Thursday, December 27

Say Hey to the Puppy Mill Six-Pack!

After several months of recuperation time in a shelter following the shut down of a commercial breeding operation, we are delighted to welcome with open arms the Puppy Mill Six-Pack (PM6P). These dogs range from youthful to senior, relatively healthy to in need of a surgery or two. Over the next few days we will introduce you to them in more depth with photos from their foster homes.
(This is Bunker.)
Meanwhile, you can learn more about them and see their photos on the website, here. And if you are moved to sponsor one or two or all of these survivors of the puppy mill system of companion animal production, you can that, too.

And now, we bring to you a moment of shameless and proud bragging. All six of these dogs, not one of them having lived in a home situation before, not one of them cultured or trained or ready to be placed in a forever family just yet, found foster families to stay with at the height of the holiday season, just when holiday stress is peaking and holiday preparations are rising to a fevered pitch, what with the decorating and the wrapping, the last-minute present purchases and fruitcake baking. Our volunteers, several of them brand-new, first-time foster families, stepped right up and took in these dogs and had them going to specialists (the week before Christmas! Dropping everything to take their foster frogs to specialists and even getting second opinions!), integrating them into their households, and starting housebreaking and basic obedience training. Is this not remarkable? Don't you feel like cheering?

(Here's Tori, playing with one of the boys in his foster family.)

Well, maybe not cheering, but you might leave a nice comment or an encouraging word for our fabulous foster families who volunteered to be inconvenienced at the most inconvenient time, as well as the foster coordinators who make the placements happen by locating homes and coordinating the transports, following up with first-time foster families and making sure all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed. French bulldogs have been raining down on East and West coasts this month--and our foster families have been there for our frogbabies every time we have asked. We also offer our sincerest thanks to the shelter workers, vets and volunteers who took such loving care of these dogs.

We proudly and loudly pronounce and proclaim that our volunteers are the BEST! crows
The Frog Princess

Monday, December 24


A couple of weeks ago, one of our volunteers received a call from the father of one of a couple who had a French Bulldog in bad shape. He was terribly concerned about the dog's health, and he was hoping we could help. When we said we could and would help his granddog, he was so happy that he shed a tear or two. We took Gabriel in last weekend. He was dehydrated and emaciated, because he's had increasing trouble keeping food down for the last couple of years.

Citing financial concerns, his family opted not to have the surgery for what a vet diagnosed as a cyst on his spinal column, so he has problems walking. (This top photo shows Gabriel at his intake to the vet's office. Though the photo is small, you can see the bones in his hips and ribs) On the veterinarian's scale for body condition (1 worst-9 best) Gabe rated a 2.

Following his surrender, and frightened by his troubled breathing and emaciation, one of our volunteers took him to a specialty and ER veterinary clinic and spent four hours Sunday evening holding him between tests the vets ran. At one point, our volunteer even had to explain the situation to a woman who was giving her the extra-pungent stinkeye that dog people reserve for dog-abusers! It might be funny if it weren't sad.

They kept Gabe overnight so he could see the specialists as soon as possible in the morning. We weren't sure he'd live.

The next day, our volunteer had a day off and she returned to keep Gabe company at the vet's for a few hours. Various tests showed he had no intestinal blockage, but food wasn't moving through. He has severe reflux. A cocktail of drugs to stimulate his intestines, to prevent vomiting, and to address the infection in his lungs, probably caused by aspirating some vomit, were administered, as well as subcutaneous fluids. (This photo shows Gabe after 5 days of good food and rest and care at the vet's office. His waist is not as pinched, the hip bones are clearly not as sharp and there is some roundness in the muscles of his back legs)The vets discussed doing an endoscopy to explore the throat and stomach. We worried that in his condition he couldn't survive any invasive procedures. After years of vomiting, his throat and palate are swollen and he makes lots of scary noise as he breathes.

