I adopted my first Bulldog, Toby, in February 2003. He was 18 months old. My ex-husband and I were hooked! We fell in love with the breed and became involved with bulldog rescue; eventually, I became the director (as a volunteer, of course) of HeavenSent Bulldog Rescue. We adopted our second Bulldog, Bebe, at age 7! She lived until a few weeks shy of her 15th birthday. More than 80 bulldogs were fostered in our house on their way to FURever homes. We also adopted, over the years, Bunny, and then Spike and Molly, a bonded pair who came as fosters and never left.
One day, I got a call about a blind, lame senior Bulldog in a shelter in North Philadelphia. I couldn't NOT go get him, even with a full house and the knowledge to realize he probably had little chance of adoption. I went to get Tiger and I knew we belonged together. He was not blind or lame; he walked into our home like he had lived there forever.
Tiger arrived in December and stayed only 15 months, but my time with him was priceless and worth every second of the pain of his loss. He saw me through some very, very rough times. When we lost him, I thought I would die. That was February 22, 2009. Thank god for my other dogs and the rescue; those responsibilities truly forced me to pull it together and keep going.
Meanwhile, my very dear friends, Katherine Rodriguez and Nikki Bermea, who always helped with rescue and who ad encouraged me to become a member of the Bulldog Club of America, were breeding Bulldogs. (Just Lonestar Bulldogs) Nikki wanted to give me one, to help me with my loss, and Katherine agreed, but I wasn't ready. Plus I had never raised a puppy; I felt like I could only take a rescue dog.
In September 2009, Nikki and Katherine had two litters of puppies. They encouraged me to go and meet them. We went to see them in early November, and I fell in love with a ticked puppy. He joined our family a week or so later, and changed so many things in my life!
Bentley was a perfect puppy. He never chewed a thing, he got the house-training thing almost immediately, and when he got tired, he would put himself to bed, sometimes in the laundry and sometimes right in bed with his Uncle Spike. I loved watching his puppy antics and seeing him grow.
I took him to his first Match Show at the Lenape Bulldog Specialty in January 2010, and even though I had no idea what I was doing, he did great!!
We named him Just Lonestar Bright Lights Big City and Dennis Murphy showed him for the first time during the Bullossum Cluster Specialtes in April 2010 at seven months old. At the Bulldog Club of Connecticut, the first night, Bentley was Best in Sweeps and then Best Puppy. The next day, he was Best in Sweeps, then Best Puppy and Winners Dog at the Lower Susquehanna Bulldog Club under breeder-judge Mrs Claudia Brown for a 4-point major, and on his way to being a champion.
Bentley took the summer off, and Dennis showed him again in August. He finished very quickly, with many accolades, including Best In Show puppy at Harrisburg KC and earning a Group 1 at the prestigious Somerset Hills Kennel Club under Judge Dr Tamas Jakkel on the day he became a champion. Bentley had his first birthday and then, the following weekend, he again won the group, this time at Cape Cod Kennel Club under Judge Mrs Sandy Wheat.
One month later, we traveled to Kentucky for our first Bulldog Club of America National Specialty Show, where Bentley WON THE NATIONAL SHOW, at only 13 months old!
Bentley's career continues, and he is now a Silver Grand Champion and has won multiple Best in Specialty Shows. He has also sired two champions, one from each of his first two litters. The first is Ch Major League Crown Jewel (Sapphire), and the other is Ch Just Lonestar Bright Lights Bada Bling (Brooklyn).
Recently, we began to partner with Harrold and Teresa McDermott of Major League Bulldogs. Harrold and Teresa bred Bentley's first litter out of their beautiful MBISS Ch Major League National Treasure (Jewel), who was Best of Winners, Winners Bitch and Best Puppy at the 2008 BCA National. Since November 2011, Harrold has shown Bentley to multiple Specialty Show wins and group placements. Most recently, Harrold and Bentley went Best in Show at the Fox River Valley Kennel Club and Bentley is ranked #3 Bulldog in the country, with only dogs handled by professional handlers ahead of him!