|Home | Dog Profiles | More Photos | Articles | Available | Policies & Procedures | FAQs | Contact|
Prologue and Disclaimer: One thing I try to do whenever I get the chance, is go around the country looking for good dogs. (If you've got some, send me some pics, and maybe I'll be visiting you next!) See, the thing is, most of the breeders of the dogs I like best, don't register their dogs, and will likely never have their dogs online. They're in hidden corners of the country, living on a dirt road, connected to another dirt road, connected to a county road that doesn't get plowed in the winter - forgotten hideaways of America, places where people are still very proud to be American, and where our modern pop culture is refreshingly, not a local normative standard. I've met a lot of interesting people on these trips, seen some great dogs, once even studied pedigrees going back 100+ years, written on the inside wall of a barn. Getting pictures can be a little hard sometimes, because unlike our new generation of wannabe famous extroverts, there's still some people around that value their privacy, and don't want to be photographed - not them, or their dogs. Telling stories though, that's something I find quite a few people enjoy, and if you sit a while, and let the late morning turn to late afternoon, and don't interrupt, there's some good ones, and you might get some sweet tea, and maybe even some bar-b-que too.
Below is the first of these stories I've ever put online. I'll eventually post some more, because I think there's a value in them, and I'd hate to see them forever lost, and never told again. Though I'm the one publishing and Copyrighting them, these aren't my stories. As such, I cannot attest to their truthfulness or accuracy. For all I know, every word might be a lie. However, if that's the case, I think they're still lies worth hearing. Real American folklore tends to have that golden string of truth woven in, that if you know your topic, you can just sort of see it sitting there gleaming out at you, maybe sometimes reminding you of things you already knew to be true. Anyway, I hope it's not insulting to anyone, but I'll retell these stories as close as possible to the exact wording and vernacular I received them in, because I think it's important to honor people for who they are, and not try to filter and change them into something they're not. I'll leave the reader to decide what is and isn't true, or what might be. We'll just call it fiction. Again, for the cause of privacy, some names may be changed here and there, and other efforts made to protect identities, cause these are people I call my friends, and I'd like to keep them.
Disappearance of Bobby Johnson
One time long time ago now, a fella who wasn't no good name Bobby Johnson, well he stand up from his bar stool, say for half the town to hear, "I think I'm ah just gonna go on down to that black boy Leroy Robinson's place, take any ole' thing I want, and pay that purdy little wife ah his a visit." That's who Bobby Johnson was, a mean, nasty, takin' kinda man, wasn't no good to no one, not even his own kin. He growed up one of them richy-rich white boys, thinkin' he better than other folks. His daddy was a good man, do lotsa good for folks, but he got him a son... man, not even his mama want him!
Anyways, back then, Leroy workin' graveyard up at the mine - all us was doin' it back then, up there eatin' that dust ten hours at a time, and for two dollars - and man, you thought you was rich come payday. So the men folks, they wasn't never home after dark, and that makin' all the wifes and the babies have to be home alone at the night time. Now see, folks 'round these parts never did say too much about it, and hell, most folks too young and forgot by now - musta been... oh, 60 years ago, but it's a verified fact ain't no one ever seen that ole' hard drinkin' bastard Bobby Johnson again - not up at Mike's Store, not even one time back at Jerry's Bar (and he used be sittin' on that same stool every night), and sure 'nuff he wasn't never seen messin' all cruel and crazy over to the mill no more. That's where Leroy used to work on Sat-day, helpin' 'em peel them logs. That Bobby Johnson, he just hated Leroy. Bobby's daddy gifted Leroy's daddy piece a land when he died, and didn't leave his Bobby boy a damn thing. So Bobby he just hate, hate, hated on Leroy, wouldn't leave that boy alone for nothin'. But I'll tell you what, after that night, no one 'round here never seen Bobby Johnson no more.