By Tuesday morning, Gabriel was keeping food down and had plumped up like a little rum-soaked raisin! The hydration alone made a big difference in his appearance--eyes no longer sunken but sparkling, skin less wrinkly--and he was making a total love muffin of himself! All the staff were making excuses to go back and snuggle him or let him out to "see if he had to pee." By Thursday, the staff and our volunteer could see that the bones that had jutted out so horribly were beginning to recede a bit. And when he was released from the hospital on Thursday night, his temporary foster mom who'd seen him before he went to the vet said he looked much, much better, though still way, way too skinny, of course.

The transport to his long-term foster home took place on Saturday; he was looking great and breaking hearts.
Our volunteers could scarcely believe the change in his demeanor and appearance, and tears were shed as he moved from his temporary foster mom to his transporter (and ER visiting volunteer) to his long-term foster mom.

We know that Frenchies are charming, adorable, easy-to-love little dogs, but even in a breed known for charm and heart capturing ability, this dog is something else.
Really, he's something else! There will be internecine fighting among our volunteers when the time comes for this boy to be adopted, and you can bet that heaven is being positively pounded with prayers for his continued improvement. (Remember that scene from It's a Wonderful Life where we see the galaxy of stars and many voices overlapping saying prayers for George? That's what it's like in heaven today.)(Do you see how Lillie and Gabe's heads are the same size? Now look at the photo of these two above. They should be the same size around the middle, too.)

He needs those good thoughts and prayers, too. He has sores on his feet, as a result of the foot dragging that the cyst on his spine causes. He may yet need palate surgery and he is still very underweight and weak. Once he's full of vitamins and nutrients and he's put some meat on his bones, we'll look to the next step for Gabriel. Right now, though, he's just concentrating on getting stronger, eating good, fresh, home-made food and taking his medicine, and sleeping long sleeps with his foster sisters Rosebud and Lillie, and his foster brother Murpheee. Murpheee and Lillie have their hands full taking care of Rosebud and Gabriel, so keep a good thought for them and Gabriel's foster mom, too. (Here is Gabe with some of his new friends, all swaddled in a beautiful red blanket made by one of our volunteers in North Dakota!)

The frogs are raining from the sky in California and the East coast. If you've ever considered becoming a volunteer for us, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch with Sally at SJCuratola at a o l dot com.

Now is the time for all good friends to come to the aid of our Frenchies! pleads

The Frog Princess

Sunday, December 23


We welcomed Ramsey to FBRN's fold last week. He came to us following the sad passing of his person. Which reminds us, have you made any arrangements for your dogs in the event that the anorexic guy with the scythe comes a-knockin' at the door? You really should. You know you should. Make it one of your New Year's resolutions. You know you'll feel better if you do. If you don't have family or a friend who can take your Frenchie, just specify that FBRN should be contacted. We'll come running.

Ramsey had the great good fortune to land in a foster home where he will be outfitted in couture, made to fit by his foster mom, a fabulous needleworker and designer. Here he is in his coat. We love the hood and belt.

And here's a shot of Ramsey in a jaunty mode, wearing his coat and a wee Santa hat. The hat is covering up his ear, which has a nasty hematoma. A hematoma is kind of an enormous blood blister. We think Ramsey has allergies that caused him to either shake his head or scratch his ear until he developed that big ol' blister. Poor guy. We have put him on a homemade diet, hoping to reduce the amounts of additives, preservatives and grains he's eating. He has medications, and he'll be starting some prednisone later this week to reduce the swelling so the vet can get a look at what's going on in the ear canal.

And here is Ramsey with a new friend. Frogs to the frog! His foster mom reports that Ramsey is feeling much better after his episode of car-sickness during his transport, though he has a tendency to vomit when he has to have his ears cleaned, or during other stressful times. Apart from the whoopsies, young Ramsey is just a hilarious little clown! He is on stage and in the spotlight at all times. His foster family, who have done lots of boxer rescue, are simply captivated by this silly little performer. We can't wait to hear more about his antics as time goes on.

