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FROM HORSES TO BULLDOGS
During the 1960's the Dells had a home bordering the Saguaro National
Monument, north of Tucson, Arizona. They worked for the Wild Horse (dude)
Ranch. The local shopping center had a neighbor with a big white Bulldog
that would wander over to the parking lot on cold winter days. He would
crawl up on a car hood and lay down, Bulldog fashion. Nice and warm. Such
fun to sit on a bench and watch the snowbirds come out to their cars and
stare. Don and Barb vowed to get one of those dogs someday.
In the late 1960's Don went back to sea. Russ came along in '69 and
they sold their home and headed to California. Don and Barb always
thought "Bulldog" and would check the petshops. They knew nothing about
dog clubs and couldn't care less.
Becky joined the household in 1972. At that time the Dells had 4
dog-dogs. It wasn't until 1975 that they finally found a Bulldog they
could afford - in the newspaper. Tessa died in 1977 and Don and Barb were
deevastated. They had to get another Bulldog. In checking her pedigree
they found a local name, Barney Barnett, and he referred them to Doris
Boyd. She had a litter! One little girl was available but she really
should be shown. The Dells agreed. They would promise anything to get
their hands on that gorgeous little lady Bully that lived to be 11. So
began the Dells dog show life. The first ribbon at a fun match guaranteed
it. Don and Barb could write a book (a couple of books) on the fun times.
The children joined 4-H and Becky went in for Dog Care and Training.
The leaders felt sorry for her. Trying to train a Bulldog! By the time
she was 10 she had put a CD on her first Bulldog. When Becky was 12, her
second CD Bulldog was the #1 Novice Bulldog in the country. There was
also lots of conformation showing and Junior showmanship.
With the Dells sea life they were able to take 6 week vacations twice
a year. They traveled everywhere they could drive and used dog shows as
an excuse for a destination (including Canada). Don and Russ were
professional go-fers and Becky did the handling. Barb would help in the
usual mom category.
Time passed. Youngsters went to college and got married and have
their own families now. Don retired in 1996 and learned to do the
showing. Although Don and Barb have bred and finished quite a few
Bulldogs in conformation, those performance titles are the most
Years ago the Dells decided they could either retire rich or have
Bulldogs. They seem to have always made the right decisions. They have
two fabulous children with wonderful families and Don and Barb have a
house full of Bulldogs.
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