorby's antics, and most recently a visit by Cassy to Gorby's new house. Cassy took the time out of her busy schedule on a holiday weekend to come see Gorby and to convince me that Gorby did love being around other dogs.
However, I was skeptical due to the advice I'd gotten from previous trainers. Cassy brought Twiggy and Cooper to see Gorby. I was very nervous, but the minute that Gorby saw Twiggy and Cooper, they were all running around the back yard playing. I was so happy to actually see Gorby that happy. Once again, Cassy was right. I am now determined that after some more dominance training, that Gorby will have playmate from FBRN.

Cassy Peterson has repeatedly gone out of her way to ensure Gorby's well-being and to help me with Gorby's adjustment to his new life and home. FBRN should be proud to have a volunteer like Cassy who has dedicated so much of her time to make sure that the rescued Frenchies will have a safe, healthy, and loving environment to live in, as well as helping the adoptive parents, so that the transition into the new home for the Frenchies is easy. THANK YOU SO MUCH CASSY-I COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT YOU.
Tera & Gorby

Sunday, June 18

An Interview with Frank Gavlak

Here is the first in a series of interviews with FBRN volunteers. We sent some questions to long-time FBRN booster, transporter, cement Frenchie maker, foster dad and adopter, Frank Gavlak, and he added some of his own! Here are his replies.

How did you hear about FBRN and how long have you been a member?
My wife, Kathleen came across FBRN on the internet in the summer of 2001. Actually, it was Cloey, who was rescued by the FBCofA and was in Charlotte's foster care at the time that caught my wife's eye. Shortly after, of course, FBRN was founded and we followed its progress ever since then. Kathleen and I became members in the summer of 2002. That's because we vacationed in New England for our 25th wedding anniversary and took Gabby with us. We stopped to see Charlotte [Charlotte Creeley, FBRN's founder] who actually "dog sat" for Gabby over the weekend while we toured Boston. Realizing that at the time there were no FBRN reps for Western Pa, we offered to become members and reps. Here is a picture of Gabby cooling off in the pool while we vacationed in New England. In the foreground are Stoney, Porkchop, Inky among others.

What do you remember about the first time you volunteered for FBRN?
It wasn't long after we had become members that we were called upon to rescue Rebel and Mattie. Being new to the game, I checked with Charlotte to see if we could actually take them since they were both "older dogs" according to the daughter of their owner. I'll never forget what Charlotte told me: "We'll take anything as long as they're Frenchies. Just go and get them!" I knew that I could foster Rebel because he was a male and Gabby would tolerate males (but she is very dog aggressive towards females). But I knew that fostering Mattie would have been a problem, so I called a very good friend of mine, Mary Smith, a long time Frenchie owner and asked her to go with us and to perhaps foster Mattie. She did and later adopted her and it worked out fine, although I remember at the time that Charlotte did not want me to separate Mattie and Rebel because they were mates. Yet, they've adjusted very well to their new lives and homes and still see each other on occasion.

How does your family feel about your involvement in FBRN?
My wife has pretty well adjusted to being a "rescue widow" since I spend most of my waking time either doing rescues or transports or home checks or I'm in front of my computer reading and sending e-mails about rescue situations and upcoming transports. Actually, my wife has been very supportive of my involvement in FBRN and is also involved with rescue. She was the one who rescued "Molly" a few years ago while I was at work. My adult son and daughter are no longer living at home but they both enjoy our three dogs when they visit.

Do you have a Frenchie now? What is/are his/her/their names? How old are they?
Currently, we have two Frenchies. Gabby is our almost 10 y.o. female and Rebel is our 11 1/2 y.o. male. We weren't really looking for either dog; both just "came" to us. Gabby came to live with us on Thanksgiving of 2000 when a lady who knew that our first Frenchie, Sweet Pea was terminally ill, offered her to us. Gabby was rescued by the FBCofA in August, 1997 when she was estimated to be about 1 y.o. I rescued Rebel (along with his mate, "Mattie") in February 2003 when their owner died. He was my first FBRN rescue. We also have an "honorary Frenchie", a little blind, approx. 10 y.o. male Boston Terrier whom I named "Mickey" since I also do Boston Terrier Rescue for Western Pennsylvania. I got Mickey last September when I rescued him from wandering the streets of McKeesport, a suburb of Pittsburgh. (Hence, "Mickey" from "McKeesport"). Gabby and Rebel were already named when they came to live with us. Gabby is short for "Gabriella", the name given to her by her foster mom.

