I'm sitting in our office - which is actually a dining room (I'll explain that someday when my home is tidy enough to do a blog post about it) - listening to a 50 pound English bulldog snore. Liam is waking up from his nap and I can hear him playing with his stuffed animals through the baby monitor. Dan is on his way home, just a few hours away. Today has been full of happy, peaceful moments - like the one pictured above - that I didn't think was possible just a few days ago.
Our journey to Gibson was complicated. We had been emailing a woman before our move about a bulldog named Junior. We got here and she got sick, then when the day came that we were going to finally meet Junior, she backed out with some story about him bumping into walls and going blind. I would think that was a scam but she never asked us for money. So, there we were, on a Monday night with a little boy upstairs in bed expecting to meet "June" when he woke up.
Tuesday morning came and I was more heartbroken than Liam was. We set out to find a dog, or at least start the process of finding a dog. The Humane Society was low and most of their dogs were too big or too young. Dan had found a 2 year old bulldog on Craigslist but it kept getting flagged and removed before he could email about it. I told him it was a scam. Craigslist Bulldogs are always a scam.
Just when we had about given up Dan heard back on the Craigslist bulldog and it seemed legit so we drove down to Franklin, Tennessee in rush hour to meet him. He was great, we bought him, got him groomed, and when we got him home and put Liam to bed....HO-LEE-COW! The dog got CRAY. All 50 pounds of him was lunging at us, mouth gaping open, growling sounds, the whole bit. I was scared. We did our best to manage his energy that night and he slept in our bathroom after barking for 45 minutes straight.
The next morning, Dan left for a couple days and I was exhausted. I took the worst neighborhood walk of my entire life. To give you a picture: freezing temps, cranky toddler, angry bulldog, crappy stroller, 60 minutes, several breakdowns, lots of tears. We got home and Gibson pounced on Liam. I was officially terrified. I was ready to give him back but Craigslist lady, who had sold him because he wasn't getting along with her FIVE other dogs, refused to take him back. We got a kennel and when Liam went down for a nap I had a change of heart. I decided, thanks to the council of several dog-loving friends, to give him 30 days. I was to teach him commands, show him who's boss, and somehow teach him his place in our pack. I realized that he wasn't being vicious, he was playing. He was playing REALLY rough and I have the bruises to prove it. He was trying to dominate us. So I've had to be VERY firm with him, gain his trust, earn his respect and sometimes I have to just wrestle him to the ground and sit on him for a while.
He's still not allowed alone with Liam and he's not allowed to roam downstairs if we're upstairs. I'm battered and bruised and I've had some serious battles with him but we've made so much progress! Just 4 days later and I am in love with this dog. And, even though he's been accosted by Gibson multiple times, Liam loves him, too! I'm pretty sure that 30 day trial is null and void.