The French Bulldog

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                                                                  French Bulldog                                                              Photo by Jens Mahnke on


In the 1800’s, Pugs were bred with English Bulldogs to create, what was then called a “Toy Bulldog.” However these Toy Bulldogs quickly grew out of favor and by 1860, many were exported to France, primarily by traders and skilled craftsmen (lacemakers) who were relocating to France.

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Toy Bulldog

In France, the dogs were cross-bred with various other, unidentified small breeds, and quickly became popular among women. In Paris, these new dogs were so adept at city living, and easy to care for, that their popularity grew even more so. The French Bulldog had finally left its “ratting” (hunting of small game such as rats) and became a beloved companion animal.

Their ears are a distinct feature which separates them from other bully-breeds. French Bulldogs can weigh up to 30 lbs and can live up to 12 years.

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Similar to the Great Dane, Afghan Hound, Sealyham Terrier and others; Frenchies are hard to find. So be prepared to wait on a breeders list for a while. However hard to get ahold of, once you do- a French Bulldog will prove to be a worthy guard dog, affectionate companion, well-behaved, alert and active but not overly playful. Frenchies don’t require a lot of exercise and adapt well to any living environment.

Being a brachiocephalyc breed, French Bulldogs have a hard time in the heat. This is because, even though they have short hair- their muzzles are not long enough to cool the air as it passes through the airway, as it would in longer muzzled dogs like German Sheperds or Dobermans. Therefore limiting your Frenchies exposure to heat and being aware of any signs of heat stroke when outdoors for long periods of time, are one of the responsibilities of a Frenchie owner.

At the same time, French Bulldogs are not very tolerant of cold weather either; due to their short hair and smaller stature. However there are plenty of dog shirts and jackets available to prevent your dog from getting cold.

Overall, French Bulldogs are typically fantastic with all people and other animals. Although they do have some trouble being alone due to their want to be with their people. They are not a loud breed and will not bay, howl, or bark a lot like many hounds would. So if you’re looking for a friend to spend time on the couch with or to take a quick stroll with on a nice day, this is the dog for you.

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GOOD LUCK ON YOUR PUPPY SEARCH TAMMY! May you find the perfect Frenchie for you and Nicky!

The Veteran: A Veteran’s Day Profile- Sergeant Stubby

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Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th in America. It is a day of honoring those that have lived and died in our armed forces. The sacrifices our military men and women make to keep war from reaching American soil, cannot be exemplified in words. Although much can be spoken on our military’s war efforts alone, and I would love to write such an article; the focus of this blog is for the four-legged and so to stick with that theme, today I honor: Sargent Stubby.

Sergeant Stubby in insignia and medals

July 1917, New Haven, Connecticut. A group of young National Guard soldiers from the Army’s 102nd infantry prepared for deployment into the Western Front of the world’s first war.

In the grassy area surrounding the Yale Bowl (then called “Camp Yale”) along Derby Avenue (the avenue now named 102nd Infantry Way), the 4,000 young men trained tirelessly, day after day.

Yale Bowl 1915

On one of these July mornings a small stumpy Bull/Boston Terrier mix made his way onto the field as the men trained. When the short, barrel-shaped, brown and white brindled puppy with short stumpy tail came wandering through, the soldiers were not impressed at all by his stature. Clearly an owner-less stray, the pup would quickly begin hanging around the men and always with exceedingly friendly demeanor, walk up and down between the ranks, greeting each man as he drilled.

102nd clean their pistols at Camp Yale, 1917

One soldier in particular, John Robert Conroy, became particularly fond of the mutt and took inseparable ownership of “Stubby,” or so the dog came to be called.

John Robert Conroy with Stubby, Ecommoy France 1919 (National Archives)
“Stubby” and John, March 1919

In the 3 months John would practice and train, Stubby became familiar with bugle calls, marching drills and would even raise his right paw to salute.

Article from Connecticut Explored Magazine

As training came to an end and deployment date came near, John became uneasy with having to leave his dog (as well as his unit’s unofficial mascot) behind. So he came up with a plan to bring Stubby along.

The first step in Conroy’s plan was to hide Stubby in his Army-issued Greatcoat.