What is your favorite memory of an FBRN dog?
I guess it's Rebel since he is an FBRN dog and my first rescue and foster whom I ended up adopting. I never planned it that way. We had Gabby and never even considered ever getting another dog. Rebel was slated to go to Dayton to a lady who, at the last minute, got cold feet and declined to adopt him. By then I had neutered him and fostered him for nearly two months, and we had "bonded" together in my den. I felt so bad for Rebel because when we first rescued him (and Mattie) they were not in the best shape having come from a "back-yard" breeder. Poor little guy looked so forlorn. So, to try to cheer him, I'd let him sit in an arm chair next to me while I worked on my computer in the den. This, in retrospect, ended up working out TOO well, because that is how we "bonded" and to this day, as long as I'm in the den, he'll "guard" it and not let anyone, including my wife enter! He's been like a shadow to me; everywhere I go, he goes. At first, he would even follow me down the hall when I'd go to the powder room and peek around the corner just to make sure I didn't "leave town". Now, he's a bit more trusting and will remain in the den until I return. In fact, all three dogs spend a lot of time together in the den while I'm working there.

We've heard that you have single-handedly developed a whole range of cement Frenchie colors. How did you get the idea for that? What's the process for making a pied Frenchie?
That too came about as sort of an "accident". I had seen the Frenchie statues that Kathy Clayton used to make for FBRN and finally decided to buy two; one for each of my brick driveway entrance ways. Much to my chagrin, by the time I tried to purchase them, I found out that they were no longer being offered. So, I asked Kathy (and FBRN) if I might borrow the molds and try my hand at making them. Kathy graciously consented to loaning me the molds last year and I began trying my luck at making cement Frenchie statues. At first, I had many problems with them breaking, chipping, and cracking. Normal "cement" is a mixture of 1 part cement and two parts sand and, of course, enough water to mix the two together. I eventually found out that using one part cement to one part sand actually works better and is stronger and similar to "grout". I also discovered that by making and inserting a wire "skeleton" inside the mold actually reduces the amount of cracking and breaking, because concrete and cement have tremendous compressive strength, but the "shear" strength is poor unless reinforced with "rebar" (in this case the wire "skeletons"). I also found that by liberally lining the mold with vegetable oil, it allows the statue to be removed more easily and without cracks and breaks. Since last fall, I have made over 50 of them including two hand painted ones which I gave to my wife for Christmas. I'm toying with the idea of offering "hand painted" ones this year for Christmas. But it does take a LOT of time to make. About an hour to make the "skeleton" and mix the cement and tint, if any, and pour it into the mold. And about another hour to remove the mold (it comes in 4 sections) and double pack them for shipping. The hand painted ones each took another hour at least.The colored ones are a good bit more difficult than the "Stoney Grey" or "classic" (natural) colored ones or even the plain "Chloe" white ones. The "Molly Brown" and "Inky Black" ones are made by adding either a brown or black tint mix to the cement. The "Sweet Pea Pied" and "Gabby Brindle" ones are the hardest because I must first pour a little bit of the black cement mix (for Pieds) into the portions of the mold and then pour the remaining white cement carefully on top of and around it. For Brindles, I simply pour some dry cement mixed with the brown tint directly into the mold and then pour the black tinted cement on top of it. After removing the mold, the Pieds and Brindles can be sanded until the right mix of black or brown is showing through. [Editor's note: Cement Frenchies can be ordered through the Shopping Mall on FBRN's site]

As an experienced French bulldog owner, do you have any advice for current or future Frenchie owners?
I think that anyone adopting a Frenchie should understand that they are a relatively "high maintenance" dog. By that I mean that physically, mine have always been prone to ear infections. And, "socially", they demand and require a lot of your attention..... attention that you must be willing to give them. Mine also tend to be picky in what they eat. Currently, I'm feeding them all a "homemade" dogfood which I make out of lean ground chicken, sweet potato, carrots, blueberries, and brown rice. (I add calcium supplements and other pet vitamins in it so that they'll have a balanced diet.) If you ever read about the ingredients that go into some commercial dogfood, you'll start making your own too.
Here are a few internet links about that; be sure to read about it on an empty stomach:

Any advice for someone going on their first pick-up/transport or fostering their first Frenchie?
When I do transports, I always make sure that I have a crate, both for the dog's safety and for mine. The last thing you want is a dog in your lap or face as you're trying to drive. I also always take some "treats" (i.e., dog biscuits) with me and use them to let the dog warm up to me before I pick up or transport. Also, when approaching the dog for the first time, do it with your palms out and facing upward; never "reach" for the dog; let him/her come to you if possible. I also do transports for all other dog breeds as well, and this advice works for almost any dog. As far as fostering goes, our house is full of baby gates and crates. We always make sure not to leave the foster dog with our dogs when we're not at home because we don't want fights to break out. If it's a female foster, we have to keep her entirely separated anyhow because Gabby is very dog aggressive towards other females. A good rule to follow is to always try to introduce the foster dog on "neutral ground", preferably outside and not on familiar turf with the existing dog(s) so that they won't have the upper hand.