We have more new Frenchies to tell you about this week, including the Puppy Mill 6 Pack and sweet, suffering little Gabriel, who needs lots of help and good thoughts.

A word of advice to the naughty little Frenchies out there: Don't wait for the night before Christmas to be good!
The Frog Princess

Saturday, December 22

Shuggie Lu is Home for Christmas!

Shuggie Lu, our rip-roarin', knee-slappin', gut bustin' Frenchie girl has found herself in her forever home just in time for Christmas!

The little gal on the left, looking like the Christmas presents have all been opened and she got a rock, is Shug's new sister, Roxanne.

We remember well how it felt to have an interloper come bustling in, all uninvited and subtle as the serpent in Paradise. Just look at Shuggie Lu, pretending she doesn't know the furniture is off limits! It's good to know that Roxanne is there to maintain some order and propriety!

Oh, that's typical! Now, isn't this just par for the course?
New dog gets treats! New dog gets love! New dog sucks all the air from the room at the annual Christmas Howliday party. Using some newly acquired (like 5 minutes ago) photographic editing skills, let's get a close-up of Roxanne's expression:When it comes to expressive features, can you beat a Frenchie? Oh, yeah, let's not forget to check out the new Christmas leash and collar that Shuggie Lu is sporting.

Meanwhile, there is poor Roxanne under the table, lone and lorn, mere chopped liver to Shuggie Lu's smoked salmon! We wouldn't blame her a bit if Roxanne took to picketing in front of the family home with a wee sign over her shoulder: "On Strike! Unfair to Roxanne!"

And let us note how Shuggie Lu appropriates the WHOLE bed! Leaves Roxanne only a measly corner to pout and sulk in. Ah, but she does it so well. See how Roxanne turns her back on Shug?
See how she expresses her wintry discontent in every eloquent line of the spine and tilt of the jaw?
Oh, the sorrow and the pity and the pity and the sorrow. Ain't it sad? Ain't it pitiful? Roxanne. We feel your sadness and we send you our pity. The whole idea of adding a dog to a home that already has a perfectly good dog in it is just so wrong. And we know you are both perfect and good! Believe us, we know! You remind us of ourselves, not so long ago, when our own sister was so rashly ushered in! It's a blow, it really is. As if we weren't enough joy. As if we were inadequate in the adorable department. We know, we know--they'll say we are over-reacting. They'll say we are being melodramatic, and they'll laugh at us and call us their little Sarah Bernhardts! O! how they jest at scars who never felt a wound!

Let us draw a veil over these heart-rending and bathetic scenes. As the shadows fall, we can merely call for a detente between these two beautiful girls.

Peace on earth, goodwill 'tween frogs, is the pious hope of
The Frog Princess

Thursday, December 20

Junior Jogs Along

Junior is one of FBRN's problem children. He is fostering with a wonderful professional dog trainer in the beautiful Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, and he is slowly learning how to manage his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and to respond in less frantic ways to the various things that set him off.

Over the past few months, he has become used to many minor stimula and no longer loses his behavioral equilibrium at quite so many of the little things. He continues to make progress toward being able to handle more challenging triggers. Here's a note and some photos of young Junior--if you look at the pretty girl in the pink coat, you may recognize another of our problem children: Zoe.

"Junior has had a good month. His progress is slow but steady and as he learns to calm, he becomes more and more lovable.

We discussed a little medication for him, but for now I've decided to hold off and continue as we are. Junior and I have a lot of fun together, he's a dog who loves to be out with you whether you're walking, throwing the ball or getting the logs in for the woodstove, the boy is right by your side, he even carries little sticks in for kindling.

I truly love this boy, for all his little defects, he works hard to please and when given something to do is a pleasure to be around. He and I spend a lot of late night snuggle time watching tv -- is Southpark appropriate for a young Frenchie?"

