Thursday, June 28

Churchill Update, Day 8

Churchill has touched so many of us: volunteers, long-time supporters, even strangers have seen Churchill's photos and been moved to visit the website and the blog and to read his story. We have seen an outpouring of donations for his care and messages of love and pity and comfort for him that have given us heart and helped us know that people's essential goodness is undeniable, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. And the notes and messages of encouragement to our volunteers are helping to ease our own anger and pain when we consider how Churchill's light has been spent. The photographs of Churchill enjoying himself with the children in his family are a source of joy to us, and we will continue to post photos as time goes on.

Last night, the veterinary dermatologist called with Churchill's diagnosis. It was not what we were hoping for. It is what we feared it might be. Churchill has Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, an incurable skin cancer. If the cancer is caught early, it can be treated and go into remission. It may be that the dog's owners mistakenly believed, as they told the shelter workers, that Churchill had mange. Mange is a common skin condition in the Southern US. His owners said he'd had mange for five years. We'll never know what his people thought or whether he saw a vet, and at this point, it doesn't matter. Churchill will see only the best vets from now on.

Thanks to our donors' generosity, Churchill will be seeing a veterinary oncologist on July 9th. Though his condition is incurable, we will do everything we can to provide treatment and care for Churchill. And Churchill will know love and he will eat nutritious, good food, and he will have the company of a good Frenchie friend and in his house will be 3 active boys who will have nothing to do all day but play and snuggle and give Churchill attention and throw his ball for him.

Here's part of the note we received from Churchill's foster mom last night:

"Try not to be too sad everyone, he is in great spirits! He does not seem to be in any pain, and he eats like a little truck driver. He likes to roam around outside and mark his space; he likes to sniff the other dogs, especially his little chocolate mama Peyton; he loves to roll around on his back on the rugs; and he seems happy to be here.

He is very talkative and loves to have his belly rubbed. We will keep him here until God calls him home as long as he is comfortable and happy.

He has probably been happier being in rescue than he has ever known. Knowing that he knows what it is to be cared for and loved is what matters. We all did our job by saving him and we will all continue to pray for him daily. I will keep everyone updated regularly. In the meantime, I am sending some photos we took this evening."

Today, Churchill will spend time sleeping on a comfortable bed, eating until he is tired of eating, playing with the children, and maybe wading in a cool, shallow pool. He will also have another bath to help his sores heal and to soothe his skin.

We know Churchill's future is uncertain, but volunteers are seeking out clinical trials to join, and we are looking forward to hearing what the oncologist has to say.

The volunteers of FBRN are deeply grateful and profoundly humbled by the world's generous and compassionate response to this Frenchie's condition. Churchill has a life of comfort, friendship, pleasure and peace stretching before him. We should all be so fortunate.

The Frog Princess

Wednesday, June 27

Churchill after 6 days

Churchill is on the front page of our website. You can see his "before" photos there, but be prepared for some stomach-turning images.

Compare the downcast, hopeless expression in those first photos with the alert and normal expression you see in these candid shots! Night and day. Not to mention that the sores are healing up and scabbing over, his coat is clean and he can see now that the seeping bumps around his eyes have been cleaned and treated.

Here is Churchill, receiving some affection from a young friend in his foster home. Regardless of his bumpy lumps, Churchill loves to have a hand on his body, gently scratching or rubbing or just stroking him and reassuring him that he is safe and cared for. Who could resist?

Here's a note from his foster mom, sent on the fly. Among the volunteers there were some remarks that Churchill resembles Smeagol in his transformation from a dog who was clearly despairing, pitiful and depressed to a dog who was feeling guarded optimism and disbelief at his change in circumstance:

"Churchill seems to feel a bit better everyday. His appetite has increased and he is a little spunkier everyday as well.
If you stop touching him he will get your attention with a paw or a whine :)
He is a real doll and yes, he does remind me of Smeagol! I am attaching two pictures that I just took of him while outside on a potty break. Enjoy!"

We will be sure to keep readers posted about any news about Churchill's condition. No matter what the doctors say, Churchill will have a home--either with a volunteer in hospice care, or with an adoptive family--where he will be cherished and cared for as any Frenchie should be.