You said that you also do Boston Terrier rescue. How do the two rescues compare?
I've always said that FBRN is the "premier" rescue organization and that all rescues should pattern themselves after it. The BT rescue groups are much more "regionalized", i.e., there is no single strong national group like FBRN or even FBCR or FBCofA. I think that FBRN is very well organized and very well run and makes it easy for potential surrenderers to find help, and for folks like me who can only do short term fostering to find someone to take over. Since joining FBRN in 2002, I've rescued 7 Frenchies including Rebel, whom I adopted. Since becoming involved in Boston Terrier rescue in 2004, I've personally rescued, transported, and placed or assisted in the placement of over 20 BT's. There seems to be a disproportionate number of BT's requiring rescue compared to Frenchies. Because I really believe in the organization and want to help increase the profile of FBRN's role in rescue, I decided to "advertise" a bit by personalizing one of my PA license plates:

Between the two rescue groups, it sounds like you are very busy. What do you do in your "spare" time?
Actually, I have very little of that. In addition to the two breed specific rescue groups, I do other volunteer work with our two local "No-Kill" shelters, Angel Ridge and PetSearch. I also do home checks and transports for other rescue organizations and have amassed a database of "rescue contacts" well into the hundreds. I can usually get a home check done or a transport set up anywhere in the Northeast using my rescue associates' help.

Anything else you'd like to add? What would you say to potential "would-be" volunteers or people contemplating getting into rescue?
The rescue "business" is very rewarding, but also very draining on your mental, physical, and monetary resources. If more persons would do it though, then it would be easier for all of us. There are so many unfortunate animals out there just waiting to come into rescue. Sure, there are "shelters", many of them purporting to be "no-kill" shelters, but when a dog (or cat) can come into a breed specific rescue and be integrated in and around other people and dogs, the better life that dog will have. I'll never forget that when Rebel's adoption in Dayton fell through and I was first contemplating adopting him, Charlotte told me "dogs depend on us to make all their important 'life decisions'. They can't make those for themselves so we have to help them by doing it for them." This certainly is true and encompasses all decisions for dogs in shelters, dogs in foster care or even our own dogs. The other thing I've learned is that once you're contacted by a person potentially seeking to surrender a dog, you have to act QUICKLY. I made the fatal mistake once with a potential Boston Terrier surrenderer. The lady called and said that "her mother had a 9 y.o. female and wanted to give it up." I asked her if it was urgent or if I could try to first find a suitable long term foster home for her and call her back. She said that there was no urgency, but when I called her back a few days later she told me that "we'd just come from the vet and had the dog euthanized". I wanted to reach in through the telephone and smack her, but after hanging up, I just wanted to smack myself for not getting the dog first and asking questions later. In the rescue business, you have to be like a volunteer fireman. I.e., you have to go when there's a fire, not a week, a day or even an hour later because it will be too late then.
Back in 2001, when our Sweet Pea was terminally ill with cancer, and I was literally beside myself, someone told me "I know this sounds silly, but some day, somehow, some good is going to come out of this." I think the person was right, because it was shortly after her death that I was inspired to get into rescue. I realized that even though I couldn't save Sweet Pea's life, there were many, many other deserving dogs out there whose lives I could save or at least make a little bit more pleasurable. I would certainly encourage others to spread the word about rescue and invite any potential qualified people to become involved with rescue.

In closing, I'd just like to pass along a little quote (below) that I received from one of the transport coordinators that I work with. I think that if everyone thought like the philosophy described in the quote, we'd have a lot fewer dogs in rescue today.
Thanks for your time in hearing my views. If anyone has any specific questions, they can always e-mail me at
There is an Native American legend which says,"when a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based upon what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge....and which are turned away...."

FBRN exists only because folks like Frank and Kathleen are willing to volunteer their time, effort, homes and money to rescuing French Bulldogs in need. We thank Frank for his willingness to be our very first interview, and for all the other work he does for FBRN. Feeling humble and proud, The Frog Princess