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US Army Greatcoat

Travelling first by rail to Newport News, VA to then board the SS Minnesota for France. John had successfully evaded the ship’s guards and was able to hide Stubby in the ship’s coal bin. Although Stubby’s hiding spot did not last long. The Commanding Officer quickly learned of the stow-away and upon meeting the four-legged foreigner, Stubby reportedly saluted the CO as the dog had understood to do when he saw other soldiers saluting.

This singular and simple event became one of the most significant moments in Stubby’s life. With the Commanding Officer’s wish to keep the canine as the company’s mascot; Stubby was free to roam about the ship and mingle with his buddies. One machinist even made Stubby his own set of military dog tags.

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John and Stubby, France 1918

After arriving in France, Stubby was quick to prove his valor. In February 1918, the troops sat in their trenches in Chemin Des Dames, France. On one night, a German spy attempted to creep into the American’s line to release a gas bomb. However sleek and cunning the german thought he was being; he proved no match for Stubby. Having heard the man coming, Stubby quickly grabbed ahold of the man’s pants and did not release him until he had been subdued by his “fellow” soldiers.

The men remained in the Chemin trenches for some time, as was customary for warfare at that time. During these months the men would face gas attacks, artillery fire and more. Stubby was reported to duck when all the other men ducked, to prevent getting hit by artillery fire. Stubby would run up and down the trench, identifying injured friends and would reportedly bark un-ending until help would arrive.

John, Stubby, and fellow soldier, Beaumont, France 1919

Stubby became skilled at early detection of a gas attack and on one occasion while his unit lay asleep, Stubby ran up and down the trenches, barking and biting on the soldier’s clothing to wake them up. Thus saving the entire company from the impending attack.

Stubby was also able to slip through barbed wire and recover men who laid wounded in No Man’s Land (area between fronts.) He was reportedly able to distinguish German from English language and even able to differentiate German clothing from American clothing. Stubby was reported to be so savage towards the enemy troops that he would have to be restrained while bringing in prisoners of war.

The boost in morale that Stubby provided is something you would expect and hope for in a soldier’s dog. He was said to howl and bark with anger and rage as his fellows wailed from pain during firefights.

Stubby was injured by shrapnel from a German grenade in April, 1918 during a gruesome and bloody battle at Seicheprey, France. While recovering at the field hospital, Stubby continued his role as ‘morale booster.’

Stubby was also present for the battles, Chateau-Thierry and Marnes. In total, Stubby was present for 4 offensives, 17 battles, and having served overseas for 18 months.

John and Stubby, 1919

Upon returning home, Stubby was inducted into the American Legion and given a lifetime membership to the YMCA, that included 3 bones per day. He is, to this day, the most decorated canine in US Military history. His actions along with other, French and German war dogs, led to the creation of official military K-9 units in 1942. Stubby met presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding.

Stubby in a parade, May 1921

When Conroy attended law school after his time in the military, of course, Stubby went too. It only seemed fitting that Georgetown University adopt Stubby as their mascot as well.

Stubby’s natural abilities saved the lives of dozens of men. He died in 1926 with John by his side. An entry from John’s personal journal helps depict the dogs gallantry in war:

“Over the top he went with the boys on many occasions, and the sight of the enemy was like a red flag to a bull. On one trip “over” he sank his teeth in the seat of a fleeing Hun’s trousers and did not let go. “Kamerad,” howled the Hun; but Stubby paid no attention, hanging on until the foe laid down and gave up to the Yanks.”

His brave heart and great deeds make him a true animal hero.


And The Nominees Are…..

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I am very excited to list my Liebster Award nominees for 2018.

Therefore without further ado:

  1. Pencil Paws– I hope you are prepared to be seriously blown away by the magnificent artwork depicted in this site.
  2. Life and Physics– This site will educate you until your mind is numb. It is a series of highly formulated posts that will undoubtedly help you stay informed about astrophysics, climate change and SO much more!
  3. The Wonders of Wildlife– Is a fantastic site focused on educational information about our worlds wildlife. Why is this so important? Because without this knowledge, they can easily be forgotten.
  4. Aquatic Veterinary– Is a site authored by a marine veterinarian. The content on this site is not only informational but highly useful. If you have fish, you will want to see these posts and ESPECIALLY if you’re living in California.
  5. Warriors of the Heart– This site is truly inspirational. The posts are simple yet packed with tremendous motivational value. Please visit this site if you need a daily ‘pick-me-up.’
  6. Society for the Saving of Endangered Animals– Gives us profiles of endangered species but not only that, the creator of the site also provides us with resource links on how to help
  7. GeekWire– is a super busy tech site where you can find out way more than just information about gadgetry. If you want to stay up-to-date on today’s tech, this is where you want to be.
  8. The Biotechnology Times– Is a site created by an ingenious young mind that provides the world with biotech news. You don’t have to be savvy in biotechnology to understand these articles either, simply knowing what is happening in this subject is mind-blowing in it’s own right.