We promise! vows
The Frog Princess

Thursday, June 21

Waltzing Away

Beautiful Mathilda, our sweet as sweet potato pie girl from a commercial breeding facility, is pending adoption. We can't wait to see this darling settled into a home of her own.
All the early years of her life, Mathilda was busy being a mamma dog to Frenchie puppies. Given her affectionate and happy disposition, we'll wager she was an excellent parent. Now she is ready to be somebody's darling honey child, somebody's sparkling sugar lump, the perfect candy apple of somebody's eye. It's her turn to be taken care of.

The whole reason we exist is to send these dogs to their happy lives as beloved family members. We send them off with smiles and waves and every good wish for a long, sweet life.

Still, there's a little pang with each departure. We love to hear from our former fosters. Knowing they are well and happy makes us feel well and happy, too!

The Frog Princess

Pippin Pauses

It is a lovely day, the first day of Summer, and young Pippin has already been out and about patrolling the neighborhood. This daily activity includes insulting the canines captured and incarcerated for their crimes behind their fences; caterwauling at the kitties who hunker down and curl their tails around their gathered feet while they squeeze their eyes in disgust and disdain; she shows off her best heeling gait for the flustered, red-faced dog walkers maypoled in their leads while their goofy charges grin and goggle after the gorgeous young Pippin on parade.

But every Frenchie winds down, given enough exercise. Pippin, having enjoyed her morning constitutional, returns to her home and retires to her comfy bed. The comfy bed where a weary girl can rest and recuperate, dreaming of fresh fields full of mouse and rabbit trails to sniff and shuffle along, deer tracks to investigate, and flocks of birds to send flapping and squawking into the sky.

Pippin's dreams are dreams of power and celebration of the estival season of warmth and excess and green life and all the melange of happy scents and odors that a dog's nose can discover. Her eyes are closing on the mundane world of home and in her dreams she sees a world without shoes (Pippin despises shoes) and a world full of people who will serve her tidbits of tasty tartare in their barefeet.

Sweet dreams, young Pippin! No shoes for you!

The Frog Princess

Wednesday, June 20

Blogiversary Update: Adam!

We received an update from one of our very first foster dogs! We remember Adam very well, the handsome devil! We admit to having a wee crush on him. Of course, we were both much younger then. Here is the note we got from his mom:

"I am enclosing pictures of FBRN graduate Adam. He was the first FBRN rescue in California. Heidi Lillie wrote him up for Frenchies First magazine's "Ask Darla" column. Since his "retirement" from his celebrity activities (he is almost 11!) he has still been keeping busy. An artist named Betty Grissom asked to paint his portrait because he was so darn cute and she wanted to add to her business animal portrait painting.

Adam helped Betty's commissions when we joined her at an art show where she was exhibiting and he sat in a chair and allowed people to pay homage to him during the show.

The pictures are of him with his portrait print. It was a riot. People were lined up to pet him. He took it all in stride. Far cry from the abused dog I first got that would give me a warning growl if I tried to pet him.

The shaved area you see on his leg was due to his recent surgery to remove his spleen. He had benign tumors (Thank God). I was so nervous putting an almost 11 year old thru surgery but my Adam came thru! He has brought incredible joy in my life and I am so fortunate to be owned by him."

Adam has grown even better-looking with the passing of the years. What a darling he is, and that little shaven patch on his leg is just as dangerous and appealing as a dueling scar on the face of an Austrian nobleman! No wonder the art-lovers were lined up to greet him. Such a dashing, vital and charming Frog is bound to set hearts to beating faster, faces to flush and tongues to tangle foolishly, if we rightly recall the symptoms of puppy love.

Ah, yes, I remember it well, hums
The Frog Princess

Saturday, June 16

Jersey Jack = Jersey Devil?