Now you gots to understand... there ain't no one really knows what happen to Bobby Johnson, he just up and vanish like a fart in the wind that night. But I'll tell you one thing, Mr. Man, that young sharecropper's boy, Leroy Robinson, him and his ole' lady and babies in church every Sunday, never done no harm to no ones. And Leroy, he wasn't no ones fool neither. Shit, he knew the way it was back then. We all did. He had him an ole' country bulldog name Elijah. Damn dog musta been 140 pounds, all white and scarred from nose to tail, always catchin' them coons, and hogs and such. And lemme just tell you, that there was a dog no sober, righteous man was ever gonna think a messin' with. He was a good ole' dog, I guess. Used to see him mindin' his manners real nice in town with Leroy's ole' lady and kids, but he wasn't the kinda dog you ever just go messin' with, not that dog. You could see it on him plain as day just lookin', like calm, smolderin' coals from last night's fire in his eyes, just cool, and quiet... smolderin', but ready to jump up and roar, if just any little bit a wind come along. You a dog man, mister, you know what kinda dog I mean. You could just see it on him. He be lookin' at you, and that dog be lookin' right in at your spirit-man, and just know everything all 'bout you, and got no love for no strangers neither. That dog, man, that sombitch meant bid-ness.
Anyways, now we just talkin' here, but if you ask me, I think ole' Bobby Johnson showed up Robinson place that night, prob'ly lookin' like the devil all whiskied up, an that ole' bulldog Elijah, I just bet he met that devil at the door, and sent Bobby Johnson straight to hell that night, bleedin' and broke up, screamin' for mercy too! (laugh) And when Leroy got home, he prob'ly just cleaned up a mess off his front porch and didn't never say nothin' 'bout it to no one. Shit, I wouldn't, not back then. That's what I think happen. I think that ole' piece-a-shit Bobby Johnson went 'round lookin' for trouble with Mrs. Robinson and her babies that night, puffed his-self up all loud and proud when that dog warned him, and got his-self cast down from the heavenlies by Elijah, never rise again...
One thing sure, lemme tell you, son, everyone knows, you mess with the bull and you get the horns, but folks 'round here know another one too, you go to messin' with a Georgia bulldog, and that's the last damn thing you might ever mess with, son, last damn thing indeed... You don't believe me, I got some out back we can look at, go 'head tell me which one you wanna kick in the head. It'll be your last move, son, last move I'm tellin' you. Go on and try it. You don't go messin' with no Georgia bulldogs. There ain't a drop a back-down in their blood, that a verified fact.
Henry wasn't lying about those dogs. This dog to the left is named Shimmer, because, as Henry says, "he just be shimmerin' in moonlight; even 100-yards out you see that dog." Shimmer is not Henry's biggest dog, but he's definitely the guy in charge on that yard. He looks to be about 24" to the shoulders, and probably right at 100 pounds. Henry and I walked into his back yard, and he called, "Shimmer, git'em here, you ole' sombitch." The dog issued a short bark, and a group of maybe fifteen dogs - a litter of puppies (probably almost four months old), a few females, and another couple males too, they all came trotting up to Henry from different places in the yard. They were loose in his unfenced yard, with chickens, a few goats, some baby pigs, and an old, molting peacock. The two other males sort of flanked and surrounded me, making a triangle at equidistant points from Shimmer and Henry. They stood maybe twelve feet away to my right, one off to the side in front of me, the other in about the same spot behind me. This made it impossible for me to actually see any two of them at the same time; you had to turn away from one to see either of the other two - and they knew it. They just stood there, and quietly growled with a low, constant rumble you could sort of feel under your feet - not an overt threat or warning per se, but more a barely contained readiness to launch, just watching me closely. Their eyes followed every move my hands made, lighting cigarettes and whatnot. I know if Henry would've just flicked his finger as a signal, there would've been no hope of me of leaving that yard alive, and I was armed.