THANK YOU TO ALL of my nominees for such fantastic content, keep writing!

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Nominees, here are your questions- to be answered and posted on your site. Congrats!:

  1. If you could go back in time and meet someone from history; who would it be?
  2. What was your favorite toy as a child?
  3. If you could build any invention; what would it be?
  4. What is your favorite planet in our Solar System?
  5. What is the funniest thing you have ever seen?
  6. What is the best thing that has ever happened to you by accident?
  7. Name 3 things you want to see happen for human kind and our world in the future.
  8.  What was your favorite animal as a child?
  9. What did you want to be growing up?
  10. What are your Top 5 Favorite Movies?
  11. Who has been an inspirational figure in your life and why?

Keep in mind, you do not have to answer ANY questions if you do not feel comfortable.

Congratulations to all and I look forward to reading more of your amazing posts!

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My Liebster Award Nomination

Thank you to Tao Talk for my nomination!

The author of Tao Talk has been an incredibly supportive member in our blogging community. Please visit this fantastic site!

I am incredibly elated to be nominated for this award. Thank you Tao Talk for all that you do!

Q: Sunlight or Moonlight?

MOONLIGHT! Hands down! I’ve always been what would be called a “night owl.” The busy hustle and bustle of the daytime has never been my cup of tea. I prefer the easy-going wonder of night. How different things look at this time than they do during the day. It is nature’s way of reminding us that there are ends to beginnings as well as new beginnings to ends. Nighttime helps us find the confidence to endure. To face “unknowns” in hopes of a brighter new dawn.

Q: Top 5 Favorite Movies?

Although I am not a big movie goer,

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The Godfather series have always been very iconic for me. It is one of those movies, for me, that resonates with your soul. It is because I was raised in a devout Catholic family. Coppola is a timeless director, alongside Spielberg, and Kubrick. He truly captured the turmoil of a religious family, modern-day struggles, and of course crime syndicate families. It is such a fantastic film. Described by some as droll, slow and boring, I myself cannot help but watch in amazement every time (which have been many.) Like a story being retold, finding new information each time. The Godfather is my “binge” worthy entertainment.

So I’ll count this as fav movie 1,2, and 3- since the main series is a trilogy.

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4) Forrest Gump is an incredibly well told, well formulated and in-depth story. Tom Hanks is, after all, “America’s Dad”. Hanks himself is an icon of genuine simplicity and good-nature. In this film, Hanks was able to provide us a powerful, funny, yet dramatic story. One that implies that all people, big, small, white, black, intelligent or “stupid,” can do amazing things in our lifetimes.

And finally,

5) Philadelphia/ Rocky Balboa

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Tom Hanks in Philadelphia

It’s a tie! It’s so hard to choose between the two!

Again, America’s Dad shows us a no-strings version of what it was REALLY like to be a man with A.I.D.S. in the 90’s in America. It is a wonderfully accurate story that has such a heart-wrenching ending. I cry, literally every time I see this movie.

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Sylvester Stallone in Rocky

Rocky Balboa. Sylvester Stallone’s career maker, yet another genuine perspective on living a “hard-knock life.” A young New Jersey man, making it the only way he can, having “no brains.” The Rocky series is yet another series for me, that I can jump in the middle of and still know where I am in the story line since it is another “binge” worthy series for me.

Q: Funniest Thing You Ever Saw?

There isn’t one singular event for me, that I can recall. However, animals make me laugh whole-heartedly. It doesn’t even have to be MY pet, other people’s pets are equally comical. It is when seeing a supposed “lower” intellectual being such as a dog, bird, cat, horse, and so forth, exhibit some truly quirky behavior. It is priceless to see.

Q: Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Accident?