Where does the time go? This note about Jersey Jack has been languishing in our to-do pile for 6 weeks. His skin is so much better than it was when we first took him in, and he is very well cared for in his foster home. Weekend trips to the city! Weekend trips to the country! This poor boy is just pooped! Regardless of his fatigue, he's willing to become a peripatetic young Frog--We believe that he'd have made a great companion to ol' Woody Guthrie, traveling the backroads and byways and yodeling a little Frenchie harmony from the shotgun seat. Here's the note our wandering boy inspired his foster mom to write:

"Jack has had a very busy two weekends! First, a trip into Brooklyn to visit my daughters. I put him in the crate for the car ride and he was fantastic...not a peep. While he was definitely sociable toward people he has no leash skills. He was all tuckered out after a few blocks from pulling so hard.

Since then we have been working on our leash skills but it is slow going.

This weekend he went to Massachusetts with my girls to visit my niece. He is an excellent car rider...really enjoyed the trip, although he doesn't like stop and go traffic, and he can get a little fidgety. He got along famously with my niece's two year old golden retriever as well as with her daughters (4 and 1 year old). His only issue with other dogs continues to be that he doesn't share well.

The only other thing we have to work on is learning who is in charge. When he doesn't get his way he turns into a whirling dervish all the while perfecting his Frenchie death howl."

We wonder. Has anyone seen Jersey Jack and The Jersey Devil at the same time? Or could it be reports of that horrid beast are mere exaggerations of our little bald-bottomed friend's screams and appearance? Doesn't matter, really. We know the truth.
No matter how piteously a Frenchie howls, if you offer him a bit of chicken or a piece of apple, he'll probably pipe down. What's more, the garden variety Frenchie, ear-splitting shriek and bizarre appearance notwithstanding, hardly ever gobbles children up or skeebles skyward via the chimbley and flies away.

Almost never! stresses
The Frog Princess

Friday, June 15

Update: Janie Sparkles!

Another adoptive family recently checked in with news of their FBRN grad, Janie.

"Janie Sparkles arrived at her forever home in San Francisco on January 14th, 2006. Sixteen months later, we can't imagine a life without this little cuddle bug. She's made the long journey from a stinky, mange-y mess to the queen of our hearts.

When she entered foster care as "Lucky," this unlucky lady was missing most of her coat from a bad case of demodex, as well as infected ears and two cherry eyes. Her foster mommies renamed her Janie and nursed her back to health with the help of Maverick, their black lab.

After five months of fostering, this midnight brindle learned a thing or two from Mavvie and still fancies herself a fearless, big black dog.

Ever-social, but independently-minded, Janie Sparkles passed basic training at the San Francisco SPCA with flying colors. While not food-motivated, belly rubs, toys (especially other dogs' toys) and meeting new people are her objects of desire.

She continued medical treatment and a bathing regimen for the skin mites for her first six months with us and has been given the "all-clear" from her dermatologist.

Even with a few patches of missing and thinned fur, she's so much more than a plain Jane. Despite the neglect and abuse in her past, Janie's personality and positive
outlook shines bright, earning her the moniker "Sparkles." She even celebrates the little bald spot on her shoulder as part of her urban character and the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi.

Today, she happily comes to work at Clif Bar & Co., running around the warehouse offices with other dogs, including Tank (her English bulldog boyfriend), Tucker (a Frenchie-loving black lab who plays low and small), Yalkie (a peppy miniature schnauzer), Ruthie (a matronly Jack Russell), and Scrubby (the ever-hungry Akita/pit bull mix office mascot). After work, Janie loves off-leash romps with her best friend
Bibby, who's teaching her how to be a Golden Retriever, both fetching and returning a ball.

She's still excited for dog park dates with her foster mommies, who have a new baby boy and puppy (Maverick passed away). Janie Sparkles has stayed at her foster home for the weekend when we've gone away. In addition, she's been gracious enough to return the favor and welcome Casey (an FBRN foster, now placed) when the foster mommies went on vacation.

Happily settled into our, I mean, HER home, Ms. Sparkles brightens up our lives whether she's sleeping between our legs at night or snoring in the sun. Although there are two Frenchie boys who live next door and with whom we enjoy morning and evening walks, we're considering the possibility of a Frenchie sibling for Janie Sparkles.