Also worth mentioning, I think, is that Henry's house is essentially a shack. He had me climb up with hammer and nails, and fix a leak in his roof when I was there, nailing down some sheet metal that had slid down a bit. The whole time I felt like I was going to fall through the thing at any second, cause the roof is nothing but sheet metal nailed to studs - no insulation, no boards underneath, nothing. I mean, the man was drying previously used tea bags on the rail of his porch to use again later. He's truly an economically challenged old guy, riding a bicycle with two different sized wheels, and a Bush/Cheney sticker proudly displayed on the basket over his rear fender. Henry is about as poor as America has to offer, and out-spoken over the fact that he's never taken "no government money," and no church money neither.
When I saw Henry's puppies I asked to buy one. They were gorgeous, and robust, eating (as Henry said) 'bout anything he throws in the pot at night, and a lotta eggs, and goats milk too. He bragged they were all sold, $150.00 a piece, "and that's one thousand and two-hundred dollars" for him and his "ole' girl this winter." I wanted one of those dogs bad, and I pulled out a wad, peeled and counted off $2,000.00 cash right in front of Henry - easily enough money to pay his property taxes and buy groceries for six months. Then I asked if there might be just one of his little males - whichever one he picked, that he'd be able to part with. Said Henry with a big laugh, "Oh no, you ain't buyin' my soul, you ole' white devil, you! These dogs given on ole' Henry's word. Ain't no greeny-green paper never gonna buy ole' Henry's word, son. No sir-ee, not if you gots a million more in that pocket a yours. You c'mon back next year, you a good boy. We'll drink us some more sun-tea, and I see what I got for you then." Henry's got my number, I made it clear I'd come to him right away, pay top dollar for a male puppy of my pick, and there's an old rotary pay phone up at the general store, so here's hoping...
A White English
Bulldog Named Blue
I met Mrs. Edwards in the parking lot of a small country church, I suppose near her family home in Florida. I had been driving around lost, actually looking for a local White English Bulldog breeder I had an appointment with later that day. I passed this church, just sitting in the middle of nowhere, nestled in the woods, and spied a pick-up truck parked outside, with a giant White English Bulldog sitting in the bed. I did a u-turn and pulled into the parking lot to take a look at the dog.
Just as I pulled up next to the truck, a woman of maybe 60 came out the back door of the church. She had bright red hair hanging below her shoulders, in a simple and attractive pony tail, she wore a thin, brightly colored, flowery blouse, a pair of ironed gray slacks, and black, business length heels. So, she was a bit more sharply dressed than I would've expected to see on a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of a forest. My guess is she was the church secretary, but she may have just as easily been the Pastor or Pastor's wife, I don't know. She was being friendly when she called out the quick warning, "You be careful with that dog, honey. He'll take a nasty bite outa you, if you try petting him."
The dog was no less than epic. If you're familiar with the White English Bulldogs still being bred in little pockets throughout the United States, he was definitely at the top end of their scale for both size and quality. He was all white, had one blue eye and one brown eye, and the width of the top of his head was about two and a half of my hands, and bulging with muscle in that rounded, heart-shape you see on top of proper bulldogs' heads. He had a 50/50 head, that is, half the length of the head cranium, half snout, and the snout was about 5" long, so a very, very big headed dog. It wasn't a grotesque feature however, but matched the rest of him just fine. When he stood up, I'd say he was about 28" to the shoulders, and every bit of 130+ pounds of rock solid, rippling muscle on very heavy bone. He had straight-as-a-board pasterns, on thick legs, ascending equally to a huge bulldoggy chest, and long, heavily muscled shoulders. There was sharp articulation of the hocks, highly developed rear thighs, and all feet and toes were tight and faced perfectly forward. He had a mildly descending topline, from rear to front, just enough to identify him as a runner without actually looking like a descending topline. While he had loose skin on his face, around his mouth and under his chin, he wasn't jowly, or sloppy, and even in the Florida heat, he seemed to have a pretty much dry mouth.
I introduced myself and asked to take a picture of her dog. She introduced herself formally, "I am Mrs. Irma Edwards, and this is our boy, Blue." Then, meeting my gaze directly, said in a crisp, clear, no-nonsense voice, with just a hint of southern accent, and just a hint of indignance, "no sir, you may not photograph my dog, thank you very much, and if you don't mind me asking, what exactly is your business here?"
