I cleaned underneath the sofa the other day.

…. I found a few tennis balls.


Holy smokes. September is just flying by!! The boys have been doing great this month. We haven’t had any big health issues & vet bills, and everyone is coasting along well.

With September nearly over, gone are the days where the temperature is pushing 35-40 degrees celsius (that’s 95-105 fahrenheit for my American readers). As much as I love the heat, I know that my fellas enjoy these cooler days a bit more. Days where they can actually lay out on the porch for longer than 5 minutes. They’ve been spending a lot of sleepy afternoons and evenings out there watching the world go by and the sunset. Being able to walk them in the afternoons (as opposed to only at night time– and even then it’s too hot!) has been really lovely. The dog’s favourite place to go is the big soccer field at the end of the block. There’s never anyone there, and it’s fully fenced, so we let the boys go off leash and they absolutely adore the freedom. They never venture more than 10-12 feet away from us at any given time, but they seem to have a real understanding of when their leashes are on and when they’re off. We’re making the most of our walks while we can, because once the snow falls and the temperatures really dip, we certainly won’t be venturing too far outside.


Every so often I receive a comment on this blog that lifts my spirits and reminds me that I am not just talking to myself. Today, I received one such comment from a lovely lady named Carolyn,

“I just wanted to thank you for posting your experience with Oslo and his IVDD experience.

A week ago my French Bulldog Leo woke up having trouble standing on his rear legs. Like Oslo Leo just turned 3 the end of July. I took him to the vet not knowing what was going on. The vet gave him a shot of an anti inflammatory and sent us home. Leo got progressively worse throughout the day.

My daughter found your article about Oslo online and showed it to me. At first I thought no this can’t be happening but all the symptoms were the same. I called the vet back telling him Leo was much worse and mentioned IVDD. He prescribed a painkiller and told me if he was worse tommorow that I would have to take him to a neurologist. At 4 am the next morning I woke up to hear Leo panting and unable to move. I took him to the animal hospital where they admitted him, did an MRI, and immediately did surgery for a slipped disc.

It’s a week later and Leo is standing and attempting to walk. He drags his back legs but it’s getting better. He goes for therapy everyday. Like you I didn’t have insurance because up until this Leo was very healthy. I feel had it not been for your article I may not have acted so quickly with taking him to the hospital. The doctor told me it was a fresh slip and I had caught it early enough that there was minor bruising and damage to the spine.

Thank you again I feel you saved Leo!

I receive comments/emails like these once every few months, and each one means so, so much to me! IVDD is such a scary disease. Having your pet diagnosed with it can be SO confusing, overwhelming, and isolating. Worse still is when there is something very wrong with your baby, but the Vet seems unable to really figure out what is going on.  It brings me SO much happiness to know that people are able to use the power of the internet to search keywords like “french bulldog weakness in legs”, find my blog, bring what they learn to their Veterinarians, and get proper diagnoses.

Obviously stuff you read on the internet should never be a substitute for the well-informed opinion of a medical professional.. But if there’s one thing I have learned in my dealings with IVDD (and I have learned a lot) it’s that sometimes veterinarians– as educated & well-meaning as they are– make mistakes. They’re human beings, like you & I. Sometimes they don’t recognize symptoms. Sometimes they don’t put the pieces together in their brains. And sometimes, like all humans, sometimes they are just plain wrong.

It’s up to us as our pet’s “owners”, guardians, and family-members to be our pet’s advocates. To do our research. To be diligent. To leave no stone unturned. I am so glad that Oslo’s blog continues to be a helpful resource to those dealing with IVDD. What a lasting legacy this has become!

PS– Do you have Pet Insurance? You should!

I’ve just recently had to order my fella’s their 2nd container of Snout Soother. I can’t quite remember when we bought our first tin, but I want to say that it lasted us about a year– not bad for $20!  $20 for a year of two smooth, happy, healthy noses.

Let’s not forget that it is 100% all natural, vegan, & organic— which is important when you are applying to something as sensitive as a dog’s nose. Also! It works straight away. Start off by applying 2-3x a day, and you will notice a BIG improvement in the first 48 hours. It’s a bit shocking, actually, how quickly it works. Then, once you have their nose looking (and feeling) good, you can cut back to applying once every couple of days just to maintain things.

We really can’t rave about Snout Soother enough. If you have a wee-one with a nose that could use a little TLC, check out  Natural Dog Company. They’re awesome!

Here's a quick 'before & after' of Jersey's sweet nose. Notice how before he had that dry, cracked, crusty ridge along the top of his nose? Thanks to Snout Soother, those days are gone!