Perhaps an FBRN pup that she can teach how to become a happy, healthy dog? Time will tell..."

Janie Sparkles is living the good life in one of the world's great cities. We wonder if she'd consider a vacation home-swap? A week in the Princess's castle for a week in the City by the Bay, hmmm? wheedles

The Frog Princess

Loolie Louise

We received these photos and the story of Tallulah's new name from Tallulah's new mom.

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

This newly minted FBRN grad in Oregon has a dilemma. It's her name. Once a common Daisy, she was flamboyantly monikered "Tallulah" in her foster home, to honor "Tillie" a much beloved FBRN grad who recently shed her mortal coil to join legions of her fans at the rainbow bridge.

Tallulah is a beautiful and lofty name, but alas, a little top heavy for this lithe Ukranian Frenchie, and she quickly turned into "Loolie".

Loolie found her forever home in Portland Oregon. Here she is surveying her lovely town garden with her new dad, who is explaining to her that she is to answer only to "Louise" after a dear departed old friend. "Whatever" said Louise, "I think I smell squirrel".

"Loolie Lou!" the new mom whispers into her ear. "I'll call you Louise in
public, my dear, but between us girls you will be Loolie Loo".Poor dog is looking a loolie loo confused now, and hastens to go inside and sit with her new brother, FBRN grad Joey-One Eye.

They hadn't been there a minute watching Animal Planet before Joey called her by yet ANOTHER name, "CHASE ME!" And so she did, flying around the dining room table a few dozen times before collapsing on the floor for a nap.

There is but one additional member of this household, and only one more name to learn.

Patti, a tiny creamy tyrant of a certain age and temperament, just looks at the new one and says, "Who the hell are you?"

Sigh. It's exhausting, really, but sure to be sorted out in due time.

Nothing to be done about it today except climb into the downy pink chair and drift into dreamy land, where everyone just calls her "Perfect". Because, you know, she is."

Daisy, Tallulah, Terloolie, Loolie Lou, Louise--It is the rare Frog who goes through life without at least a half dozen names. We are willing to wager that the readers of this blog could rattle off at least 4 or 5 little noms d'amour their companions will answer to. We've heard a few names that might raise some eyebrows in surprise, and a few that might lower them in disapproval or confusion, but between a besotted person and her dog, all names sound like love.
The Frog Princess

Wednesday, June 13

Bon Mots?

While taking a look at our blog statistics this afternoon, we were especially intrigued by two Google searches which seemed to unaccountably lead the seekers to
our little site.
The first caused us to wince and say a silent thank-you to the gods that we have no need to explore this topic on the 'net: "Hot Tub Staph Infection."

The second search sounded equally distressing for the sufferer. However, for the parent, we feel that this sort of child might be a great deal more fun than the ordinary sort, depending on which half is which: "Half Puppy Half Human."

We will leave you with two photos of Twila, taken while she is enjoying herself in the tub. She is soaking her poor feet, which have some sores on them, but she is very unlikely to develop either of the conditions mentioned above as a consequence of her sitzbath. Twila gets to spend time with her foster mom in the tub every evening, telling about her day and splashing and enjoying the soothing water. We think a lovely bath might be just the thing on this beautiful night. With perhaps a cup of that which cheers but does not inebriate. Or possibly a glass of something which does both.

Cheers to you! salutes
The Frog Princess

Monday, June 11

Jasmine Finds a Family!

Beautiful Jasmine, one of the Pennsylvania 8 rescued from a puppy miller, has a new family to love! She has left behind her baby, Raja, in the foster home they have shared for a several months. We were all quite stunned at the remarkable resemblance between Mamma and baby.

Though Raja was at first quite sad when his mamma left, he has been taken in hand by the other Frenchies in his foster home, and is learning to be an independent young thing.

Raja is growing big and strong and is having his neuter surgery this week. Following his recovery from the surgery, he'll be available for adoption. Boomer, Jasmine's other baby, is having some medical problems with his legs, we are sorry to say. We are considering the options on his treatment.