I told Mrs. Edwards we were out scouting traditional southern bulldogs, and I'd just happened to see her beautiful boy as we were driving along lost, and I had to stop and take a closer look at him. Complimenting her dog as I did seemed to relax her a bit, and we talked a while about dogs. Mrs. Edwards was a wealth of information, much of which I already had, (which made her very credible), and a few tid-bits that were in fact new to me. She was obviously on her way someplace, but before parting ways, I asked her if she might have a story about these White English Bulldogs I could take back to Colorado with me.
She began, you want a White English Bulldog story, do you? Well I've got one for you about our boy Blue, standin' right here. Just two years ago our son, Taylor was over in Iraq when my daughter-in-law told me she'd seen the same strange man looking at her and the kids, in two different places, on two different days. She said he made her skin crawl, that man did, and she was real worked up about it. Now Sherry's a young thing, and she's not really used to a small town, where you might see the same people every other day - decent, upright people just looking a bit dishevled cause they work for a living, but I could see she was worried, so I told her to take Blue a couple days, and just keep him with her. I told her, you know this isn't your dog, Sherry. He's not goin' to mind you; he only minds Jim and me, but he'll stick close, and mind his own business, and you won't have any problems with him, or no one else either.
Well, Mrs. Edwards continued, Sherry took Blue and she's got an appointment for one of the kids in Panama City, and took Blue with her and the kids. I told her to do that, and don't you worry about him in the car. I said, you just get him one of those Big Gulp cups of water, with the long straw, put it in the drink holder of your SUV, and leave all the windows rolled down for him, and that's what she did.
Well they were at that appointment I guess almost three hours, and when they come outside, the sun was just starting to go down, and there was just a few cars left in the lot. So here Sherry was, strappin' the kids into their seats standing by the back door of that SUV with her back to the lot, when all of a sudden a white work van screeches up next to her real close and just sits there with the motor running. That poor girl was terrified, cause that's the same van she'd seen that man in before, and she said it was parked so close to her open back door, and at such a sharp angle she couldn't even close the door, or step around to the front. She said Blue just started snarling real mean, and a second later, the side door of that van all of a sudden rolls open, and that same man reached right out, grabbed her by her hair, and tried to pull her into his van! She had to have physical therapy for three months because of how hard that man wrenched her neck when he grabbed her hair - and he took a handful of it right out of her scalp too!
Sherry says she just blanked right out in fear at that point, and only just remembers flashes of what happened next. She says she remembers Blue let out a snarl like nothin' she'd ever heard, jumped in the back seat, went right over the kids, over her and into that van in one leap. That's about all she can recall, until she was sitting crying in the driver's seat, trying to call the police on her cell phone, with Blue sittin' right there next to her, calm as can be, just panting a bit.
Mr. Blasco, do you know what this dog right here did? He broke one of that man's arms in three places, pulled his shoulder all the way outa the socket, took three fingers clean off his other hand, and bit him around his head so hard, and with one single bite, that he was hand cuffed in a coma with a cracked brain pan, his head punctured in four places, for two weeks up at the hospital. He's doing life in prison right now, cause the po-lice department matched his pistol to another crime against some poor woman. (That girl didn't have Blue with her the day she met that man). That's the best White English Bulldog story I've got for you. You've been a dear, and it was real nice visiting with you, but I need to get home now, or Mr. Edwards will be wondering where supper is.
And away she went, in a bright red 1970s Ford pick-up truck, with big mudder tires, dual exhaust, a bumper sticker that read, "I'd rather be knitting," and with a big, white, monster of a dog named Blue, standing in the bed of the truck, with his front feet up on the cab, face in the wind, happy as a dog could be, and looking like a canine super hero minus the cape... because he is.
|Home | Dog Profiles | More Photos | Articles | Available | Policies & Procedures | FAQs | Contact|
dogs from a diversity of registered bloodlines -
It's better for the dogs - it's better for the breed...