Here’s a quick ‘before & after’ of Jersey’s sweet nose. Notice how before he had that dry, cracked, crusty ridge along the top of his nose? Thanks to Snout Soother, those days are gone!

(No, this is not a paid advertisement. I purchase my own Snout Soother and will receive no kick back from the company for their review. I simply want to share with our followers products that work for us, in the hopes that they may also help some of you.)

It’s been an uneventful week or two, and thank goodness for that! We certainly needed a break after all the craziness that we’ve been dealing with lately. Jersey’s ruptured anal gland is all healed up, and he seems no worse for wear. Fingers crossed that NOW we will get a little break from all these trips to the vet & vet bills!

This past year or so has been a doozy in terms of health issues for my boys. Both have dealt with bouts of IVDD. Both have needed to have dental surgery to remove cracked molars. Then, of course, there was Jersey’s anal gland. It’s times like these that I think about how important Health Insurance for your pet is, and how important it is that people know what they are likely getting into when they bring home that sweet French Bulldog Puppy.

Frenchies are adorable, you guys. They’re cute as can be, they have WONDERFUL personalities, they’re funny, they’re great apartment/city dwelling dogs, and they are fabulous companions.  But they are also one of the most expensive dogs to own.

  • They very often have food sensitives and food or environmental allergies. You should anticipate spending top dollar on high end food and/or prepare it yourself. Even in these situations, many Frenchies have impossibly complicated allergies that their owners struggle for years to get under control.
  • Due to their adorable, squishy faces they very often have airway issues such as elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and general difficulty breathing. They are prone to heat stroke for this reason and extreme care should be given when the dog is outside in warm temperatures.
  • Due to their compressed skeletal system, they are prone to a number of serious joint issues like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) & Luxating Patella.
  •  Then of course there are the smaller issues, like their propensity towards Cherry Eye.
  • Or that due to their deep facial wrinkles, their faces need to be cleaned daily, otherwise they are likely to get a facial yeast infection.
  • If you’re super lucky, you’ll get a boy like Jersey who’s anal glands don’t empty on their own. Leaving you to either empty them yourself (no thanks!) or have to pay you vet/groomer to do it for you every few months… lest they become impacted.
  • Oh, and because Frenchies have the funny airways that they do, your vet will likely need to exercise extra care when your pup should need to go under anesthesia. Both of my boys have to do chest x-rays & full blood panels before going under. Which adds about $200-$300 onto the bill. Every time.

The point is, these guys are crazy expensive. You’ll shell out a ton of cash for that adorable puppy, and you will continue shelling out a ton of cash for the durations of it’s life. Going through as good, and reputable of a breeder as possible will hopefully limit how many complications your wee babe has. But even the best breeder in the world can’t guarantee a dog with zero health issues in their life time. Simply put–  if you own a Frenchie, it is very very very likely (My personal opinion is about 85% likely) that you will face some sort of large medical issue in their lifetime.

I don’t say all this to be the bearer of bad news. Or to be all ‘doom and gloom’. I also don’t say it to encourage people NOT to get Frenchies. I absolutely love this breed and can’t imagine my life without my boys! But I do think it’s important to be educated. When I got my boys (2 years apart) I did my research. I read the blogs and the articles and I chatted with the breeders. I asked all the right questions. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into.

“Prone to health issues” (whatever that meant)

Until you experience those health issues, you can’t possible wrap your brain around what that actually MEANS. I certainly didn’t think that my boys would ever suffer from IVDD. I never thought I’d find myself expressing my dog’s bladder after IVDD surgery, and teaching him how to walk again. And I certainly never thought that I’d be paying $2000 to have a cracked molar removed. I absolutely never thought that I’d have to burp my dog after meals to keep him from regurgitating everything he just ate! Ay caramba!

If you are thinking about getting a French Bulldog, please please please go into it with your eyes wide open. Know what you are getting yourself into. Get Pet Insurance or start a massive savings account— you’re going to need it at some point, I can almost guarantee. And then love the hell out of that perfect, disastrously unhealthy, fabulous little puppy of yours. Health issues and all– there really is nothing like a Frenchie.

Additional reading– 10 reasons to not get a French Bulldog.


Jersey had a re-check of his anal glands (aka- his butthole) today, and I am happy to report that things are healing well.

Since the gland ruptured yesterday, a lot of the swelling has gone down and a lot of the infection has come out on it’s own. Our vet doesn’t think that any further intervention on our part (other than keeping the area clean, and finishing this round of antibiotics) should be necessary. Jersey should be able to heal up on his own.

We have an appointment a week from today just to check it again before he’s been given a clean bill of health. Other than that, we should be a-okay.

I’ll tell ya, owning a french bulldog is pretty glamorous.


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