Jasmine will be sharing her home with a very handsome beast named Monty. Her foster mom says Jasmine has become a little shadow, following her everywhere and supervising all the activities of the household. Frenchies are no slackers when it comes to seeing to it that things are done properly. Things should be just so, n'est ce pas? If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Jasmine will be happy helping to ensure quality control in every aspect of the day's activities from bathing to gardening to meal preparation. Especially meal preparation! Did you know taste-testing is the French bulldog's specialty?

We wish Jasmine and her family a very long and happy life together!
The Frog Princess

Blogiversary Update: Dots (formerly Lacy)!

Dots, formerly Lacy, just recently went to live with her new family in Southern California. Her family sent us a note to tell us how Dots likes to spend her days.

"This is 16 month old DOTS, adopted two weeks ago - however, she was posted as
Lacy. We had to rename her because our other dog's name is Lucy!
Dots loves to be outside, sunbathing, watching the world pass by."

Here she is, apres le bain, all wrapped up in towels and relaxing in preparation for her massage and pedicure. If only we had sound on this blog you could hear some of the Loreena McKennitt playing softly in the background, and if we could, we'd spritz you with some of the lavender and sage aromatherapy wafting around the room.

Dots is like a lot of Frenchie girls. She likes to be pampered. And why not? asks
The Frog Princess

Friday, June 8

Blogiversary Update: Frenchador Clover!

One of the families to respond to our call for updates as we celebrate the Blog's anniversary came from the folks who adopted one of Lillie's puppies! We are terribly excited to have news of Cookie, now Clover. Here's the note:

"Today is Clover's birthday. Clover (nee Cookie) is one of the three "Frenchador" pups born to Lillie a year ago today. If you follow this FBRN blog you will know that our dog Clover is half Frenchie and half Labrador. Her mother Lillie, a Frenchie, was surrendered by her owners to the FBRN a year ago today while she was in labor.

We adopted Clover into our family of 2 adults, 2 kids and a 5-year-old yellow Labrador named Abby. Until the summer of 2005, Abby had always had a companion; a black Lab named Lucy that passed away at the ripe old age of 15. Abby was lonely after Lucy left us, so were we. We all knew we needed another dog. After visiting many shelters and rescues, we found and adopted Clover on August 7, 2006, she was a small, happy, wriggly black puppy. Boy has she has grown! She is now 19" high at the shoulder and weighs about 32lbs. We don't think she will get much bigger, maybe she will broaden out a bit. She looks like a mini black Labrador, but has the wide chest of a Frenchie. Her ears have a life of their own, the ears are Labrador like most of the time, however, when she is hot pursuit of a rabbit, or bird those ears stand at attention like a Frenchie.

Clover is a true Labrador when it comes to eating, sleeping, swimming and retrieving balls. She would eat until she burst if we let her, she loves nothing better than a nap in the sunny spot on the deck, and stand back if she is retrieving a ball nothing stops her. Clover is a champion swimmer, she loves the water and she loves to leap, unfortunately, she also likes to combine the two as I discovered to my surprise when she came flying thru the air to join me uninvited in a hot bath one evening. We try to keep her out of the bath when we are in it but she still tries to get into the shower with the kids anytime she can.

She has the most endearing qualities of a Frenchie, she loves to snuggle and cuddle and burrow beneath the blankets. For some reason, maybe it is a Frenchie thing; she likes to sit on the head of anyone that is sleeping, human or canine. Sometimes she sabotages Abby when Abby is chasing a ball, Clover waits until the right moment and then smacks Abby with her butt just to throw her off course! Clover is up early every day. If you are not up by 7 a.m. she will put her paws up on the bed and stare at you until you are awakened by the feeling that someone or something is watching you and it is!! Its just Clover and she is hungry!! Yes, she looks just a little crazy at that time of the morning at that close range.

Clover is very intelligent and responsive to training. She earned the highest marks in her training classes!! In her free time, Clover enjoys nothing better than playing with her mother/sister/best friend Abby. They play fight and make the most bizarre half dog half human singing sounds. They are constant companions and are two goofy peas in a pod, jumping on the trampoline, chasing rabbits in the yard, retrieving tennis balls, stealing apples off of the tree and helping the kids carry their backpacks upstairs. Her dislikes include motorcycles, vacuum cleaners, the lawnmower or being squirted with the hose.

