Animal Rescue of Fresno: Frenchie

 by Wendy Hunter

There is a certain dignity to being French. —Brigitte Bardot

Bonjour, Mesdames and Messieurs! It is magnifique to see you again! If you didn’t notice, I took a little hiatus from writing last month, and if you did notice, thanks for not forgetting about me. Life has been weird and strange lately, and I haven’t been out volunteering with my beloved ARF gang for a while. I now have cataracts in both of my eyeballs, and am unable to drive. Well, I could drive, but it would be sort of like putting Ray Charles behind the wheel, and that wouldn’t be a good thing. I can’t have surgery for a month or two, so my sister has been Driving Miss Daisy to work and back, bless her crooked little heart. And so I follow the ARF dogs on our Facebook page, trying to keep up with all the new arrivals and other exciting news. It’s amazing how much I miss not being out there, but with my lousy vision, navigating the property and all its uneven surfaces would definitely be a dangerous endeavor. Volunteer down! However, I shall eventually return and reconnect with my pals there, and all the critters. I miss the camaraderie, the friendship, and all those wet noses and fuzzy faces. But, Mon Dieu! I do NOT miss the laundry!

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Now, I know you’re wondering what sort of French Connection I’m going for, and why I’m speaking like Inspector Cousteau in the Pink Panther. Well, Mon Cheri, the French have given us a myriad of lovely things, including many in the world of food. There’s cheesy French onion soup, salty French fries, buttery French toast, tangy French dressing, and sweet French vanilla for your morning café. There’s also flaky French croissants, crusty French sourdough, and the joy that only a French pressed cup of coffee can bring. And as tempting as those tasty treats are, there’s nothing more appealing than the squishy face of a French Bulldog. They’re charming, affectionate, playful, and snore like Rip Van Winkle during his twenty-year nap. Seriously, these pudgy pups can rattle the walls and blow the roof right off your well-appointed casa. I should know because my cousin had two of them for a while, and they definitely came with the snooze button. Those clever devils also knew how to clear a room, armed with the farting feature that comes standard with every model. Gross. And right now, ARF is lucky enough to have one...ooh la la!

I would like to introduce you to Frenchie, a happy soul with a sad beginning. This three-year-old was found in a dumpster, where he was tossed, just like a piece of garbage. That’s right, in a smelly, disgusting trash bin. And since Frenchie has some short little legs, we’re assuming he didn’t climb up there by himself, lured by the scent of rotting food. Unfortunately, we’re forced to blame it on the cruelty and heartlessness of humans. Yup, people can be horrible beyond belief. And to make matters worse, this brindle boy also had a harmful medical condition called a “prolapsed rectum.” If you’ve ever watched more than a couple episodes of The Incredible Dr. Pol, you’ve probably seen poor vet Brenda handle some very unhappy pigs in this predicament. I’ve seen about ninety-seven shows, and every so often this issue pops up, and every single time it makes me squirm. [Warning: Medical jargon ahead.] Rectal prolapse is defined as the protrusion or pushing out of the inner layers of the rectum through the anus. Affecting both males and females, it often occurs after the animal strains to poop, pee, or give birth. Prolapsed rectums are common in Frenchie puppies, and less so in adults, though it can happen. You know, it’s rough enough being a pup, then having to worry about a painful bum. They have better things to do, like being all cute and roly-poly.

The cause of rectal prolapse is not always determined, but in bulldog pups, ongoing diarrhea and gastrointestinal parasites like Giardia, are suspected underlying causes. Other sources can include constipation, prostate disease, cancer, and the ingestion of foreign objects. So tell your Talented Mr. Tastebuds that his sword swallowing days are over. The treatment of rectal prolapse in dogs depends upon the tissue involved, and the reason it has prolapsed. For Frenchie, he was lucky to have been found and rescued. At the vet’s office, we were informed that it was imperative to get him into surgery as soon as possible. [Caution: Graphic verbiage ahead.] The simplest procedure requires pushing the rectum back into position, and placing a “purse string” suture around the anus to keep the rectum where it belongs. I know, I know…eww. It sounds like something that requires a steady hand, and some serious sewing skills. But this is a quick, fairly easy, and not very invasive surgery. And since it has few risks or complications, vets often choose it first. A purse string suture is a surgical suture passed as a running stitch in and out along the edge of a circular wound. When the ends of the suture are drawn tight, the wound is closed like a purse. But trust me, you won’t find any dollar bills inside this pocketbook.

Along with various other treatments, our feisty Frenchie ended up having two purse string surgeries. After the first one, he was put on a diet of canned food and laxatives, in order to stop him from straining. But within a few days, Frenchie’s sutures gave out, and he was rushed back to the vet that morning. I was shocked to learn he’d been stitched up again because when I saw him just a few hours later wearing the cone of shame, he was running around like a bull in a china shop. Watch out! Stampede of one! Currently, Frenchie is recovering from his latest surgery, gobbling up softened kibble and tasty pumpkin to put on weight. Depending on his health, Frenchie should be up on our website and ready for adoption within a few weeks. His adoption fee is $500, due to all the medical costs, and that is literally only half of what ARF paid. A couple of caveats; his adopters should have some ownership experience with this very intelligent breed. Also, Frenchie doesn’t play well with others in the sandbox, and would prefer to be the only dog in his new home. Oh, and no kitty cats please; he doesn’t get along with them. I don’t blame him, it’s probably all that hissing.

If you are interested in making our handsome beau your new best friend, then head on over to the ARF website and fill out an application. We will contact you to set up an appointment, and you can throw on your best chapeau to meet Frenchie in person. You’ll spend some quality time together and sniff each other out (pardon the pun), to see if you’re compatible. You never know, he might enjoy the National Geographic channel, while you may prefer the ID Network. We wouldn’t want a power struggle over the remote control. Of course, you could always flip a Milk Bone for it, just to keep things fair. In any event, we want to make sure that Frenchie gets the best home possible. He’s been through a lot, and deserves some major pampering. I’m not talking about a mani-pedi every couple of weeks, but perhaps more of a personal touch with his new humans. You know, some belly rubs, snacks, and a story at bedtime. I suggest White Fang, A Dog’s Purpose, or Old Yeller. Um, you might want to have some Kleenex handy for that last one. Or an extra Milk Bone.

Hurt no living thing;

Ladybird, nor butterfly,

Nor moth with dusty wing

—Christina Georgina Rossetti

Animal Rescue of Fresno
4545 E Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726

 Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website.

Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for four years. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.