The best thing that has ever happened to me by accident is my loving significant other. I had resolved with myself that I would likely be alone for many years, if not the rest of my entire life. My previous boyfriend had suddenly died from drinking and driving, which left me shattered. I had learned many things during that time, but primarily, that one must be okay with being alone with themselves, before being able to successfully be in a relationship. I learned to take value in those that I DO have with me, my family and friends, and spent my “lonely years” developing those types of relationships. Of course, these did not replace intimacy but I learned to allow the love and value, each person was attempting/wanting to bring into my life as support.

So when I met Tyler, I was already completely okay with being alone. I was still very social since that is just my nature. I had gone on dates that my friends would set me up on, and they were never right for me. I saw Tyler for his humor, his gentle nature, and so much more and I thought to myself, “If I could only just be his friend..” I would have been satisfied having him, at the very least, in my life as a friend. To be in my life at all – with his ginger hair and quirky ways… I would’ve been smitten. Yet Fate/God/Greater Power saw that there was more than that awaiting us. And here we are, 4 years later, still together.


Q: Weirdest Dream You Ever Had?

Oh Honey, I have P.T.S.D., I have weird dreams ALL THE TIME!

However, the question brings to mind, a recurring dream I would have for several years. It was of me flying. I would fly around during dusk, searching for my little cousin, who was in trouble. I would fly over railroad tracks, hills, and buildings. Yet, I would never find her.

Q: If You Had 3 Wishes That Could Come True, What Would They Be?

Weirdly enough, I have no answer for this question. At all. I am at a loss. One of my character traits is that I am a very headstrong person. I see others wish for a new car, or wish to win the lottery, and things of that like. I am a true believer of MAKING it happen. Don’t Wish- DO!

Q: Favorite Cartoon as a Kid?

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My favorite cartoon as a child was Looney Tunes. All Looney Tunes. Although I was subject to only watching what my older brother wanted to watch, even then, these shows seemed timeless to me and I admired them to that end.

Q: Favorite Toy as a Kid?

My favorite toy was a small chalkboard slab my mother had picked up at a “flea market.” It had a wooden frame and I used this frame to duct tape the chalkboard to the wall. I would use last years school books to teach reading, writing, and spelling to my imaginary students. Using my little 8″x 5″ chalkboard, I would even sometimes use it to countdown the days until Christmas!

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Q: If You Could Have a Party With Your Favorite Musician/Group Playing for it, Who Would You Choose to Play for Your Party?

This subject, unfortunately provides me with a tiny amount of snobbery because, I -myself and my partner, are musicians. Tyler is such an amazing guitarist that, I can play an unknown song for him and after 2 minutes maximum, he has already figured out the chords, tuning, and rhythm. He is literally a musical genius. In fact, we have dedicated an entire room in our house just for him to exercise his genius.

Q: If You Could Build Any Invention, What Would it Be?

I would develop an intelligence wand. Whenever someone (including myself) is rattling on about an obviously illogical belief (such as a boss or co-worker), or when a person is absent-mindedly not acknowledging the other person’s words (such as a customer service hotline), I can just point my wand and SUDDENLY they have become intelligent enough to make turn this lame-brained conversation into an actually constructive one! If you have ever encountered a type of person that is “always right”, regardless of fact, you know what I mean. For example, Rapper B.o.B. and his attempt to prove world-renowned and highly intelligent scientists, physicists, astrophysicists, and even astronauts who have seen the earth while standing on the moon wrong, and say that the Earth Is Flat. Let’s just save all that drama and waste of time by waving the intelligence wand!

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Q:What’s the best thing you ever wrote? Please include a link to it if you wish 🙂

While pursuing my Biotechnology degree, I had written a cause and effect essay for one college English class. It remains a secret treasure of mine that I will share below. Hope you all enjoy!

