Saturday, December 2, 2006

Guardian Angel

This photo of one of my Bulldogs. I have two. This is the male. His name is Benson. Some will call him an English bulldog, but there is only one bulldog the others French, American, etc. need the added description to differentiate them from the one and only original bulldog. I got my first bulldog in 1993. I had wanted one since I was a young boy.

One summer when I was probably 8 or 9, the next door neighbor boy and I started camping out in a little pup tent in his back yard. I remember the first night we spent out there very well. It was late, very dark and we were a little nervous at being alone in the dark by ourselves. We heard this very strange noise coming from outside the tent. It was an awful snorting, wheezing, throat clearing kind of sound. Wild visions of misshapen and terribly mean and foul smelling creatures coming to snatch us out of our little tent went through our young minds. This noise grew closer and closer till it was just outside the flaps of the tent. I really cannot remember all of the details. I’m sure we must have had a flashlight with us. I don’t really remember just when we discovered what the ‘monster’ was, but I’m sure we were hugely relieved to see that it was a gentle old male bulldog.

He came in our little pup tent that night and slept with us till almost dawn in the morning. I remember he gently chewed the earpieces on my glasses. He didn’t destroy them, just left his teeth marks there. Maybe he found some kind of bulldoggish comfort in that. Maybe it was his little calling card. I don’t know, but he was gone when the sun came up. My slightly altered glasses were the only sign of our midnight friend. The strange thing was my friend and I had no idea where he came from. As young boys, we pretty well knew all the dogs in our little neighborhood. This was in the early sixties. People were more involved in their neighbor’s lives than today. We knew of no one for quite a radius around who had a bulldog, but that summer every time we stayed out in the pup tent this gentle snorty monster would show up and spend most of the night with us.

Anyway, I wanted a bulldog for my entire life. Again, we got one in 1993. I haven’t been disappointed. They are very special dogs. Stoic, devoted, courageous beyond belief, nothing scares them. This fellow regularly takes on our St. Bernard who outweighs him by well over a hundred lbs. Pain means nothing to them. They are amazingly gentle with small children. When we have little toddlers in the house, the bulldogs are very very careful around them. Sensing how unsteady the young ones are, they give them wide berth and yet when we lay on the bed for a nap or at night with a grandchild, the bulldog desires more than anything to be right next to the young one. . . a guardian angel for all the babies in the house, just like our pup tent friend years and years ago.

Thank you Lord for guardian angels . . . . . Thank you Lord for bulldogs. . . .

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