A LOVE STORY
This column marks the end of my six years as AKC GAZETTE breed columnist for the Bulldog Club of America. My tenure ends on a somewhat bittersweet, yet ultimately very happy note.
It is a love story.
This drama began with a telephone call from one BCA member in Wisconsin to another in Indiana. It was an urgent request for assistance in the rescue and adoption of a Bulldog whose days were numbered at an animal shelter in Chicago.
The cast of characters includes a dog named Tyson and a cancer survivor who had dreamed for years of owning a pet Bulldog. Supporting roles are played by two devoted and longtime fanciers of the breed, who involved themselves with the club’s nationwide rescue program.
Tyson was dropped off at the shelter last spring by some area residents who claimed to be the owners. According to shelter officials, the so-called owners were not only unaware of Tyson’s approximate age, but they also were sadly mistaken about his gender. First described by the owners as an 8-or10-year old female. Tyson is in reality a neutered male. Subsequent evaluation by a veterinarian revealed he is probably no more than 4 years old.
Thus, Tyson’s past remains a mystery. Most likely he was a lost or abandoned stray found wandering the streets of Chicago. No one knows – except Tyson.
Had his rescuer arrived just one day later, Tyson’s story would have ended abruptly there at the shelter.
However, this nearly crippled, undernourished, red and white Bulldog was given a new lease on life. In a matter of days, Tyson’s life began anew with someone whose fondest dream had come true.
It was love at first sight. Within two hours, Tyson had found his kindred spirit. He wasted no time in winning her heart – by kissing her lovingly on the chin. The bonding between them was complete and nearly instantaneous.
But Tyson’s ordeal was not over. His hind legs were so weak he could barely walk. And expensive surgery to both of Tyson’s hind legs was required to save him from a life of misery and early death.
Unable to finance these two $800 operations on her own, Tyson’s new owner appealed to the BCA for partial funding, which was granted. One knee has been repaired, and his owner works one full-time and two part-time jobs to pay for professional physical therapy sessions and surgery for Tyson’s other knee.
Today, Tyson leads what must seem to him a life of luxury. Ramps were installed throughout the house to facilitate his mobility. He even has a swimming pool where he can undergo water therapy at home – wearing a custom-made life jacket, of course.
- William Andree, 204 S. Beach Dr., Monticello, IN 47960.