A Quidditch Match in the Shire

Like something you would only hear in “fake news,” alongside reports of German children becoming legally able to marry.¹ Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins have P.T.S.D. Yes! Potter fans know it’s true and Hobbit fans cannot disagree. As a result of their long and arduous journeys; both Baggins and Potter developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The signs and symptoms are clear. A closer look at their adventures must be taken in order to see how such derangement inevitably grew.
There are two primary origins for the development of their mental stress disorder. Firstly, both campaigns lasted longer than six months. Potter’s lasted seven years while Baggins’ lasted an astounding eighteen! From the day that Frodo left the Shire and from Potter’s initial introduction to Voldemort, both characters were continuously put in life threatening situations.
Secondly, an accompanying contributor to their resulting P.T.S.D. is that they both witness the loss of their friends’ lives in traumatic ways. Baggins watched as his beloved friend Gandalf fought an ancient demon and fell to his death in the Mines of Moria. Potter watched as Voldemort killed his quidditch companion Cedric Diggory. Potter watched again as his admired professor and mentor, Dumbledore, fell to his death. Sirius Black, Potter’s closest pseudo- relative, also died while Harry looked on in turmoil. These two factors alone are essential in post traumatic stress disorder, however other lesser and seemingly insignificant factors also lend to the equation.
Baggins and his trail companion Samwise often faced near starvation. While “Black Riders” and Orcs tirelessly pursued and numerously attacked them throughout their journey. It remained clear that death was always near. Furthermore, much of the hobbits’ passage were quite dangerous. They had to climb mountains and serrated rock face, where any slip along the path would result in their deaths. If the roaming of the terrain wasn’t challenging enough, the characters in Frodo’s accompaniment were. Betrayal abounds for Baggins and his hairy footed pals. Boromir, his supposed protector subsequently fights him for the Ring. Smeagol aka “Gollum,” Baggins’ once loyal guide, bites off Baggins’ finger at the cliffs of Mount Doom in an attempt to obtain his “precious.”
Potter also faced death when not battling Voldemort. In the “Triwizard Tournament” he braved man eating walls and egg hoarding dragons. Potter nearly drowned while attempting to retrieve the sword of Gryffindor from a frozen lake. These efforts and more contribute to both characters’ P.T.S.D. development. However, this is not all that challenged them.
To make things even more psychologically demanding, both Potter and Baggins were obligated as the “Chosen One.” Everyone around them superimposed a belief that only they could achieve the task before them. Unless they are used to such stipulation; that is a huge weight. Maybe Bilbo did instruct young Frodo to clean the toilet with explanation of, “Because YOU are the chosen one! Take this plunger to the Toilet of Doom! Throw it in and don’t look back!!” It is possible that he was used to such high regard, although unlikely. At any rate, there existed loads of mental pressure for these characters.
All of their psychological trials and tribulations fit the profile for P.T.S.D. according to the National Center for P.T.S.D.² A person with this disorder must have witnessed the violent or traumatic death of a friend or loved one. They must have had direct exposure to death or threatened death, and also must have had actual or threatened serious injury. Finally, a person must have experienced prolonged exposure to life threatening situations. Baggins and Potter definitely meet the above criteria. Furthermore, both characters visibly show these symptoms as a result of its evolution.
Potter frequently has nightmares, night sweats, and calls out in his sleep, “Don’t kill Cedric.” Potter, in conclusion, retreats to his secluded lifestyle, as would anyone with untreated P.T.S.D.
Baggins seclusion however, began almost immediately. He adamantly showed an inability to adjust to his life back in the Shire. His dissociation is present in his comments to Samwise when he speaks of, “Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.” He describes also, of being “Torn in two.” Frodo has clearly endured so much and the memories stay with him and thus he sets out for the “Undying Lands” to find peace.
I know. You are thinking, “Surely our beloved characters could have avoided such a stigma as this mental illness.” However, they could not. Without their heroic efforts, Middle Earth would not have been reunited and Voldemort would’ve turned Hogwarts into a base camp for magical destruction. The only way P.T.S.D. could have been avoided was to not designate them for anything! Frodo could’ve “passed the buck” and said, “Listen Bilbo, you found it! You deal with it!” In addition, like a game of Duck Duck Goose, Potter could have hid while people searched for a savior against Voldemort. With Dumbledore coaxing young Potter, “Harry come out of the bathroom! You HAVE to battle Voldemort!,” and Harry scuffing his feet along the tile as he goes, saying “I don’t want to battle Voldemort. He’s mean and his breath smells!” Their stories could’ve been different, but then we wouldn’t have heros. P.T.S.D. comes with the job of being a hero. It was an inevitable burden.

-written by Renee R.
¹Grenoble, Ryan. “Here Are Some Of Those Fake News Stories That Mark Zuckerberg Isn’t Worried About.” The Huffington Post,, 16 Nov. 2016, Accessed 3 Mar. 2017.
²National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “BrainLine Military.” DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD | BrainLine Military. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.