FBRN is very fortunate to have the help and experience of a number of trainers, especially given the rising numbers of behaviorally challenging French Bulldogs coming to FBRN. We are planning to offer 2-day weekend seminars to train our volunteers in both the basics of handling any dog effectively, as well as an introduction to handling a challenging dog within the next few months. We'll make announcements on the web site and here on the blog closer to the dates, in case you are in one of the areas of the seminars and are interested in attending. One of the seminars will take place on the East coast and one in the Pacific Northwest region.

The Frog Princess

Monday, December 17

Happy Holidays!

Bonjour mes amis, I am Darla! Many of you know me from my column in JustFrenchies.
I was most pleased to be asked to pen a blog entry regarding one of my grand passions- le shopping! Although I am a grand dame of 10 years, I still adore fashion. As well as giving and receiving gifts, and as the holidays are upon us- let the shopping commence!

First, I must mention that I am wearing one of my favorite accoutrements, the original feather boa collar from the truly trendy "High Maintenance Bitch."

They have the most divine styles, and wearing one is a sure way to get noticed by the pawparazzi!

Of course, the philanthropic frenchie should first buy his or her holiday gifts from the FBRN shopping mall, where your dollars go to support rescue French bulldogs! I have been a member since its inception in 2001, and I am most proud of the work we do. Go here to shop 'til you drop, for the most fabulous cause!

They have many chic items for the well-dressed frenchie. From coats and collars, to leashes and charms! And there are gifts for the discriminating French bulldog owner as well- many in our own likeness. Who wouldn't want a lovely frenchie tile? Or a darling FBRN tote bag? Get your charge cards out, and make some rescue frenchies very happy!

And of course, the FBRN CafePress online store is tres LOADED with items for both frenchies and their people. C'est fantastique!

The 2008 FBRN calendars are wonderful! As is the FBRN logo-wear! It is a true conversation starter.

I'd also like to mention some of my other favorite online shops. One of my favorites is Saltlick- ma mere et ma petite fille both have garments from them, and they are truly top quality! Custom pieces are their specialty, so email them for more info on making your favorite frenchie into a wearable work of art! Here is one featuring moi and Spanky:

Another fave t-shirt company of mine, featuring man's most favorite companion is found online at the web store Saraphia. One design features two frenchies, and is simply to die for!you can purchase it here:

And of course, we must mention one of everyone's fave shopping spots- Target, or as we French call it, "Tar-jay"!

They have multitudes of wonderful dog items and things are just the right price! Here is current FBRN foster Simba, modeling an Isaac Mizrahi for Target dog tee (currently on clearance!) and also enjoying a chew on his Boots and Barkley crackling newspaper toy, from Target as well.

And here is Simba with his foster brother and sister, Hannibull and Clementine, all wearing fun dog tees! At left is Hannibull wearing a "Cold Nose Warm Heart" tee from Target, Simba is in the middle wearing an FBRN brand "Frenchie Nutrition" tee from FBRN's CafePress store, and Clementine models a "Naughty" tee, from Target. (But we really know she is nice!)Nothing could be cuter, no?

And I must mention another company that is most frenchie-friendly, Charming Pet Charms! They have the most adorable party collars and clever toys- shown here is current FBRN foster Rosebud, wearing the red roses collar and sniffing the Rose toy that tells her it "Loves her!" And who wouldn't?

I must also include a book maman wrote a chapter for, it is called "The French Bulldog", and it is available on and is simply filled with fascinating info regarding les bouledogues francais! Did I mention photos of moi are in the book?

And last but not least, you must contribute to the French Bulldog Rescue Network's online holiday fundraiser! Buy a virtual gift for the rescue frenchies! It's one thing to look beautiful on the outside, but helping a rescue frenchie makes one beautiful both inside and out.

Au revoir! And happy shopping!

Yours, Darla

Saturday, December 8

Tallulah and Joey One Eye Stay Out of the Rain

The rainy rains are falling ceaselessly in the Great Northwest of the US and the frogdogs who live there are sick and tired of it! Our Frenchie friends do not, as a rule, enjoy the sensation of wet paws, and when the raindrops are coming down, they go right into a poor bat-eared dog's poor bat ears! Right down in there! Cold! Wet! Oog. Who likes it?

