Alabama, animals, autobiography, Birmingham, book reviews, books, boston terrier, buy John's book, Cricket the French Bulldog, dating, dogs, essays, french bulldog, funny, gay, humor, john jernigan, love, Mateo L'artiste, memoirs, Pensacola, pets, Tampa Bay
a snippet from my book, The Gay Road Less Traveled, $3.99 on Kindle
“How Can I Love You More – M People”
When I went to pick out my new baby at a kennel in rural Alabama, the owner invited me into his house and led me down into the living room. In a big baby playpen there were two litters of French bulldog puppies playing, nine puppies, and all seven weeks old. There were two or three black puppies, a few brown, a light tan one, and one white puppy with a big black spot on its back. I noticed this puppy was slightly larger than the rest, more active, and she was not being nice to her littermates. She pounced on one of her brothers and knocked him over, then rammed the smallest puppy (the tan one) with her head, shoving it across the playpen while it squealed and cried. When the white puppy saw us she ran to the edge of the playpen and stood up, screaming and whining and imploring to be picked up, which the owner did. “That’s part of the problem right there” he said as he held her. “Every night I put the puppies to bed and they all go to sleep, except her, she screams and cries until my wife comes and gets her and puts her in the bed with us. She’s a smart little thing.”
I like to think I know a little bit about dogs. One thing I do know is that when choosing a new puppy, you’re supposed to pick one in the middle, not the alpha or the runt. The owner hands the puppy to me. This pot-bellied little grunting pig was the boss of this pack, no doubt. I should probably choose one of the brown puppies, still, this thing is white and black, she’ll match my two Boston’s, she’s female (only girls for me, dogs I mean) she’s smart. One test they advise doing with a puppy is to hold it in your arms like a baby, on its back with its belly exposed. If the puppy will stay still and be held it will likely be a good dog, because it’s secure and comfortable enough to let its guard down. I try this with the puppy. She bucks and whines and goes all stiff like a child having a temper tantrum. I try to rock her and hold her but she screams REAL loud like a hyena or something. I put her back in the playpen where she immediately pounces on one of the other puppies and lays on top of him, gnawing on his ear. She is adorably cute. I must have her! French Bulldogs have big ears, but they have to grow into them, this puppy’s ears are still all droopy and not standing up yet…she looks like a little cricket. Cricket.