I am one of *those* crazy, dog ladies. I hope everyone does not mind me sharing a bit about my pups.
I have 2 American Bulldogs. Today, I would like to introduce my older of the 2. Suzie is now 2 years old. Her birthday is July 19th (I am also one of *those* people who celebrates her dogs’ birthday) and I brought her home on September 30th, 2010. She has the most perfect black spot over her eye and a curly tail, like a pig.
This was Suzie the day I brought her home. She was timid and scared, but quickly warmed up to me and wanted to be cuddled. I took her to work with me the first few days and she stayed right at my feet the whole time. She still does not get the concept of personal space.
Suzie grew FAST. She did not stay a little puppy for very long. Her body grew way faster than her brain. Bulldogs are not known for their intelligence, and Suzie seems to fall short in that area, even for bulldog standards. The bigger she grew, the more energy she had. She was soon jumping all over us, and pulling like crazy on the leash when we took her for a walk. I often had bruises and scratches from her crazy energy.
Other examples of Suzie’s lack of intelligence; she once ate a bee and her face swelled up. The picture of her under the canoe is because she is hiding from the water hose. She is deathly afraid of water, as soon as she hears the hose turn on, she hides. There is no logical explanation for her fear.
I soon realized that we could not train Suzie on our own, we definitely needed help. When she was about 10 months old, we enrolled in Puppy Training at PetSmart. We had an excellent instructor. We worked HARD. It took a lot of patience, Suzie just does not quite “get” things as fast, she is a pretty slow learner. We were not surprised when we were “talked to” after class one day and informed that Suzie was probably not ready for the graduation test the next week. We were offered additional classes (at no extra charge) to get her to graduation level.
We took the extra classes and finally, Suzie passed her final tests. We probably learned more than Suzie did from the whole experience, it was essentially training for us on how to be consistent and firm with her. She will probably never learn to bring us the newspaper, but she no longer jumps on people and she exhibits so much more self-control.
Suzie has grown into a very loveable, loyal and protective pet. Her main focus is to make sure that all of us and the house, are always OK. She is fiercely loyal. We can confidently hike with her off of the leash, because she will never go further than she can see us. She will take off running, but is constantly coming back to make sure we are in view.
Suzie still has amazing energy once we go for a walk, run or a hike, but the rest of the day is spent “conserving her energy.” She has more than earned her “Lazy Suz” moniker Her absolute favorite activity is laying in the sun. A close second, is resting her chin on the fence and looking as pathetic as possible. She also sighs loudly when she does this, for extra dramatic effect.
Suzie is very much the big sister to Penny. When she was a small puppy, Penny would constantly want to play with Suzie. She would bite her face, ears, legs, anything she could reach, to bait Suzie into activity. Suzie would play back, but never rough. It was like she knew Penny was still a baby and she could only go so far with her.
They act like sisters, in every way. They fight much rougher now and are competitive for attention. However, at the end of the day, they still cuddle and sleep together and kiss each other wounds, if they have hurt the other during play fights.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my Suzie and that your eyes are not glazed over from the crazy, dog ladies’ ramblings. Please let me know if you have any questions about American Bulldogs or anything pet related.
Fun fact: Suzie was named by Elton John. “I remember when rock was young, me and Suzie had so much fun.”