Certainly not FBRN grads Tallulah and Joey One Eye. Tallulah doesn't like the rain one little bit, but as we see here, she doesn't seem all that thrilled about playing dress up to wile away a bleak mid-winter afternoon, either. Here is Tallulah dressed as Shakespeare's famous young lover, Looliet. We are thinking she is hoping that that bottle of poison doesn't have a frog-proof cap on it.

On a rainy day, Joey One Eye and Loolie arrange themselves upon the sofa to take advantage of the dreamsome fire as dogs have done from the time they first crept out of the darkness to steal a discarded gazelle bone and stayed for the tummy rubs.

Joey and Loolie hope your weekend is full of coziness and the company of beloved friends and family, and that nobody makes you put on an itchy hat with a pinchy chinstrap.

Down with itchy hats! And itchy crowns, too! adds
The Frog Princess

Friday, December 7

Simba Seems Sympatico!

As promised, here is the second installment of the Simba story. In his second week of foster care, Simba is learning his place in the scheme of things, and is getting lots of exposure to strange places and foods and dogs. Here's Simba's foster mom:

"Simbabwe (another nickname) is doing great. We live in a neighborhood with lots of dogs that we encounter daily on our walks; we've been to the vet office twice and Petco once; and this morning we went to our dog friendly mall where Simba tried to pick up on a stuck-up Bichon in Macy's, and I have yet to see any signs of dog aggression from Simba. He sleeps, eats, gets treats, chews bones, plays tug of war, keep away, and fetch with my two Frenchies without any problems whatsoever (Clementine is actually the one I have to keep in check- it conveniently slips her mind sometimes that everything is in fact MINE and I just let her and the other dogs share my things). For all her bossiness, she and Simba wrestle every morning and then curl up like best buddies-- Simba has her by almost ten pounds, but he plays very gently with her; he caught on quick that it's her way or the highway, so all play is by her rules. He and Hannibull are hilarious, two peas in a pod, we call them "the bookends."
He has wonderful house manners, if it would not cause a revolt I would crate my two and leave him out loose every time we left the house. LOL. He does not cry or bark in the crate; they are never in there for more than a three hour stretch, but as long as he has a Kong or an antler he is content to be in there, no problem. He does display the common import trait of a heightened alertness-- any strange sounds and he's got his ears up, back hair raised, a quick low bark; but since mine aren't barkers, it seems like he kind of feels silly that no one else is reacting, and he lets it go and ignores whatever it is-- gardeners, construction noise, etc.
He's just wonderful...
His skin has gotten so much better. Much less itchy and less red than when he first arrived. In fact, I would say in the last day and half he hasn't scratched at all. On the suggestion of a friend with an itchy Frenchie, we bought him some cotton tees that he wears underneath the harness on walks and to sleep in at night, to cut down on irritation from rubbing or scratching-- and the redness is almost gone. I switched him to raw food (it's what I feed my two and it just seemed cruel that he would smell it and then have kibble set in front of him instead--you should have seen his face LOL), not to mention we weren't sure if there were some food allergies.

I suspect he does have some grain allergies/sensitivities because there has been no more paw licking/biting since the switch. Stools are great, coat is great-- his little muzzle fur is all filling in, no more redness, puffiness, or bald spots.

Oh, I should also mention my husband is a dermatologist and he wrote a couple of Rx for Simba for topical stuff for his eczematic skin, because the shampoo from the vet and the antihistamines weren't bringing as much relief as we wanted to see to give his skin a break from scratching. The Rx fixed it up in two days of application.

So here are a couple of pics of Simbalicious (I just love the black ink that has "bled" on his chest and backs of his legs)- he is a very mellow, loving little guy."

There you have it--the new Simba is sympatico! Now with 80 per cent less itchies! announces
The Frog Princess