We hope that Clover's brother and sister are as happy and healthy as Clover. We are thankful that Lillie, Clover's mother, was adopted by the angel that fostered her and her three puppies. Everyday we are thankful for our little Frenchador. On that hot August day last year that we met Clover and fell in love, the planets were aligned, the gods were watching over us and everything in the world was right. We are forever thankful to everyone that assisted in Lillies rescue, treatment and recovery, if it weren't for each one of you, our Clover would not be here today. A special thank you to Murphee, you opened your heart and your paws and you welcomed Lillie and her three puppies into your home and treated them like your own, your kindness will never be forgotten. Thank you all. We cannot imagine our lives without our Frenchador, Clover.
Happy Birthday, Clover and Toby and Jeffrey, wherever you are!

The Happy Seymour Family"

We'd love to hear from more adoptive families. Send us a note and some photos at

Fresh, sweet, beautiful Clover! She looks fabulous and simply gleams with happiness and health in these photos. Abby looks wonderful, too, says
The Frog Princess

Tuesday, June 5

Blogiversary Update: Bella!

FBRN's 2004 graduate, Bella, is doing very well in her single-dog setting in SoCal. Sounds to us as though she is having a very good life, and the pictures bear witness to her happiness in the Golden State.

"Hi Frog Princess

We love your blog and are regular readers. Here is an update on Bella FRRN 2004 (from So. California). Bella enjoys her elevated status like a true frog princess.

Bella is an only dog and her temperament will keep it that way. She spends the better part of each day sunbathing like a true California Gal. She also interrupts her sun worshiping to keep all squirrels out of the yard. In the afternoon she supervises homework and dinner preparation.

Then in the evening it is sack out cuddle time on the couch. Life could not get much better. I've included some pictures for your enjoyment. Thank you once again for all FBRN does. You have all brought us much happiness.

Best Regards,

Bella's Family"

It's not too late to send a Blogiversary update on your own FBRN grad! We'd love to
hear from you and your frog. Send us a note and some photos:

We also enjoy spending time out in the royal kitchen behind the castle, watching Cook prepare our meals and enjoying the entertaining and sometimes ribald company of various other servants who may have gathered there for a refreshing beverage and a moment's rest from their labor. We like to know that our graduates are making themselves useful! approves

The Frog Princess

Monday, June 4

Blogiversary Check In: Ellie!

Here is the first response we received to our call for updates from the families of past FBRN fosters. This note and these photos came from NC-10 survivor Ellie's family. Ellie has a place in this year's calendar, too.

"We adopted Ellie nearly one year ago. Today, we can’t imagine life without her. Her transition to our home was seamless and we think she is perfect! What once was a frightened, neglected girl rescued from a horrid puppy mill is now a bold, spunky, dare I say, stubborn little Bully.

Whether she is taunting cats, chasing ducks, frolicking at the dog park or greeting new people, Ellie enjoys her life to the utmost. She has a lifelong companion in our male Boston Terrier who loves her like a little sister. Ellie is a snorting, wiggling bundle of joy and we love to watch her dance at our feet when she gets excited. She is a happy little Frenchie whose only complaint is waking before 6am and being asked to walk! Oh, the indignity of her people!

We are ever grateful to FBRN for their dedication to the NC-10 and the many Frenchies who have found themselves suddenly homeless.

Happy Blogiversary! Long live the BLOG and the Frog Princess!"

Thank you, thank you! We have seen lots of wonderful photos of Ellie, but we think this one of her with her orange salamander/frog/monster is our favorite.
And we'd also like to point out that what some folk call stubbornness in a beautiful young bulldog, others call good judgment. Only animals of the avian persuasion are up and about at six ack emma, and they are obliged to be searching for revolting worms and winning their own daily bread and so on. We who need not go pecking about in the earth feel no need to rise before the dew has decently dried on the lawn.

It's inhumane to expect a sweet, young frog to walk on the cold, wet grass! protests
The Frog Princess